not as if I remember the very first day it happened, but I know
who and I know where the thing occurred, in general. Third grade.
P.S. 21 on 225th Street in the Bronx. Her name was Mrs. Morrison
and I was 8 years old. Mrs. Morrison diligently chalked out a poem
on the blackboard every morning. We were greeted by the latest mystery
in full most days and sometimes she was just screeching out the
last few lines by the time we arrived. The last word of certain
lines was replaced with a blank space. It was a game, you see, and
you could win a gold star next to your name on the bulletin board
if you were able to correctly guess the proper word that rhymed
with the ending of the line to which scheme it corresponded –
AABB or ABAB and sometimes even ABABC. You also had to figure out
the title of the poem. Sometimes the title would have one word missing
or be completely missing. Either way, you could only get that gold
star if you filled in all the blanks and guessed the correct title.
Oh yeah, you had to be the first one to get them all correct. It
didn’t really count if you weren’t the first one. No
Thus was I introduced to rhyme and the rhythm of poetry.
was 14 years old when my friend, Byron Norwood, gave me a cassette
with a song he’d written on it. “Since you write such
beautiful poetry, do you think you could write lyrics and create
a melody to go with my piano arrangement?” “Yeah, sure,
what’s it called?” “Always There.” “About?”
“Don’t know.” Off I went, cassette in hand, with
no clue as to how to begin other than to simply play the tape. Don’t
recall how many times I played the pretty song before “it”
happened. Rightly describing same doesn’t quite allow you
to feel the “it” unless you are actually in my head
at the time, or perhaps more remarkably, sitting there next to me
hearing me create and sing a melody, watching me while I scribble
lyrics furiously on a napkin or the back of an envelope or in the
one inch margin space on the cover of the Daily News or perhaps
I actually had a notebook with me that day or ran into a bodega
to get a brown paper bag so I could write the words down before
they dissipated mist-like into the very air on which they drifted
right into my brain. In any event, Byron loved what I wrote and
we subsequently collaborated on four more songs.
For the next 8 years, I wrote lyrics
and melodies to many trying-to-be-a-producer’s tracks. But
it was a songwriter/producer named Christopher Burke who told me
that if I could do this, I could write my own songs – without
other folk’s tracks. How to proceed? I do not play the piano
or any other instrument. How in the world can I write my own songs?
Chris assured me that if I heard melodies and lyrics in my head,
I was already writing!
went to my mother, jazz pianist and educator Bertha Hope, with my
very first song, “This Must Be The Magic.” No one else
I knew could figure out how to play the chord arrangement around my
melody. Mother “got it” immediately and she is the reason
I’ve not gone completely insane or been found in the woods somewhere,
running amok with music that nobody else can hear crunching my brain.
George Culmer of Melodic Studios, Bronx, New York has arranged two
of my gospel tracks and Stephen Cee of Youngblood Productions did
one. But the two principal arranger/ engineer / producer / pianists
who can miraculously hear what I’m hearing in my head when I
sing them my fully-sculpted songs are Niles Webster,
who is the Co-Minister of Music at Church of God of East New York,
in Brooklyn, New York, and George Mena, of Love House
Music, in Union City, New Jersey. I am grateful and blessed to know
and work with these talented, Heaven-sent phenoms who bring my music
to life for me and now, for the listening public.
here I am in 2006, after many years of effort attempting to crack
the coded blue wall of silence that would propel me into breaking
through as a successful artist in the music industry. MoHopeMusic
is my 21st Century launch pad, housing clips of my original songs
in the several genres in which I write. MoHopeMusic
will ultimately contain a full library of my original material.
The site will be updated continuously as I write and record new
songs. MoHopeMusic is a resource for licensing
music for use in movies, commercial television, cable network original
movie presentations, commercials and up-and-coming and established
artists seeking new songs. I know that something will “click”
as I know that I am gifted by God with a beautiful voice and the
talent to write the greatest songs you never heard. Ah, here it
comes now . . . click . . . click . . . click . . .
Oh yes, one thing more . . . after
months of mostly getting it right I had that long-hoped for morning
when I was not just the first – I was the only student in
the class to correctly guess the title of that day’s poem,
“The Bumble Bee”. Of course, I still remember the name
of the poem. How could I not? It was a Gold Star Day.