Dear Culture

Famous families & solo success with Deja Riley & Genevieve Jackson

Episode 30

The daughters of pop and R&B royalty are sharing their lives with the world on the podcast, Do Everything With Love. Crediting Panama Jackson with helping mentor them, Deja Riley and Genevieve Jackson talk about their mission to spread positivity and uplift the culture. 


Panama Jackson [00:00:00] You are now listening to theGrio’s Black Podcast Network Black Culture Amplified. 

Panama Jackson [00:00:08] What’s going on, everybody? And welcome to Dear Culture, the podcast for, by and about Black culture here at theGrio Black Podcast Network. I’m your host, Panama Jackson, and I’m joined by two very special guests today. They are people who have a podcast. They are people who, you know, even if you don’t know that, you know, if you know, you know, I was going to try to run a bunch of no puns, but I’m gonna stop there because I was going to fumble lose my way somewhere. But if you all will, please put your digital hands together for Genevieve Jackson and Deja Riley, the hosts of the Do Everything with Love podcast. How y’all doing? 

Genevieve Jackson [00:00:44] Good. How are you? 

Panama Jackson [00:00:46] I am good. How you doing, Deja? 

Deja Riley [00:00:49] I’m doing well. Unfortunately, you hear my dog barking in the background a little bit. That’s just an invitation into my personal space, into my home. And he says, what’s up, too. 

Panama Jackson [00:01:00] For the dogs everywhere. You know what’s up, homie? I’m all for it. 

Genevieve Jackson [00:01:04] Actually O.G. So. 

Panama Jackson [00:01:07] Which I learned on your podcast. I learned on your podcast that the dog’s name was O.G. the story and everything. I was like, Okay, listen, which, you know, it’s fun. We’re going to have a I hope this is a phone conversation because we’re going to talk about the podcast, talk a little about who you are, because that actually helps inform how I listen to your podcast, which is probably not surprising to you all. I would imagine that many people who check out your pod, which is called Do Everything With Love, which I’m going to tell you more about how that inspired me. Like the title itself, I find to be inspiring. But I’m going to introduce you both. Okay. Without introducing you the way that, I’m gonna do, I have, I’m gonna try some introductions. All right. All right. So we’re gonna start with you, Deja. All right. She’s a former professional dancer turned fitness expert, focusing on empowering diverse communities. As you know, I pulled this straight off your website. Empowering diverse communities through functional yet holistic, a functional, yet holistic approach. You’re a Lululemon global ambassador and the more outgoing member of the podcast duo. Based on the episodes that the one that likes to use the word spicy, you’re always telling Genevieve that she’s spicy,. 

Deja Riley [00:02:26] So true. 

Panama Jackson [00:02:28] Oh, absolutely. I feel like I can psychoanalyze all this stuff in a very fun way. And I have I actually have a question for you, Genevieve. Genevieve Jackson, you are a is it creative A&R creative at Kobalt Music. So what does that even? What exactly is that? So I looked it up and I see y’all have tons of famous clients and such, but what exactly do you do? 

Genevieve Jackson [00:02:55] So I scout talent and well, actually, I scout artists, producers and writers specifically. And we’re a publishing company. Kobalt Music Publishing. That’s the company I work for. So like an A&R, they usually scout out artists only and we mainly focus on the writing part of it. 

Panama Jackson [00:03:21] Okay. So you make sure people get paid and all that kind of stuff, like give people their royalty. 

Genevieve Jackson [00:03:26] Royalties and just make sure copyrights are in place. Everything. 

Panama Jackson [00:03:31] Okay, all right. And you are the more interestingly quieter, reserved, more chill half of the duo. Half of the podcast duo. 

Genevieve Jackson [00:03:43] Pretty much. 

Panama Jackson [00:03:43] You all are both famous. So here’s in the famously Genevieve, you are part of the Black royal Jackson family of Gary, Indiana. Right. Gary, Indiana. Gary, Indiana. Jackson’s. And Deja, you are part of the legendary Riley family. So of the Teddy Riley fame and. 

Deja Riley [00:04:05] And Markell Riley too. We can’t. 

Panama Jackson [00:04:07] Say Markell. 

Genevieve Jackson [00:04:08] Saying the. 

Panama Jackson [00:04:10] It’s Teddy, Markell. Is one of your other uncles or somebody involved? 

Deja Riley [00:04:15] Well, you know, I have a few honorary uncles that aren’t actually by blood my uncles. So, like, if we’re extending it beyond just my biological Uncle Markell, we would also say that Damien and Aaron are my uncles and they are part of the group GUY. My uncle Heavy D, who worked very closely with my dad, who through my bloodline I actually am related to. And yeah, fun fact, he’s actually my cousin’s uncle. 

Panama Jackson [00:04:50] Okay. Very Black. But I get it. 

Deja Riley [00:04:52] Be very Black for sure. It’s for the culture, so. But yeah, so I have a ton of extended family through music. And so that’s what you might be thinking of in terms of like other uncles that I might have in the music business. But for Riley’s specifically, we’ve got my Uncle Markell and my dad that started the legacy. 

Panama Jackson [00:05:14] I think I wanted to make Damien Hall a Riley in that moment. I think that’s what I was thinking of. I forgot is Damien and Aaron Damon and Aaron Hall. And so that’s as my fault. Either way, you all are both part of like, legendary families, like literally music. Not just Black music. Music would not exist without the contributions of your family. Music as we know it today, right? Both actual music performance. Amazing moments in versus history, which we’ll talk about because I actually have some questions about that in a broad scale. But I want to start with a little bit about your podcast, and we’re going to go on to some other things. So one. Why did you all decide to do this podcast? Like you all have known each other for quite some time. That’s something you all talk about frequently in the podcast, but what was the impetus for creating the Do Everything with Love podcast in the beginning? 

Deja Riley [00:06:15] We actually have been friends for over 15 years as those that are listening to the podcast already now, and we’ve been having this conversation for the past couple of years of like we need to like record some of these conversations that we’re having. Of course, we had to get to a point where we were both feeling comfortable with being vulnerable with the public and being very, you know, honest and raw and on a public platform. But we both have been like talking about this for quite some time. And it wasn’t until I moved into my home in North Carolina a couple of years ago, and Gen and her husband Jola, came to visit me. We like sat down having a little bit of a soiree, having some glasses of wine and just like really enjoying time with each other. And we actually started to record the conversations that we were having. Jola actually started, he records everything, by the way, and then always has his phone, like on voice memos or he’s got the camera on us. And so he was just naturally recording the conversation. And, you know, as we were reflecting back on that, we noticed there were so many gems that like will make us in deeper connection with our community, might actually create a brand new community for us. And both of us were like, okay, yeah, we got to do this. We got to like start mapping out what this might look like. And then we immediately started reaching out for mentorship. And you were one of the people that we reached out to just to like, you know, find out how to even begin this. So thank you. You are one of the reasons why we are where we are. And, you know, we don’t take for granted any of the relationships and the resources that it took for us to get here. 

Do Everything with Love Podcast [00:07:56] Do you find yourself more triggered when you’re being speaking on things and therapy? I feel like that’s my safe space. Yeah. 

Panama Jackson [00:08:07] It’s very well done. I only say this like I think. And I think it’s funny how you so. And this is. It’s funny more for you Deja, talking about the, you clearly don’t seem to have a problem of being vulnerable. Right. Like you you don’t like you you put your journey out there like through social media but even talking like you’re very, very much like, this is what it is. This is what I’ve been through. You talk about people you had to cut off of me or put nobody’s names out there, thankfully. But, you know, you just like it is what it is. But Genevieve, it’s a little different for you. Like in the latest episode that I listened to was Mind over Matter, which is the latest episode as of this recording that you are released. And it was like it was a little bit it was like a therapy session. I’m this is like well you really do have to like, you know like it’s a little bit more difficult pulling info out of you. 

Do Everything with Love Podcast [00:08:57] When my uncle passed away. A lot of stuff got mixed up in a lot of political stuff, and no one lives there anymore, unfortunately. Actually makes me really sad because that is my home. I will always see that as my home. But that’s where it stems from. And there’s a lot that went on during that time that like, See, that’s what I’m saying. Like, I can’t really speak on things. 

Panama Jackson [00:09:24] But it’s also completely understandable. Like, I get it. Like, especially, you know, considering who you all are and where you all come from. Time for a quick break. Stay with us. 

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Panama Jackson [00:09:51] And we’re back. I guess my question is how difficult is that? Because you both come from families that are that are in the public eye in various capacities in almost at all times, right? Like if something happens and it evolves and part of your family, we’re all going to know like everybody is going to know about it. Right. How difficult is it to to make the decision to be so vulnerable because you’re in it and you kind of have no choice but to do that or else you know why or why are we here? Why are we listening? Why are you all sharing? So, Genevieve, let’s start with you. Like, how does that, like how much of this journey has been like a just a work in progress for you, but also, like something you just want to be able to do? 

Genevieve Jackson [00:10:41] Honestly, it’s been very difficult for me. I didn’t realize until we started filming our episodes how difficult it was for me to even open up and be vulnerable. And behind the scenes Deja is like, you know, “you need to open up a little more, like people need to, Is this what we really want to do?” And I’m like, “Yes, no, I. I want to do this.” You know, I want to let people in my world. But I’m also understanding I don’t have to, I can pick and choose what I want to share. And that’s the thing, I’m just understanding that I don’t have to share everything. It’s okay if I share my story, though. And but even with that is a little difficult because just through life I just, you know, I’ve been burned so many times. And, you know, the articles out there about my family, even about my brothers and I, you know, there were articles in the past and I think it’s more of like a protective shield. So I’m just trying to get over that because it’s not like I’m in that time anymore. You know, now I live on my own. I mean, I live with my husband. You know, I’m married now. It’s it’s a whole different whole different thing now. 

Panama Jackson [00:12:01] All right. What about you, Deja? Because again, you just like. Listen, it is what it is, homie. We going for it? 

Deja Riley [00:12:06] Listen, I’m still serving up all the info on a platter for the audience to see. And I think, you know, even for me, there have been challenging moments and being more vulnerable. I think that, like as I work through that with Genevieve and I, I encourage her to be more open and honest and raw. I’m like, simultaneously, I have to be doing the same thing. So like, I’m opening up even more than I was before. I think, like, you know, I have in the past few months even started to share more about my fertility journey and what’s happening with me and my husband and like what we’re going through in real time. And part of the catalyst for that was this podcast. As we started to have conversations and record our initial episodes, I found that like, you know, if I’m going to encourage my partner or my counterpart, my best friend, to be vulnerable, like I need to lead by example as well. And so I started really putting myself out there even more than I was before. And so, yeah, that, you know, you go through it and that’s how you learn through experience. And we both in real time have been experiencing the depths of what it means to be vulnerable. And it’s it’s been a beautiful journey. 

Panama Jackson [00:13:22] You know, let me say that what I think I enjoy the most about your podcast is two things. So one are a lot of gems, right? Like, there’s a lot of you all bringing books to the table in, you know, Genevieve, when you actually get through the rest of them, I’m sure there’ll be so much more, so much more to get. So listen, I’ve got a fire. It’s like these funny parts. As you listen to these episodes more and more as like, you kind of get your rhythms, but so does a joke, and this is what you wake up. It’s like, I like those parts. But as a person who. There was there was I think in your first episode, you kind of talk about, you know, people always ask like, what’s it like growing up in a famous family? And you’re like, for you this is the norm, right? This is like growing up in your family. But the truth is, I don’t know if I feel like that’s true. Like my last name for writing purposes is a Jackson. It’s not the same, you know what I’m saying? Like, my version is probably a little different or a lot different than yours, right? 

Panama Jackson [00:14:19] So the experiences that you all have had and been through, the things that you’ve seen, the places you’ve been that some of most of us probably can’t fathom or dream about, like the conversations you had with people that we only know of through liner notes and things like that is, is fascinating. So one of the things I do enjoy the most about your podcast is like when you get those brief looks into your families, like in the things that you discuss about what it’s like growing up or you know what like what life looks like, but also what it looks like for you all as part of these families that I mean are essential to my upbringing. Right. Like it’s it’s like a window into worlds that I don’t know, but I’m familiar with, like your families, the people I know and love, even if I’ve never seen any of them in person. Actually, it’s not true. I’ve seen Janet perform several times, and I’ve definitely seen I’m old enough to have snuck into a GUY show in Atlanta at one point. But so I love the gems, but I also love the compelling looks and see your family lives and how that helped shape who you are. What do you all want people to get out of listening to or watching the podcast? Like, what do you hope people take away from it? 

Genevieve Jackson [00:15:36] Well. I can speak for myself and then Deja just chime in whenever. But like for me more so it’s I want to be able to see, like we can relate with them, you know, like, yeah, we grew up in these famous families, these legendary families, but we hurt just like them. We feel just like them. You know, we go through emotions just like them. We’re human. And I think a lot of people, they look at celebrities and look at people that grow in these families like they’re not. And I think that’s one of the main things. But also we always felt like our discussions could help someone else. 

Deja Riley [00:16:19] Yeah. And just to piggyback on what Gen was saying, you know, for me when I started writing down what the pillars of this podcast would mean for me at the top of the list, it was to humanize. And then falling below that was to inspire, to educate, to motivate, and really then just to like, share space with community. I think for me, especially in my job and what I do in the fitness industry, like so much of it is based around creating community. And I think, you know, for us we have had a little bit of an isolated experience, even being a part of the Black community. And so we wanted to give voices to those that can relate to us in the Black community in a different way. You know, both of us talk a little bit about being somewhat Valley girls. Now I am not from the Valley. Jen is actually from the Valley. But one thing that we could relate to or relate on with each other when we first met was that like we both had this like Valley Girl sort of accent is what we were told all the time. And so like we spoke the same language, like we were using the same vocabulary and we had like the same tone in our voice or the same inflections in our voice. And like there was like just this click of an understanding as soon as we met each other and we really were on a mission to be able to share that with other people in hopes that we would find people out there that feel just like us. And we have, I think like it’s been beautiful were what, six episodes in and, you know, we are still rolling. We just shot another episode yesterday for next week. And, you know, we will continue on this journey as long as we can. But in the process of it, we’ve really been able to establish those pillars. And that’s something that I’m truly proud of. 

Panama Jackson [00:18:13] Yeah. I mean, I think it’s it comes across I mean, I’ll say that as you know, I don’t I don’t know that I’m your target demo, but I listen for both because of who you come from. But also when I’m listening, I’m like, yeah, I could actually use that in life. Like, that’s a that’s, you know, like it’s self-help, it’s growth. It’s all of the kind of stuff that literally everybody can relate to, regardless of who you are. It’s just, you know, who’s telling you that the things that informed their experiences might look a little different. But there are things informing those experiences just like the rest of us. So I do love that. Look, we’re going to take a quick break here, dear culture, and we’re going to come back and I have some more questions for Genevieve Jackson and Deja Riley, here on Dear Culture. 

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Panama Jackson [00:19:30] Welcome back to Dear Culture. We are here today with Genevieve Jackson, who is a creative A&R at Kobalt Music and the daughter of Randy Jackson of the Jacksons. Right. Of the Jacksons. Michael, Janet and them. Latoya, I could probably name all of them, I think, because that’s part of Blackness, knowing everybody who was in the family in the order in which people came in and out of the groups, and Deja Riley, who was the daughter of Teddy Riley, one of the people responsible, partly responsible, as far as in my heart, fully responsible for one of the greatest artists of all time, not named Michael, which would be Bobby Brown. Bobby Brown’s Don’t Be Cruel album, I think is one of the greatest albums of all time. I Will Die on the Hill until, like, I’m a you know, how you all like to say you’re like a stan accounts or stan pod, like Bobby Brown stan pod over here. Like, legitimately, I think Bobby Brown is the greatest. I read his book. So. 

Deja Riley [00:20:26] Oh, wow. 

Genevieve Jackson [00:20:27] Yeah, I got that deep for Bobby.

Deja Riley [00:20:27] You’re a devoted fan. 

Genevieve Jackson [00:20:28] Yeah. Was it good? 

Panama Jackson [00:20:31] It really was. It was highly entertaining. And you know what? I’ll talk about that off line. But it was a it was a wonderful book. And even the movie was highly entertaining, especially for some of the stuff they left out that involves your family, Genevieve. So listen. All right. So I have a question for you all that’s more about like who you are and growing up. Like, is there pressure to live up to the family name in the things that you do? I mean, you all come from Black families and people who have accomplished a lot. Like, it’s not just like folks who’ve done some stuff, like it’s people who are responsible for the sound of of like music in the sounds of Black America and all this. I mean, I’m sorry, the sounds of America. Excuse me. Teddy Riley is responsible for New Jack Swing. Like, literally change the sound of hip hop and R&B like that. We’re still filling now in. I mean, don’t even have to say, Well, Michael name. Did you know what I’m saying? Like you do. Michael is one name Michael. You know how hard it is to be Michael and everybody knows who you’re talk about like and so that ain’t easy, you what I am saying? But you are like it’s Mike, alright. So what is the pressure? Is there pressure and what does that pressure feel like to live up to the family name? 

Genevieve Jackson [00:21:46] I used to feel pressure. I like at this moment I don’t feel any pressure, but I used to feel pressure when I was an artist myself because, you know, everyone is comparing you to, for me, it was Janet and then the males that compare them to Michael, of course. So there’s a lot of pressure in that. And you know, and but now that I am not no longer doing that, I feel like I’ve been happier than ever because the pressure has gone. You know, I’m not here listening to what people are saying because it was a lot of negative comments and I’m just doing my own thing. Now, you know, Do Everything with Love is completely different than what my family does. And what I do in my career is completely different than what they do. Of course, you know, I’m still in the music industry, but I’m in the music industry in a different way. And I was able to still be creative in a different way. So I no longer feel the pressure, Thank God. 

Panama Jackson [00:22:51] Okay. 

Deja Riley [00:22:52] I I’m really happy for you, Gen , that you don’t any longer feel the pressure. That is not my story. I will say that, like, I felt the pressure most heavy before now, when I did step into the lane of music for a very short period of time and I was in a girls group with my sisters. And, you know, the evidence is on the internet if you want to go watch. 

RILEY [00:23:17] Gotta get that, gotta get that. Gotta get that. 

Deja Riley [00:23:23] You know, what we did as a group, but that’s neither here nor there. We’ll leave that in the past. But now stepping into, you know the lane of a public figure in my own industry, I feel like that TikTok sound like “The pressure is getting worser.” Like it really, honestly feels like this sense of heaviness. Jen’s laughing because I’m always like throwing in random TikTok sounds and trends, but like story in my life being an influencership. But I’m really, really, really grateful that I have an incredible team. I have an amazing PR shout out to Mercy the way that we got connected as well. Panama. But like I have an amazing team that is looking out for me, building my own legacy and really trying to elevate my name as it is Deja Riley and make that, you know, a huge statement in the industry. But I still feel this extreme pressure of carrying a legacy of the Riley name. You know, I kept Riley in my name even after I got married for a specific reason. Like, you know, I’m very proud of my name. I’m really proud of where I come from. But I think what will always hang over my head and I’m actually, you know, I think there are good parts about this because it does push me to be the best that I possibly can be. But then there’s also, like, you know, a bittersweet component where it’s like, oh, sometimes that project can just be so heavy and so overwhelming. But I think it’ll always hang over my head that my dad is like the pioneer of a whole music genre. Like, I think it will always hang over my head that like he had more like success in his early years, his, his teenage years going into his early twenties than like most people ever experienced in a lifetime. 

Blackstreet [00:25:10] I like the way you work it. No, diggity. I’m about bagging it up. 

Deja Riley [00:25:14] And he is such an amazing human and such a genius of a person. And I think that in ways that continuously inspires me to keep elevating to just higher heights. And at times it can just feel like the pressure is on and like, you know, I have so much to prove having this name and carrying this legacy. 

Panama Jackson [00:25:40] As a random aside, do you ever talk about how interconnected you all as families are? Like, we all just like sitting around like, I mean, like Teddy Riley did the Dangerous album, right? Like, you know, he that this is Remember the Time, you know, the one of the most ridiculous the greatest music videos of all time. Like that spawns all kinds of Twitter, you know, threads and stuff like that. You’ll ever sit down and just kind of talk about that like, like how important your families are. But the interconnectedness like, and how that is part of you all story too. 

Deja Riley [00:26:11] I think we touched on it in conversation, like both of us I like are really surprised that we didn’t meet until when we did, like later in life, like we were like, you know, I was what, 19 and Gen was 18 when we met. And like, honestly, our families had been connected since we were little girls. So like, it’s surprising for us that we hadn’t crossed paths and our worlds hadn’t collided sooner. 

Panama Jackson [00:26:37] Yeah. So is there a hardest part about being a part of a famous family, a famous musical family? And I’m asking this for a couple specific reasons. So, one, listen, we don’t have to dig into this stuff. But listen, in part of the Jackson family, I imagine as much lauding that happens. There’s equal parts, criticism and mockery and all this other stuff. And, you know, like part of that is just our fascination with like what constitutes a royal family, so to speak, especially in the Black community. But, you know, it’s. It has to be difficult. And Deja I brought up the verses earlier because like I actually wrote an article defending your father because I was like “Y’all going to put some respect on Teddy Riley’s name.” Because that first verses. 

Deja Riley [00:27:26] I read it. 

[00:27:26] It was like they could they couldn’t get the sound together. Like it was like, you know, Babyface to sit in here with a candle. And like you, the little phone just press and play and, you know. Teddy got Teddy got a whole set up like he just got off tour, just, like, reset it up in a room and it didn’t work. And all of a sudden there, you know, that became like the internet meme, like he just doing too much. Right? Like things spawned off of that very we’re a very creative people. Black people are very creative. Is it difficult to both, I guess it is hard to see that stuff in not like take it persona? And just kind of like I don’t know, I don’t I don’t have a comparison for a person like myself. Like, I just don’t. But what is is that difficult? What’s the hard part of all of that for you all? 

Genevieve Jackson [00:28:14] Well for me, I. It is difficult. Like you definitely like. That’s why you can’t read the comments. I’m sorry. You cannot read the comments. I was raised that way. They’re like, “Why are you reading the comments?” You have to have tough skin. And every member of my family, we call it right rhinoceros skin. You have to have thick skin to be part of this family. 

Panama Jackson [00:28:38] I’m sure. 

Genevieve Jackson [00:28:40] The way I handle it, you just kind of have to just go the day, go with the day like nothing happened. Like, it’s like, you know what? That’s just the news. That’s. That’s just the way people are. And they’re going to say what they want to say. You just kind of have to go with that. You can’t live in what people are saying because, like you said, like people just like they’re clever with their words, first of all. And it could be funny, like, sometimes I’m like, “Oh. Wow. Like, that’s pretty funny.” I even laugh at them. And you just can’t take it personal, you know? They don’t really know you. They don’t know. They don’t they don’t know anything. They just know what the media is telling them, you know? And a lot of those are made up stories. 

Deja Riley [00:29:27] Yeah, I think for us, like and Gen knows this about my family, I don’t know how many people do know this about like my dad is like a super goofball and like, we are a family that just tries to make fun out of, like, whatever we can and, like, make it lighthearted and laughter. But like, for us, a lot of it is personal. And so before my dad was actually laughing at the memes and like, you know, playing into them, he was honestly like, I think a little bit hurt about them. And like, for me, like I took that personal like, I like I don’t want to see my dad upset, Like, I don’t want him to be hurting about it. So before I joined in on the laughter. Shout out to Spice Adams because I think he just really, like, turned it around for my dad because after my dad does spices, like memes and videos and stuff, he actually started to laugh about it. And I think like that was like uplifting for him. 

Deja Riley [00:30:19] But yeah, like at first it was personal, especially hearing those initial comments rolling in and, and my dad was really just doing his best to like, be viewed in the best light. Like this was like a comeback moment for him. Not that, you know, he ever needed a comeback, but like, you know, this like revival moment of like his music and like people really of this time and these new generations getting to experience what he’s about. And so he just wanted to be, like, presented in the best possible way. So he went all the way, like he paid for all of that production himself out of pocket, like, you know, versus is a thing that started during the pandemic. And it was like just like this way of having celebration in this, you know, extremely dark and heavy time. And so for him, he’s like, I’m going to give the people a show, Like I’m going to make them feel something. My dad has always been like that. And I think I get, you know, a lot of my qualities in that way, especially with my work ethic from him. Like when I go in, I go in. And I think that’s part of the reason why, you know, you said like this, this podcast is so well done. Genevieve and I come from these families where, you know, presentation is everything. Production is so important. The investment that you make in yourself is like key. And so, you know, along with it being a little bit difficult to hear the comments that people make after you’ve put in so much hard work. There’s also a lot of reward in that. And so like, I think like, yes, it can be difficult. Yes, we do take it personal with my family sometimes, but, you know, there’s equally as much joy and us making fun of, you know, things that people are saying, too. So, yeah, it’s a little bit of both. 

Panama Jackson [00:32:04] Here’s something I had to remember as a content creator, as a writer who’s been writing for decades at this point and who has a lot of people who enjoy what I write. But it would always be the the comments that people have something negative to say that I would zero in on. I’m like, Why do I care so much about this? It’s like 100 comments that are like “The greatest.” And then one is like “Man, you suck.” I’m like “Muah? Why do I suck? I need you to explain to me why you believe I’m bad at this.” And I’m like, “Why do I care so much?” And then I had to realize I don’t really care that much. It’s just it just knocked me off my square for a second. So I had to get past. And I imagine New York fans, I have to deal with that way more than anybody else. So trust me, like I said, I don’t have any real comparison on on this level comparatively compared to what you all have to experience as parts of these families that have been famous for and will be famous forever, famous for decades and whatever, we’ll be famous forever. So here’s a question I have. Imma ask ya’ll to peer, let me peer behind the curtain. 

Panama Jackson [00:33:05] Is there like a famous people like. Like children of famous folks text thread? Because I’m sure you all are familiar with the whole nepo baby conversation and controversy that has gone on where everybody’s like all the the kids of all the famous people getting all the jobs. It’s kind of like how we used to say about rappers back in the nineties, like on a rappers taking all the roles from all the Black men and all people now. But this has been a controversy, right? Like it started with articles in The New Yorker and Vulture, and then it kind of turned into this thing where people who feel are feeling the need to defend their craft and the things that they do, like, whether they’re good or, you know, some people aren’t good at everything, but whatever, like. How do you feel about the whole nepo baby controversy? And is there like a group chat that all have we all like going and all people like, you know what, listen, listen everybody got to talk me off the ledge and we’ll put hands on this writer. I’m gonna put hands on this person. But, you know, you’re just trying to keep each other centered? 

Deja Riley [00:34:02] Well, if there is one Panama, we’re not a part of it. Like I have Gen and she has me. But like, in terms of, like, celebrity offspring, friends, we don’t have a ton of them. Like, we know a lot of people in this space like that are also, you know, celebrity offspring. But like, we really have like everyday friends, like we have friends in all different industries. Both Gen and I like love meeting people that have, you know, like similar experiences to what we have. I would say our closest friend in that is Christina DeBarge. But aside from that, like all of our friends, like, do you know various things in various industries and so we’re not on that group text if there is one or like group thread wherever it is in the universe. But what I can say is that, you know, with my experience of being on Growing Up Hip Hop and really, you know, getting to meet a lot of the people in those same spaces, like we do have a lot of things in common. And, you know, it is it has come to a point where sometimes I feel internally like I need to defend my art, but like I’m completely confident in knowing that, like, I know that I’ve put in the work in the time and the energy and the effort to be great at what I’m great at. And, you know, if people, you know, highlight my weaknesses or whatever the case may be or have something to say about me, like really, that’s their business, not mine. And so I always think of it as like the people that are trying to pull you down are already beneath you. And like, that’s how I think of this whole entire, like unopposed space. I’m like, most of these people that are writing wish they knew what the experience was like on the other side. And so, like, that’s why they have such strong opinions of things to say. And so like, whatever, let them talk. 

Genevieve Jackson [00:35:53] A lot of people don’t understand that coming from famous families, it’s a blessing and a curse at the same time, you know, And people just think, okay, well, they just get it easy. Well, actually, no, I don’t truly believe that. I feel like people are having they’re looking into us even deeper. You know what I mean? Like, because, like I said, they compare and all of that. So it’s a blessing and a curse, you know? So we actually have to work harder, I feel, than others. Yes, the name may help, but at the end, it really doesn’t. 

Deja Riley [00:36:29] And I think, you know, to add to what Gen was saying is that, like oftentimes the common misconception for us is that we have like the foundation already laid for us, like we’ve got the finances to support our dreams. We’ve got, you know, the resources and relationships through our parents. Like, for Gen and I can specifically speak for us. That’s not true. Like, we both we we talk about this sometimes. Is that like we feel like we have like a riches to rags to riches again story where like, we essentially felt like we were like dropped on our tails and forced to figure it out for ourselves. And so, like, you know, when people make those assumptions about us, it’s really hurtful. But it’s part of the reason why we’re doing our podcast today, because I don’t want anybody else to tell my story. I want to be able to tell it myself. 

Genevieve Jackson [00:37:20] Good job, Dej. Yes. 

Deja Riley [00:37:22] Thanks, girl. 

Panama Jackson [00:37:25] I like that. And, you know, I. Listen, I don’t have the nipple baby story of any sort. But what I will say is, hopefully I create them for my children because I’m trying to kick in every possible door that I can. Listen, please trade on my name. Unless you bad at this. If you bad at this, then please, you know, get another name or go do something. Those are just, you know, faded to the fade into the bushes like Homer Simpson or something like that. But otherwise, you know, like, guess this, let’s, let’s make that work. But either way, I’m going to take one more take a quick break here on Dear Culture. And we’ll be right back with Genevieve Jackson and Deja Riley. 

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Panama Jackson [00:38:30] All right. We’re back here on Dear Culture with Genevieve Jackson and Deja Riley and we’re talking about their podcast Do Everything With Love, talking about being part of a famous family, just life and what it’s like to be people who are experienced in things that, you know, a lot of us probably just art and what that looks like and what that feels like with your podcast. Let me ask you, what’s the reception been like? And by the way, it has to be amazing. So for me, the fact that I’m guessing people in your family are listening to it, like that’s probably like a murderer’s row of everybody I want to listen to anything I ever did. Right. Like, Yeah, man, I got all these people checking me out. That’ll be amazing. But anyway, what’s it like? What’s been the reception so far for your podcast and how have you received the feedback from people? 

Genevieve Jackson [00:39:18] It’s honestly been amazing. Everyone, so actually, I was just talking to Deja about this this morning was like someone just commented saying that listening to our podcast, they feel like they’re talking to their best friend. And that’s exactly the response that we wanted. You know, a lot of people, like even my husband’s family, they have came to me saying that they just needed something uplifting to listen to. And so they listened to our podcast every time it comes out. And and that’s what we want. We want to uplift people. 

Do Everything With Love Podcast [00:39:51] I oftentimes think about the experiences of people that inspire me and people that I look up to. And one of them is Viola Davis. I read her book, Finding Me. Let me just tell you. Okay, get into her. 

Genevieve Jackson [00:40:10] There haven’t been any negative comments, actually, probably just once. But I know it was due to us saying, actually, you you said it before, you mentioned it, how we said talked about coming from our family, you know, we were asked many questions as a kid. 

Do Everything With Love Podcast [00:40:30] People even asked me, “Well, how does it feel coming from the Jackson family? I always reverse the question like, well, how does it feel coming from the whatever family you’re from? Like, you know. It’s crazy because when kids used to ask me, “Have you ever met your uncle?” I used to say, “Have you ever met your uncle?” I think what’s so odd about that question is like when someone asks you, how does it feel to have a famous dad? You’re like, But I’ve never had any other dad but my own, so I have nothing to compare it to. Right? 

Genevieve Jackson [00:40:53] So we’ve had many negative comments with under that post, but thank God we know how to handle it. And it didn’t really affect us. Actually, we laughed about the comments. 

Deja Riley [00:41:08] We laughed later. But like Gen had to tell me because she knows I’m the more sensitive one, she had to tell me to not look at the comments. At first. She was like, “Don’t, don’t read the comments.” And I was like, okay, I’m so tempted, especially like being so involved in social media. So I was like, I really want to see what people are saying. Like, this is the one TikTok that’s blowing up on our page. Like, I want to see what people are saying. And Gen was like, “Don’t read it.” So I waited a while before I read it, but we laughed about it later. 

Genevieve Jackson [00:41:37] But what actually frustrated me about those comments was they were all our people, you know, commenting negatively. And that really frustrated me. I was like, “Why does it have to be us?” You know, you guys should want to support us. And why don’t you really listen to what we’re saying? Why don’t you watch our podcast too? So you know everything that we’re saying, but you understand what we’re talking about. So but other than that one post, it’s been amazing and we’re so grateful that it’s only been good and that people really enjoy it. 

Deja Riley [00:42:20] Yeah. 

Panama Jackson [00:42:22] Okay. Well, I enjoy it. And I, I mentioned I hadn’t brought it up yet, but like, even the title, like the the more I think about that, just as a Do Everything With Love. So I have four kids and I always have two and kids will drive you crazy. And, you know, sometimes I think, you know what? I do want to lift you up and toss you across this room, perhaps. But you know what? I’m not going to do that. I’m going to do everything with love. So I’m going to hug you and ask you why did you make me step on a Lego for the 50th time? Because it really hurts when I step on a Lego. Joking, by the way, I don’t throw my children anywhere. I don’t pick them up and try to toss them across the room. These jokes. It’s jokes people. But I love the title like you, just as a as a credo and as a mantra, as a way of, you know, interacting with people and especially people that you love and care about. Like it takes the edge off of anger or the way that you approach some things, right? Because, you know, it’s hard. And I’ve listened to you both talk about like your spouses and how they impact the way that you or changes that you’ve made as a person, as a person, or how you even interact with other people and stuff like that and what they bring. So it’s a very fitting title. Like, I really like it as a title, and I like how all of the the episodes and the things that you all are talking about really bring that home. I do enjoy when you are when you can tell that when it goes from being like this is a show to oh, we just homies over here. So we talk it back and forth. I love that stuff because it is like, okay, we got real for a second and we go like, apparently your facial expressions. Genevieve And because this happened on a couple of episodes and days over, she can’t let them go. Like she’s when you do something she does like she got to remark on something like, Oh, there we go. And now we know y’all really know each other. Here we go. 

Genevieve Jackson [00:44:06] Only Deja would know what my facial expressions or like just the movement. So because I’m like, people probably don’t really understand, but now I have an issue with my facial expressions. It’s been a thing since I was younger, you know, I say everything with my face. 

Panama Jackson [00:44:23] But I love that because Deja picks up on it immediately. 

Deja Riley [00:44:27] Oh, yeah,. 

Panama Jackson [00:44:27] And she can’t not say something. So she has to say something. So it’s like all fall out of character for a minute. Like, Oh, we’re on the show, let’s get back to it. Let’s give right. I’m just saying I love that it like the, the, the real and this and the like down to earth nature of that is probably why somebody would remark I feel like I’m sitting here listening are talking with my besties because you’re talking to real people who happens, you know, whether they know you or not. But just like is is those I like. I like that part. I’m just saying it’s  well done. I enjoy that. 

Deja Riley [00:44:56]  Thank you. 

Panama Jackson [00:44:57] Time for a quick break. Stay with us. 

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Panama Jackson [00:45:15] And we’re back. We’re coming near, coming near the conclusion of this podcast, and I have a couple of things I’d like to do with all of the guests before we leave, which is I like to get a Blackfession and a Blackmendation of Blackfession being something that people would be surprised to find out about you because you’re Black and YouTube being Black people and part of Black royalty. Who knows how this can go. So I am going to ask you both to provide me a Blackfession if you have. Deja, let’s start with you. What is something people might be surprised to find out about you because you’re Black? 

Deja Riley [00:45:50] I don’t know if people would be surprised about it, but I do not like Kool-Aid. I absolutely, positively do not. You Gen either. Like I. I absolutely despise Kool-Aid. 

Panama Jackson [00:46:03] Did you all grew up in Kool-Aid houses. This is an exposé. Was Kool-Aid available growing up in the houses. 

Deja Riley [00:46:12] Maybe not for Gen, she’s saying no. I’m saying yes because my grandma and I’ll say I’ll say half and half. Like if it were if I was with my mom’s side of the family. No. But my dad’s side of the family. Yes. And, you know, my dad was raised in the projects like,. 

Panama Jackson [00:46:28] He from Harlem. 

[00:46:29] Yes. So my grandma like and she would take a whole bag of sugar. I watched her do it and take the whole bag of sugar. Just pour it all in to the Kool-Aid. Oh, my gosh. Just thinking of it. I’m like. Just diabetes. 

Panama Jackson [00:46:44] I don’t let my kids drink Kool-Aid for that reason, honestly, because I don’t know how to make it like measuring properly. I just got to pour my heart and pour with your heart is how you get diabetes. So I don’t want introduce that into my into my family. 

Deja Riley [00:47:00] Yeah. Yeah. I won’t be making Kool-Aid for my kids because I don’t like it. I never even asked my husband if he likes it because we’ve just never been a Kool-Aid household. But like, our children will be having that. So that’s my my Blackfession. 

Panama Jackson [00:47:14] Fair enough. Genevieve, do you have one? 

Genevieve Jackson [00:47:16] I don’t like fried chicken. 

Panama Jackson [00:47:20] Hmm. 

Genevieve Jackson [00:47:21] I just don’t. Like it just. I used to grow it eating up, and, I mean, I used to eat it growing up. 

Panama Jackson [00:47:29] You used to grow fried chicken? That is amazing. Now, that is a Blackfession, because you just. You might just. You might just expose some Jackson family secrets here. 

Genevieve Jackson [00:47:40] And it just doesn’t really look, I love like, roasted chicken. Like baked chicken. 

Panama Jackson [00:47:46] You eat healthy what it sounds like. You’re a healthy eater? 

Genevieve Jackson [00:47:48] Umm. Kind of. I just don’t like fried chicken and. Yeah, so that’s mine. 

Panama Jackson [00:47:55] You’re not the only person who, I know several people who tell me they don’t like fried chicken either. I get it. So. Okay. All right, well. On the flip side of that, to counteract whatever Blackness was, just dropped down a step, depending on what you said, the Kool-Aid thing. I actually not surprised by either one of those things, because the more I do these, the more similar responses I start to get, and I’m starting to see how I think we all think everybody grew up in Kool-Aid house, but it turns out that’s not true. We all did or we did, and we all moved on because we knew better. We all we all. We all learned better. Yeah. 

Deja Riley [00:48:29] You know better. You do better. 

Panama Jackson [00:48:30] Right? So I also like to ask guests for a Blackmendation, which is a recommendation about something by, for and about Blackness that you think people should check out. People should read, should listen to, whatever. So do either of you, do you both have a Blackmendation that you can share? 

Deja Riley [00:48:48] I’ll give you what’s most present on my mind. Blackmendation a book by Alex Elle. If you don’t know her, please get into her. She just put out her book “How We Heal.” And I’m in the midst of reading it with my baby sister. We have, like, a little intimate book club with just the two of us, and that is our current book that we’re reading. And, you know, so much of my life is revolving around the word healing in the concept of healing. Specifically because I’m in the midst of my fertility journey. And so I love that, you know, her book has journal prompts and things like that to kind of guide you through the healing process. And so that is my Blackmendation reading. Alex Elle’s “How We Heal.” 

Panama Jackson [00:49:32] All right. Alex I was the homie, so, yeah, I can I can understand. That’s very popular. That’s very, very popular. Especially in that space. 

Genevieve Jackson [00:49:41] Absolutely. Absolutely. 

Panama Jackson [00:49:43] All right, Genevieve, you got one? 

Genevieve Jackson [00:49:46] I’m still thinking. Um. Hmm. 

Panama Jackson [00:49:53] It’s ok if you don’t have one. 

Deja Riley [00:49:54] Maybe make it music. 

Panama Jackson [00:49:55] Oh, yeah. What you listening to? What you listen to that’s on the heart? 

Genevieve Jackson [00:49:59] I would say, Tank and the Bangas. They’re actually a group from New Orleans, and they have this song called Black Folks that is amazing. And I actually saw them perform it at the Atlanta One Music Fest. And that was so I met them after. And they were saying that that was the first time they ever actually performed that song in front of just a crowd of Black people. And the energy was amazing. Like, we were feeling it like it was it was awesome. But if you don’t know who Tank and the Bangas are, they’re awesome. Also, my cousin Austin Brown, he works heavily with them. He’s a producer, so you guys definitely have to check them out. 

Panama Jackson [00:50:45] All right. Sounds good. So we have our Blackmendations. You know, before we get out of here, I want to thank you both for for joining me here on Dear Culture. Interesting conversation. Love the convo. I love what you guys are doing and I appreciate you taking a little bit of time. Please tell people where they can find your podcast. Anything you have going on individually that you want people to know about that they need to be checking out and paying attention to. Deja, let’s start with you. 

Deja Riley [00:51:12] Okay. I’m going to say that you can find all things, Do Everything With Love on You can click the links to subscribe on Apple, Spotify and YouTube. And for me, I mean, I’m telling people, just tune into my journey. I have my website,, and then also you can find me on all social media platforms @DejaRiley. I have a specific fitness community, which is my Sweaty Smile Squad. I teach on the Lululemon studio mirror, so that’s where you can find me in that realm. And yeah, I mean, I am looking forward to whatever this next chapter has to hold, but I made no New Year’s resolutions or no specific goals for this year because I’m just letting it unfold the way that it’s supposed to. So I don’t have anything that I’m like, right now, I have this coming up. It’s like, whatever is going to come up, you’re just going to tune in and be along for the journey as it unravels. 

Panama Jackson [00:52:16] I like that. I like that. All right, Genevieve? 

Genevieve Jackson [00:52:20] I don’t have a website or anything like that, but you can find me on social media. My Instagram my handle is at Genevieve Jackson. Genevievej8xn. And so anything I do that’s related to music and also our podcasts I post on there. And yeah, that’s pretty much it. 

Panama Jackson [00:52:46] Well, that sounds good. So thank you both for being here. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for being open about who you are and the journey that you’ve been on. And, you know, I, like other people, will continue to tune in. I enjoy the conversations. And I’m assuming everybody who pays attention does as well. I look forward to more of these late tips that you all have in the middle of recording that keep me entertained. And, you know, just thank you for everything that you’re doing. 

Genevieve Jackson [00:53:16] Thank you for having us. 

Panama Jackson [00:53:18] Yeah. Thank you all for listening to dear culture. If you like what you heard, be sure to download theGrios app to hear more episodes of Dear culture and more original content from the Grio Black Podcast Network. Please email all questions, suggestions and compliments the podcast at Dear Culture is an original production brought to you by the Real Black Podcast Network. Our show is produced by Sasha Armstrong and Geoffrey Trudeau, and Regina Griffin is our managing editor of podcasts. I’m your host, Panama Jackson Have a Black one. 

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