Busta’s Person of the Week: Corey Jones explains his mantra: ‘Bang Bang’ is much louder than gunshots

Busta’s Person of the Week: Corey Jones explains his mantra: ‘Bang Bang’ is much louder than gunshots
December 29
14:36 2021

By Busta Brown

Unfortunately, we’ve heard a lot of bang bang in our Black communities lately. The bang bang from gunshots, followed by the cries of mothers and fathers. 

The lyrics to the 1970 classic “What’s Going On” by the late great Marvin Gaye, sadly continues to stay relevant today. “Mama, mama, there’s far too many of you crying. Brother, brother, brother, there’s far too many of you dying. We’ve got to find a way to bring some lovin’ here today.” 

This past Christmas, four neighborhoods in Greensboro experienced a bang bang louder than any gunshot. Those neighborhoods were Hickory Trails, Smith Homes, Claremont Court, and Ray Warren. 

“My favorite quote, and the only one I live by is: Bang Bang! It’s an acronym for Be Always Near God,” said Corey Jones. He answered Marvin Gaye’s call to bring some lovin’ to our Black neighborhoods. “Being someone from these neighborhoods and having friends here, I decided to give them a great Christmas, because sometimes they’re the little voices that are not heard. When they need love and support, sometimes no one hears them. But I did! 

“So, I asked the Greensboro community to help me raise money for the kids in Hickory Trails, Smith Homes, Claremont Court, and Ray Warren. We raised enough money so that each neighborhood could give their children a great Christmas. I wanted them to see that they have someone that believes in them. It gave me a joy that no words can describe,” shared the father of two. 

Corey Jones was born in New York and raised in Jamaica Queens by a single mother. “The person I admire most is my mother. I watched her work 13 hours a day and she never complained. That made me want to work as hard as I can so she doesn’t have to work so hard. I wanted to make her proud of me, and that was the driving force to mold me into the man I am today,” said Jones. 

I’m sure his mother is very proud of the man he’s become. Corey’s passion for youth and to make our Black communities great again are equal to some of the great civil rights leaders of the ‘60s. I asked the highly sought-after actor and comedian what would be the ultimate success for his career. His answer wasn’t what I expected. “Most people would think it’s a big time movie star, along with a sold-out world comedy tour. But I actually want to work for the City of Greensboro and give back to the people. That’s what I really want to do, Busta. 

“I feel my success in comedy, stage plays, and film were all to get me to where I’m the happiest. And that’s building better and stronger families, schools, and communities. That’s my end game, Busta,” said Corey. 

He didn’t have a father figure in his household growing up and said that forced him to take on the role as man of the house. “Because I didn’t have a father figure as a boy, I lacked confidence. I didn’t have that positive influence in my corner and that’s not due to my grandparents or mother. 

“Lack of confidence caused me to become the class clown. Someone who always wanted to make others laugh for attention and to hide from my lack of confidence. But I eventually turned it around and used it to make me strong. It also taught me how to survive on my own,” he said. 

In 1999 those survival skills came into play. Corey moved to Greensboro with dreams to take over the world. But that dream quickly fell short, “God has different plans when you make up a plan of your own,” said the comedian and actor. He took a few seconds to gain his composure and then looked at me while nearly in tears. “I became homeless,” he said softly. 

“All the friends I came here with got incarcerated and eventually went back to New York, and I was here by myself. I stayed in the streets for a while. It helped build my character and also taught me to respect others. I realized that you never know what someone is going through, so we should never prejudge. I was one that prejudged homeless people as alcoholics or drug addicts. But I learned that life just happens. 

“When I got tired of the narrative, I turned my life around. I had to remember that I’m the author of my own story. I got tired of being looked at as if I was no one, when deep inside I knew I was someone. So, I brought that person out,” he said. 

The new narrative of Corey Jones’ story is an amazing one. Thanks to his good comedian friend Lady Shalamar for giving him a start in comedy, he became one the most sought-after comedians in the country and the most requested MC in the Triad. After receiving his first standing ovation as a comic at a popular spot in Winston-Salem, he hasn’t looked back. 

Corey’s material is very clever, thought provoking, and absolutely hilarious. He’s become one of the most sought-after actors as well. He stars alongside well-known director and actress Alyze Elyse in the series “Blame” and the film “Seven and Tracey Going Broke” on Amazon and Tubi. He’s been in several stage plays as well. 

“One thing I’ve learned from you, Busta. You told me to never limit myself. Never stay in one lane and you’ll always stay in the game,” shared the multi-talented entertainer. 

I asked how he prepares for a comedy show or a film. “I begin with prayer and thank God for blessing me with so many opportunities. I remind myself that this is what God made me for, and it’s why I’m here. Then I bounce around in my dressing room and say, it’s showtime.”

What is his greatest accomplishment so far? “No matter how far God has taken me, I never forgot to extend it down and help others come up. I want my two daughters to see that a man is supposed to give it his all in whatever he does. And to make a difference in the lives of others. I love when they tell their friends my daddy is famous, but most importantly, I want them to say he’s a man with good morals and a good father,” Corey said as his voice trembled, fighting back his tears. 

What I dig most about Corey, AKA Mr. Petty: He loves to see his peers succeed as well, and doesn’t mind taking a backseat if it means the whole team wins. If you’ve ever seen his social media platforms, Corey is never ashamed to share his trials and tribulations. What’s most inspiring about his openness is that he turns them all into triumphs. 

What pushes him to be great? “I never want to go back to the person I was. Yet, I’ll never forget where I came from and will always reach back.” 

As we came to the end of the interview, we talked about our favorite comedians. I’m turning 60 in two years and planning a three-day extravaganza. If I had the money, I would have Richard Pryor MC one night, Eddie Murphy the next, and then Brian Regan. I asked Corey, if he had the choice of only two comedians on his dream comedy tour, who would it be? He didn’t hesitate! “Bernie Mack and Katt Williams!” 

As we closed, he shared a word of inspiration, “At one point in my life, my name wasn’t mentioned in the rooms that it is now. And now my name has become familiar in those rooms. So always believe in yourself and know that you can live your dreams as well. No matter what anyone else says, I’m living proof that it can happen.” 

My phenomenal Person of the Week is Corey “Mr. Petty” Jones. Follow Corey on Facebook @Corey Jones MrPetty and mrpettybangbang and @IG and Tic Toc. 

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