Hip Hop, Is that YOU?!?

You all already know why I’m asking that question, right?  

For the past decade or more, rap music has become outright terrifying.  I was just about to hang it up!  Talib went Tweet, twat mad, Busta Bus falling off stages (with the Luvs my CoCo dude – No!!!) Yasin Bey b.k.a. Mos Def fled the country (that’s all good), but then announced his retirement?  Afrika Bambatta accused of molestation?!?  Damn.  I even saw new claims of Tupac being alive.  We got desperate, ya’ll.

But then I saw Team Backpack and 16yo Astro on Sway and I felt blood going back into my toes.  Then I saw Gza in concert, then Grand Master Flash…  Then Netflix stepped in with the documentaries like Sample This, Art of Organized Noise, and then Luke Cage emerged with the genius of Ali Shaheed Muhammad, then The Get Down, and I was like, Okay!  My fingers started tingling.

And then there was… Continue reading

“Pessimism is a Self-Fulfilling Malady”

Doubt – Death – Disillusion?  

I have grown tired of living in a world full of hate and hurt.  Whenever I begin to break out of such limited thinking and living, I found that so many negative energies seemingly exist just to put me back.  I’m often reminded that…

“Pessimism is a Self-Fulfilling Malady” 

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That was the profound quote that stuck with me from the 2016 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards.  The quote came from professor Orlando Patterson, co-author and editor of The Cultural Matrix: Understanding Black Youth.  His speech was powerful and best of all, unapologetic.  Dr. Patterson is 76 years of age, and even though I may not agree with every word that he says or writes, it is refreshing and empowering to hear an elder speak with such courage.   Check out this article on Patterson and The Cultural Matrix. Continue reading

Front Row at Alvin Ailey’s!

(So, this happened a year ago – but the experience is long-lasting)  

Yep, I splurged a little, made a quick road trip to downtown Toledo, OH and was escorted by ushers to the FIRST ROW of the Valentine Theatre.  After a short wait, popcorn and a whiskey sour, the lights went out, and the performance began.  Grant it, this was Ailey II, the younger crew of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, but they are amazing just the same. Continue reading

Everyone Makes Mistakes, Right?

My dear Sista in the arts and in the cosmos, Erykah Badu, seemed to make the mistake of her career.  Bad album?  Or photo shoot?  Nope.  Far beyond the awkward appearing relationships with the various fathers of her children.  In fact, who cares about that?!?  That is her business.  It doesn’t affect her music, her flyness, her understanding of love and family, and as a fellow musician who fantasizes about meeting and even performing with her, I have no beef with her lifestyle.

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Miss Simone – The “High Priestess of Soul”

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I just watched an absolutely terrific film!

Ok, let me back up just a bit…

There’s a singer we all know as the “High Priestess of Soul”, right?  How about songs like I Loves You Porgy and Mississippi Goddam, and her gut-wrenching version of Strange Fruit.  We even know of her daughter’s album and the rough time she faced growing up with a superstar mother.  But wow, I had no idea…  and learned so much!

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