Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Operation Graduation

Sorry, for the lack of posts. I'm currently trying to get things situated for school. Once the financial aid thing is taken care of(i.e. I get that letter saying the check is in the mail) I'll be back on the keys.....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Her Name is Fiyah: Self Promotion

One of my bff's Bella is a great writer and she's been so gracious to allow me to guest post on her blog. So check me(and her) out at You're welcome, you're all welcome.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Born Free

"Born Free" M.I.A.

This video(more mini movie at eight minutes) has some extremely violent and intense images, but I feel that it's relevant. While you watch picture people you look like you. More of my thoughts on it later, but please feel free to post any comments that you have. Let's start a conversation....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I Am HipHop: Reflections on Coming of Age During HipHop's Golden Era Pt. 1(I Fall In Love))

In 1981, eight years after DJ Kool Herc dj'ed a block party for his sister's birthday and Kevin Donovan changes his name to Afrika Bambaataa Aasim in honor of a Zulu chief and seven years after Grandmaster Caz, Grandmaster Flash, and Afrika Bambaataa start playing at parties in the Bronx and DJ/MC Lovebug Starski starts referring to the emerging culture surrounding this new music as "hip-hop", I was born in the birthplace of Blues(the Mississippi Delta to be exact).

I spent a majority of my childhood in Ft. Riley, KS listening to one radio station and it most definatly wasn't a "black(I think the politicaly correct term is 'urban')radio station. Hence, my love of 80s rock and pop. By the time I was 11 I knew every song that came on the R'n'B oldies channel thanks to my dad, because in the late 80s and early 90s he classified most mainstream pop music and the emerging sounds of new jack swing and pretty much all hiphop as "mess" and "noise". So, while we rode around Post basking in the immaculate harmonies of the Impressions and Dellfonics and funk of George Clinton, I was secretly changing his station every time he got out to the car in search of LL Cool J, Guy and Run DMC. Looking back now, it wasn't that my dad didn't like the hiphop so much as he didn't understand it. My parents put me on to Elton John, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye and a host of others who in turned influcened my Salt-n-Pepa's, Snoop Dogg's, and Common's.

The start in many defining moments of my realization that I was hiphop came in the summer of between my 5th and 6th grade years. We moved to Atlanta. In 1992-93 Atlanta was becoming known as "The Spot" for black people on a come up. Overnight I went from "THE" black girl in class to "A" black girl in class. I had never been surrounded by so many black people who weren't family in one place at one time and it was a culture shock out the ass. Suddenly, my Vans and 5 million friendship bracelets weren't cool, but "white". I can't tell you how many times I was told I acted and sounded like a "white gurl" in the space of one school year. Several things saved me from being completely enveloped in pre-teen angst that year; my BFFs to this day Jennifer and Courtney, my journal, BET( I know, I know but I'm talking about Video Soul with Donnie Simpson and Rap City with Joe Claire BET) and V103 the People's Station. I literally spent hours immersing myself in a sea of James Brown samples, 808 beats, combat boot and baggy Cross Color images. For the first time in my young life I felt like the music I was hearing was speaking directly to me, not around me or over me but straight through me. Add Donald Goines(which I snuck and read behind my dad)and the Autobiography of Malcolm X to this and you have my longest, most tumultuous love affair that still continues to this day; Hiphop.
The more I heard, the more I wanted. Classic junkie behavior. I played "Oooooohhhhh, On The TLC Tip" some much the tape literally popped. I danced with abandon to Raheem the Dream and Kilo Ali and I recorded hours upon hours of VHS of Rap City and The Box. In 1993, when I started 7th grade lines were being drawn between "Up North" and "Down South" kids and their regional taste in music. Since I had moved from Kansas a year earlier I was given a pass. I could sit at the "New York" table at lunch and still Bankhead Bounce after school at the library. At this point in hiphop it was still pretty much New York and everybody else and I what realize now looking back on some heated debates with my friends from up top, is that I definitely got the better end of the stick as far as exposure. While my friends from "Up North" only heard people from New York,New Jersey and surrounding areas, we were listening to everything except "Up North" music. I can't remember how many times N.W.A, Ice Cube, 8Ball&MJG, UGK, Scarface, B.O.N.E Thugz in Harmony and Twista tapes were passed around and dubbed.
In the spring of 1994 I went from having a huge crush on hiphop to falling truly, madly and deeply in love with it, and it all started with a shared earphone from my best guy friend, Terry Neal, a sample of "Juicy Fruit" from MTume and a dedication to all the teachers who told him he'd amount to anything....

To be continued....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Am

This is a work in progress....or maybe it's finished. I'll see.

I Am/ The Great I Am/ And He takes me as I am/ Of His image I am resemblance/ Of miracles/ They do happen/Because I makes it happen/ Through Him/ I am, the Great I am.

The daughter of a poet/ I am the child of Man/ A Great Man/Who taught me about men and The Man/He's the Man.

I am the mother of a daughter/She is because I am

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Testing the Waters...Big Toe First

There was a point in time when I dived into my blogs head first. Fearlessly offering my life and experiences as kindling that keep my myspace blog fire burning. I typed with a devil may care attitude, no part of me was untouched or untouchable. That was in 2004. Now, I find myself hesitating at every stroke of the key. Not because I'm ashamed of anything I've done but because in the last 3 years I've went through some major life changes and I find the things I yearn to talk about bring me to tears.
My blog used to be my therapist and antidepressant. It was how I loosed everything, good, bad and ugly, flying around in my head. I loved the praise from my friends and strangers. Nothing brought a smile to my face quicker than someone leaving a "I know that's right girl!" comment on my page. While I have no doubt that my thoughts would illicit that same response I find it harder to put word to paper(pr screen as it is). Harder now because what I long to speak on leaves my vulnerable. My words will expose my soft underbelly and I'm not ready to be so transparent. Nothing that I would write about would be any different from the conversations I've had with my friends(some of who have wonderful blogs on here) but the difference is it would be just me. Just me and words to digital paper. Just me and the things I've longed to say but held onto because I refuse to be seen as anything less than my optimistic self, but at night when the baby has been put to bed and my Facebook games have been tended to(don't front on Tiki Farm and Sorority Life) I find myself, by myself. It's easy to fill your day with things to do and say but there is a point of time at night that is given to reflection and unless you're pissy ass drunk it's impossible to escape. That's when all the thoughts I've pushed out of my head for the last 18 or so hours come rushing back. The things my 22 year old self tells me to stop being a pussy and blog about them, because other people feel the exact,same way. Sometimes I'm tempted to give in , tempted to throw myself over the cliff and be at the mercy of my feelings and type until I run out of words, but something stops me. It's the knowledge that somewhere someone will be reading my words and know that I cry as I write them.

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's Not What They Say, It's What They Do

I'm flipping through the channels one day and Jackie Brown is on TNT or FX. One of those channels that's like a middle child; older than someone but not quite the big cheese. I'm not really a fan of watching some movies on these channels because let's face it the cussing does make it better, but I was bored and considering my other choices,(reruns of the bottom of the barrel reality shows and some amalgamation of all the shows on the Disney Channel)Jackie Brown won by a landslide.
While I'm doing my best to imagine the actors are saying motherfucker instead of mickeyficky when I realize they've been saying nigger the whole time. What the fuck? I've seen the real version so I know that the word nigger is in the script( alot). That isn't what bothers me( I worked out my feelings about Quintine Tarintino and the word nigger a long time ago). It bothers me that the word shit isn't ok for tv, but nigger is. After I turned the tv off I wondered who was in charge of what is deemed "inappropriate" for tv. In my mind's eye I saw a roomful of white men. While I'm sure white men aren't the only people who work for the FCC, I'm pretty sure that they are the people who are in charge of the decision-making.
Which brings me to my second thought( yes, this blog does have a point). I was watching Erykah Badu on an awards show(probably Essence or BET) and at the end of her performance she throws up the black power fist. In the middle of me thinking "that's what's up Erykah" I notice that first the camera man pans waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy out then he crops the shot so only her arm from the wrist down is showing. I notice the same thing when Common and Nas preform. Again another tv viwing wtf moment.
I find it curious that I live in a country where the powers that be feel that the black power fist and Janet Jackson's breast is inappropriate(maybe that big ass nipple ring was but not the breast in general) but the word nigger is not. One could pull in the argument that black(and brown) people call each other nigga and it's ok for them to say it to each other so what's the big deal, why not put it on tv. Everyone can't do everything. This maybe contradictory but it's my blog so I can say what I want. I don't feel that it is acceptable to show a white man calling a black person a nigger on tv. It makes me feel like somebody might think it's kosher to call me a nigger on the street just because they've seen/heard it done on FX.
In 2010 we have a black President but the KKK still marches in Stone Mountain. It's acceptable for women who look like me to be shown shaking their asses, but these same women damn sure better not get on national television and show solidarity with a group of people that are still deemed "terrorists". I don't think anyone at the FCC is reading my blog(or maybe they are), I'm calling them out. Don't tell me that your saving my kids from the inappropriateness of the word "fuck" but turn around and call them niggers.