“… more Guns than Roses;

foes is shakin in their boots.

Invisible bully like the Gouch.

Disappear, vamoose you’re wack to me.

Take them rhymes back to the factory…” 

Biggie Smalls 

“Dear Life, Here I Am. Sincerely Andrea Lynn Samuels”… a Review

FULL DISCLOSURE… Andrea Lynn Samuels (Drea) is a friend of mine.  We go back to freshman year at South Carolina State University and remain in touch. Drea is a warm and engaging soul who is immediately on your side; as long as what you are doing is good for people. So it was no surprise to me when I learned that she was writing a book of poetry whereby she would share what’s likely her most trying experience. What’s more is she’s contributing a portion of the proceeds to benefit cancer research. Again, no surprise to me.


Drea, me, and Lisa Walker. Atlanta, GA October 2013

On a personal note I can tell you that “Dear Life” came about much the same way that this blog has. It is a result of a “4.0 level” (meaning 40ish years old) individual finally pursuing and sharing a passion that was discovered fairly early in life; but for some reason was subordinate to other priorities… Until now.   For that I am ecstatically happy for my friend.

That said, my friends know me to be honest in (and happy to give) my opinions. I am usually tactful in my approach, but no matter what, they know I make my true thoughts known. I don’t sugar coat things with my friends… So know that I am sincere when I say “Dear Life” is open, warm, poignant, and beautiful. Drea gives the reader a real window into her life. We get to peek into her experiences in love, life lessons, relationships with friends, relationships with family, self discovery, and observations of the wonders of God’s works. Drea’s poetic voice lends emotion to the most mundane observations.  In ‘Welcome Home’ she observes an argument between strangers on 126th St during a visit to her native Harlem. It seems that loud words on a NY City street would be a pretty ordinary occurrence… but put her words to it and it becomes a bout with empathy for a complete stranger.  ‘Reassured’, an ‘Evening Stroll’, and ‘Masterpiece’ relate the potency of love and deep infatuation. All at the same time Drea goes on to relate the profound admiration that a daughter has for a father who has shared with her the gift of his own creativity in ‘Riverside Drive’.  This is just a taste. Trust me when I tell you that there is so much more.

Such a dynamic voice given to the extraordinary, the mundane, the pleasures and the vicissitudes of life comes, in this case, from a writer who has come to know triumph; despite profound loss and the struggles of her loved ones. In “Dear Life” Drea is real; and open; and honest about it all.  It’s inspiring. Drea has taken personal tragedy and made it a bridge to personal power. Oh… and she manages to help others out along the way.

After reading “Dear Life, Here I Am.”, I feel that I’ve gotten to know my friend and fellow Bulldog a site better and I’m better for it. I suggest you get to know her too.

You can get the book here.

Dear Life, Here I Am. Sincerely Andrea Lynn Samuels

drea cover

Home is Apropos

This site and blog is home to my take on things having to do with life. At this point, I like to say that I (and the rest of my contemporaries) am living LifeStyle 4.0.  It’s a term I coined a few years ago when I turned 40 years old. Will Beatty 4.0 was the theme of my birthday party.  It’s one of those milestones where I was compelled to look back over my life and evaluate my station. I did that from June 1st of that year all the way up until November 2nd; the day that I turned 40. During that time I realized that I’m a lot like everyone else and a lot different at the same time. I’ve had some successes and I’ve had some failures. I’ve acquired useful knowledge on some topics and have totally missed the message on others.  I looked at what I achieved and where I failed and realized that, all-in-all, it had been a great ride. It still is today! By the age of 40 I feel like people look at the good & the bad, the highs & the lows and learn to love it all. I mean at some point you say ‘screw it I’ll celebrate the highs, forgive myself for the lows and have some F’ing fun!’.

The other thing that happens (if you have good sense) is you do everything differently. When I say ‘everything’ I mean EVERYTHING!  And it makes sense… I mean, you realize that all of the partying, skipping workouts, eating fried foods, alcohol drinking, and smoking (what ever it is you may smoke) has taken a toll on the only body you will ever have and if you want to live past your 50’s, things gotta change. You also become more aware of your surroundings and you may change the way you engage your community. Even if you had been a dreamer or acivist before now, you change tactics  because  what you do now is different from what you would have done or said in your 20’s.

The Change is what the 4.0 LifeStyle is all about. You change the way you have fun, the way you eat, the way you travel, the way you fellowship with your friends, the way you drink, your interests, the kind of liquor you drink; even the time that you go to bed.  That’s what we’re going to talk about..THE CHANGE and all its joys and challenges. We’ll explore it all. As I said in the “It Begins…” blog post, I’m going to curate and create 4.0 style content for you to consume from many different media nodes. There will be news letters, social media, podcasts, live events, books and whatever other digital outlets happen upon the horizon; but it all starts here.

Even if you are younger or older than 40’ish you will find value in what we do here. In full disclosure, there will be ads and some stuff sold via these channels (I have some college educations to pay for), but I promise it will be relevant to you and I will NEVER spam you with offers.  All of the content that comes to you from me will be value added. That means it will always be uplifting, informative, entertaining, and stimulating. I really value your support and I will always respect it.

That said… let’s get to it. Welcome to LifeStyle 4.0!

It Begins…

Welcome to my site! It is mostly under construction right now so stay tuned. I’m building this platform out myself thus far so be patient… It’ll be worth the effort. I consider myself a Lifestyle Enthusiast. The reason that’s good for you is I’ve got some exciting lifestyle thoughts and content coming your way as seen and experienced through the eyes of a 40 something year old hip-hop head who is interested in us all being our best selves, being better together and just plain ol having fun. I call it Lifestyle 4.0. In this space and on some other digital media nodes I will curate and create content that will be entertaining and useful to those of us in (and around) the 4.0 stage in our lives. I’ll explain what I mean by that later.

Stay tuned… this is gonna get interesting.