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Author Archives: Naomi Bonman

Community lays Riverside Community Leader, Dorella Anderson, to Rest

Dorella Anderson

Dorella Anderson

By Naomi K. Bonman

Family members, extended family, friends, and community residents came together on Friday, May 29 to celebrate the life of Riverside community trailblazer, Dorella Anderson, better known as Dorie to most, or Mrs. And Sis. Anderson to others. The homegoing services were all that the late community leader would have wanted. The sanctuary of Park Avenue Baptist Church in Riverside was overflowing to capacity, filled with those that loved and cherished Dorella, Godmother Dorie (as I called her).

Mrs. Anderson, 79, served has a champion and advocate for families and youth on the Eastside of Riverside for the past 35 years at the Community Settlement House, just minutes away from Downtown Riverside. She played a pivotal role in assisting immigrants adapt and settle into life in the States by helping them obtain citizenship and addressing issues that assited them to remain in the country legally. Her work with families on the Eastside spans two generations.

“She led a life that supported the Eastside children for more than 50 years. She was talented, beautiful, athletic, and had a confidence that drew people towards her. The events at Lincoln Park and the Community Settlement Association continued the work of a prior generation of local families who truly made the area a community,” Dorella’s cousin, Craig Goodwin stated.

Anderson was the founder and lifetime member of the Riverside African American Historical Society and will be remembered for bringing “Toys for Tots” to Riverside, teaching crafts, dancing, and for her involvement in numerous community affairs.

As a personal extended family and church member of Anderson’s I will miss her gentle and sweet spirit and her willingness of speaking her mind to anyone and saying how she felt, and because she was not afraid to speak her mind and speak out you felt even more comfortable around her.

She will definitely be missed among Riverside and surrounding cities, but she lives on in our hearts forever until we all meet again.

Rising artist Tee Babie provides powerful, positive and engaging voice for women

Tee Babie

Tee Babie

By Naomi K. Bonman

From the “You’re a b—h, you’re a ho, you’re a thot”, as ladies and respectful men, we can attest that there needs to be a change in the way our women are viewed within the lyrics of hip hop, and music in general. These mainstream male rappers are most likely accustomed to a certain type of female that they only “glorify” one type of women—the type that makes the rest look bad.

This where more women come in to give a voice to modern day women. Rising rapper and singer, Tee Babie, is that positive, powerful, and dynamitic force that is filling the void in a positive woman movement in music.

Hailing from St. Louis, MO, but born and raised out of West Covina, CA, Tee Babie has had music instilled and planted in her veins since the tender age of three. As her mother recalls, Tee would sing around the house to the late Whitney Houston. By the age of 18, as most young adults, Tee decided to spread her wings and experience life on the East Coast. While on the East Coast, the aspiring star took a keen to live music and also started developing her style. She stayed in Maryland, VA for 2 years before making the move to Las Vegas, NV.

Upon her move to Las Vegas, Tee met her mentor, King Al Hefner (founder of Beats How You Want Em), who would soon expand her horizon within the music industry. Shortly after, in 2012, King’s Brother RJ II came onto the scene and gave Tee vocal lessons to develop her ear for the music.  King and RJ are Grammy winning producers of the “Misunderstood” by Lil Wayne from the ‘Carter II’ album.

“From there I have just blossomed within these last three years,” Tee said.

In a recent interview with the rising star, she discussed her upcoming projects, her passion for becoming a more positive and strong voice for woman, and what she looks forward to accomplishing in the near future.

What makes you stand out from the rest?

I try to give a more uplifting voice for females. Right now we two types of music when it comes to females, either the “down and out, sad, cheated on, looking for love” or “she’s a ‘ho’, she’s a thot, she’s a ratchet, shake it for a real n—a”.

I’m bringing in a more powerful voice that says, “Hey I am all woman, I am powerful not only that, I am not a thot”. I want to bring out the absurd, confident, but successful and today’s woman. The modern women of today are not miserable, we’re not super sad because we don’t have a dude because most of time we’re juggling multiple or we’re working just as hard if not harder than men.

In my R&B music as well as my rap music, I want to make sure that it’s not only smooth, but relevant.

Being that voice for women, what advice do you have for others that may want to pursue a career in entertainment?

If you want to do it, especially if you have the support, get it, learn it, and study it. To be the best you have to study your craft. It took me a little while to train my ear on what quality sounds like. We think we know, but we don’t until we really study what the difference between what is and is not quality. It’s great if you’re good at something, but to be great at it you really have to emerge your feet in it. It takes time, so perfect your craft, stud it, and be patient. It takes at least 2 to 4 years, just as it does with school to perfect a particular craft, and you just have to be aware of the time frame.

What projects are you currently working on?

This month (May 2015) I will be dropping an EP with Paper Boy Beatz from Detroit called “He Say, She Say”. If you love blues, R&B, Pop, Hip Hop, and rap, then you’ll love this EP. There’s something for all on it. We will be distributing it worldwide and it will be available on iTunes and Amazon. We also hope to shop it around to different TV shows and movies for the future.

Do you have any shows coming up?

Yes I do. I’ll be in San Pedro, Hollywood, Ontario, and Vegas. Then from May 24 to May 31 I will have about five shows lined up in Atlanta.

You’re constantly back and forth between Las Vegas and California and you work a full-t

It has been insane! I am blessed and fortunate to be at a secular position that gives me a little bit of freedom. If you’re in a place that can give you a little bit of freedom or an avenue into your craft that will be the best way to go. It is very hard balancing a secular job and doing music as a side gig because it is very time consuming, but you find the balance and have to pace yourself. You also have to make sure that you’re not slipping on your day job and putting in at least above average to a minimum. You just learn to take it day by day.

What are your goals that you would like to accomplish within the next 1 to 2 years?

I’m hoping to work with a lot of mainstream artists as a songwriter, hook specialist, or as a featured artist [on a track]. My ultimate goal is to utilize and share my songwriting abilities with the likes of Beyonce, Kanye West, Jay-Z, T-Pain, Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill [and others], so that I can get my voice out there.

Who do you want to work with on a regional level?

AV Compton, he’s my next target! California is huge though and there is a lot of great talent out there that I would love to work with. I am also into the Indie, Rock, Pop, and AC/DC scene a well.

Who would you like to work with on the mainstream level?

Shawna, of course, she is one of my favorites. I get a lot of my swag from her. If I can work with Beyonce, I would know that I made it. Others are Future; Nicki Minaj, I love how influential she is in and how she represents the female movement; Ne-yo; Esther Dean; and so many others.

What do you like to do in your free time? What are your hobbies?

Besides being in the studio, I love the beach, traveling, shopping, I love fashion, and kicking it with my best friends and family.

Where have you traveled to so far?

Belize, Mexico, and Mahogany Bay

Where do you want to travel to next?

Dhabi, Panama, Rio, Africa, and Europe

Any last remarks that you want to leave the readers with?

I’m very genuine when it comes to my music. Everything that I sing about is something that I’ve experienced. I work hard to get to reach my goals and I have real and genuine people surrounded around me that I do not want to take for granted.

Life is amazing and very short, so we must use our time productively as possible. Follow your dreams and study your craft, and don’t stop; keep going and pushing through every up and down in life.  

Follow Tee Babie:

Soundcloud

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Snapchat: TeeCheriBabie

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Banning resident, Derron Smith, drafted to the NFL

Derron Smith

Derron Smith

By Naomi K. Bonman

The NFL Draft took place this past weekend from Thursday, April 30 to Saturday, May 2. Young men from all across the Nation seen their dreams of playing for the NFL unfold before their eyes, including Banning resident and Fresno State alumni, Derron Smith, 23. Smith was included in the third day of draft picks where he was picked to join the Cincinnati Bengals as Starting Safety.

Smith finished his college football career with 297 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, and 33 passes defensed—15 of which he intercepted. He was also the 11th player in school history at Fresno State to be named to the all-conference team three times. Smith is the cousin to the editor of the Westside Story Newspaper, Naomi K. Bonman.