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

Social Media Madness?

Most recently I had a friend state that she liked “men” that used social media sparingly.  Respect.  Funny thing is, she said it on – a social media site.  So, the problem is of course that sometimes we need to do one majorly important thing – sssshhhhhhh….

No love lost, my friend.

Continue reading

On the Ngoma Vol. 2 – Umojah Nation at Jilly’s

So, after a small hiatus (it seems), Umojah Nation hit the stage this past weekend at Jilly’s  in Akron and we had an amazing time.  I have so much fun with my band mates, we are such a family, and in many ways this has helped sustain my inner being.  I have had periods of severe creative droughts, usually due to drastic changes in my environment, like when I moved to Cleveland from the mid-south.

Admittedly so, I was lost for a while and wasn’t creating much of anything.  This went on for a while until I began working at the Solon Branch of Cuyahoga Public Library.   There I worked side by side with my supervisor who played guitar and allowed me to bring in small hand drums to play for children at various programs.  From there, I was introduced to a couple of playwrights and got involved in a stage play called These People out in Chagrin Falls, OH.  After that, I began to get that hunger back.  And now, the creativity flows daily and I am so excited to be alive and in these moments, surrounded by wonderful people who nurture me in the arts and also allow me to be myself.

With Umojah Nation, I feel the reggae music from a deep spiritual place.  The heartbeat that drives the music automatically puts me in a place of connection with the ancestors, with the struggle and hope of the Diaspora, as well as that of humanity.  I am blessed, and I am thankful.

 

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