[Kamikaze] Milestones


Brad Franklin

The year 2009 marked a few interesting milestones in my personal and professional life, including significant highs and some unceremonious lows. These developments are steps on my path of maturation you guys have followed for some time now.

I proposed to and married my Queen, Funmi Folayan. It was my own fairy tale of sorts, I suppose, completed when we found out we were expecting a beautiful baby girl. In 2010, God willing, we will welcome our little girl Bralynn Jumila to the Franklin family. A wife and new baby have an uncanny way of making you grow up ... fast. I've become the thing I've run from my entire adult life—an uncool, boring old homebody.

But with new life comes death—the yin and the yang. Unfortunately, as I prepared for my wedding, my mother passed after a lengthy illness. To make matters worse, she died a few days before Mother's Day. I've vicariously taken on her role as the anchor for the family and have dedicated myself to success in her memory. She wasn't here for my wedding or to hear news that Funmi and I are expecting. However, I know that she's smiling down on us from heaven.

Also, 2009 became a great year of victories for me in the business world. I'm hosting a new radio show, "A Closer Look," and a new TV show, "Generation Now." This year I scaled back greatly on recording and performing to concentrate on being the best developer I could be, as part of the Watkins Development and Farish Street Groups, Both pursuits require a lot of time and energy, but I had grown tired, even disgusted, with the state of hip-hop and needed a challenge. Yes, I delved into a little-known passion of mine—rock music—and joined Storage 24. But more importantly, I played a part in perhaps changing the complexion of this city forever.

The King Edward Hotel's reopening is a pivotal moment for this city. Hell, it may be "the" pivotal moment for this generation of young professionals and creatives in Jackson. The Standard Life building is underway, and we've even started construction on Farish Street. In 2009, I watched countless naysayers tell David Watkins he was nuts for trying to revive the King Edward. I watched folks you wouldn't believe try to keep us from moving ahead with the Farish Street Entertainment District. This year, I saw that same visionary profess his confidence in me֖the guy formerly known as a rapper֖and make me one of his partners. This promotion changed my life and showed me that we can indeed, move past black and white in our state one day. I watched as soldiers like Watkins, Bill Cooley and Ben Allen were chastised for being "doers."Sad.

In 2009, the tide turned. There's a new attitude in the city. The "can do" mentality has replaced the "can't do" mentality. We're refuting the losers who lurk to spew their negativity on people and projects that are helping this city. That's not criticism; that's fear mongering-; that's misery loving company. And that's not Jackson anymore as 2009 proved, and 2010 will be even better. Methinks with Farish Street and the Standard Life opening, it will.

And that's the truth … sho-nuff.

Previous Comments


Bravo Mr. Franklin!



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