Fonzworth Bentley will make an appearance on NBCs Late Night With Conan OBrien tomorrow night (Jan 3) on the shows second live broadcast of the new year, to promote his etiquette book Advance Your Swagger: How to Use Manners, Confidence, and Style to Get Ahead.
Like many live programs, Late Night started airing immediate reruns when the Writers Guild of America went on strike on November 5.
OBriens show, along with The Tonight Show With Jay Leno announced in December that they would return with live programming on January 2, albeit without a writing staff, after a breakdown in negotiations between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
“We havent really talked about how the writers strike really affected our Hip-Hop community,” said Bentley speaking exclusively to AllHipHop.com. “I remember, I sent the book to everybody. Conan OBrien was the first person that called and the week I was supposed to go on his show, the strike happened. Ive been in limbo like everybody else. So I feel very fortunate that January 2nd will be their first day back, and Ill be on the show Jan 3rd.”
According to Bentley, Advance Your Swagger, which was released on September 25, came about as part of an effort by publishing giant Random House to release more urban books.
“They wanted me to do a book about taking yourself to the next level,” explained Bentley, who records for Kanye Wests G.O.O.D. Music label. I didnt really wanna do a book about myself. What I said was needed was a book on etiquette. One of the things that Ive noticed is that were really living in the golden age of disrespect. When I look at etiquette books, they dont really speak to [that] audience per say.”
The book covers a variety of topics from the magic of the words please and thank you, to the art of eating well, to cell phone and email etiquette, interviewing tips and music industry etiquette.”
“People just dont know, they just run up to whoever they see, whatever star Russell Simmons or Jay, or whomever,” says Bentley. “A lot of time they just shove a CD; theres no cover, theres no artwork. You spend time writing your lyrics and going over them, and performing to your best ability, and this is your heart and soul in this? And after doing all that, you wont even put a nice cover on it, you just walk around with a CD and a magic marker? You cant just be walking around like that. Because for a Lyor Cohen or a LA Reid, that says to them, the way your music looks, that says to them what you think about your art.
Fonzworth Bentley is also gearing up for the 2008 release of his debut album Cool Outrageous Lovers Of Uniquely Raw Style. (C.O.L.O.U.R.S.)
While he had planned to release the title track “C.O.L.O.U.R.S.” as his first single, plans to shoot a video for the song featuring Lil Wayne and Faith Evans, were interrupted by the untimely death of Pimp C, who is also featured on the song.
Bentley has shot a video for his first single, due out this month, but will not release the name of the single for fear that the release will be preempted by internet file sharing.