Behind The Velvet Rope: ESSENCE Festival Day 3

On the final day of ESSENCE Festival 2016 more celebrities chose their favorite inspirational quotes and explained what keeps them going.

ESSENCE.COM Jul, 07, 2016
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[MUSIC] Hey, what's up? I'm Rodney Rikai. And I'm Gia Peppers. Listen man, I got some bad news for you. What's the bad news? Today is the last day of Essence Best 2016. Man, it went by so fast. It really did. I just got here. And it's now over. I have no idea what I'm gonna do. It's not quite over, because we are still behind a [UNKNOWN] Verizon, talking to our favorite celebrities about what inspires them. Because Verizon Inspires all through technology. That's right. The hashtag is Verizon Inspires. And the entire weekend, we've been using that. But make sure you guys go on Instagram, Twitter, all of that, to see all the great moments because there's been so many great stories, so many great quotes we've been doing all weekend. So I'm sad it's over. But I'm still inspired and ready to see The next group of amazing celebrities.>> Listen, we're gonna go out with a bang, I promise you if nothing else, you gonna enjoy it. [MUSIC] Man. We have Essence royalty in the building, Miss Mikki Taylor. Hi, I'm amazed, it is so nice to meet you. Hi Mikki, how are you? You look beautiful. Y'all matching, y'all cute. [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGH] How about that? Y'all look good man you look amazing. We have the Verizon Samsung tablet here, it's filled with some amazing quotes. We just wanted you to choose one so that we can see which one most spoke loudly to the person who's the matriarch of so many great moments here on essence. Well I will tell you the one that stuck out in my mind is Dr. [UNKNOWN] [INAUDIBLE] You said, I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. So I'm pushing that one. That's already up on the screen so you're good. Well fantastic. But you know, it is no coincidence that that's my favorite. As a beauty authority, and certainly The leading influencer for women of color for 30 plus years, it is, that is what people stop me, or women stop me the most to say. You made me feel beautiful, I always felt affirmed, I turned to your pages first, I just love you this And that's what important. How what you, the take aways that you gave women and it really is validation. I always say that the creator was satisfied when he created each of us as divine inspired originals. So if I can just help us to know that and to know our value then its been a good Nervous. Awesome. Yup. Yes Hit yes right there. Yes. All right let's see the quote that you chose. You got it. All right when it comes. Take your time. Take your time, no rush. Here we are. I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities. Whoopi Goldberg, yes, why did you choose that quote? Okay, one, I love Whoopi. [LAUGH] Grew up on Whoopi, I think. And I believe in that quote. I believe in the unbelievable. I think who I am and how I've gotten here thus far, I think a lot of people counted me out out In such a way, and a lot of things that I've done, people would say, that'll never happen, before I did it, and then I did it. And a lot of my friends, and I'm pretty sure you two, it's just, here you are. Mike [UNKNOWN] You're pretty gifted yourself, man. We all know. I had you the other day run down a list of all your achievements and accomplishments. The one thing you didn't really touch on too much that I really want to hear more about is My Brother's Keeper. That program, being an ambassador for it. What does your role entail and what is the program looking forward to doing in the future? Man, thank you for that announcement, but I appreciate you for that. So President Obama started this initiative called My Brother's Keeper and essentially it's to provide resources, opportunities and access for young men of color from cradle to career. My specific role though is focus on young Millennial entrepreneurs and develop that space. Young men of color, we over-index as far as music, film, fashion, technology, but we don't own anything in that space. So, my job is to go around the country, getting us to change that narrative, and how we see ourselves. Awesome, man, awesome, awesome. Mike, muse, man, the muse of so much stuff. I love it. I love it, I really really love it. So how do you ladies give back in your own communities? Obviously it's hard to follow that, but! [LAUGH] How do you guys give back in your own way, and make sure that you guys are making an impact, a positive one? I'm really big on tapping into youth. I definitely have about two to three mentees that I definitely connect with on a weekly basis. Checking in as far as school, education. And thinking that it's very important for me to be a leader to them. And setting a great example. So I definitely make sure that on a weekly basis, I check in with them, and to guide them and not to deter them, and encourage them more. Yes, absolutely. Same for you, of course. I definitely am working with several different music organizations. I like to focus on kids who already, it's easier to help them when you have a way to help them. And you know what they're looking for, so different music organizations from my home town of Chicago. Chi town, always [CROSSTALK] got to rep the Chi. [LAUGH] Repping Chi. From the Chicago Public School System, I've worked with a program called the Remix Project that's based in Toronto, and now they have one in In Chicago and they're like the new age, the new creatives of the Boys and Girls club. It's an amazing and different organization in LA, which is where I live. So, I make sure that I reach out to the youth and kids as much as possible. What do you attribute to that level of maturity that you have the most? I think first is my parents. You know, first of all, my parents are the one who raised me up to be like this. Without my parents and my sister, I don't be the man that I am right now. Yeah. In front of you guys, so it's a major shout out to them. But also, I think it's my community. My community brought me up a different way. They brought me up with a different sense of confidence and swagger that's different from a lot of people in the country, and also a different sense of circumstances. I may not have to have been in the hood where people are dying left and right, but where you're dealing with different trials and Stipulations you know that result in a different sense of attitude and appreciation for this game. And like you know so, you know my community my parents you know everyone brought me up a certain way that helped me realize things may be earlier than the other human being a child. Awesome, I really appreciate your passion for the next generation of people but what's the one thing you would tell a young kid who wants Singer-songwriter, a record label owner about the business. What don't they know, what don't they see that you can get, what words of advice [INAUDIBLE]? [INAUDIBLE] We're about to get real over here. [LAUGH] What I would say is this, be as authentic as possible. Out the gate. If they don't believe in it and it doesn't work Continue to be authentic. [BLANK_AUDIO] Some people are just naturally dope. And if you know you're naturally dope, do you, man. [UNKNOWN] out there, so many different platforms. There's artists out here that aren't signed That's on the road touring. Making more money than artists that are signed. Right. You know what I mean. So just really believe in yourself and be as authentic as possible. Yeah. And find people who really believe in you. And don't doubt yourself, man. Don't try to be carbon copy of anybody else. Just be yourself. [MUSIC] [CROSSTALK] I've been waiting all my life to sing that song with this brother. I'm gonna go ahead and get my moment little brother. I'm gonna go ahead and get my moment. Let's go ahead and get this picture with our Verizon Samsung man. So we have this Verizon Samsung tablet right here. It's filled with some amazing quotes. We wanted to just have you pick one that resonated with you the most so go ahead and put that up there for the people [CROSSTALK] Yeah, okay. There you go. Yes. [LAUGH] All right. All right. Let's take a gander behind us and see which quote. I've failed over and over and over again in life. And this is why I succeeded. The goat. Michael Jordan, man. What about that quote spoke to you the most? Well for every thing that I've been successful at I've failed ten times, you know, a hundred times, you know. For every movie that you've seen me in there were several auditions that I went out for that I didn't get so you get told no over and over again and those that are successful just preserver its just. Being able to develop a thick skin, not you know crumble when you get told the word know, and just know that what's for you is for you and you know you just gotta see your own vision. How has Essence best been for you so far? It has been amazing, I wanna tell you that this is the third year that I've been here, but I wanna say its been the most wow. I've been busy every single day and I think so much has been poured into me in terms of my takeaway and I think I have poured into the life of so many others that give away has been a lot. So to say I'm exhausted but to say I'm refilled at the same time would be What it's been. And so the hashtag for this entire campaign this entire weekend has been #VerizonInspires. And there are a lot of young girls who look up to you, who want to do what you do one day, be on Power, maybe the next Naturi Naughton. Tell me what you would tell them about the journey. What advice would you give them? My gosh. I would say, for all the young people, young girls and young Girls and boys that wanna do this, to maintain your integrity. Stay grounded because it's a tough business. Remember that you will receive rejections. It's not gonna be an easy road. But I guarantee you if you really want it, and you work really hard, and you believe in yourself, you can make it. [MUSIC]