3 Tracks to Listen to on Solange’s New Album

Don’t Touch her hair exclaims Solange in one of the many solid tracks on her newest project.

The Houston native and eclectic r&b singer taps into her nostalgic sound yet again, with a much needed and anticipated album. Solange delivered with her new album a Seat at the Table

1. Tina Taught Me – The song features everyone’s favorite mother next to Michelle Obama and our own, Tina Knowles. On this interlude you have Tina Knowles articulating why self love for being black is not reverse racism. You can clearly hear where Solange and Beyoncé get their confidence from. 

2. MAD – A track that features Lil’ Wayne, gives us the right to be MAD. Mad at the state of police brutality. On it Wayne even discloses an attempted suicide attempt. It gives you a deeper glimpse into Solange and her decision making.

3. FUBU – Arguably the most in your face track. On it Solange lays out that this song is for black people. She runs down a list of common questions black men and women face at the hands of police. She exclaims she wants to make her son proud and she hopes he jams the song until it rattles the walls.
Oh and a bonus is Master P narrating the entire project! 🤘🏾✊🏽

There are so many good songs on this album download it on ITunes or stream it on Tidal

Have you listened yet? What is your favorite song? 

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Racism Does Not Exist… If you are Lil’ Wayne

Undisputed hosts individuals with opinions. Usually the guests are focusing on sports and sports related topics as the show is housed on sports juggernaut ESPN.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 the shows guest was none other than Lil’ Wayne. During the segment that he appeared, the New Orleans native fielded questions about his business relationship with Birdman, his former rap partner, and business partner.

However we will focus on the ignorance that was then shared via Lil’ Wayne after a series of questions from host Skip Bayless. Skip asked Lil’ Wayne his thoughts of Colin Kapernick’s choice to not stand for the National Anthem. Kapernick’s boycott was launched, because he feels that people of color are being murdered by police without cause or punishment to the officers committing the reported crimes. Wayne first went on to say he does not know much about what Kapernick is referencing in terms of police brutality and then dropped a bomb. He believes racism does not exist!

Wayne used the example that his concerts are predominantly attended by white people and that he has been “blessed” and never experienced racial biased in his 33 years.

As I type this I have to take a deep sigh. Just on Sunday during a conversation with a friend who happens to be a New Orleans native, I said we have to be careful which musicians we support. The reasoning I stated verbatim, “Many artists are getting rich, by sending our young people false messages and they end up negatively impacting the masses.” Wayne proved my point. A man that has made millions of not hundreds of millions glorifying drug use, gun violence and dangerous sexual behavior since he was 16. That’s 17 years of music that has influenced young men and women to commit crimes for which the justice department reports they will be more harshly punished.

Wayne has encouraged the behaviors I mentioned above and done so without fear of the penalty he would face, because his money and connections afforded him a pass or so he thinks.

Yet many of the young black men and women who support his concerts and list be to his music will NEVER get a fraction of the “blessings” he has referred to. All that said, because he has not experienced it, it does not exist.

Even more dangerous Wayne is providing a sort of cosign to non-people of color who have been afforded privilege and cannot understand the fear that law abiding people of color face because of the acts of peers who live a life Wayne raps about.

My sigh earlier was one of disappointment. Not anger. I am disappointed in the loved ones, friends and business partners from Louisiana that have worked with Wayne and failed to have meaningful conversation about how people that look like him and live the life he raps about are being impacted. You see Wayne is from a state where black men are incarcerated at a rate more than double their white counterparts and face the death penalty more likely than any other group of people.

The danger in supporting artists who are not educated and not in touch with our communities is they send a message of ignorance to young men and women and profit off it while they get a pass. I’ll wrap this up, but if you continue to support artists who spew ignorance on a song do not expect your society to change. I for one will not be supporting any of Wayne’s work past or present starting today. It is not, because I disagree with his statement. It is because I find his statement to be dangerous and wreck less given his part in contributing to incarceration rates and behaviors associated with his lyrics.

If you missed he interview I speak of see the link below:

Undisputed – Lil’ Wayne 9/13/16

You Can’t Recreate Her…

 

It’s taken me a few days to put all my thoughts together! This post is a review of The Formation Tour performed by Beyoncé. A buddy of mine, T. Davis and I attended the concert together and we literally left the show in awe. Two concertgoers who’ve attended a myriad of different types of shows with different genres, but this show stood out.

Saturday, May 7th the Houston native and pop superstar proved there’s nobody coming close to her.

From the time you touched the parking lot there was a certain energy about everyone you encountered. Some dressed in costume replicas of her music videos and others dressed up like they were ready for a red carpet.

Rappers Paul Wall and Slim Thug got the crowd warmed up with DJ Khaled. Scattered among the concert goers were Adrian Peterson, actor Kendrick Sampson, from How to Get Away with Murder and none other than Beyonce’s father and former manager, Mathew Knowles. The crowd of almost 60,000 fans was amped up and ready well before the Queen hit the stage.

Beyoncé opened the show with “Formation” the first single released off of her Visual Album, Lemonade. Though protesting was threatened very little could be seen as every one in the building had their eyes on the stage during the show. With a wide brimmed hat backed by at least 8 dancers the performer took the reigns of the show and kicked things into high gear.

Though the show had considerably less dancing, from Beyonce, than we are used to seeing the massive 6 story video wall, that rotated and opened up throughout the show proved to be more than enough compensation. Performing songs like Me, Myself and I for the first time on a tour, Kitty Kat and stand up out hits Sorry and Don’t Hurt yourself the audience gladly sung along. The roars were deafening as excited men, women and children of all ages belted out their favorites.

Beyoncé transformed her show with new choreography, new looks and working from one stage to the next and a catwalk complete with a escalated floor.

Then the coup de gras she performed in water. I’ve seen performers fly across the arena (she’s done that before) and though impressed there was something spiritual about the performance of Freedom in a water pit.

If you’ve ever wanted to see what the fuss is about or see a show like no other this is the show to check out. From production, to live vocals, to dancing and a fiery stage presence this show is arguable one of the best to be seen since the likes of Michael Jackson.

Do yourself a favor and check out the Formation Tour, because as Beyonce stated in, the song “Don’t Hurt Yourself”, they CAN’T RECREATE HER… NAW!

 

Click Here to View Concert Footage

 

Photo Credit: Beyonce.com and Joseph Williams

5 Things I learned when I gave up Social Media for Lent

 

Every year for LENT I give up something. The goal is to give up something that has kept me from being as close to God as I need to be and/or as productive as I need to be. This year I decided to attempt to give up social media and alcohol. This blog will be dedicated to what giving up social media meant for me. It meant that I would make more time to pray. It meant that I would find more time to spend with family, engaging friends and growing. Here are some things I learned in addition to the things mentioned above.

 

  1. Many of us use social media and alcohol to cover up our social anxiety.

I have always been a people watcher. So when I compare those I see on IG and the way they act in person, it can be drastically different. In fact, I have found that many people are only cool on social media. Their actions in real life are the total opposite to their actions on social media. The Snapchat Stars, the Famous Facebookers and the immortal Instagramers are not the same in person.

 

 

  1. Social Media Can Be Like a Reality Show.

 

 

Everyone on social media these days is looking to argue or voice their perspective. On any given day when YOU post your own thoughts or perspectives regarding an issue, be prepared for any number of people to @ you with their opinion of you based on your comments. Many of us draw conclusions of people based on what they post and develop opinions of people without knowing the layers of them.

 

  1. Paying Attention to the News is Important

 

 

We have all seen that “friend” or that “follower” who is constantly sharing and posting inaccurate, offensive and flat out false stories. Paying attention to credible news sources is so important and vital to attaining true knowledge. Many people today rely to heavily on social media for news. As a result we get half the story right with a quarter of the facts. There is nothing worse than someone who is adamant about a position on a topic, with all or most of the facts completely wrong.

 

 

  1. Social Media, It’s not Reality… Most Times

 

 

People have started living lifestyles they can’t afford to impress people they don’t know and will never meet. A good number of people have literally catfished all of us. These individuals are truly socially awkward crying out for help, but the lack of social skills and a lack of a real support system to get help.

 

  1. Your Time Can Be Better Spent

 

 

So many of us are giving social media and those who follow us and/or we follow too much time. The time we could be spending praying/meditating, working out, learning to cook or even enjoying vacations and the people around us are spent posting about everything we do. Can you imagine the number of goals we could all have achieved by now if we opted to spend less time on social media and more time living authentic lives?

 

 

Hip Hop Comes out… Sort of

#OutinHipHop

Last week VH1 and the Love and Hip Hop brand delivered a round table discussion that was actually positive. No fighting, cursing word wheeling, slander filled conversations, but civil dialogue. They brought people of color together for a civilized conversation about a social, religious and cultural topic, Homosexuality in the Hip Hop Culture.
The show was navigated by journalist and ABC anchor and television personality, T.J. Holmes.
Holmes navigated the broad topic and was accompanied by noted hip hop artist DMC and Big Freedia. Among the panelists included Ray J, Fizz, and Emil Wilbekin, Pastor Delman Coates, Buttahman, Clay Cane, Chuck Creekmur , and Michael Arceneaux.
The show began discussing Miles (a participant in the show Love and Hip Hop LA) coming out process, internal conflict he faced, as well as what reality he may face from a very religious black family and being a up and coming hip hop artist.
Miles discussed not wanting to be shunned and or disowned by his family and disregarded by his church. Admittedly I had not watched much of Love and Hip-Hop LA this season, but Mile’s story resonated with me. Over the past 9 years, I began to accept my sexuality (all be it in stages) I’ve encountered so many men who are held captive by the love they fear they will lose by being who they simply are. Their taste in clothes doesn’t change, their mannerisms won’t change, their respect for their family won’t change and their love of God or their spiritual being wouldn’t change. However their family and some friends would surely reject them for not having the same attraction.
The show was a dartboard of topics, but T.J. Holmes did a great job of navigating things and keeping the show moving. Of the topics on the show, one of the most heated exchanges took place around religion and hip-hop’s effect on participants and listeners of hip hop. The panel discussed religion and its role in keeping people closeted. The irony was that hip hop artists who degrade women, glorify a gluttonous lifestyle, and degrade their brother’s and sisters could then have a moral compass was the elephant in the room.
The topic was very interesting as you could see the stage of religious leaders was definitely split. As Pastor Delman Coates, eloquently explained Jesus himself never mentions anything about same sex love, marriage or interactions. He put into context the mentioning of homosexuality in the bible and explained the church should be welcoming same gender loving members without commenting on their respective private life.

This topic could have been an entire show by itself. Pastor Jamall Bryant on via Skype providing counseling and prayer for the afflicted gays while Pastor Delman Coates lauded the church to welcome everyone and to love the individuals regardless of sexuality. He touched on not nitpicking sins.

The show progressed so much and discussed stories and impacts of words like “faggot” or “fag” so much that several of the artists on stage stood up to announce they wouldn’t use it having witnessed the conversation of how those words effected so many.
Perhaps the most poignant moment aside from Pastor Delman Coates was the point Emil Wilbekin made. The former Vibe Magazine editor in chief, stated that straight men and hip hop in particular will wear clothes designed and styled by a gay man, but mock, disrespect, and ridicule a gay man. Again the irony in the conversation was abounding. A community that feels like “non-black” artists exploit hip hop, yet they will exploit the styles created by gay men.
I’ve often wondered how the individuals (rappers / hip-hop artists) who by in large don’t contribute positive images of young African-American youth in their artistry can then get so spiritual and religious to condemn someone else. Surely there are worse things than being gay, unless of course you’re black and then you could have sold drugs in your neighborhood that led to countless deaths, arrests, and subsequent spiraling activities that leave many African Americans stuck.
We have to begin to evaluate how we’ve defined a group of people who aren’t bad just based on their sexuality (LGBT Community). They aren’t demonic and they aren’t evil. We instead need to have a higher level of consciousness that makes us evaluate individuals based on their works and their words. I’ve seen more young men and women influenced by artistry that doesn’t represent reality and instead crafts an invisible cage around their mind. Let’s start to look past sexual preferences and start to just make good quality music. Something to make us feel good, make is move, and hopefully motivate us.
Check out the link below to #OutinHipHop

#OutinHipHop

Earned it! 

This weekend I took my sister to see Fantasia. The former American idol winner and Grammy award winner performed in Beaumont, TX to an audience of about 5,000 people.

Despite a crowd that was relatively small Fantasia put on quite a show. Complete with a full band, lights, background vocalists and a smooth transition through many of her fan favorites and her favorite songs. From the moment she hit the stage her energy, her bands energy, and the audiences energy was high!

One thing that stood out is Fantasia sung every song live and did so without losing script, but displaying emotion to take every audience member on a journey. There were married men, married women, gay men, gay women, old men, old women and everyone at some point were on their feet singing along to at least one song.

After that show it was safe for me to say that, Fantasia is arguably one of the most underrated artists. You won’t find many artists who sing live and sound just as good on their record.

She even threw in a few dance moves and gave her band members an opportunity to shine. She remixed a few of her songs to create jazz, rock and roll, and mid tempo versions. Did I mention she performed with a full band?

It’s sad to say that my ticket was a little over $50 and for that price and the drive to Beaumont I felt like I owed her money. She poured her soul and her emotions out on that stage and she did so with class.

Imagine if artists who work hard to not miss a note, showed up on time, sang live, and interacted with the audience. Instead today far too many artist with subpar voices, lackluster lyrics and simply a cute look receive way more attention and charge more for a lot less show.

I look forward to the day when vocalists and performers make a return and receive the accolades, the attention, and compensation for the work they put in. Despite what I considered to be a small crowd she was just as gracious and just as pleasant. Cheers to Fantasia!

  


Click for Concert Footage: Fantasia Concert Footage