Friday, January 30, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Chrisette Michelle's 'Epiphany'
Def Jam's premier songstress, Chrisette Michele, has completed work on her as-yet-untitled sophomore project. The album's first single, 'Epiphany', will hit the airwaves on February 10. The track, produced by Ne-Yo, finds Chrisette dealing with the harsh realities of a failed relationship and can be heard on Chrisette's MySpace page. Chrisette reveals on her MySpace blog that she decided to collaborate with a couple of songwriters for the new album, "you know that I wrote my last album save the chorus on 2 songs and i was VERY afraid of giving some one else the pen and pad...but when i did, magic happened." The new album drops March 31.
Words Of Wisdom Courtesy of Chris Rock
"Excellent black people have always been compensated for excellence. Always. The real equality is when we can have a black president as dumb as George Bush. That's when we're really equal. That's when the dream has come true." - Chris Rock
Monday, January 26, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
More Obama Art
Here is another piece of Obama-inspired artwork. I don't know who the artist is, if you know please let me know. Enjoy!
Black College Fashion
For years it has been difficult to find decent apparel representing HBCU's. In an attempt to bring Black college apparel to the forefront of urban fashion, New Era Cap Co.has teamed up with Atlanta based apparel based design company, Tradition, to launch New Era presents Tradition. The line, representing 30 HBCU's including Morehouse, Howard, Grambling and North Carolina A&T, includes fitted caps, sweatshirts, t-shirts, hoodies, letterman jackets, and button down shirts. The spring collection hits various chains and independent retailers next month. A portion of all "New Era presents Tradition" sales will be used towards scholarships or other worthy investments on campus. The merchandise is worth buying, so buy a few items and give back. Check out the website.
It's Time To 'Get It Together'
I know very little about Maya Azucena but I know I'm feeling the BK natives call-to-change anthem 'Get It Together' and the accompanying music video. The video mirrors the inspirational track, it's possesses a heartwarming, feel-good vibe. Maya picked the ideal time to drop the video, in the midst of Obama's rise to President. Now, it's time for us to get it together!
Obama Rejects Sean John Designs
The publicity surrounding Michelle Obama's dresses, Malia and Sasha's J. Crew inauguration outfits and Aretha's regal hat is astounding. Designers have become overnight celebrities. Interest in the outfits of First Daughters Malia and Sasha led to the crash of the J. Crew website. Aretha's hat is the buzz of the blogosphere, the man responsible for making the hat has received hundreds of calls from people who want to buy the 'Aretha hat.' Needless to say, the worldwide publicity can launch a company to the next level. It's no surprise that Diddy's label Sean John presented Mr. Obama two Sean John tuxedo sketches in hopes that Obama would wear one for the inaugural celebrations. President Obama stuck with a more Presidential look courtesy of his designer of choice, Chicago based Hart Schaffner Marx.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Groovin' On A Sunday Afternoon
I'm sure you would never expect to hear 'When Doves Cry' playing in a Baptist church. Church ain't what it used to be. The congregation, young and old, at Atlanta's The Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church celebrated 132 years of ministry with the help of Sam Cooke, The Temptations, Prince and T.I. A combination of warmth and humor. Sam Cooke's 'You Send Me' set the mood for the 'Builders', folk born before 1946. They grooved like it was 1957. The Temptations signature tune 'My Girl' served as the soundtrack for those born between 1947 and 1965, also known as 'Boomers'. The following generation, 'Busters' ('65-'83), relived their college days with Prince's 'When Doves Cry.' T.I's anthem 'Swagga Like Us' was played for the 25 and under crowd. A great balance between spirituality and nature. The way church should be.
I, like so many others, have grown tired of the constant Obama news coverage but I can't get enough of the Obama artwork, this piece was created by artist David Choe.
turn that TV off for a minute
now, politics and talking shit aint really none of my business"
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I was digging through the crates looking for a song that captures my feelings of pride and joy in the aftermath of Barack Obama's historic moment. In the process I stumbled upon Stevie Wonder's 1972 release Music Of Mind. The album was a clear expression of Stevie Wonder, he broke away from the standard Motown formula and displayed his musical ambitions. Music of My Mind marked the beginning of Stevie's classic period ending with 1976's Songs In The Key Of Life. The delightful 'Happier Than The Morning Sun' sums up my post inauguration feelings. Barack Obama is my President and I'm happier than the morning sun. The song, an escape from Stevie's trademark funky sound, slips into Stevie's other musical personality. Simple yet eloquent, the song transcends time and space, taking the listener on an euphoric journey through the mind.
Stevie Wonder 'Happier Than The Morning Sun'
Just My .02January 20, 2009. A day I will never forget. As I watched the inauguration, there was jubilation in my soul. A black man ascended to the highest office in the land. It felt like the ancestors were celebrating within me. Dr. King & Coretta were jumping for joy within me. Medgar Evers shed tears of happiness within me. Emmett Till stood in awe within me. Curtis Mayfield sang 'People Get Ready' within me. A Black President. A Black First Lady. A Black First Family. Genuine black love on display for the entire world to behold. A world that for so long doubted our love was authentic or relevant. Black love is black wealth.
I'm well aware that this moment transcends race and color. As Barack Obama once said, "I've always been clear that I'm rooted in the African-American community but not limited to it." Barack, a unifying force of gigantic proportions, reached out to all Americans in ways his opponents and predecessors failed to do. He changed the dynamics of politics and made Americans, young and old, black and white, Hispanic and Asian, rich and poor, feel apart of the process. We viewed Obama not as a politician but as a man who understood the plight and aspirations of average Americans during these troublesome times. For once, it genuinely feels like we've got a friend in The White House.
The $945 Dior Kicks
Dior has just released a new pair of black high top sneakers. The Eyelet High-Top Sneaker is far from cheap. The $945 price tag is what I pay in rent for a two bedroom apartment in NYC. Needless to say, I will not own a pair. I'm satisfied with a pair of Nike kicks. The Italian made shoe is made with smooth grained leather and includes soft calfskin lining and padded insole, logo-embossed accents, rubber sole and rounded toe.
Pioneers of R&B Need Our Help
One of the founding principles of The Rhythm & Blues Foundation, a non profit organization dedicated to the historical and cultural preservation of R&B, is to provide financial and medical assistance to older artists in the world of R&B. According to the Rhythm & Blues Foundation website, the organization has "helped pay for everything from eyeglasses and instruments to hospital stays and home care. Our grants have put food in empty cupboards, kept the heat on and made sure that the lights weren’t turned off. Sadly, families also turn to the Foundation to help bury artists who were once celebrated in life, but who have been forgotten in death." Without a doubt the R&B musicians and singers of the past have made immeasurable contributions to the world of music. In the words of rapper T.I "there would be no rap, hip-hop or whatever you want to call it, without R&B. I give props to the great artists from the 40's, 50's, 60's, and 70's...we got to take care of our own!" Many of the pioneering artist of R&B who were often underpaid and too often unrecognized are in need of financial assistance.They gave so much, now it's time we give a little in return. Donations can be made at the Rhythm & Blues Foundation website.
I'm gonna find you, and take it slowly..."
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Call It A Comeback
Long lost but not forgotten soul man D'Angelo is steadily working towards a comeback. Rumors surrounding a comeback have been floating around for years. Now, it seems like D'Angelo is following in the footsteps of Maxwell. This comeback is real, so I think. Let's keep our fingers crossed. According to Billboard D'Angelo plans on collaborating with Prince for his long awaited new album, reportedly titled James River. The album is expected to drop this summer via J Records. Collaborations with Raphael Saadiq, Mark Ronson, and Roy Hargrove are complete. D'Angelo plans on touring this summer, starting in Europe before hitting the road in the States. Cities and dates have yet to be announced.
Aretha & That Hat
Scanning the crowd at Obama's inauguration, I came across a slew of individuals rocking berets, fur trapper caps, fedoras and various other hats. The Hat of the Day Award goes to Aretha Franklin, a woman known for rocking gorgeous crowns. The Queen of Soul, a product of the Baptist church, wrapped her head in an over-the-top gray hat with an oversized bow and beading, a sign of nobility and prestige deeply rooted in the black church. Regal. Noble. Elegant. The makings of a Queen.
Take A Ride With Q-Tip & Amanda Diva
Q-Tip's 'Manwomanboogie' has finally received the video treatment. The fourth video from The Renaissance was released last week. Somehow, it managed to slip under my radar. A train ride, with a host of characters including Native Americans, serves as the backdrop as the video explores the compelling relationship between man and woman. Check out the video directed by Rick Cordero and let us know what you think.
Michelle Obama, Simple & Classy
Weeks prior to the inauguration, every fashionista speculated on what Michelle Obama should and would wear. The day has finally come. The First Lady wore a bright yellow retro dress and matching jacket by Cuban-born designer Isabel Toledo. Mrs. Obama chose a pair of Jimmy Choo Glacier pumps and J. Crew gloves to keep her hands warm. Simple and sophisticated.
Good Bye Mr. Bush!!!
burned by the fire
my love is blind
can't you see my desire?..."
Monday, January 19, 2009
Yes, the album cover is repulsive. A 40 year old Bobby Womack decked out in a hot red leather outfit surrounded by hanging purple fabric. Blame it on the creativity of the 80's. Bobby Womack's 16th studio album, The Poet II, a follow up to 1981's brilliant The Poet, was released in 1984. Patti LaBelle joined the gritty soul singer, a protege of Sam Cooke, on a trio of songs, including the emotional 'It Takes A Lot Of Strength To Say Goodbye.' The chemistry between the two singers is dramatic and satisfying. In a career that has seen scattered moments of greatness, 'It Takes A Lot Of Strength To Say Goodbye' finds Bobby Womack at his finest as a singer, songwriter, and producer. In honor of Dr. King, included in this post is Womack's ode to MLK, 'American Dream', which features snippets of King's 'I Have A Dream' speech.Bobby Womack feat. Patti LaBelle 'It Takes A Lot Of Strength To Say Goodbye'
Bobby Womack 'American Dream'
Is Obama Just More Of The Same?
Barack Obama's historic campaign centered around a single word, CHANGE. As it turns out, Barack Obama isn't quite different from past Presidents. In a recent New York Daily News article, author Ian Strock highlights the similarities between Obama and previous Presidents. Strock concludes that Obama is more typical than John McCain. Let's take a look at some of these similarities based on characteristics:
Age of Presidents on Inauguration Day
Barack Obama: 47 years, 169 days old
Average Age of Previous Presidents: 55 years, 117 days old
John McCain, if elected: 72 years, 114 days old
Barack Obama: 2 daughters
Previous Presidents: 3.7 children
John McCain: 7 children
President/First Lady Age Difference
The Obamas: 2 years, 166 days
Previous Presidents: 5 years, 16 days
The McCains: 17 years
The most popular college for future Presidents is Harvard. Obama becomes the eighth Harvard alumnus in the White House. Half of Obama's predeccessors were lawyers, as he is.
23 of the 42 Presidents have been related to each other.
Obama is related to at least 6 former Presidents, James Madison, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Gerald Ford, George H.W Bush and George W. Bush.
McCain is not related to any former Presidents.[NYDN]
Aretha, Aretha, Aretha!!!
As I read and watch the coverage of the upcoming inauguration, I'm reminded of Aretha Franklin. Aretha will lend her voice to Barack's big day. A woman who has sang for Dr. King, kings and queens, and former Presidents, will be on hand as Barack Obama enters the history books. It's no suprise the Obama family enjoys Aretha's music. My love affair with Aretha began about a decade ago thanks to I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You. There have been a few bumps in the road; down right horrible recordings, a silly feud with Beyonce and Tina Turner, and questionable wardrobe choices but the love is still strong. On the eve of Aretha's historic performance, here are a trio of overlooked Aretha tunes from her days at Atlantic Records. Aretha and then husband/manager wrote the tell-it-like-it-is 'Good To Me As I Am To You' for 1968's Lady Soul. Aretha transformed Gamble & Huff's 'A Brand New Me' into a jazzy declaration of new beginnings. Aretha's voice soars to unheard heights on the Curtis Mayfield produced 'I Get High' from 1976's Sparkle.
Aretha Franklin 'Good To Me As I Am To You'
Aretha Franklin 'A Brand New Me'
Aretha Franklin 'I Get High'
Mustafa Sener, age 6, Brooklyn.
Maurice Williams, age 4, Brooklyn.
A Childhood Dream Come TrueKansas born artist Tom Otterness created a paradise for children.
Rah's Remix Is 'Bulletproof'
Raheem DeVaughn channels his inner Curtis Mayfield on the socially conscious 'Bulletproof.' The remixed track features rapper turned actor Ludacris. The song can stand on it's own without Luda's guest verse but overall the remix is solid. Raheem delivers the goods and the vibe is tight on the vintage soul inspired track. Hit play and enjoy.
Raheem DeVaughn feat. Ludacris 'Bulletproof (Remix)'
Happy Belated Birthday Dr. King
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Barack's Wax Figure
Nope, that isn't the real Obama. Five days prior to Barack's historic inauguration, Madame Tussauds Museum has unveiled a wax figure of him. I still can't believe a black family will reside at The White House. Wow.
there something wrong with my line
when I dial my baby's number
I get a click every time..."
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Officer Arrested In Grant Murder
A Couple of Words From Ms. Badu
The often misunderstood and ridiculously talented Erykah Badu dropped message on her Myspace page today. It seems like Ms. Badu has abandoned the task of completing New Amerykah Pt. 2 to prepare for the birth of a child. Understandable. Right? Check out the message.
... any day now my new project arrives .
nope - not new amerykah pt 2 but new baby !! (shout out to mothers to be )
i can hardly move my hips are sooo stiff ...( i look like a duck w/ long legs)
meanwhile im still working away on pt 2 .
( mind blowin)
later than i anticipated , however , but frsh all the same .
these days i live in headphones while poppin b vitamins and rubbing my belly down with shae butter ( plump and ripe) .
im a damned perfectionist and my method is kinda weird
s0 the lable just throws their hands up at me and banks on somethin else
lol. ( peace to sylvia rhone ).
so any way , im back in the badudio , ill pause for my home birth which is just in the next room so i promise it wont take too long . lol.
(valerian and chamomile are my best friends )
been spending my days on twitter throwing out random thoughts as FATBELLYBELLA. plenty of twitty milk to go round ...
i give thanks today for your love , energy , respect and feedback .
on behalf of my entire family from Edith funker , nedda stella ( band), soul quarians ,jay tronic, controlfreaq records , canabinoids, b.l.i.n.d.
, THE scientists ,and of course NAYROCK
"HAPPY NEW YOU .
IF YOU BELIEVE IT IT'S YOURS . TRUST .
all my love ,
aka fat belly bella aka loretta brown aka analogue girl aka annie
aka manuela mexico aka baduizm pka e. badu.....
love and light !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
im gone still do 2 mo videos for pt 1
which 2 should they be ?
i was thinkin the healer and souldier...eh.
when you're not at home
you just had to look so good
any man would want to make you his own..."
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Motown Turns 50
Public Soul Announcement celebrates the lasting legacy of Motown and it's everlasting effect on the world with vintage images of Motown legends and a classic Soul Train performance from Smokey Robinson.
The Low End Theory Meets MJ
Air Jordan is set to release a pair of kicks inspired by A Tribe Called Quest. The special edition kicks, Air Jordan 1 Hi Strap, will be released next month. The kicks are hideous but the matching t-shirts are fly.
Demand Justice For Oscar Grant
It's been 12 days since the shocking murder of Oscar Grant. The young black male was was shot execution-style by a transit police officer in Oakland, California. He was shot in the back while face-down on a subway platform, unarmed and posing no threat. The officer who fired the deadly shot has yet to be arrested, charged, or questioned. In the past 17 years BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) police have killed 3 unarmed black males.
In 1992, 19-year-old Jerrold Hall was shot in the back by a BART officer as he tried to leave a station parkign lot. The officer was responding to reports of an armed robbery and said he suspected that Hall and a friend were involved. The officer tried to detain the two, Hall ran and then the officer shot him in the back and killed him. Hall was unarmed, but the officer said he thought Hall was on his way to get a gun and return for a showdown.
In 2001, a mentally ill man named Bruce Seward was the next victim of the rogue force. Seward, 42, was naked and had been sleeping on a bench outside the BART station when an officer approached him. Seward did grab the officer's nightstick at one point, but there were several options for subduing him. Instead, the officer shot and killed him.
Join ColorOfChange, an orgainization dedicated to making government for responsive to the concerns of black America, in demanding justice for Oscar Grant.
The Black Woodstock
Back in the summer of '69 artists from the worlds of gospel, jazz, blues, and soul made a pilgrimage to Harlem, the mecca of black culture, to perform at the six day Harlem Cultural Festival. 100,000 black folk crowded the northern end of Central Park in the blistering heat.Emceed by Jesse Jackson, the festival, what some now call "The Black Woodstock" or "Harlem 69", included performances by Mahalia Jackson, Gladys Knight & The Pips, The Staple Singers, Stevie Wonder, Sly & The Family Stone, Nina Simone, and others.
"As I look out at us rejoice today, I was hoping it would be in preparation for the major fight we as a people have on our hands here in this nation. Some of you are laughing because you don't know any better, and others laughing because you are too mean to cry. But you need to know some mean stuff is going down. A lot of you cant read...but you have the mental capacity to read the signs of the times."
"The Soul of Nina Simone," a CD/DVD compilation contains footage from the event. The compilation includes four songs Simone performed during the festival.