Month: February 2014

Let The Celebration of Black History Continue Beyond February

Usually I do something big to celebrate Black History month each year. However, this year was different. My mindset has shifted from solely utilizing February as the only month in which I adequately take the time to pay homage and respect to the work of my ancestors. I have been pushing myself to not only build upon their legacy but remember it daily while I am enjoying the freedoms and liberties they fought so hard for me to have.

Today, one lead teacher told me that it was cathartic for her to see me teach my studenya. She went on to say how refreshing it is to see me interact with them and provide a postive example. I am so humbled by that and by no means take that lightly. Being in the forefront each day is no easy task but I have learned to become grateful for the opportunity. I can make a difference by helping them to accomplish the goals in which they aspire to accomplish. You may not be a teacher but there is someone near you who could benefit from your shared story. Someone in the world is listening, are you speaking?

What Have You Done For Me Lately

This has been one of the busiest weeks I have had all year. However, even though I’ve been super busy, I don’t feel overwhelmed. One keep thing that I am constantly being reminded of is intent. Intent has to do with fulfilling or deliberately executing what you plan to accomplish. When we actually take the time to think about life, our priorities, and the goals we aspire to work into fruition things don’t seem as bad.
This week, in the midst of the chaos that the world tries to engulf us in, I managed to stay afloat. Before going to bed, I actually would smile and be thankful for the fact that I wasn’t boggled down or worrisome. I slept peacefully, completely living in each moment. It was difficult because sometimes things happen that you may not be prepared for but you have to keep pressing onward.
Having said so, life is so much better for me when I take the time to focus on each moment and not fixate on anything else but that moment.
What have you done for yourself lately?

New Music: Mariah Carey “You’re Mine (Eternal)” Feat. Trey Songz

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Mariah is back with new music just in time for Valentine’s Day. For her new song “You’re Mine (Eternal)” she is partnered with the R&b youngin’ Trey Songz. This is a nice song to cruise the streets to with your Valentine. I appreciate how she makes music that supports where she is in life now.  She’s married, she’s a mother, and she’s more mature. Nick is her homie, lover, and her friend. Together, they are holding down the Cannon household. Notice I wrote Cannon household and not Carey household. All the haters of their union out there should have more respect.She’s married for goodness sake and it’s to Nick, not you! Like MC said, “Last man on earth still couldn’t hit this… you’re delusional.”

I support them because I think they balance each other. Besides, Nick has to be a pretty confident guy to not only marry Mariah, but a woman who’s older than he is, has more experiences, and is a worldwide superstar. Kudos to the big homie for holding the diva down.

Every Woman Needs An Accessory

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Concert Review: Lauryn Hill in a league of her own

Lauryn HillLauryn hill is back on the musical scene and touring the country to give fans a new taste on some old favorites. If you buy tickets to her new show, you are in for a special treat. You’ll hear some elements of Reggae, Rock, and of course Soul. Her live show is phenomenal. However, come with an open mind for the music that you will hear L Boogie perform. Her show is all about refreshing some classic songs from her repertoire with new instrumentation, so it won’t sound exactly how it does on her infamous 1998 album “The Mis-Education of Lauryn Hill.” Depending on how you may view it, that change could either be good or bad. But as we all know, change is inevitable so just be grateful that she’s opening up her music to up to fans again.

Last night, I had the distinct pleasure of hearing one of my favorite artist perform in the Queen City. Not sure if she felt some sort of new-found energy being in Charlotte, but she often identifies herself with being a Queen, and man did she carry herself with grace. When you arrive at her shows expect to wait for a while. My guest and I waited around in the standing room only venue for about an hour and some change before she took the stage. However, we were treated to a really cool deejay who made sure to play songs that kept the crowd engaged. As I looked around the room I noticed a bevy of people in attendance. To be more frank, a Lauryn Hill fan doesn’t have an identifiable look. Unless you can look at someone upon first glance and tell that they are lovers of great music. There were people in the crowd who were college students, a few folks who might have been professors, and a myriad of ethnicities singing along to her beautiful songs. The best part about the show for me besides the performance was how well-behaved her audience was. We all formed some sort of temporary bond with her music being the common denominator. No one in the audience was void of emotion either. At a given moment you could point in the crowd and find a fan crying, overjoyed, and basking in psychedelic funk.

I would recommend music fans alike to go out and hear her perform live. Aside from her first album, listening to her new performances on YouTube does not do her songs any justice. It  is an experience to watch and hear her show from a crowd. I was impressed at how she orchestrated her bass players, electric guitarist, keyboardist, and back ground singers. No one could deny her and say that being on stage was not her true passion or desire at that moment. She stood there confidently and gave us a taste of her early 90’s rap style that I had forgotten she had. We have become so inundated with female MC’s raping about their sexuality that we rarely hear or appreciate a woman giving bars that spark social and political commentary. I have always been a fan of Kim and Foxy, and some of Nicki’s songs, but Lauryn is in a whole other class for me. She is one of those women who demands respect because she believes in herself and the people she allows around her have no choice but to agree. In fact, many would probably feel honored to learn from her experiences. Below is a list of the rest of her tour dates. Check her out in concert if you are able and let me know what you think.

Thursday 13 February 2014
Ms. Lauryn Hill live
The Tabernacle Atlanta, GA, US

Saturday 15 February 2014
9 Mile Music Festival 2014 Sean Paul, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Stephen Marley, Mavado, Julian Marley, Damien Marley, and Alika & Nueva Alianza
Miami Dade County Fair & Expo Center Miami, FL, US

Monday 17 February 2014
Ms. Lauryn Hill live
Ms. Lauryn Hill
The Tabernacle Atlanta, GA, US

Wednesday 23 July 2014 – Sunday 27 July 2014
Floydfest 2014
Floyd, VA, US

Celebration of The Voice: Whitney Houston

I am a vocalist connoisseur. I am always analyzing voices and listening closely to pitch, tonality, and control. It’s safe to safe that music is a huge part of my being. Music is something that relaxes me and when needed, gets me really excited.
So far, of all the great singers I have been fortunate to hear, none have ever had a voice quite like Whitney Houston. She could sing any style of music whether it be classical or rhythm and blues. On record, any song she touched sounded like second nature to her.
Today, I find it befitting to celebrate her life and legacy. I pay honor and homage to the beautiful and talented singer from Newark, New Jersey. The one and only, Ms. Whitney Houston. “I Believe In You & Me” is one of my favorite songs from her expansive catalog. Press play, and enjoy.

Black Relationships: In Search of the Black Knight Trailer

I am so looking forward to seeing this film. It has toured the film circuit throughout the United States and will make a pit stop in Charlotte in a few weeks. This film evokes strong passion inside of me as it gets my mind racing and thinking of ways to ventilate exactly how I feel on the matter. I think relationships in itself are complicated but I think being black and in a relationship can be much more intense, for lack of a better word. In the black community, it seems as if we place either everything we have into a relationship, as if it is our last hope of “making it,” or we don’t place much emphasis at all on it. Partly, I would attribute that to the decline in the black marriage rate that started in the 1970’s. Too many of us grew up without seeing strong and positive examples of healthy male and female relationships. For the people who did grow up in a two parent home, not to say that they have an advantage because it’s all based on how you use the knowledge you acquire, but at least have some framework about how relationships work.
I grapple when it comes to debating the state of black male and female relationships. I am all for black love and think it’s a beautiful. In fact, I would go on to say that love period is a beautiful thing, regardless of race that everyone should have access to enjoy. Speaking of access, are there only a few eligible bachelors for our women to choose from? That’s to be argued. However, I do think it’s imperative for our women and men to open their eyes beyond the superficial realm of how movies portray relationships and focus on self first. You cannot be in a relationship with another person if you are not whole. When you enter a relationship broken, you forgo your ability to think properly about your relationship. You have both the onset of emotions that come with being in a new relationship and the emotions from your past that you have yet to deal. Failing to take care of yourself usually result in a negative cycle of dating people who do not have your best interest at heart. But instead of you being able to recognize that, you don’t. You are too consumed with appearances and not character of the person you are dating. I charge everyone to know their worth and be realistic about their desires. It makes me laugh when people profess all the things that they believe they should be entitled to in a partner but cannot articulate what they are able to give. So, question for the night…..what do you contribute to a relationship?

Throwback Joint of The Day: Jodeci “Come & Talk to Me”

Jodeci recently announced their return to music a few weeks ago. Supposedly, Timbaland will be one of the main producers on their record. Not sure how I feel about that since so many of their classics were penned and produced by Devante. Who could ever forget Devante? “Devante Swang…” as KC Hailey would croon, helped to propel his group into super stardom using that New Jack Swing vibe. Dare I profess Jodeci as one of the best r&b groups of the early 90’s? Sure, I think it’s befitting or even at all for that matter. In personal opinion, no one can deny the vocals of Boyz II Men but their songs were entirely too romantic to bump in the Jeep with the homies. Jodeci provided more of a balance between gritty beats and influential lyrical content.
Here’s to one of my favorite tracks by them, “Come & Talk to Me.” Happy Monday!

Doing “Very Special” Things For People You Care For Most

“Got your Henny Chilling On Ice…”
Always liked that line of the song even though I don’t drink, simply because it reinforces the fact that she really cares about her man and decided to supply him with a chilled and refreshing beverage of his choice. There’s something enduring about being surrounded by people who do not mind doing special things for you because of their caring nature. It is an even greater life lesson to learn when you are able to reciprocate that same generosity back to them and then pass it on to another person. Imagine how wonderful the world would be if we all spent just a small fraction of our day helping to do something generous for another person. Think about how you feel when someone goes out of their way to make you smile.
Last night, I was able to support one of my students at his musical show in Charlotte. The show took a while to get started but it was well worth the wait. For one, I was excited and surprised by the amount of talent in the room. They were young and really fervent about their talents. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Furthermore, I was able to go that extra mile to help a student feel supported.
Today, I told my class that I would try to attend different events that they have and their hands went up with in the air to share their activities.
I charge you to step outside of your comfort zone and do something special for someone else you care about. Do not do it for the reaction you expect them to have. But, solely do it because you genuinely want to add a little sunshine to someone else’s day. And when you do so, that same love will be reciprocated back to you in some way and some form.