If You Try

If You Try

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Things That Make Men Cry (Trailer)

Check out the trailer for the hot new play "The Things That Make Men Cry."

Monday, December 9, 2013

Member of the Legendary Watts Prophets Passes, Yet Lives On

Richard Dedeaux
(Richard Dedeaux is the one sitting)

So dope to see how the LA Times honored the memory of my wife's grandfather, Richard Dedeaux, who recently passed. It shows that he made a difference. He was a member of the legendary Watts Prophets and even battled Muhammad Ali in a poetry contest and won! The Watts Prophets came together during the 1960's in order to combat and speak out against tragedies caused by racism happening in the Los Angeles area. Much of our modern day style of hip hop music is due to brave trailblazers such as he. 
You can see the amazing article that the LA Times wrote about him here. Please share!

Someone Who Deserves To Be Recognized

Today is the birthday of someone very special to me and I wanted to immortalize this fact by dedicating a special blog post to her. And it is fitting because the whole theme of this blog is the intersection of Creativity, Passion, and Greatness and I think this lady embodies all of these attributes. I for one know that I would not have accomplished major milestones in my life such as getting into college, obtaining my first real job, and even the successful execution of the biggest album release concert of my music career without her help. I am so excited to see her in a space now where she is pursuing her passion because she has helped so many realize theirs. Her story is one that is sill unfolding, but the best is yet to come. The woman that I am speaking of is my awesome big sister, LaNicia Williams. Happy birthday girl, lil bro loves you very much. Be sure to follow her on Twitter. She has founded a powerful ministry called "Changed Living" that is all about helping people do a 180 in their life in order to be who God intended for them to be.

Friday, December 6, 2013

I'm Easy

Be Authentically You

Be a trendsetter, be a leader, know your worth, respect and honor the worth of others, be confident in your strengths, honest about your weaknesses, be secure in the fact that there is no one else quite like you in this world and that is dope! Don't give up your values, but be willing to adapt to the changing times, go the route specifically marked out for you and not the one others think you should take. Listen to God, listen to your heart, and BE AUTHENTICALLY YOU... #GreatnessAwaits

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Help Sharp Skills Pick Graphic Design for New Mixtape

What's up R.E.B.E.L.'s, I'm getting everything together to release my new mixtape "Tablets of the Heart" on 11.28.13, Thanksgiving Day. But I need your help. My graphics design team for this project, Red Moon Entertainment, is putting the finishing touches on the art work for the mixtape singles and I wanted your feedback on which graphic you like the best. Post the number (1, 2, or 3) of the one you like in the comments below, click on the image to make it larger. Thank you and be sure to download (for free) "TOTH" on Thanksgiving Day." The link will be sent to you if you are on my mailing list, a fan on Facebook, or a follower on Twitter.




Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cover Art and Track Listing Revealed For New Sharp Skills Mixtape "Tablets of the Heart"

                                                   Artwork by Red Moon Entertainment

1) Tablets of the Heart Intro. (to 9th Wonder's "The Town")
2) The K.I.D.S.S. -The Kingdom In Dope Sneakers-(to Drake's "HYFR")
3) Take Me Home feat. L's (prod. by L's)*
4) I'm Easy (prod. by C and N Beats)
5) Turn Me Up (prod. by C and N Beats)
6) Mini Mogul (prod. by Alex Malone for Alex Malone Music)*
7) All Gray Everything (prod. by Pulse Beats)
8) R.E.B.E.L. Blues (prod. by Omito Beats)
9) Hang On My Cross (to Kanye West's "Blame Game")
10) Moving Under Fire feat. Foski (to The Fray's "You Found Me")
11) R.E.B.E.L.'s Paradise (to Coldplay's "Paradise")
12) My Ferrari (prod. by Tank)*
Bonus Songs
13) I'm Easy (Big Homie Version)
14) Turn Me Up remix feat. Tha Mic
15) Mini Mogul remix feat. SaulPaul
Songs with an * next to them indicate original production created specifically for Sharp Skills. Songs with pre-existing production are for promotional use only.

"Tablet's of the Heart" is scheduled to be released for free download, November 28th, 2013 (Thanksgiving Day). Only those on the Sharp Skills mailing list or following Sharp Skills on Twitter and/or Facebook will have the download link sent to them (Click on the links below).
Sharp Skills on Twitter
Sharp Skills on Facebook
Sharp Skills Mailing List

Monday, November 18, 2013

Build Something You Are Proud Of

I heard someone very wise say that as a culture, we've become obsessed with what we consume as oppose to what we build. That thought hit me like a ton of bricks. You know how it is when a light bulb goes off in your head when an idea deeply resonates with you. I had to look myself in the mirror and examine if I fit that description. Productivity has an interesting way of fulfilling us whereas consumption leaves us wanting. Being able to sit back and look at what we have worked hard to create is an amazing feeling, even though the delayed gratification isn't fun. It's worth it in the long run though.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Grateful Hearts Go Further

Have you ever found yourself complaining about your life or circumstances? Of course you have because we all do from time to time. The interesting thing is the affect that this type of "stinking thinking" has on our moods. It is impossible to be happy, no matter how good or bad your circumstances are if you only focus on the negative. Similarly, it is impossible to "not" be happy when you choose to focus on the good. Our thoughts are the drivers of our emotions, and happiness is an emotion that is primarily based on internal conditions, not external. We have to continually find the things that we are grateful for in order to stay upbeat in today's overly discontent world. Being grateful is good food for thought.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Re-Inspire Yourself

I once heard someone say that inspiration is for amateurs. To a certain degree, I believe that is true. There comes a point where you have to work when you don't get the warm and fuzzes anymore. However, if the work we are doing doesn't inspire us over long stretches of time, it will cause us to loathe what we are doing and mentally (and emotionally) check out. But I have found that writing out the reasons why I am going after a particular goal come in very handy when facing those tough stretches of time when there seems to be hardly any inspiration or motivation. Also, persevering through those times has a strange way of reigniting the fire I once had when I started the project. This is called the second wind. Sometimes we cannot count on external motivators to keep going, we have to dig down deep within ourselves (as well as look to our Creator) to help us get our focus back and stay the course. And the results will be glorious!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Finding Your Second Wind

If we are fortunate to live long enough, we will discover that life is a marathon. If you've ever ran a marathon or know someone who has, you know how important the second wind is. Second winds are crucial because they enable us to finish the race. The race may be starting a successful business, raising kids, cultivating a healthy and happy marriage, beating a sickness, finishing a college education or any number of things that require endurance. Sometimes while we are "running", fatigue will set in and we will be ready to quit from time to time. We may feel as if we don't have what it takes to finish the race. It is important to understand that these feelings are not the end all be all if we can find a way to keep moving. I truly believe it is important to have someone in our lives that will help us keep our focus and keep running until we find the second burst of fuel guaranteed to runners who don't give up. The in between time of being fatigued and waiting for the second wind to arrive can really suck. But we have to develop a mindset that is determined to finish the race and train ourselves, like runners do, to keep running even when our bodies and minds want to quit.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Work Your Creative Muscles

Creativity is a use it or lose it mental faculty. And it is also something that we must feed on a regular basis. The more we challenge ourselves to do things outside of the box and go above what we normally do, we are strengthening our creative prowess. One of the difficult tasks that naturally creative people have is finishing what they start. We always want to create something new which can lead to not finishing anything. Therefore, we must also use our creativity to find ways to stay inspired while working on long term goals.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Battle Tested

"The only easy day was yesterday." -Navy Seals

One of the world's most respected and elite military divisions, the Navy Seals, has to undergo intense training before the candidates are allowed to wear that honorable distinction. They must train as if lives are at stake so that they will know what to do when lives really are at stake. The candidates must endure simulations that test every fiber of their being and many are unable to pass these very difficult "exams." I think the pressure that some of God's people undergo is along the same lines, though different in nature. God allows us to go through many trials and tribulations in order to refine our character, skills, and abilities. The biggest test of all is being able to hold on to our faith when life delivers devastating blows to us. Are we able to keep our head, remember our training, and continue to advance? Or will we fold under the weight like so many? The answer to that question separates the grown ups from kids in God's spiritual military.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Take Your Time

I've recently come to understand that I am one of those people who tends to rush life. I am super goal oriented so when I set my mind on something I want to try to find the quickest route possible. That's just not how life works in certain areas though. There are some aspects of living that require taking one's time and being patient to see it through. Sometimes the waiting game can be very frustrating, but that's when we have to choose to enjoy our moments even if we are not at the destination that we desire to be. Sometimes we just have to literally stop and smell the roses.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Those Who Have Will Have More

Sleeping on our talents is something that is very easy to succeed at. It doesn't take much to not produce anything. The strain comes when we begin to exert the effort required to create something with the tools God has graciously given us. When we get over all the excuses why we are unable to do something and begin to take the first steps to make it happen, we then begin to unlock even more potential and resources that we didn't know were available to us. Go to work with what you have and new streams of resources will reveal themselves to you as you keep moving. This is an eternal law.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What Really Makes You Happy?

Lately, I've been really thinking about what makes me happy. Maybe it's because I'm getting older and becoming more reflective, but I think it is is an important question answer. I think King Solomon found himself in a similar space. He had everything the world could offer and found that it did not give him the fulfillment he was looking for. I believe that his dilemma was the same that we all face today. Having nice things and a lot of money is great. Being popular is fun and accomplishing great things is an amazing feeling. But at the end of the day, I think most people just simply want to be loved and accepted (and appreciated) for who they are. When we are able to truly be ourselves around people that we care about dearly, I think that brings a happiness that no other material thing can provide. Last but not least, a deep sense of God's love is what enables the human heart to be happy. Without that, all of our efforts don't have much meaning. They are a mere chasing after the wind.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Seize Your Moment

I've noticed that when people get closer to a particular finish line in life they tend to run out of gas before they reach it. It's weird how we can be so close to one of our intended destinations and fail to give our all to apprehend it. I see the same perplexity in myself. It makes me think back to the time when I was going after my bachelor's degree. I worked very hard all the way up until the final quarter and for some reason I just got really lax and did not give all the effort I knew that I could. I still graduated, but I was disappointed in myself for not taking care of business the same way I did in previous quarters. I really believe that there is a mental shift that takes place in us when we realize that we are close to finishing something. We have to fight against the natural tendency to stop short of our intended target. Also, we must realize when we have grasped what we are after and capitalize off of what we have gained, rather than mismanaging the accomplishment and losing everything we worked so hard for. Seize your moments!

Friday, October 4, 2013

New Excerpt From My Upcoming Book


The relationship that one has with his or her community is often a key indicator of what impact and legacy he/she will leave behind. Community is a loaded term, but in this book it can be defined as the groups of people that you find yourself interacting with that are not family or people who work for the same employer as you do (business owners and entrepreneurs included). Your community can include your church, organizations that you are a part of, school, the city you live in,your social media outlets, or wherever you interact with a group of people who have a common interest.
A person who lives an accurate life will often ask and reevaluate the reason why they are a part of the community they are in. They seek to better their communities and are proactive about forging strong relationships with and within them. Those on the path of accuracy often rise to become role models and leaders in their communities with or without a title.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Moving Under Fire

The times in life when we are making the most progress can prove to be the most challenging as well.    
Progress doesn't necessarily equate to ease and sometimes it is downright hard. Even though things get difficult, we should not stop doing what we know we ought. If we allow ourselves to give way because our process is not a bed of roses, we will be robbing ourselves of the rewards that come from sticking it out. Anything worth having will take hard work to gain and maintain. It is a worthy aim, worth our blood, sweat, and tears. We will be much happier after the fact, once we have accomplished what we have set out to do, as oppose to letting the opportunity pass us by. Sometimes you have to keep moving, no matter how difficult it gets, until you find yourself on the other side where the sun is shining and the sky is blue.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What Is Your Operating System

I have discovered that I have a lot in common with computers and other technology. The same way they have operating systems that dictate what they do, their capacity, and functionality... I too have an operating system that determines my actions and results. The beauty (and advantage) of the "human operating system" is that we can excercise choice over it. We can make the choice to debug ourselves, evolve, grow, and not let the negative parts of our system direct us. Our day to day actions often point pack to our operating system. This system is comprised of our thoughts, attitudes, personality, and history. We can rise above all of these by continuing to update ourselves, much like an iPad. As long as we live, there will be bugs within ourselves to fix and software updates that need to be made. Yet we will come to find that we have a great capacity to be someone amazing day in and day out if we decide to be.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Face Life Head On

If you've been living at least 5 minutes, you are more than likely well aware that life can be difficult. There are no shortage of problems that we can come up against on a daily basis. Some people get so beat up by life that they give up fighting altogether and begin to give into negative emotions and self-destructive  behaviors. Even though life can be tough, the hardships we face present us with tremendous opportunity to learn, grow, and become better people. I am amazed at how the things that once terrified me became some of my greatest stepping stones (in retrospect) because I got over my fear of them and proceeded to move forward. I then discovered that many of the things that I thought were so intimidating were not that bad. We have to get into the habit of proceeding into the darkness of life. Don't run from what scares and challenges you. Continue to move forward and you will see, as I have (and continue to see), that you can consistently overcome any adversity life brings with God's help.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Do Your Best To Stay Prepared

"Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training." -Apostle Paul

We have to stay engaged while living. Each day presents a new set of opportunities and challenges. When we get comfortable (i.e. disengaged), we are then hit with the unexpected which has the potential to rock our world. Even though it is somewhat of a difficult habit to develop, it is important to do everything that we can to stay ready (in our areas of known responsibility). If we are continually preparing and staying alert, we can respond much better when the unexpected occurs. Its so important to pay close attention to our relationships, families, finances, health, jobs, careers, and anything else that falls within our domain. It must become a habit so that we stay prepared without thinking about it.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Collaborative Genius

"Even the lamest page can be saved by collaboration." -Philip Greenspun

We can take our craft to an even higher level when we practice the art of collaboration. We then are able to draw from a richer reservoir of creativity, intelligence, experience, and genius. Sometimes it's hard to get out of our comfort zones and open up to others, but once we get past this initial stage of being uncomfortable, we will reap huge rewards for making this difficult leap. These days, I'm more excited about collaborating with other creative people than I am just doing something on my own. My efforts are magnified when another person's invaluable perspective and resources are in my close proximity.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Unlearn Your Limits

"It always seems impossible until it is done." -Nelson Mandela

Sometimes we have to unlearn the limits that we place on ourselves. For some, a mindset of limitation is due to the environment that they were brought up in. For others, it was learned from generation upon generation only going so far during their journey (now that is the framework that the successors grow up with). Perhaps, you got advice on how you should approach a certain aspect of life from someone who got burned in that same area and they are advising you from that vantage point. Wherever we have gotten our information on "what is possible", we should all come to the place where we consult with the Author of Life. He alone knows what He can do through a person that is totally surrendered to Him. We (and the others around us) are incapable of gauging the potential we possess. However, once we connect with God, we are then able to operate from a different paradigm that is not based on human limitation, but on God's ability to do the impossible.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Official Excerpt From Upcoming Philip "Sharp Skills" Jacobs Book

I very recently finished the writing portion for my new book (the title will be revealed at a later time). I'm now in pre-editing mode and will share some of the most meaningful parts (to me) of the writing as I peruse through it. Here is the first official excerpt, I hope it positively and powerfully impacts your life. More to come!

"The power of life (positive creation) and of death (decay and destruction) resides in your tongue (in what you communicate both externally and internally). The major portion of the battle related to realizing vision is fought in your point of view. If you think and communicate negative thoughts (death), it will be impossible to produce (give life to) what is inside of you."

Saturday, September 14, 2013

New Sharp Skills Video On The Way

What's up family, I am super excited to let you know that a new video is on the way for Anno Rebelio. I had the tremendous privilege of working with a super talented group of people yesterday. I think this will be the best video I've done thus far. After warding off termites, mosquitoes, and other flying critters, I do believe we got some great footage. My good friends Chris and Paul of Moon Buggee shot and directed this gem and snapped some high quality pictures afterward. I was blessed to have my mom,Gwendolyn Phillips, in the video, as well as a very talented drummer, Laura Dunn, and musician, Aaron Crane, do some dope guest appearances as well. We can't wait to share the new visual with you. In the meantime, enjoy the photos. Oh, the song we are shooting the video for is "If You Try",one of my personal favorites off the album.

Photo by Antony/Ramon Photography

Photo by Antony/Ramon Photography

Photo by Antony/Ramon Photography

Musician Extraordinaire- Aaron Crane, photography by Antony/Ramon Photography

Drummer Extraordinaire- Laura Dunn, photo by Antony/Ramon Photography

Video Director, Chris Valcarcel hard at work

My beautiful mother, Gwendolyn Phillips. She stole the show.
Directors Chris and Paul Antony doing work. Two very talented and hardworking brothers.

Friday, September 13, 2013

We All Have To Start Somewhere (The Vin Diesel Factor)

People that we greatly admire were not always "great" at what they do and who they currently are. It took many years of refining, sharpening, perseverance, and sacrifice to get to where they are today. I recently read an article about film star, Vin Diesel, and his rise to fame and fortune. It was not a bed of rose pedals for him. He actually had to use his house as collateral in order to ensure that his film franchise, Riddick, saw the light of day. He got his start by directing low budget films and entering them into film festivals. Movies we have probably never even seen. The reason I use him as an example is because it is easy to forget that people who are doing big things had to start small at first. I'm sure they have had their fair share of setbacks, disappointments, sleepless nights, and super frustrating days. They survived them though and kept going after what they were passionate about. If you and I apply these same principles, we'll find ourselves in the winner circle too. But we have to start first.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Create Something of Quality

Quality takes time. There is no cutting corners when it comes to it. Microwave success will not stand the test of time no matter how glamorous it may appear in the beginning. When crafting something, let it take its proper course until it becomes all that you feel in your heart in can be (given your level of resources). I truly believe that people who take a little more time to "get it right" will stand out in these current days. Though we must continually adapt and become quicker, we should never sacrifice quality to get to the next level. True quality lays a sustainable foundation that allows the builder to craft masterpieces rather than items that are easily discarded.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Broaden The Horizon

If we are not careful, we can get into a groove that is similar to the hamster on its cage wheel. Sometimes we have to come up for air while we are swimming to see if there are any adjustments to be made that bring us closer to our goals. The heat of battle (in life) has a way of causing us to lose perspective and narrows our options if we don't make time to get out of the game for a bit. In order to broaden your horizon, ditch the regular routine from time to time and do something out of the ordinary. I think you'll find that this will both refresh you (mentally, spiritually, and physically) and re-engergize your focus.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Going The Extra Mile

       "There are no traffic jams along the extra mile."-Roger Staubach

Due to the fact that things move so fast today, it is easy to fall into the trap of cutting corners to get to where we are trying to go. Yet, anything of quality requires going the extra mile. TD Jakes brilliantly quoted "Greatness does not go on sale." Greatness is practiced when we pay attention to the little details that other people overlook or don't bother to work on. Going the extra mile means putting in just a tad bit more effort on something that you may not even be praised for, but could mean the difference in bigger success down the road.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Eternal Masterpieces

Life is truly an art canvas. We are the paint brushes used by the Artist who desires to create masterpieces with us. We actually transcend the role of paint brush once we mature and take on more of the Artist's likeness. We then paint the picture as He would, according to His perfect desire which has become our own. We find that we will paint a picture that matches what He imagined for us and what has been burning in our hearts (because He put those desires there). This artist that I speak of is none other than the Heavenly Father. He makes us into works of art that stand the tests of time and eternity. What He creates supersedes the greatest works of human artisans (mountains, oceans, animals, planets, galaxies, etc.). Imagine what He will do with little ol' us if we let Him guide the paintbrush.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Drawing On Your Deeper Reservoir

The great benefit of being in challenging circumstances is that they show us what we are truly made of. The things we are able/unable to do at our lowest give us a clear indicator of what is hidden within us. This is very encouraging and discouraging at the same time. On one hand, we can take pride in our inner strength, integrity, resourcefulness, and other great qualities. Yet, on the other side of the spectrum we see where we are fallible and weak. However, this is invaluable information too. It is better to know our weaknesses and blind spots than not. We can then make a commitment to strengthen these areas and/or create an environment of intentional accountability regarding them. We do this so that they will not be source of greater liability later on. All great people have both strengths and weaknesses. What makes them truly great is their ability to draw upon a deep reservoir of virtuous character in turbulent times as well as when there is smooth sailing atop the seas.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Just Whatever You Do... Don't Be Normal

Don't be a weirdo! Yes, yes... could not agree with that statement more. However, don't be normal. Whatever your passion is, be someone who stands out because of it. People who are regular in their vocation (or calling, as some call it) rarely do the amazing. Those who are "normal" in what they do, don't push the envelope and/or test the limits of what has already been done. Steve Jobs, Tupac Shakur, and Mother Teresa are eternally admired by the world because of how different they were in their fields. One should be warned though, people criticize what they do not understand. If you want to stand out, matter of fact... if you NEED to stand out... it will not come without its own brand of loneliness. It just comes with the territory. But, your not worried about that are you? Folks like you are more worried about making a long lasting impact and leaving their mark on the world. And we need more of that today. Long live the abnormal folks!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Faith Training

"Faith activates God, fear activates the enemy."-Joel Olsteen

And this should be our resolve: even when things are contrary and contradict my God given vision, I have absolute faith and confidence that God is working all things together for my good. True faith (Heaven's currency) is cultivated in the hard times, not in the good. Realizing the vision is defintiely a prize, but the bigger prize is how strong our faith and character becomes for refusing to give up. God will get us there.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Humor, An Essential Ingredient For Success

"There is hope for the future because God has a sense of humor and we are funny to God."-Bill Cosby

People with a healthy sense of humor are powerful. Humor allows us to stay upbeat, optimistic, and it is also a sign of intelligence. I've gotten into the habit of putting a big smile on my face as soon as I wake up in the morning. This action alone puts me in a postive mood and communicates to my subconscious mind that life is good. It is amazing what opportunities you can recognize when your mind is in a good emotional state. Worry, doubt, fear, and other debilitating emotions rob us of clear thinking, putting us into survival mode instead of an attitude of abundance. Sometimes its good to laugh for no reason, I know it sounds silly. But if your having a sucky day, it is good practice to make yourself laugh in order to change your mood to a more positive one. We cannot control our external enviroment, but we can control how we react to it. So laugh hard, its good for you.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Don't Stop 'til You Get What You Came For

In his sage wisdom, my grandfather, Harold E. Phillips told me weeks before his passing that if I find something that I love doing, don't stop doing it. Those very words created a movement in me that have been my fuel for just about a year almost. I relay this same message to you, never give up on your dream no matter how far fetched it may appear and the adversarial circumstances. There is a reason why you have the talent, gifting, personality, and passion that you posses. I think most of us would like to live a life with as few regrets as possible in the end. Therefore squeeze all of the juice that you can out of your abilities and passion. Don't stop until you get everything that you came for. Write your goals out, recount them often, think big, pray without ceasing, and work your hind parts off!!!