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.

Throwback Joint of The Day: SWV “I’m So Into You”

This song perfectly describes the music I referred to in a previous post this week. It has a great melody and beat but the lyrics are sketchy. The song refers to a woman being in love with a man who has a girlfriend. But, he’s so irresistible that she just can’t seem to let him go.
SWV has been bringing great hits since ’92. I grew up enjoying their music and often wonder if they would have catapulted to higher success if they had not been so Rhythm and Blues and maybe dabbled with some Pop like other girl group TLC.
Who knows? Tune in to WE TV after Braxton Family Values on Thursday nights to watch their new reality show.