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Thank you for visiting the website of For The People Productions. We are the newest marketing and public relations firm in the state of Mississippi, but we are making sure our presence is known. For more information, contact Stanley Clark at sclarkpickens@aol.com 872.232.1144 or 601.832.0673.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The King of Conversations Talks The Past, Present and Future

THE KING OF CONVERSATIONS TALKS THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
by Stanley Clark with Herschel Dixon

(Part three of our discussion with Cyrus A. Webb.)Part One of our Three-Part Series about Cyrus A. Webb and Conversations
Part Two of our Three-Part Series about Cyrus A. Webb and Conversations

On Friday, July 17, 2009, Cyrus A. Webb-The King of Conversations—will celebrate his 34th birthday. In the past 10 years of his life he has been recognized as an award-winning visual and literary artist, motivational speaker and the founder of one of the largest literary franchises in the United States. With all of his accomplishments he has worked hard to remain humble in the face of his success and careful not to let setbacks, negativity or the natural occurrences of life to distract him from his goals.


Of all the projects he has lent his name and abilities to, it seems that the Conversations brand with its radio and television shows, bi-monthly magazine, newspaper columns and most recently his book clubs has been the highlight of his life thus far.

By 2008 he had become known to literary organizations and authors across the country and even gained the respect of entertainment news outlets such as MTV and VH1. Conversations with C. A. Webb the radio show became known as Conversations LIVE! Radio in June 2008 when it moved from just being carried by one radio station to join forces with the popular internet radio service Blog Talk Radio.

“It was important for me not to deny the fact that people all over the world were listening to what I had to say,” says Webb. With each interview and discussion his audience grew. Conversations LIVE! Radio was respected for not only what it did but how it treated each of its guests. No matter how bad Webb may have wanted an interview, no one appeared on the show that Webb hadn’t personally researched or was familiar with their work. “That’s the only way I can be respectful to my listeners as well as the guest,” Webb explains. “Our show is a conversation: a real back-and-forth. That means I have to know them.”

Such professionalism has garnered him exclusive interviews. To date his is the only radio show to interview the entire cast of the hit VH1 reality show I WANT TO WORK FOR DIDDY. He also coordinated with MTV in getting exclusive interviews from cast members of 50 CENT: The Money & The Power. Fans of popular television shows such as Noah’s Arc and Project Runway? Cast members of both have also had their turns on Conversations LIVE! Radio. In 2009 even national recording artists Donnie Klang of Bad Boy Records and "The People's Champ" Paul Wall have made appearances on the show, introducing new music during the live broadcasts.

Truth be told, there are very few guests that Webb wants to interview that haven’t been a part of his show. “I’m not trying to be cocky or arrogant when I say this,” he remarks, “but I can count the number of guests I have reached out to for an interview that haven’t come on the show.” When asked who he would like to talk with, Webb is quick to answer. “In the literary world it would be authors like Thomas Harris, Stephen King, Hill Harper, Jackie Collins and Judith Krantz. In entertainment, I would love to talk with P. Diddy, 50 Cent, Miley Cyrus and even Taylor Swift. Then, of course, there is Alicia Keys, Fergie, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: all of whom have made a name for themselves outside of entertainment. There’s still time, though,” he adds with a smile in his voice. “I’m not going anywhere.”

And it is that confidence that has caused some around Webb to love him for what he is doing in the world or love to hate on him.


CONVERSATIONS AND CONTROVERSY


When we first talked with him about his detractors, it seemed as though Cyrus was trying to be politically correct. When we revisited the subject this time, we were able to see another side of not just his personality but his rationale for the life he lives.

“I get so sick and tired of these dream-killers who have nothing better to do with their time,” Cyrus exclaimed when asked how he deals with the criticism that seems to follow him. “I mean, really. What are they doing with their lives that make them feel like they have any right to judge my motives or what I do. Show me how they are working to improve their community and give back. They are the ones who are all talk and no action.”

The latest controversy seemed to come from some of those who Webb once called friends or associates who seemed to turn on him during his last projects. Some have even gone back and referenced the two events he was a part of in 2005 and 2006 to show that he’s not capable of successfully doing what he sets out to do. This is a criticism that the young man doesn’t digest quietly.

“For some people they will always go back to those two events that happened a few years ago to try and throw dirt on my name and the work I am doing,” Webb said. “My response to that would be what about what I’ve done today, yesterday last week, last month or last year? Over the past 10 years I have done more than people two or three times my age. My record speaks for itself. Every time they have to backtrack to previous events to try and discredit me, it shows them for what they are: mangy little junkyard dogs that are too lazy to build their own legacies so they have to attach their names to someone else’s.”

“Mangy little junkyard dogs?” When asked if he wanted to rephrase that remark, Webb didn’t even consider it. “I call it like I see it,” he said. “They are snapping at those who are busy doing something so they have to do something, and that something for them is attack.”

The newest endeavor Webb added to his growing achievements is called The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign (http://www.thewritestufftv.com). The idea came to him during one of his regular visit to Cici’s Pizza in his hometown of Brandon, Mississippi.

“The Write Stuff was created to serve two purposes,” says Webb. “First it is going to be a means to show the world why it is importance to encourage reading and it will also give aspiring writers an opportunity to compete for a book deal and the tools to be successful.” The most visible aspect of the campaign, The Write Stuff Reality Show, is America’s first literary reality show that will be seen through Youtube (see http://www.youtube.com/thewritestufftv) and select television stations throughout the country.”

To make sure that the show had something for everyone, Cyrus said that he thought he had the perfect mixture of individuals working on the project to ensure its success. What happened instead was he saw the motivations of some that were a part of the project were less than pure.

Webb described it this way: “It never ceases to amaze me how people will leech off of projects they believe to be the next big thing, but they don’t want to do the work it takes,” He then added. “I work at least 14 hours a day if not more. I don’t intend for everyone around me to do the same, but if you are going to take the credit for some of my work’s success, you should at least be a part of the work.”

Aside from The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign, in July 2009 Cyrus is also launching 3 new book clubs and bringing back his popular weekly open mic night in Rankin County (MS). These will be held at Cici’s Pizza in Brandon, MS, and details can be found at www.conversationsatcicis.com.

Even Conversations LIVE! Radio will be changing in the near future. “I am bringing in new hosts for Conversations, and it will feature different perspectives as well as interests.”


CONVERSATIONS AND POLITICS



Webb is also going to be holding more of his thought-provoking panel discussions beginning in July 2009. Forums dealing with the Obama administration’s impact on the Hip Hop community as well as addressing the issue of Racial Pride have been scheduled, leaving some to speculate that he might be positioning himself as a voice on the political scene.

“I don’t have an interest in entering the world of politics,” Cyrus says. “I believe that my strength is in bringing people together to have conversations about issues, not to try and sway people’s opinions or even use my platform to express my own interests.”

At one time it may have been possible for the young entrepreneur to stay out of the political fray, but with his forums in 2008 openly questioning why they vote the way they do landed Webb on the opposite side of the camera. He was interviewed by Crystal Hilliard of Mississippi’s ABC affiliate about his feelings about then candidate Barack Obama and his run for President. He raised eyebrows when he admitted during the interview that he was not voting for Obama.

“That was something I didn’t intend on getting into,” Webb admits. Through his journey in public life he assumed most would accept that through the causes and decisions he had made that politically his views were right-of-center. Having to actually voice his beliefs, however, proved more difficult for him. “I don’t think that is my place. I understand that people are interested in what I personally think about issues, but I don’t want them to feel as though I believe my convictions should be theirs. Just weeks before Obama was elected, Webb’s political views were made nationally known through the USA Today newspaper.

“A reporter from USA Today was covering my panel discussion about why blacks were so in lock-step with Obama,” he explained. “I wanted to dissect if it was because of his polices or just because of his skin color. Afterwards the reporter asked me some questions about my own feelings about Obama, and it just went from there.” Since then, he has made it more of a mission to report and analyze stories instead of becoming a part of them. “I don’t want how I personally feel about someone or something to in itself turn people on or off. I want them to hear both sides and make their own decision. In the end, that is what Conversations is all about.”

Whether it’s an expanded role in arts and entertainment or something more ambitious, it is clear that no matter what Webb decides to do in the future, the sky is definitely the limit. “I don’t look for a finish line,” he says. “I am, however, always looking for the next thing I can do to best use my skills. Who knows what direction I will go in next.”

To keep up with Cyrus A. Webb, visit www.cyruswebb.com.

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