Yesterday, March 31st marked 11 years of Hotness… theHotness that is. As I sit here contemplating the future of this here blog, I suddenly remembered the beginning and what it felt like creating the very first issue of theHotness. The evening that I closed that issue and it was finally ready to “go out into the world” I felt exhilarated. I was filled with anxiety, stress, pride and eagerness. Because of my job at the time, I had scored exclusive interviews with both Jill Scott and Amel Larrieux. I was on top of the world! I was about to share my love for these women and their music with my friends. They both had recently released records that were bubbling, but way under the radar. I hoped through theHotness to promote their music and their message and turn that simmer into a 5-alarm fire. I went from sending theHotness to 25 of my friends and associates to creating what has become a destination today visited by thousands who want to join me in celebrating the beauty, brains and backbone of brown grrrls. Yeah, 11 years is a big freakin deal! I have achieved so much and met so many wonderful people because and through theHotness—press in Time Out NY and Bust Mag, interviews with Margaret Cho, Cree Summer, Sarah Jones, Mellody Hobson, Dionne Farris, and Bahamadia! It’s been absolutely incredible, but honestly some days I get really frustrated too because I still haven’t really reached the level I thought I would have achieved by now. As I work this passion-play into a fruitful entrepreneurial endeavor, I’m learning to focus on what I have and not what I should have. Admittedly, this is tough. When I look at that first issue and read Jill Scott’s interview I love how she is clear about the power of freedom and love in her work and in her life. In that interview she said: “Freedom and love have always been my truest inspirations. Finding them, losing them, regaining them, the lessons in them. There’s all kinds of love and things to appreciate. That is what an artist does. We pay attention to life.”
Last June I had a chance to see her in concert and it was all over the news that her and her baby’s father had split and that she was in a super dupa battle with her record level who she felt didn’t have her back. Her love and freedom were on the rocks. That had to be tough. During the concert she sang this song– “Hear My Call,” which will appear on her new CD this year tentatively titled Light Of The Sun. When she sang this song tears welled up in my eyes and goose bumps popped-up all over my arms. The first line had us all enthralled:
Here I am again asking questions,
Waiting to be moved.
I am so unsure of my perception,
What I thought I knew I don’t seem to.
Sometimes, and maybe even especially, when we are investing in something or someone we love, we lose our way. So worried about making it work we forget THE WORK. I stand with Jill asking questions of God and myself. At least I am still standing. theHotness is still here and still hot. I thank every single one of you for all of your support, your comments, your RT’s, your Facebook “likes” and your input. I am humbled and lifted. Without you we would not have lasted more than 11 days, never minds 11 years!
* Special thanks to Erika Harley and Stephanie Mohorn who assisted me in so many essential ways in the very beginning and to Todd Wilson who designed this site, the newsletters, the T-shirts, the business cards, co-produced the launch party and who still helps to keep the Hotness burning to this very day.
** That night at Madison Square Garden the guy next to me, Abe, happened to record Jill singing “Hear My Call.” Of course I begged to get a copy of it and thanks to him, here it is. Enjoy!