Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: The George Zimmerman trial)

Today I wanted to embark a little bit on the Trayvon Martin trial. For those of you who are unfamiliar, George Zimmerman, a Hispanic White male, shot Martin, a Black teen, and killed him from what Zimmerman said was “self defense.” He claimed that “after” he followed Martin that he was “aggressively” attacked by the teen. Many people are viewing this as a racial incident while others believe that Zimmerman was “justified” in his actions. Recent testimony has circled around his female friend,  Rachel Jeantel, a 19 year old who is culturally diverse, but she is Trayvon’s “main” witness because she was the last one to talk to him on the phone while he was being followed by Zimmerman. When it comes to cases like this, I always try to establish a “neutral” view of everything before making any type of judgment. In other words, I did NOT want to view this as a “racial” incident just because of what others were saying. I preferred to make my “own” assessment. I have been following the trial and while there are still some unknown factors there are “some” things that seem like more than enough evidence to formulate some form of conclusion. First, let’s look at the facts. Zimmerman was on the phone with police, and while he was talking to them he was told to “NOT” follow Martin, which he “blatantly” ignored. Knowing this helps me to understand a mindset. You see, if I were being followed by someone I didn’t know then I would be looking to defend myself, because I would have no idea what this guy is up to. Would I “attack him” under these circumstances? “Absolutely” yes, based on fear alone… If you went to the zoo, and were told to “NOT” climb the fence to provoke the bear, but you decide to do so anyway, is it the bear’s fault that you get attacked? IF in fact Trayvon attacked him first, would Zimmerman have been “justified” in shooting him in self defense? That depends largely on “whether” or not Zimmerman followed him and “created” a “threatening” atmosphere of “imminent danger” to Martin. If a stranger is following you at night and threatening to “confront” you, then that is all I would need to know in order to defend myself. Add in the fact that this man “had a gun” and was willing to “use it” and that tells me even more. What we can’t tell is whether or not Zimmerman had the gun “exposed” while hunting down Martin, because if Martin was able to “somehow” ascertain in “any” way that Zimmerman had a gun then that would only “add” to his already established “fear” of Zimmerman. The gun didn’t even “have” to be drawn for this to happen. It might have been seen in a holster or Zimmerman could have alluded to the gun just by holding his hand on the pocket with the gun in it (much like policemen do when walking towards you in a traffic stop). For me, the case boils down to “this:” If Zimmerman  had obeyed police directives and NOT followed Martin, then there would have been NO altercation. THAT is a fact. When you follow someone, it gives the impression that you are about to “confront” that person, and to me that is a “threatening”circumstance. I would not wait to see if someone is going to kill me before becoming aggressive, and “if” somehow it was possible that I was able to “determine” that this man had a “gun” (which he did have) then that would only add to my fear and apprehensions. If, in fact, Zimmerman is somehow exonerated in this case, it could mean that anyone who behaves in a “threatening and suspicious” manner would be allowed to follow (and confront) you with a “loaded and deadly weapon.” That could be considered a “very” hazardous precedent to set.  Finally, does this case seem like a racial one? To me? “No.” I don’t believe there is enough evidence to claim that this was “racially motivated.” True, Martin was deemed “suspicious” by Zimmerman, but that doesn’t mean that his suspicions were based on his skin color alone. I realize that if Zimmerman is somehow found “innocent” there could be a major backlash (much like the LA riots years ago with Rodney King) but it is important that we let the walls of justice make this determination. Zimmerman was a strong supporter of the community and someone who interacted with police when it came to safety in the neighborhood. I am sure that to many citizens in his community he was an “outstanding” citizen. I would now want to detract from that at all. I do believe that Zimmerman is a great man, but I also believe that he made a “great mistake,” and for those, we ALL have to pay. When a man is told not to drink too much, and he does it anyway, then drives and has an accident that kills someone, he is considered the guilty party. When a man is told not to follow someone, but does it anyway, and then kills someone, then to me he is “equally” as guilty. I wish I could see it any other way, but I just “can’t.” As usual, I welcome any and ALL opposing points of view. Thank you and have a great day.
Send me a friend request on Facebook or send me a friend request on Skype at Brettjolly1. Thank you and have a great day.
Freddie Jackson and Brett Jolly in concert

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: No time for me anymore)

What do you do when your man no longer has time for you? It seems as though we can never get together anymore because he is so busy. I have waited for him but it just doesn’t seem as though we are ever going to get together again. Is he trying to tell me something?

It is quite possible that he IS trying to tell you something. A lot of people have problems saying things directly, especially if they believe that what they say may end up “hurting” you. If your relationship is not what it was at the beginning, then you might want to determine if there was something (or anything) that you might have done to “turn him off.” If there IS something that is turning him off about you, chances are good that it is something that he has probably “already” mentioned to you before. Love is something that “starts” with the physical attraction, but either “solidifies” or “evaporates” after you get to “learn” more about the individual. We should always be able to communicate in relationships and be truthful (even if the truth is tough to face sometimes). You should take the opportunity to ask him if there is anything that is “turning him off” about your relationship. That would give him the opportunity to divulge to you what (if anything) is wrong. It doesn’t seem normal for a lover to suddenly “stop” seeing you (unless, of course, there are some “other” factors involved). You have a right to know. If you have this conversation with him, it will be important to discuss things in a “calm and peaceful” manner. Screaming and hollering will only “set the wrong mood” and probably end up taking your relationship even “further” apart. Be willing to talk, but it is very important that you be willing to listen as well.  If he refuses to talk to you, then it is time to move on and forget him. No one needs to be in a relationship with someone who refuses to “return” love back. If there “is” something wrong, it “may” be fixable, but it will take “good communication” to bring it out. Be prepared to “hear” what he has to say, no matter how much it may “hurt.” If he has to tell you the truth, then you need to be ready to “hear it” from him (and it may not be pleasant).  Good luck to you, and please excuse this intrusion from the Phantom Poet:

I think I am still in a relationship but as far as I can see
I don’t think my man has anymore time left for me
We don’t see each other much and I try not to act prissy
He says he is sorry about that but he is always so busy
I am wondering if there is something that he is trying to tell?
I just can’t imagine why our relationship is not going so well
I had to confront him about it to know just what he thinks
He said, “Baby, I hate to tell you, but your breath… it stinks”
Well, I can correct that by brushing more. It comes with practice
He said my breath was powerfully bad and “huge” like “Galactus”
The truth can sometimes hurt, if you know what I mean
but if I want to keep my man, then I’d better stock up on Listerine
I then asked him if there was anything else that I could do
He said, “It might help if you could wash up a little more too”
He said that every time we got together underneath the cover
He said I smelled like “fifty ways to leave your lover”
I guess I found out the problems with my relationship today
So I will buy toothpaste and Calgon and let it “take me away”
There can be problems with every relationship but this I can now see
I am thankful to my man for at least “opening up” to me
He could have said nothing and we would have split up, I guess
But even though the truth may hurt, it is important, nonetheless
So if you expect something is wrong, then even though you may fear it
You need to communicate with your lover, and just be prepared to “hear it”

Another great post from the Phantom Poet

Janet Jackson and Brett Jolly together onstage


Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: President’s State of the Union Address)

Along with millions of other Americans last night, I watched President Obama’s “State of the Union” address. There were many moments of applause, standing ovations and moments of inspiration in his speech. Whenever I watch an event I have this habit of “never” taking things at “face value,” so I am always attempting to look “beneath the surface” at what’s “underneath.” I don’t think anyone can argue the fact that the President is a great speaker, and as the leader of our country that is what most people need to hear. The issues that struck home for me most were immigration, less dependency on oil, reviving the economy and of course, gun control. I liked what he said about making cars more “fuel efficient” and utilizing more oil from our own areas. I believe that for me and “other” members of the “middle class” the recession gets “strained” each and every time the price of “gas” goes up. For example, a man who drives delivery trucks for a living has “mileage expenses” and whenever the price of gas increases then that means it is eating into “somebody’s profits.” That is usually when the cost of gas is reflected by an increase in pay for “his” services (which, of course, affects other people’s costs, and then inflation results). As a musician, I often have to travel by car to paid engagements. Naturally, if the cost of travel is so high that it “negates” a lot of the money I make then in those instances it is not worth the effort. As the cost of gas remains the “foundation” for how a lot of people operate their lives, it might be safe to even say that as gas prices go, so goes the economy. If we can find a way to lower the cost (or our dependency) on gas it could make a great difference. As for employment opportunities, many of us have become victim to “technology.” For instance, the introduction of the “internet” has taken a “hit” of those who work at the post offices. People don’t need to mail as many letters, because it is more efficient to use “email.” Technology has affected other employment areas as well. When seeking a job today, in most places you no longer get to speak to a representative. Instead they tell you to fill out an application “online.” As for immigration, while there are a lot of people that entered the country illegally, MANY of them have contributed to the “base” of our economy. Whenever I do gigs in Atlantic City, I always notice the “large” number of foreign workers in areas like the kitchens and related areas. I surmised that these people are willing to work hard but also do so at a cheaper cost (and that is why I think there were so many of them). While I commend President Obama’s idea of raising the “minimum wage” it sounds like an idea that just won’t “fly” (at least not “yet”). Cheap labor may be essential for most businesses to get on track, and since the economy of Atlantic City is in such turmoil right now I just don’t think they can AFFORD to raise the minimum wage for their workers just yet. Plus when you add in the cost of “higher tolls” on the AC expressway and the introduction of legalized gambling in surrounding areas like Philadelphia and Delaware you can see why Atlantic City is struggling. The main emphasis I got out of the President’s speech last night was that while most of us are waiting for government to intervene, it is truly up to US to make this economy work.  People will hire those who have a service that is “needed.” If your training gives you an “advantage” over others in your field then your services will become much more “valuable” to an employer. We all know that job opportunities are not where they should be, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t step up our game to make our services “invaluable.” When you play the lottery you have to invest (and subsequently risk) losing money (You can’t play for free). The same can be said when it comes to business opportunity. Your idea may be the one thing that “jump starts” the economy. If you are afraid to initiate it, then you will never know the potential of what you have. Remember, the State of the Union goes as “we” go. We have a say, and we can do things on our own. “Dare” to be “great.” Here is the man that NO party will “accept”… the Phantom Poet:

When it comes to President Obama’s speech last night, I surely must confess
That he did a good job of motivating people for the State of the Union address
His speech was often interrupted by moments of applause and standing ovations
While some Republicans kept their expressions and their seats for long durations.
While I intently like to check out these special political events
I just want to make sure that what he said made sense
Over the years the two parties have contributed to bad political weather
So hopefully in order to make this all better they can now now work together
In a  nation where tragedies have struck, it is time for us to heal and console
But it is also time to seize the opportunity for better gun control
The President was right about the economy, but here is my confession
I think it is truly up to US to make a difference in this recession
I think we can take our economy to a much higher elevation
When it comes to our services, we only need to improve our innovation
As for illegal immigrants, if they are useful then they should stay
Because hey, it ain’t like we expect them to leave us “anyway”
And we need to value the lives of every woman and every man
And that is why it is SO important to bring them home from Afghanistan
So for the results of the President’s speech, to me it brought satisfaction
Of course, the main difference will be “if” we can put those words into “action”
Because whatever happens (or doesn’t happen) there will be need to shout or fuss
Because when it comes to getting this situation right, it ALL depends on “us”

“United we stand”… unless we are all “lazy”… The Phantom Poet

Send me a friend request on Skype at Brettjolly1

Rapper Chuck D (from Public Enemy) and Brett Jolly in concert doing “Fight the Power”


Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: Happy Thanksgiving)

Today is “one” day out of the year that we celebrate and give thanks to the blessings that we have. While everything may not be perfect (and while some people are going through major trials and tribulations right now), if you are able to “read” this Daily Thought then you are blessed, because not everyone woke up this morning. While the holidays are supposed to bring us cheer and positivity, we need to remember that life holds “no” guarantees. For those who are struggling I would like to tell you that life throws challenges our way. It is how we react to those challenges that determine the true value of our lives. In order to  fully “appreciate” the good, we “have” to experience the bad. For example, if you are the number one basketball team in the world, that is a great feeling. However, if you had to beat a bunch of elementary school girls to win the championship then there is not much value in your accomplishment. The “greater” the obstacle, the greater the satisfaction in overcoming it. Don’t give up, because your “best” blessings can come from “within” you. I hope you are able to see this for yoursef. Happy Thanksgiving to all, and I hope your best blessings are yet to come.


Brett JollyImage

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: Breaking into the entertainment business)

As a musician and music producer, I often get a lot of artists that come up to me wanting to know what they have to do to get “out there.” In other words, they consider themselves to be vocalists who would like to reach stardom. I tell all of them that it is NOT just about being a good singer. There are many great singers out here who still don’t have what it takes to make it to that “next level.” Most record labels (at least the ones that are still left) are more concerned with “marketability.” They want to know if this artist is good enough to “sell.” They don’t care if you have have great vocal instruction or if you can read music. I talked to an agent who once booked a lot of the “major” acts in Atlantic City. He told me that he has a much easier time booking a woman who is at best a “marginal” singer (that looks GREAT) than he does when it comes to booking a GREAT  singer who is homely or out of shape. This has usually been the norm for the music industry (even though I must admit there have been some exceptions).  I was pleasantly surprised recently when Adele won her 6 Grammy Awards. For those of you who are not familiar with her, Adele has been classified as “overweight” by industry standards, and yet she still managed to excel. Of course, the real part of her longevity will be foretold in the near future, because this industry is still a very “visual” one. I have already heard that she has “decided” to lose weight (I wonder if she actually decided this or if her management decided it FOR her). As for other artists, it is more about what you DO rather than what you can do. Kanye West is a strange individual who has done a lot of things to get him “noticed.” Some of the things he did were by no means positive but his career still was enhanced because of it. Lady Gaga is a good singer who excels more at “controversy” when it comes to promoting her career. The same can be said for Rihanna, who has never been well known for having exceptional vocals. If you are an up and coming performer, then you are going to have to “compete” with these music icons who are “already established.” This means that you need to have a concept, identity and image that will complement your voice and make you “sell-able.” Those that think they “have it” are welcome to contact me. It is important to know all about the industry that you wish to be a part of. ALL performers need a “package.” If you are a vocalist, you need a professionally recorded song, a video and pictures. Without any of these your chances are just about null. I can help you put all of this together, even if you live in some far off little country town whose name no one can “pronounce.” Just email me at and I will gladly talk to you about what you need. Please keep in mind that most times I am extremely busy but I always try to respond back to “everyone” who reaches out to me. The music industry is changing and there are good things and bad things to note about these changes. It is best to be well informed BEFORE diving into this. You will never know your full potential until you at least “reach” out for it. You may have what it takes, but you may not have what you need to “know.” It does NOT hurt to ask questions. Thank you and as I said, I can be reached by email at Take care and have a great day.

Bonnie Raitt and Brett Jolly performing together in concertImage