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Category Archives: Music

RIP Phife Dawg

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Thank you for sharing your gift with us. You helped narrate my early adulthood. Rest easy without sickness or pain.

Malik Isaac Taylor
November 20, 1970 – March 22, 2016

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Posted by on March 24, 2016 in Arts, Fun, Music, Poetry, Youth

 

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Unforgettable

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As I sit here and listen to an Artist Confidential of Natalie Cole on Sirius XM, I realize how remiss I was not to pay homage to her in a post.

As a child, I fell in love with her via Inseparable. She was – and always will be – a class act. I vividly remember her gowns that she would wear as a young woman performing. Despite her personal stumbles along the way, she is among the greats. She had huge shoes to fill whether she wanted to or not.

Her soon-to-be (at that time) husband wrote Inseparable after their first date; that must’ve been a helluva date! I also just learned that my FAVORITE song by her, Our Love, was written when she was pregnant.

She just gave great advice to an aspiring artist. Natalie was real, remarking that many in the industry today are not talented.

Follow the 10s. It’s okay to copy, music is for sharing…just make it your own. Be around people who are better at it… Get into writing.

Just now, she killed a cover of the Isley Brothers’ Don’t Say Good Night. Then performed a favorite from Sting. I regret that I never saw her live, but I’m thoroughly enjoying this exclusive.

Rest in peace to the unforgettable Natalie Cole.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2016 in Music, women, writing

 

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Inner City Blues

Heard it this morning…Marvin was a prophet. I could’ve posted Mercy, Mercy Me for Earth Day, but this one is resonating more for me these days.

Rockets, moon shots
Spend it on the have nots
Money, we make it
Fore we see it you take it
Oh, make you wanna holler
The way they do my life
Make me wanna holler
The way they do my life
This ain’t livin’, this ain’t livin’
No, no baby, this ain’t livin’
No, no, no

Inflation no chance
To increase finance
Bills pile up sky high
Send that boy off to die
Make me wanna holler
The way they do my life
Make me wanna holler
The way they do my life
Dah, dah, dah
Dah, dah, dah

Hang ups, let downs
Bad breaks, set backs
Natural fact is
I can’t pay my taxes
Oh, make me wanna holler
And throw up both my hands
Yea, it makes me wanna holler
And throw up both my hands

Crime is increasing
Trigger happy policing
Panic is spreading
God know where we’re heading
Oh, make me wanna holler
They don’t understand
Dah, dah, dah

 

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Blurred Ethical Lines

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The family of Marvin Gaye has been awarded $7.3 million in a lawsuit against Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and TI regarding the song “Blurred Lines.” FINALLY.

I remember being floored when I first heard of the lawsuit, assuming that Gaye’s estate had been compensated for what I thought was a sample of “Got to Give It Up.” Blurred Lines’ huge popularity was due to its cross-generational appeal brought to you by Marvin Gaye; it would ignite a hand-dancing frenzy in my mother’s generation. Summertime gatherings blared this tune with great grand-children bopping along with Nana! There is no way that anyone could claim that this meteoric hit was not firmly planted in the baseline and vocals of Marvin Gaye. Period.

I am so disgusted. Thicke, Williams and TI are musicians and know the pride of creating something. Further, I know that they must be aware of the trials and tribulations historically faced by black songwriters and musicians who had their works repeatedly stolen. I have lost so much respect for Pharrell. As far as Thicke, I lost respect for him when he threw Pharrell under the bus early on, stating that any potential wrong doing was on Williams because he was too drunk, high and suffering from a broken heart when they recorded to be culpable. TI…whatever…

As I learned of the ruling, I wondered why the award was not larger; the original lawsuit was for $25 million. Apparently, Gaye’s copyright only applied to the sheet music for Got to Give It Up NOT Gaye’s vocals, background vocals or percussion…smdh… Call me pessimistic, but I am guessing Williams knew this going in (as he produced and wrote this “original” song). A joint statement from the trio:

While we respect the judicial process, we are extremely disappointed in the ruling made today, which sets a horrible precedent for music and creativity going forward. ‘Blurred Lines’ was created from the heart and minds of Pharrell, Robin and T.I. and not taken from anyone or anywhere else.

WOW.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2015 in Arts, History, Music, writing

 

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Selma is NOW

One day, when the glory comes
It will be ours, it will be ours
Oh, one day, when the war is won
We will be sure, we will be sure
Oh, glory, glory
Oh, glory, glory

Hands to the Heavens, no man, no weapon
Formed against, yes glory is destined
Every day women and men become legends
Sins that go against our skin become blessings
The movement is a rhythm to us
Freedom is like religion to us
Justice is juxtapositionin’ us
Justice for all just ain’t specific enough
One son died, his spirit is revisitin’ us
Truant livin’ livin’ in us, resistance is us
That’s why Rosa sat on the bus
That’s why we walk through Ferguson with our hands up
When it go down we woman and man up
They say, “Stay down” and we stand up
Shots, we on the ground, the camera panned up
King pointed to the mountain top and we ran up

One day, when the glory comes
It will be ours, it will be ours
Oh, one day, when the war is won
We will be sure, we will be sure
Oh, glory, glory
Oh, glory, glory glory

Now the war is not over, victory isn’t won
But we’ll fight on to the finish, and when it’s all done
We’ll cry glory (glory), oh glory (glory), ohhh (glory, glory)
We’ll cry glory, oh glory, ohhh (glory, glory)

Selma is now for every man, woman and child
Even Jesus got his crown in front of a crowd
They marched with the torch, we gon’ run with it now
Never look back, we done gone hundreds of miles
From dark roads he rose, to become a hero
Facin’ the league of justice, his power was the people
Enemy is lethal, a king became regal
Saw the face of Jim Crow under a bald eagle
The biggest weapon is to stay peaceful
We sing, our music is the cuts that we bleed through
Somewhere in the dream we had an epiphany
Now we right the wrongs in history
No one can win the war individually
It takes the wisdom of the elders and young people’s energy
Welcome to the story we call victory
The comin’ of the Lord, my eyes have seen the glory

[Chorus]

– John Legend and Common

When the glory comes, meaning it’s not here yet. “It will be OURS…”

Selma is now! We all have a part to play in glory.

 

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Dancing Is My Medicine

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This video brought tears to my eyes. For all of us with loved ones who bravely fight cancer.

Deborah Cohan danced with her surgical team before her double mastectomy to celebrate life. I love it!

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2014 in Health, Music, women

 

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Supporting Actors Steal the Show

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The highlights of the night for me were the acceptance speeches of Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o. Heartfelt and genuine, they both spoke to the heart of what filmmaking should be; it is an art form.

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A few months ago, I had an intense conversation about movies being entertainment and too much emphasis being put on them to enlighten viewers. I suppose because I fancy myself a writer, I beg to differ. I think that films are an important art medium to do what art does: inspire, anger, awaken, enlighten, inform…

But back to last night. I enjoyed those remarks and the musical performances most. I was also tickled by Ellen ordering the pizza.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2014 in Arts, Movies, Music, Politics, women

 

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