PRO FILES: FELECIA

“That’s one of the main things: you have to be open to the universe.” — Felecia

Felecia Lindsey-Howse — a singer, actress and author originally from Chicago, Illinois — has fought through an abundance of turmoil during her life and career. Married to Steve “Layzie Bone” Howse — co-founder and leader of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony — since 2007, Felecia has maintained a quiet personal disposition while still exhibiting a powerful and charismatic professional voice.

Felecia — formerly stylized as F3lecia — has been down with Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and the Mo Thugs Family for over a decade, and has not stopped working as both a collaborator and solo artist. All the while, she has raised a family and further established herself as an intuitive and integral businesswoman with a penchant for giving back to the community.

After co-writing and appearing on multiple gold and certified-platinum songs and singles, the solo career of Felecia is ready to take off. With her self-help book and debut album both ready to launch in the Fall of 2015, Felecia the artist has finally arrived.

While returning from a family vacation to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Felecia recently took the time to speak about her career, marriage, Faith and future.

FELECIA LINDSEY-HOWSE

  • From Chicago, Illinois

SINGLES

  • “All Good” (certified double-platinum) — Chapter II: Family Reunion (1998)
  • “Ghetto Cowboy” (certified gold) — Chapter II: Family Reunion (1998)
  • “Armageddon” — Thug Mentality 1999 (1999)
  • “This Ain’t Livin’ ” — Mo Thugs III: The Mothership (2000)
  • “Get Up & Get It” — Thug World Order (2002)
  • “All Life Long” — The Movement (2003)
  • “None Of Ya Business” — unreleased album (2011)
  • “Love Out There” — unreleased album (2012)
  • “Feature” — Young Wizard (2014)
  • “Ride 4 U” — unreleased album (2015)

FILMS

ON CAREER LONGEVITY

I definitely need everyone to know I have not stopped working — I’m working. I have a beautiful body of work that I want to share in my music. I’m also writing a self-help book — it’s called “I’m Every Woman, And So Are You”.

I’ve been doing a lot of things with the guys. Solo. I’ve never stopped; that’s a big misconception everybody has. They’re like, “Oh, she quit. She went somewhere and raised a family.” No, I raised a family; actually, the kids are musicians as well. They’re singers and rappers and writers … an actress and actors.

We’ve been doing this all along; we never stopped.

ON ARTISTRY

I’ve been waiving the flag all the time like, “Hey, I am an artist. I was an artist before you met me. I’m still an artist; I’m gonna be an artist until the day I die. Music is in my veins.” That is a big issue around the house because Steve sometimes forgets that, I believe.

During this journey, I learned. I learned a lot. I got to see the industry for what it really is: the politics, everything. At the end of the day, it really helped me. To be a better person, to be a better artist — to be a better businesswoman at the end of the day. Nothing was a waste. Nothing has been regretted.

I’ve always had a bunch of different sounds, but I believe — and all artists believe — they’ve advanced. I believe that I’ve matured and evolved into a better artist through the times. Singing is my first passion. I have a lot of passions, actually. I love reading, riding horses. I love animals. I love babies; love the kids.

Life is my greatest — God is my greatest passion.

I have a lot. Family is my number one focus at all times.

Ride 4 U”, that’s the single for now. My album — I’m anticipating it being dropped October 27th, which is my birthday. I have a lot of work recorded.

I’ll be doing a video soon. I have a group — which is my children — called Dah Kru. I have a non-profit organization called Chozzen Howse; it will be catering to domestic violence, abused children and homelessness.

ON GRAND CANYON

I loved it. It was magnificent looking at the Earth and God’s creation, it’s like, “Wow.” Then you have to go and do your research and wonder how did this piece of land get like this. I’m in the process of doing my homework now. My spirit just said, “Go to the Grand Canyon” and I got up and got an RV and drove it there.

The different vibes and feeling in Arizona is off the chain, so I would advise everybody in the world to just go and soak up the atmosphere; it is definitely an experience. If you’re Atheist and you don’t believe there’s a Creator, I mean … this has got to make you second-guess.

Just to visit the world in general and see the artist God is. This stuff can’t evolve itself and what science wants to teach us. It’s magnificent. You just sit and you’re in awe. Like, “My God — God thought of this? Oh my God, what made Him put this mountain there?” It was crazy, but it was a wonderful experience.

ON EXPRESSION

I was a big drawer when I was younger. I paint a little bit; I don’t do it as much as I used to. That was a way of my expression before I was singing — I would just draw.

My parents say that I started singing at two years old. They said I was singing, and I would rearrange songs; do different harmonies and melodies. That was a shock to them, being that young. I can remember but not at two years old.

My parents are still alive, and when we have get-togethers, they remind me of being two and running before I walk and all that. That’s how I began — just rearranging songs.

I would just sing anything, but I think I loved soul music. I can’t even say soul music — I just love music that touches your soul. You know, country touches my soul. Just good music. I did not listen to a lot of rap growing up. I listened to what was on the mainstream: N.W.A., Tupac, LL Cool J.

I really got into rap when I heard Bone Thugs put melodies. I was like, “Oh. My. God. They are singing, and talking! Who is this?” I embraced hip-hop when I got with Bone Thugs; when I heard Bone. I was like, “Oh my God. I can listen to this; this is beautiful! They’re singing!

ON BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY

It’s a blessing and a curse, definitely. The blessing is to be affiliated with such a big brand; it’s always a positive. And we have this family vibe that we had since the beginning.

The curse is a lot of people assume things; they assume you as an artist have what you need. “Oh, if you’re down with Bone, then you don’t need this.” They just expect the artist to have it made, and it’s not that way. I struggle and grind just like everybody else — sometimes even harder. Because people have the preconception of it’s all good.

I’ve never had a record deal; that’s shocking to a lot of people. People assume that I have been signed and I have not. I actually was looking for a record deal for a period of time. Like I said, that can hurt you in a way because people just assume, “Well, you gotta be signed; you’ve done all this stuff. There’s no way you’re not signed.” So, the blessing and the curse.

I get mad for the guys, because they don’t get the credit they actually deserve. Not even close. And I don’t just say that because I’m affiliated, I say that as an artist. Because when you’ve put your body of work and when you’ve put yourself in and you’ve been embraced by the world.

And the world lets you know — all the time people are coming up like, “You guys have saved my life. I was at the brink of suicide, and I listened to this and I put the gun down.” When you have touched people like that, I think it’s a shame that the “gatekeepers” don’t allow you to get your props for it.

It’s ridiculous that they have to even fight for it. Because they’ve earned it. They definitely have to do a movie, because this has been a journey. It’s action-packed, all the way through. I can’t wait until somebody jumps on, really letting the world know who we are. Not afraid to embrace the good, the bad and the ugly.

It’s life. It’s a lot of stories that are amazing. For those guys to be where they are today is a magnificent story. I believe if it is told correctly, then it would help a lot of people who are facing trials and tribulations at the moment.

ON BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY FANS

I definitely appreciate Bone fans. It’s like a cult following. They show you mad love. They’re either into you or they’re not — there’s no in-between. I love that they show me love and it’s very much appreciated.

ON UPCOMING BOOK

Just all my experiences. Talking to people — with the profession — it allows you the beauty of traveling. You meet a lot of different people. What I realized is — a lot of people need guidance; they’re just looking for a way. They’re looking for knowledge. Even though we have the Internet, we have libraries, we have outlets — a lot of people are not privileged for the outlets.

I just wanted to be the voice. Be the voice for the underdogs. It’s a self-help book; I’ve been through a lot of trials and tribulations: hurt, happy, you name it. Back-stabbed, you name it. I want to help those who think they’re at the end of their rope and think they can’t take it.

I want to be the voice to say: “You know what? You gotta go through it to get to it. It’s not as bad as it seems at the moment.

ON PUBLIC RELATIONSHIP

We’ve been very good with keeping a lot of stuff private, because me and Steve are the complete opposite. I’m a very, very, very secretive, quiet person. And Steve is outgoing; he’s just all over the place and he’s an open book. We had to learn how to gel, and that’s hard. Because certain things he wants to expose, I’m not really comfortable with — and vice-versa.

Then there’s the situation with the infidelity that we had to deal with, and I’m still dealing with. And it’s very, very hard. It’s very hard for it to be public because it’s not something you can just sweep under the rug. The world knows. It magnifies it to the thousandth degree. Like I said, the world knows.

You go through a period where you’re like: do you show your face? Do you not? There’s so many emotions that went along with that and it’s devastating. Especially when you have kids that can turn on the TV and watch TMZ and look online and see certain things.

Trying to shield them from that is a hard process when you’re in the limelight. It’s very difficult. Then the healing process is a little bit longer because if you weren’t in the light, you wouldn’t be asked so many times about it — confronted so many times about it.

I’ve dealt with so much, so much — when I tell you so much hate about the relationship. Some women are very, very devious when they’re trying to go after what they feel is an established male. I been though a lot.

This is what my book tells you: I don’t blame the women, though — I blame him. Whenever you give a person the green light, they got it. You either give it to them or you don’t. A person can only be as grimy as you allow them to be. It’s been a devastating roller coaster. Our marriage is still affected by it. It’s still a great deal of repair that has to take place.

It has to be talked about. I never talked about it on TMZ, I never responded. I’m ready to respond. I’m more powerful. I went into my solitude, I got my thoughts together. And yeah, this is what happened; it happened to me. It can happen to anybody and this is how you bounce back. Like I said, that’s what my book is going to be about: how you put that shield on, how you hold your head up when people want to damn it down.

That’s what it’s all about. That’s what this movement is all about: empowerment.

ON MEETING BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY

I was living in Houston, Texas. I was associated with Suave House which consisted of MJG & 8Ball and them. We were in the process of trying to get the situation together, and they were focusing on those guys. So my friends said, “Come on, let’s just go to this Mary J. concert.” And I was like, “I don’t know” and she was like, “Yeah, I think it’ll be good for you.

So we went, I saw Bone Thugs. And I’m sitting there in the front row, and God just told me, “Get up and let ‘em know what you do!” And so I did.

I went to the side of the stage, Kray was sitting there on the speaker. I tapped the bodyguard, the bodyguard tapped him. He allowed me to get on the stage.

I literally left my friends sitting there — they didn’t even know that I had left and got on the stage, that’s how quick it happened. It was an impulse.

I chopped it up with him while Bone was performing and I let him know I sang. He said that he heard me because I had previously did a hook for one of the Mo Thug artists. So Kray was like, “Oh yeah, I heard you.” He was like, “Yeah! You know, we have this label …” and so on.

We chopped it up and it was so crazy because literally after we chopped it up, his part was ready to go. He went on and forgot all about how I was on the stage, so as they bum-rushed the whole group and all the entourage, I’m like, in the middle!

I was like, “Hey! Did you forget about me?” and he was like, “Oh no, I didn’t forget about you” and so he asked me to sing. I sung and the whole backstage just paused. He gave me his information, and I gave him what was a tape back then. He told me after he got off tour, he’d call me and arrange for me to come out. A week later, he arranged for me to fly out to Miami and I been with the guys ever since.

That’s what this mission is all about: helping. God put things together.

ON INSPIRATION

It’s really strange: I get a lot of my visions though my sleep. I get full songs — God just delivers them to me in my sleep. I wake up: sometimes I remember them, sometimes I don’t, sometimes it’s just little parts. In my dreams, I’m performing. It’s really crazy. I draw inspiration of my every day: people around me, my situations. A lot is me. Different emotions I go through — I’m a woman, so I got a lot!

My tragedies I write; that’s my inspiration. My joy; that’s my inspiration.

Everything, just life. Looking at nature. I can be sitting in the park and see a couple and sit and analyze them and that’s my inspiration. I can be driving and see something, see a billboard and get inspiration. It’s really no limit to how I get them.

That’s one of the main things: you have to be open to the universe.

You have to be open to receive the messages, and that’s one of the things I’m working on really hard lately. Just obeying the universe. You have to be at peace with yourself to even be receptive to the blessings.

ON EQUALITY

To the fact that women are breaking a lot of barriers, I love that. We are playing sports just like the guys — the boxing and wrestling and gymnastics. No limits.

As far as are we getting our equal rights — we’re getting there. It’s still a fight. We’re getting there. There’s still a lot change that needs to come; it’s still male-dominate in a lot of arenas.

Change definitely needs to happen. If we’re talking about the issues going on about humans killing humans — not just race-on-race — we have a long way to go on that level. When a person values a piece of paper more than a life, we have a long way to go. Social media is making it more visible.

As a human race, we need to step it up a whole lot more. We got to step it up, as humans.

We have to really love each other for who we are, and really realize that we all bleed the same color. We’re all humans, and there is no difference. We make it different because we make it different, and it’s just that. There is no law that somebody is superior or not.

ON THE FUTURE

We have to take a stand and gain control back and become the teachers of today so that our children are the teachers of tomorrow.

Our children are our future. If there’s no leaders to lead them, where are they going to go? How would they know? We have to set the example, just like our forefathers had to set the example and our ancestors before that. The only problem is people are too preoccupied with the now.

We got to get outside of ourselves; that’s the problem. Life has made it now that two parents are working — who’s raising the kids?Who’s teaching the kids, the TV?

We have to be our neighbor’s keepers; we have to be our brother’s keepers or sister’s keepers. We really do. It’s ridiculous that blocks don’t know their next-door neighbor. I don’t know everybody on my block and it’s a shame because when I grew up, I knew everybody on the twenty blocks away. It’s a shame that nobody wants to be in anybody’s business on a good note.

I think it was programmed for us to be this way: self-consumed, worry about yourself / don’t worry about anybody’s business. And the attitude, “Hey, it’s my business and don’t worry about it.” That’s the wrong thinking because even in the Bible it says there’s a good form of gossip. That’s where the community comes together like, “Hey, something’s wrong. We have to fix it.” Not gossip about who’s twerking the best or who’s got the biggest butt shots.

Our focus needs to come back to where our focus needs to be.

We just all have to get on the same page. That’s going to take some work, because it took work for us to get off the page. I think like-minds need to come together and preach. Preach what we know and those who want to listen — we give them that good seminar.

Grab these kids up; these kids are running amuck. They took a lot of laws that were needed out of the home. You need to be able to discipline your child. Not beat your child, because there’s a big difference between discipline and beating.

The structure of the family needs to come back, because that’s the foundation.

It is so simple. Like Lauryn Hill said: “It can all be so simple.” It’s simple. We make it in our minds so complicated, but it’s really not. Everything is a choice. We can choose to do right: be a good citizen, follow God’s laws. Or we can not. And you know that either road, there are consequences.

ON TRUTH

I’m just me. My motto is “truth”. I don’t lie and I believe that a person has to be prepared for the truth — whatever the truth is. Everyone around me knows ‘don’t lie’ because that’s the worst thing you can do is lie to me. I’m a believer of: do unto others as you want do unto you.

Truth — that’s what I walk in. What you see is what you get.

We have choices, and once you make the choice you have to stand for something or you fall for anything. People have to realize: whatever you do, there’s karma connected to it. If you expect to receive blessings, do things that would beget a blessing. I know we don’t want to get curses, but if you really don’t want to get a curse, then don’t do anything to receive a curse.

I would go without. If my morals are going to be jeopardized, I would go without. It’s never worth it.

Written By: Matteo Urella / August 2015

Photography:

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