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

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Social Media Madness?

Most recently I had a friend state that she liked ‚Äúmen‚ÄĚ that used social media sparingly. ¬†Respect. ¬†Funny thing is, she said it on ‚Äď a social media site. ¬†So, the problem is of course that sometimes we need to do one majorly important thing ‚Äď sssshhhhhhh….

No love lost, my friend.

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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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