The in his skin, project will now explore the mind of Jelani:
001: What is your name and where do you currently reside ?
J - My name is Jelani Thompson, but my artist name is Noah Bility. I've always been an uptown kid. Started in Harlem and then moved to the Bronx where I now reside.
002: Who influences your life the most ?
J - I would say my mom. Her and I don't have the most vocal relationship. Not because of lack of love, but because she's a very quiet person. Listens more than she speaks. I definitely get it from her. The deep talks that we would have would teach me about her past, the things she overcame, and where her head is now. She dealt with so much in her younger years. Things that would have broken anyone who felt they weren't prepared. My mom's spirit is very strong. It's one I know I've inherited and I couldn't thank her enough.
003: What is your purpose in life ?
J - To uplift the world. I have a lot of work to do. While I know it's a lot, I know that it's not impossible. Manifesting the world I want for myself through mantras and actions. Hoping to inspire someone to do the same. To uplift the world, you have to unlock yourself and hopefully you will impact someone else life with the positivity you attract.
004: What are your thoughts on the place that black men hold in society ?
J - We hold a very high place. So high that some choose to hate us. Hate us so much that they look for other people to hate with. They have created a world in which black life is demonized, misunderstood, demeaned, and minimized. A world where police killings are caught on camera and looped on the news like sports highlight reels. As hard as they try to strip us of our light, they fail. Every single time. Yes, bodies have been piling, but people think that will break us. They couldn't be further from the truth.
005: What do you hope for people to gather from your work ?
J - Through my music and photography, I would hope people take with them the realization that so much power lies within them. Everyday I work on bettering myself and my craft. There's no lyric I write that I wouldn't stand firmly by. No photo I take would be showcased if I didn't have faith in it.
006: How has love helped you become a stronger man ?
J - When I learned that love is the key to a better life, I shed so many unnecessary layers holding me down. It's the opposite of fear. Thoughts and actions are manifested either out of love or fear. Fear will lead someone to do terrible and selfish things. Clearly the weaker of the two sides. Love, when channeled through the spirit, brings abundance in everything one could ever want in life. I've opened up myself to so much more by loving harder. There's no place I can't go or tool I can't utilize because of it.
007: When did you realize that you were comfortable in your own skin ?
J - That's still in the works. Recently I've been seeing myself in a better light. Thanking God for my talents and everything entering my life has been the start I needed. It's all still a work in progress.
008: What do you love most about being a man of color ?
J - Honestly, the adversity and challenges that come with it. All the more obstacles to break down and become stronger through. Who doesn't want to be more spiritually fit?
009: Name some lessons that a woman has taught you. . .
J - Surrender to the wiser forces. Listen and learn. Apply those lessons to your life and see how things change for the better.
for more of Jelani, please feel free to check out some of his social media handles below.