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Timeless Artistry

MUSIC BLOG

Talent is not a trend; musical artists with great talent are classic. Music is at the core of many cultures, shaping ceremonial dance, creating soothing or celebratory atmosphere. Music helps to complete the event. African American, Black, Urban (whichever term you prefer) culture has a musical core. JAZZ, BLUES, FUNK, ROCK, HIP HOP, R&B and pretty much all forms of music have a history that parallels with OUR history.

With so many musical artists débuting regularly, Hip Hop and R&B seem to constantly change. Whomever presents a trend that sticks or connects to the people, stays on top until another trend hits. I’m so glad we have talented timeless artists that keep REAL music circulating.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   D’ANGELO    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Infamous for making women holler at the TV screen, begging for the cameraman to inch down just a little lower. This man has been off the scene for years, and released an AWESOME album with ease. Not saying It wasn’t hard work putting it together, but this album seems uncalculated. Of course you can listen to the entire thing straight through, and almost get a little disappointed when it comes to an end. He’s just one of those artists who won’t ever go out of style.

If you are a lover of music, you were pretty anxious to get your ear on this new album, and satisfied when he didn’t disappoint the fans. There are numerous artists in rotation on the TV, radio and music streaming airwaves, but only a few have the talent that can breakthrough any trend of today. Artists like D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Toni Braxton, R. Kelly, John Legend, Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, Usher and a few others. Even Bruno Mars has impeccable talent (highly underrated), but that’s another topic.

The above artists can always drop a single, or a entire album without a single and fans will approve.

Thank you for taking advantage of your talents!

Just a lil of The TRUTH…

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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in Our Culture/Our World

 

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Girls on Film

Kudos to the black women who are making their way in this world in spite of the odds against them. I’m not speaking of the commonly known odds. I’m speaking of the odds we (black women) have put on ourselves within the last decade. The video “model”, the reality TV overnight celebrity, the twerk team instafame females who have adapted this rotten mentality of eyelash extensions, bright colored booty shorts, and thousand dollar sew in, glue in, floor length weaves as beauty.

Watching television realizing Hollywood views entertainment as Reality TV, (it seems shows don’t make it unless they’re reality shows) its refreshing to find a show-drama, murder mystery or sitcom that you enjoy. I’m excited for the black woman image being portrayed through 2 characters on Primetime TV.

“How To Get Away With Murder” star, Aja Naomi King portrays an ambitious law student, educated, and determined to get what she wants in life through hard work. “Thank you Shonda Rhimes for this image- among other images of black women, you are just a dynamic writer who helps to shift America’s view of US.”
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AJA NAOMI KING

“Sleepy Hollow” star Nicole Beharie is a gorgeous actress who plays a strong female lead that could’ve been written for a girl of any race. Black actresses strive for those roles, roles that were written to be delivered through talent regardless of race or cast type. Julliard trained, with several roles under her belt, this lady is doing well.
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I’ll keep watching these ladies to see where their talent takes them. I’m sure I’ll see them again. Black America needs those prominent black Actors & Actresses, and these two are well on their way.

Just a little of the TRUTH…

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2014 in Our Culture/Our World

 

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Divas? In the Eye of the Beholder.

hollywood-divas
I guess the title DIVA is up to one’s own interpretation, or in the eye of the beholder. I’ve recently observed vastly different versions of a “Diva”, some being the high maintenance type, others being an attitude of a prima donna. The most beloved Beyoncé views a diva as a female version of a hustler. I view divas as the high maintenance, attitude of entitlement type. There are various acceptable definitions of a diva, but there are also some definitions of what doesn’t constitute a “DIVA”
divas

TVOne hosts a new show entitled HOLLYWOOD DIVAS, with black actresses in Hollywood who feel like they deserve their “spot” in Hollywood, having reoccurring roles on television or notable movie roles. They sing the constant song heard throughout black actresses and actors “Not enough roles for “US”. Many can agree with this statement as do I, but what I disagree with is the women on this show being labeled Hollywood Divas, divas who feel their talent and abilities have been overlooked.

The cast of HOLLYWOOD DIVAS: Paula Jai Parker– she says she believes she has been blackballed from the industry because of her marriage. She is living in a hotel during this first episode with her husband and child. She lists her claim to fame as a voiceover on the cartoon THE PROUD FAMILY. I mostly remember her from Woo “…a chicken hoe Lenny?…” and I keep mixing her up with the actress that played MOESHA’s rude college roommate. I honestly forgot her role as a whore on Hustle & Flow, and Phone Booth. She mentioned that Hustle & Flow should have gotten her more recognition. Right!!!! Because if you play a stripper, you’re on your way to the top. Just ask Lisa Raye McKoy-Player’s Club. Countess Vaughn– known for her role as the clueless best friend of MOESHA, later getting her own spinoff THE PARKERS, where she was the star of the show. I don’t consider her a Diva, and definitely don’t think she’ll ever have that role of an award winning actress. Her best bet is to find her way on the set of a sitcom. Elise Neal– She sees herself as a triple threat-actress, dancer and I guess singer, I haven’t heard her vocals yet, but hey-who knows. She can dance, and is in great shape for her age, or any age for that matter. Catch a flight to NYC and work on or off BROADWAY, they don’t need you in LA. Let go of the HUGLEY’S I think that show even knocked D.L. off of Hollywood’s radar. Golden Brooks-Mya Wilkes, one in the same. I can’t tell the difference between her personality on this reality show and her personality on the sitcom Girlfriends. Don’t get me wrong, that was my favorite show while it lasted, but she rubbed me the wrong way throwing shade at Countess Vaughn when all she ever had was a co-star role, and nothing more. Lisa Wu– Real Housewives of Atlanta… how does she even consider herself a Hollywood Diva? She could be a diva, but not in the sense of an actress. She should have stuck to the housewives empire and followed Nene Leaks onto the set of GLEE.

I respect Paula Jai Parker’s idea, but she could’ve just been just the director, and casted the likes of: Joy Bryant, Lauren London, Kyla Pratt, Tessa Thompson, or an older version with Stacey Dash, Vivica Fox, Thandie Newton, all women who deserve an award winning role, or at least another shot at it. I WONDER if any of these women were offered and turned it down.

Its truly unfortunate to see people hit rock bottom, and in Hollywood it happens very often due to drugs, addiction, disease, or a flopped film. Had you googled HOLLYWOOD DIVAS prior to the production of this show, none of these ladies would have populated. Kudos to Paula Jai Parker for taking a cue from every other washed up or bankrupt celebrity and making her problem profitable.

My suggestion to these ladies is to catch a flight on DELTA and audition for Tyler Perry. I might not like his movies and shows, but I support his efforts, and he’s making it happen!

Just a lil of the TRUTH…

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2014 in Random thoughts

 

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Substance Abuse

“…Anything that has substance… we as a people [black people] reject it.”

I heard an interview with Rico Love on Atlanta’s 107.9 and this statement he made inspired this post. He was discussing (as I’m sure many of our parents have discussed) how some of the hip hop music of today is cookie cutter and lacking substance.

I understood where Rico Love was coming from. Most of the songs of today are not songs that will carry us past our 40’s. What’s scary is being stopped at a red light and a 40+ year old, blaring the latest song pulls up next to you singing along. Some songs of today are of good quality, providing good melody, and thought provoking lyrics, but those songs rarely make it to the top, those artists rarely receive a Grammy. Underrated artists like Lupe Fiasco, Mos Def, Wale, B.O.B. should have a bigger or more prevalent platform. Not to say there is no quality music out these days, but there is a lot more rubbish than rubies out here. It seems that unless a song is a crossover song it doesn’t receive the recognition it deserves. We don’t accept the great songs unless there is a certain level of “turn up”. We ought to be able to put our quality artists over the top like we did back when SoulTrain, Luther Vandross, Diana Ross, and Smokey Robinson were in the forefront of the television screen.

Substance is lacking in not just music, but other areas:

Television Programming- Reality TV for starters, everybody has a show about anything. These “wives” themed shows are the ringleader in lacking substance, from the character to the storyline its all junk.

Food- Now days even the organic isn’t organic, you damn near have to grow it yourself for it to actually be considered food. So many preservatives, additives, and artificial in our diets, we might as well eat the package it came inside of.

Clothing- Thin, shredding with each turn, lightweight, overpriced junk. Pay high prices for QUALITY. the garments hanging on the rack have strings unraveling at the seams, lightweight, frail zippers or buttons, uneven hems, mismatch patterns at the seam… think I’m lying? Next time you are shopping, check the hem or seams of ANY garment. Unless you are in a NORDSTROM, SAKS, and maybe BELK, you will find substance lacking attire.

Not being preachy, I’ve dabbled in a few of these substance lacking areas, but writing this post has inspired me to go a little further, search a little harder and spend the extra dollar for SUBSTANCE. I encourage you to no longer abuse substance, beating it down, neglecting it, and forgetting about it’s existence.

Just a lil of The TRUTH..

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2014 in Our Culture/Our World

 

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NOT The Time or Place

Screenshot (9) Screenshot (10)
Is setting something to consider when deciding to hash out disagreements? The outcome of many arguments could be different depending on setting and timing.

How ironic that the drama comes to a head at the Women’s Empowerment Network (reality TV sets the stage so often)

On the past episode of Married to Medicine, the ladies attended cast mate Lisa Nicole’s conference. Of course the stage was set when everyone but the infamous Mariah was in attendance. The ladies seemed to be getting along fine, until intermission in the relaxation room. Toya and Dr. Simone’s spat that truthfully shouldn’t have even aired on the show was the first offence in the TRANQUILITY ROOM. Toya should have addressed the situation about Simone dancing with her husband at the bowling alley, but that might have cut Toya’s storyline short. She’s not a doctor, she doesn’t work, she just spends money, even against her own parent’s advice. She doesn’t have anything interesting enough worth filming, so I guess she did the smart move in creating a story. I’m not a fan of their “beef” and really hope that was the last episode hashing out that issue.

When Mariah walks in to the conference late, my thoughts and the thoughts of many viewers were of inquiry. “Why show up? Showing up to bring drama?” She wanted a show from the time she entered the room, the late arrival, the speaking to Quad (appearance of being cordial), sitting next to Quad, and discussing their differences with Dr. Simone. No one asked what was going on between the two, she voluntarily gave information about Quad not holding conversation with her at the table.
I applaud Ms. Quad for approaching the situation to find out what was being discussed. However, it escalated the situation. Can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same. The biggest mistake Ms. Quad made was showing her emotions, showing she was hurt, and cared about her friendship with Mariah. People like Mariah prey on weakness, and at that moment when Quad began crying, Mariah felt high on the throne, and even said so “I will not come down of my chariot…”
ATTN: Ms. Mariah you dethroned yourself the moment you spoke on the situation.

I will give it to her, she has some great one-liners. “I…with Transformers, and especially not Decepticons.” However the comment was directed towards herself. She tried maintaining her composure, but almost had a slip of tongue, wanting to shout out obscenities, and Ms. Quad called her on that!

As I’ve always been a fan of Quad, and she has always been my favorite. I do love the new Ms. Quad. She seems like a more pleasant person, she is genuinely friendly around all of the ladies, and doesn’t have to put on a façade of comfort to prove loyalty to a shady person with a diminutive personality who over compensates for it by projecting “royalty” while her inner hood-rat seeps out.
Definitely tuning in to the next episode to see how this drama concludes.

Just a lil of the TRUTH…

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2014 in Reality Rewind

 

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Empowerment of Us

Black is Beautiful

I’m black and I’m proud
My Black is Beautiful
Black Girls Rock
Fight the Power

There once was a time in which our entertainers had the same goal of black empowerment and racial progression as the civil rights leaders. Getting back to a time where we embraced being ourselves and took pride in our race and appearance sometimes seems so far off. Will such a time ever return? The natural hair trend made a comeback and is sticking around for a while. The Zimmerman v The State trial, the election of our President Barack Obama, the reelection of our President Barack Obama; These events pulled our people together, but was the string strong enough? We seem to drift slowly apart. What element is missing from today that was prevalent during the BLACK POWER movement? Our songs and television programs lack self acceptance and don’t bring awareness to injustice in America. As of late few movies (Django, The Help, The Butler, 12 Years a Slave) have made major statements and attempts to bring injustice back to the big screen for awareness purposes, but what happens after the awareness? Where is the massive action that comes after?

No one wants to be controversial. Controversy however, brings about change.

Rather than rallying the troops together for a riot, raid, walk/march or sit in, Black America is choosing to prove our greatness through positive actions. The composure held throughout the President’s two terms has been the blueprint on fighting this battle of equality and acceptance as American people.

The televised award ceremony Black Girls Rock honors Black women and girls for their achievements and community involvement. Shining the light on deserving women who may otherwise get no recognition because they choose greatness over ignorance; Women and girls such as Misty Copeland-a talented black ballerina; Ameena Matthews-a community activist who puts her life on the line to help annihilate the violent streets of Chicago; Mara Brock-Akil- the voice of black women in sitcom television whose speech was so powerful it helped awaken the writer inside of me; Marian Wright an advocate for education and children in poverty; And young girls who speak out, and step up to make a difference in their communities through outreach programs, and keeping our neighborhood safe and clean. Such a refreshing revelation, Visine to a hazy eye. Awakening the awareness of “Awesomeness” possessed by our people. Accomplished hosts Regina King and Tracee Ellis Ross elegant and eloquent; poised and proud to celebrate being a black woman. Performances by the great Janelle Monae, Kelly Rowland & Sevyn Streeter and EVE, Jennifer Hudson, Ledisi, Amber Riley, and Ms. Patti LaBelle. Showcasing talent and beauty of all shapes, sizes and skin tones. This was simply a night to celebrate US and feel good about being black in America.

Black people have a powerful presence being positive or negative. Knowing the negative images will be automatically acknowledged, its great to spotlight the positive images in our people, making a difference in the community and within self. This show gives young girls an image of self acceptance with hopes of wiping out the mental image of video girl, sports groupie/baby mama as being a successful future. Black Girls Rock is a show and program promoting black empowerment, and positive imaging for young girls to look up to as a reflection of themselves. They host leadership camps and workshops for young girls of color; making a great deposit into the future of our race.

The social media community chimed in during the airing of this show with positive and negative comments which is always expected, but what was shocking was the sad attempts at comedy coming from some black men watching the program. Ignorant comments about body shape, outfits and hair styling was all some men could obtain from the showcase of wonderful black women. A major problem with the image of women comes from ignorant men! (Another blog another time). The response from the women in regards to these negative comments was all positivity. Proving that Love conquers all. If we can continue on this path of self empowerment and acceptance our race can advance to a level that is needed to overcome the mental incarceration placed on our ancestors which we’ve inherited.

KUDOS to BET

Twitter posts:

Mary J Blige-‏#BlackGirlsRock is a prime example of all the exceptional women of color who continue to strive for greatness in their respected fields.

zellie ‏@zellieimani: We are living in an amazing time to see the creation and growth of projects such as #blackgirlsrock and @BlackGirlsCode

Nikia ‏@chitown_fashion: Shouts to Ameena Matthews for taking a stand against gun violence in Chicago! She is the epitome of fearlessness. #BlackGirlsRock…

Demetria Lucas ‏@abelleinbk: “Even if no one else sees you, I see you.” — Mara Brock Akil #blackgirlsrock #BET #dontwasteyourpretty

Just a lil of the Truth

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2013 in Our Culture/Our World, Random thoughts

 

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Idea Execution

“There are a lot of ignorant people in this world”
As an adult I realize what my mother and aunt have been trying to get me to understand my whole life.

There are visionaries and there are executors. Some people have both talents. The best visionaries have no clue how to produce the end result. They have a wealth of creativity, and no knowledge of the steps of the process.

When working on a project, or working in a group there is usually one leader. Some instances several leaders emerge and can become a potential mess! (different blog post). When an idea is born, the brainstorming process is the most exciting. The initial excitement is what gets that ball rolling, but as it takes off, it begins to get complicated. This is when the visionaries who lack leadership skills should take a seat.
Do you have the right to get upset with someone who is leading the idea/project? Do your feelings about the project change? Do you recant your idea and pull out of the process? If you can not be proactive or productive with ideas and details needed to proceed with execution, then be open to input.

This post was inspired by the reality show R&B Divas LA. Singer Kelly Price brought forth the idea of the “Not Yo Mamalogues” to the rest of the cast of the show. For several episodes all the ladies did was discuss what was going to be done. There was no progression on producing a show. Cast mates Chante Moore and Lil Mo spoke with a director and got the ball rolling. When Kelly Price found out about this, she began to lash out at cast mates and the newly hired director. She blamed it on lack of trust, but I believe because she wasn’t driving this project (due to her “busy” schedule) she had a problem. She pulled out of the show, and created unnecessary drama, all because she didn’t take leadership in her vision.

A visionary without leadership skills often times gets frustrated or upset because the leader begins to take charge. The visionary begins to feel as if their idea is being stolen and changed into something different than that which was initially agreed upon. Allow the leader to lead, bring forth the idea, and trust your team to execute said idea. People get hired for these types of things. If you don’t have the ability to execute move over and let someone else drive. If you could do it, it’d get done.

Leadership is as much of a gift or talent as creativity.

Just a lil of the Truth

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2013 in Daily READ, Reality Rewind

 

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