Friday, May 20, 2011

Ami 'Dolla-Not-A-Dime' Miller: Keep the Change...Ouch!

Deep in the trenches of freestyle rapping lies fear and uncertainty. In the realm of Lyrical Cypher, one must step on the scene ready to verbally TKO any opponent that stands before them. This requires great talent, courage, and skill. Improvised conversation against instrumentals and beats that guide word flow released just happens to tell a story. This is merely a foundation. Many that participate are known as battle rappers and while many will compete, its often strange or thought a misconceived victory when a woman steps on the scene. I had pleasure of meeting a young woman who dispels all demeaning perceptions of female MC's and that young woman is BET's Freestyle Friday's Reigning Queen, Ms. Ami Miller.
Ami Miller, who was born and raised in Houston, TX graduated from Westside High School. Performing publicly since the age of 12, Ami, is no stranger to hard work and dedication. Like many other entertainers, her vision begin in the form of poetry and graduated to songs, fostering her love and appreciation for the arts. Ami attended various schools across Houston to hone her performing arts talent. Being the youngest of three children, and proudly proclaiming that once she was a daddy's girl, says that her success is owed to her Super Woman...her mom. Ami was raised by a single mother that always wanted her children to have choices. As a result she has morphed into a phenomenal, well-rounded entertainer. Her mother taught her that she can function on her own, and be her own rock. Even with all her training and vitae, which includes being an official endorser for Hunid Racks Energy drinks,  Ms. Miller says that being on stage is what liberates her. While presently she prefers, to pursue her career musically, acting is something that she will certainly do later.

After spending several weeks on BET's 106 & Park Freestyle Friday, Ami Miller, went up against some pretty ragged competition. I couldn't fathom doing such a thing in private, let alone in front of millions of viewers. However, Ms. Miller says that she steps out there ready to deliver her best. Sadly, Ms. Miller stated that in the music industry women are viewed as the underdogs and are expected to come out being sex symbols as a means to obtain support. She refuses to live in a box that she didnt create and always shows up and show out. Ami feels that the biggest challenge that female MC's face when working to get respect deserved by the industry, is finding women that wont sell out. "Its the utmost importance to carry oneself with respect...I dont have to lower my standards because I have more faith in my God, music and self, than I would in any man. When she stepped out on the stage of 106 & Park for the first time, she was devasted and distracted as she received news, that her brother had passed away after a battle with cancer. Ami said that her mom, encouraged her to keep going and thats what she did. She said at that point it didnt really matter if she won or lost, she just wanted to be home with her family. (In case you are wondering, she was able to leave the show and help ensure her brother was put away peacefully). Ami says that she entered with her game face and left with her game face on. Her first battle, was against another female MC, and like all the other competition, winning was a walk in the park. When battling she states its best to study your opponent. The easiest opponents were guys, because their cypher's are predictable. When freestyling, lyrically, she is inspired by the beats that she hears or the situations that presented to her. Her freestyle technique is simple, yet refined, in that she practices, knows her competition, realizes her own weaknesses, and strengths and start out simple, talking about the obvious and building up to the burial of her opponent. 

When asked which female MC's inspired and/or influenced her, she stated anything Hip Hop influences her, but if she had to drop names it would be Lil Kim and Eve. She says she loves the Boldness of Lil Kim and the poise of Eve. Like those two very influential women, Ami Miller also wants to be referred to as a Great rapper, not a Great Female Rapper. In addition, Ami, wants the world to know she is not a battle rapper, rather a diligent Lady Hustler that raps and is better than great at it. She says to remain successful and dedicated to her hustle, she must constantly improve, stay positive, expand, and network. Her next project includes the release of her mixtape, Dolla Not a Dime. Ami is in talks with a few labels and hopes to sign to those offering her the best deal, that allows her to remain in the driver's seat of her career. She plans to release "Make It Better' soon, in rememberance of her brother. Ami will start a tour later this month; New York, LA, and New Orleans are among the cities she will grace. Ami would like to say to her fans: " Thank You, I love you more than you love me, and I'm coming, dont wait for me , watch me, and then we will all celebrate...!"

Concluding our conversation, I just had to know the symbolism of "Ouch", as she ends every social media post with it. Ami informed me that its a sarcastic way of saying, I just stepped on your toes after burying you alive...Ouch, that hurts. I must say that is the best way to end any competition. It was a pleasure to meet with Ami. I am taken aback at her gracefulness, tact, and sophistication. You can find Ami's music at

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Desire, Hostility, Delusion: A Cinematic Debut and Red Carpet Premier Press Release


Red Carpet Film Premier of “Desire, Hostility, Delusion”, an Ink Media Film where films are created to focus on traditional life experiences, not the typical gay stereotypes.

(Houston, Texas) - Films that depict “Real Lives” and “Real Issues” in gay life could look like traditional families and their everyday issues. In the new film “Desire, Hostility, Delusion,” Writer/Director Lyndonne Payne, creates a storyline where the gay characters could easily be replaced with straight characters and the the issues would still be relevant. She is the newest break-out star whose hope is to create films that represent real world issues facing gays and lesbians to the big screen. Desire Hostility Delusion is our introduction into the lives of characters we will see once Payne begins filming a series that chronicles Real Lesbian Life. Payne says, “Films, where viewers can relate to the issues and appeal to any audience is the future of film making. The major differences are of course, the outcomes.“

In her Cinematic drama debut, Lyndonne Payne explores the lives of four women whose desperate attempts at achieving self fulfillment turn deadly. In the film, the character Gabby (Latoya Jarett) who is career driven and determined, takes violent and desperate measures to achieve her dream of having a child. Her partner, Cinematographer, Tess (Erica Gipson), is unwilling to give up the life she has worked so hard to establish; the two women find themselves in their ten year relationship with different agendas and aspirations for their future together. Their paths ultimately cross with Toni (Edith Morales) and Stacy (Charlene Cruse) who share a similar story. The film explores the issues of surrogacy, civil unions, domestic violence, friendships, addiction, loyalty, death and grief. These issues are faced in everyday life by individuals regardless of lifestyle. Hopefully, more film makers will make films that allow the world to see that gays and lesbians live regular lives and encounter issues that effect people in general.

Payne premier’s her debut film in her hometown of Houston, Texas where most of the actors reside. Payne, in collaboration with Star Management Group and Sweet Tooth Media has created a Red Carpet Screening Event which will feature 2 showings of the film.

When/Where: Sunday, June, 26, 2011 - TBH Theater- 333 Jensen Drive, Houston, Texas 77003
Press Check In: 3:00pm
Show #1: 4:00p – 5:30p
Champagne Reception: 5:30 – 6:30
Show #2: 6:30p – 8:00p
General Admission Seating: $10
VIP Seating: $15

The screening features a Champagne Reception Hosted by Performer and Activist, Mildred “DRED” Gerestant ( ) and a Meet and Greet with the actors during intermission. There will be future Red Carpet Screenings of the film in Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, DC, Las Vegas, New York and Chicago. To host a Red Carpet screening of this film in your city, contact Ink Media Productions: Press materials available at

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ms. Lori's Boutique and Novelty Grand Opening: Ladies are Hustler's Too

May 7th 2011 marked the beginning of an era in boutique and novelty shopping. Ms. Lori's Boutique Grand Opening was held at Mercado Market Place located at 7355 Hwy 6. Houston, TX. Unsure of what to expect at this Grand Opening, I went in with an open mind and plenty of plans and money to shop. What I experienced was all that and more. When I got there, Ms. Lori and her staff were still setting up. So quite naturally, I joined in but couldn't help but notice the intricate details that had been put in place to make the store inviting. A sign that reads "Ms. Lori's Boutique" decorated in bright pink with a sexy silhouette painted boldly hung proudly above the stores entrance. Inside the store, behind the cash register was an Old Paris' picture set and to me that symbolized that love lives there and was certainly in the air. Each article of clothing was neatly hung. Ms. Lori's Boutique has dresses, shirts and more for every sized woman. The most beautiful part of Ms. Lori's Boutique aside from herself, is the shelves and glass cases full of adult toys, that keep the college freshman that lives within us alive. Items included penis inspired massagers, whips, paddles, bed restraints, gels, lubricants and my personal favorite, poles. Nothing in the store was overwhelming, however, with all of the love and support, service with a beautiful smile, one cant help but feel smothered by prosperity.

As Ms. Lori added the final touches to make the Grand Opening everything she wanted and more, I was able to talk with her about the entrepreneurial ventures that led to the opening of Ms. Lori's Boutique. It all began for Ms. Lori six years ago when she started hosting adult novelty parties and that led to selling the novelty items. Ms. Lori stated that while she made a decent living working for someone else,  figured that she could almost double her earnings, working for herself. As a result Sweet Lorraines's Fabulous Fun Parties was established. Ms. Lori disclosed that she traveled from Texas to Louisiana having parties and selling items to Caucasian women. Although this generated great sales, she couldnt help but feel that her inventory was unbalanced  and didnt reach her clients of color. She stated that 'black women have been raised and conditioned to believe that any thing sex or sexuality was taboo". Ms. Lori wanted to change this so that all women could appreciate her own sexuality and embrace the desire for more and different. Her secret to success was having the items ordered on hand, for immediate purchase gratification. Items sold at the fun parties included but wasnt limited to novelty items, clothes and romance enhancements. On my way to being a novelty expert, I had to know what was the most popular item sold. Ms. Lori informed me that she had popular items that ranged from lubricants to massagers, but the hottest item was the stripper pole that came in gold, silver, and pink. Brands include Carmen Electra and Hustler, ranging from $150-$200. Other merchandise include dolphins, rabbits and anything a woman can use in private. After examining the stores full inventory, all I could say is: I'll take one of everything please!

Ms. Lori has plans to expand just as she expanded Sweet Lorraines. She hopes to purchase commercial property to accomodate the expected success of Ms. Lori's Boutique. In addition to storefront expansion, Ms. Lori is currently seeking ladies to carry out the sales of Sweet Lorraine's Fabulous Fun Parties and keep her humble beginnings going strong. She states that it isnt all about the money, as she has learned a great deal from Sweet Lorraine's business and the wormen that attend the parties. Ms. Lori disclosed that she is very personable with the women and share a ton of experiences with them. The reciprocity of the learning process amazes me. Ms. Lori's work is not only informative but it provides an outlet for the women to share, open up and nurture their own sexuality and sensuality. Ms. Lori says that the most important thing she has learned as an entreprenuer is to invest fully in your own company as its the only guaranteed way to reap a profit. She says what keeps her going is when an idea is born, that she works diligently until it becomes reality, even if in reality, it fails.

Ms. Lori's Grand Opening was an extreme accomplishment. Not because of the flow of customers, or the money earned that day, but because Ms. Lori is also giving others a chance to earn as well. She is currently featuring a jewelry designer's earrings in the store and plans to incorporate a fashion designer's merchandise as well. Aside from the novelty items, my most favorite item in the store was Ms. Lori's t-shirt that read "Who Gone Check Me Boo?' There were a variety of colors and slogans on the t-shirts sold. It seemed that once we added the final t-shirt to the shelf, ensured that each rack was populated with its own line of clothing; customers begin to stream in. I dont recall a moment where the store wasnt busy. It was a constant flow of customers buying everything from dresses, jewelry, and of course adult 'playthings'. I even sold a dress and it was rather refreshing. Ms. Lori's Boutique Grand Opening, served food for the customers to show her appreciation for their support. I purchased a few items as well. I would tell you what I bought, but Good Girls Never Tell!

I end this with a couple of quotes for the entrepreneur in us all:
“Capital isn't that important in business. Experience isn't that important. You can get both of these things. What is important is ideas.” -Harvey Firestone, founder of Firestone Tire & Rubber

“I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!"
-Madam C.J. Walker, creator of beauty products and the first female self-made millionaire

Madame Lori, I see you shining!! Salute and much success to you!

-Harvey Firestone, founder of Firestone Tire & Rubber
"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"