Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

The Soundtracks of Childhood by Angenita Williams

When one thinks of childhood, they think of school, school plays, kickball, teachers, bratty brothers, long summers outside, chores, barbecues, and an early bedtime. It’s a time where we all couldn’t wait to be adults because we had to follow so many rules that simply were not fair. (And many of us adults would like to go back to that time when things were much more simple.)

We also think of the music. What we didn’t understand was that the records that Momma and Daddy played on the stereo, or the tapes they played in the cassette player were setting a stage of memories for us to carry with us throughout our lives. And as we grew, as new artists burst into music, we added their sounds with the sounds already placed in our hearts. These tidbits of melodies etched themselves into our histories to the point where if we hear a song now, it takes us back to that moment where we fell in love with it. Don’t believe me?

Where were you when you first heard Thriller?

I was sitting in front of the stereo. My dad brought the record through the door and played the entire album. I held on to the cover. Michael was so beautiful in his white suit. I was enamored. It was 1982. I was 6.

Where were you when you first heard You Give Good Love?

I was at my house. My cousin, AJ, came down for the summer to watch my brothers and I while my mother worked. She played that song out, but it was BEAUTIFUL. I didn’t know whose voice that was at first. But then I saw the video. Whitney was so tiny, yet her voice was huge. It was 1985. I was 9.

Where were you when you first heard Purple Rain?

I was at home. Again. Dad brought this album in. I knew there was a movie for it. My friends had gone to see it. I hadn’t seen it yet though. I heard the song Purple Rain, and the guitar solo at the end caught my attention, and instantly became my favorite part of the song. It was 1984. I was 8.

These songs effect me that same way…over 30 years later. When I hear “Until the end of time, I’ll be there for you,” I’m taken back to Turrell, Arkansas, at my cousin’s house where it stayed on repeat, and it touched my heart. “Oh I wanna dance with somebody, I wanna feel the heat with somebody” brings me to my first summer in Indianapolis. “Hey pretty baby with them high heels on” takes me back to my uncle who loved that song, and made a howl every time it came on.

And as I type this, I smile.

Of course there is an astronomical list of artists that moved me at different periods of my life which includes:

Patti – If Only You Knew. Chaka – I’m Every Woman. Aretha – Pink Cadillac. Frankie Beverly – Before I let Go. Kool and the Gang – Celebration. Mtume – Juicy Fruit. Madonna – Like A Virgin. Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time. Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing. Diana Ross – Upside Down. Stevie Wonder – Ribbon in the Sky. B. B. King – Lucille. The Gap Band – Party Train. ConFunkShun – Love’s Train. Isley Jasper Isley – Caravan of Love. Janet Jackson – Control. Luther Vandross – Never Too Much. Teena Marie – Lovergirl. Rick James – Mary Jane.

And that’s not even touching the surface….

When we lose these people who contributed so much to our lives, it leaves a hole…a gaping hole…a crater in our souls. We feel hurt. Lost. And what’s really funny…I wonder if our icons really know how much they affect their fans with the words they sing. With the arrangements they make…

Prince guided me into and out of heartbreak. Whitney helped me understand heartbreak. And Michael, well, Michael gave me life after heartbreak.

Prince made me dance. Whitney made me wanna dance with somebody. Michael made me wanna dance like him.

Without these melodies, these beats, this rhythm…my childhood would be vastly different. What would trigger a great memory if it were not for our soundtracks?

Behind Whitney, Michael, Luther, Gerald, Marvin, Teena, Rick…we lost Prince too. And man…that hurts. It really hurts.

All of them played a huge part in my soundtrack….my childhood. But Prince? He gave me one of my favorite songs in the world….Adore. The lyrics mean so much more now…

“Until the end of time, I’ll be there for you. You own my heart and mind…”

I truly Adore you.

RIH Prince.

You were such an instrumental part of my childhood. Of my life. Rest Easy, Purple One.

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Are You A Groupie? By Angenita Williams

GLPIC

 

Are you a groupie?

Merriam-Webster says a groupie is a noun that means a fan of a music group who follows the group on concert tours.

Urban dictionary says a groupie is a young woman, often under age, who seeks to achieve status by having sex with rock musicians, roadies, security, and other band-related guys.

Does that describe anyone you know?

I heard the song Groupie Love by an indie artist Young Mac about a year ago. (Check the photo.) The more I listened to it, the more I really get it. Although the title would have you thinking otherwise, it’s obvious that the woman being described in the song is a hurting woman.

“I can tell it’s groupie love cause she aiming to get rich.”

Listening to the lyrics on the surface would have you think the narrator is talking about the typical groupie – backstage at all the shows. Heels on point. Body a ten. Making sure she gets chosen. But a deeper listening reveals that this “groupie” isn’t typical…she has the “aim” to get rich…but the “rich” isn’t the rich that one thinks of when they speak of rich.

In this aspect, rich means love. She wants to be rich…in love… jumping from body to body in search of this elusive love…the love that every girl dreams of. Yearns for. And when that love isn’t there, then substitutes are there to take the place…money…attention…sex. Selling herself short for the illusion of desire. She’s broken. And the narrator tells her, “I can feel your pressure.”

How much pressure are we under to find love? For us single ladies that are 35 and up, how much pressure do we bear when we wake up next to pillows every morning? When you just wanna hug and hear a deep masculine voice say it’s gonna be alright? I know…Momma never said there would be days like that….because Momma never let it show that there ARE days like that.

Navigating the world of relationships is real tricky. Mainly because everyone has baggage to unload, and everyone wants to remain selfish….when love has nothing to do with selfishness…it’s so selfless. You willingly give your all because love is about growing the other person, not what you can get out of them or from them. You have to make sure that person has your best interest at heart…But you can’t wait too late or you’ll end up broken and bitter.

Self-love is the key to deflating the pressures of being single. No one can love you if you don’t love you, and if you don’t love you, you can’t possibly love anyone else. So for the groupies in the world….take a pause…love you…Nothing will give you more satisfaction until you realize that love you seek is right there in you…

“Go ‘head and show that groupie love…go ‘head, you know that groupie love….”

Beyoncè’s Super Bowl Concert by Delina Hill-Brooker

 

Beyonce SuperBowl 2016
(Photo: Ezra Shaw)

First off, let me put a few disclaimers.

  1. I am not, nor will I probably ever be a die-hard football fan. The only time that I watch a football game is if my son is playing or the actual Super Bowl game…which technically, I’m not watching the game, I’m only there for the commercials and the halftime show.
  2. ALL of the Super Bowl performers from Lady Gaga, to Cold Play, Bruno Mars and of course Miss Sasha Fierce herself, all did an Oh-Mazing job. I was thoroughly entertained.
  3. A few of my friends on social media didn’t enjoy all of the performers, and as I watched the trending stories, some of everybody had something to say about them as well, but hey, this is my blog, therefore my platform to voice my opinions. 🙂

Okay, now that we’ve gotten those formalities out of the way, let me just say this. Say what ya wanna; like her or not, Beyoncè slayed not only her performance, but the whole Super Bowl as well! You can criticize her song, her man, her daughter, her choice of clothing and dance. You can believe that she’s part of the Illuminati (which I don’t and don’t believe that there really is such a thing). But what you can’t do is say that she doesn’t give 110% of professionalism, style, grace and true artistry EVERY TIME she performs!!!
Super Bowl’s halftime show was a mini concert, gay pride, girl power, Black power, MC Hammer throwback, pop and live music, dancing while you sing, almost fall – but you don’t miss a beat – pick it back up and keep on going, plug your upcoming tour, playing nice with others fun loving good time all jammed packed and displayed as a physical collage – with a powerful message of “Believe In Love” to top it all off. (Yes that is an extremely long run on sentence, but hey, it works for this). To me the halftime show was a perfect blend of a variety of music for everyone to enjoy some aspect of the show.
As a Black, business woman I have no choice, but to respect her hustle, grind, creativity and brand building.

Now let me give out disclaimer #4. Her music has evolved in such a dramatic way that I do censor what my children listen to and watch of hers. However, I was okay with the halftime show for them. That being said, I censor what they watch and hear ANY WAY. Everything is not for children to see or hear even if it’s art. I wouldn’t let them listen to NWA, which is art, with a powerful message, but the delivery is just not for them to absorb YET!

I know not everyone will agree, and that’s totally okay, but I love and respect me some ‘Yoncè! And at the end of the day, her name is being talked about. Which is good for her brand, sooooooooooo…

Beyoncès Super Bowl Concert

(Photo: Christopher Polk, Getty Images)
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Rape and Emmett Till by Angenita Williams

They’ve been all over the news. All over the radio. Columnists have attacked them. What are ‘they?’

Lyrics by Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne.

These two have featured on each other’s songs. I think it’s fair to say they are somewhat friends. And birds of a feather flock together.

And these two birds need a lesson in respect for the history of our people and for women.

I’m not gonna lie; I listened to both rappers (I dare not call them artists at this point).

“Go DJ! That’s my DJ…”

“My chick bad looking like a bag of money…”

Yeah, I got a little rap history in me. But when you have lyrics about beating a {bleep} up like Emmett Till, or slipping a girl a Molly and having fun with her while she doesn’t know, ok, therein lies a problem.

Yes, we have freedom of speech. Yes we have the freedom to be ‘artistic.’ But when rape victims seldom come forward because of ridicule, and you mock the death of a young man killed because of his skin color, and his alleged disrespect of a white woman, you have taken it too far.

According to RAINN’s (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) website, someone is sexually assaulted every two minutes. Fifty-four percent of rape victims never come forward, and ninety-seven percent of rapists never spend a day in jail (www.rainn.org)  Have you read Revealing &Healing: 3 Women’s Stories of Survival? Pick it up, and understand how sexual assault damages a young girl…she develops into a woman who is damaged. And furthermore, incapacitating a woman to have sex with her is very…lame…weak…and lets the world know…that you can’t get any…because a woman has to be out of it to give it to you. Making her unable to say no proves you are not a man, but a coward who cannot, and will not stand up and admit that you were wrong for the suggestion.

Suggestive lyrics are nothing new. Been around since the beginning of time. However, I think that someone has to take a stand and say, enough is enough. Although they deny it, celebrities influence a lot of people, and not just the youth.

Rick Ross gave weak men a way to go ahead and get it, without even asking for it. That baffles me to no end. There was nothing misunderstood about that lyric, and for him to think so shows me that he’s been popping too many Mollies.

Now, Lil Wayne, on the other hand, just messed all the way up. How on earth can you say that you would beat it up like Emmitt Till when he was KILLED over it?  That correlation is unsettling to say the least.

Does he not know the history? Does he not know the story? Oh, yeah, I forgot, he on that Molly mess, too.

Bottom line, there are always historical references in music…from the beginning of our world, to World War II, to the Civil War, and the Civil Rights struggle.

I find this to be the worst.

Well, I guess I’ll get off my soapbox now.  I mean, I’m just one writer out of many that is talking about this…

Hey, maybe I should incite a boycott…

“Every day, I’m hustle-lin.”

Believe

I must say that I’m both excited and thankful to Lioness Vizions for even thinking of me to be a guest blogger.  I hope I am able to bring thought provoking stimulation, positive energy, and humor into your life.

I will talk about just about anything with anyone, as long as I’m knowledgeable about the subject, which means I will more than likely blog about anything as well.

I am such a multifaceted person, but then again we all are.  Our lives are moved by various means and modes of other energies called, human beings; and the one thing that helps us to connect with each of these energies?  Music.

Music transcends space, time, race, and generations.  It can put you in a romantic mood with your boo, instill empowerment, heal and uplift.  The easy sway of an 808 can move you to think, create and above all, inspire.  Do you remember your first love?  What song was playing when you were holding hands that night? How about that horrible breakup? I bet you can tell me what song got you through it.  In the past few years I have been able to get through many of troubled times thanks to prayer, meditation and music; but I have also tapped into a form of art that I never knew I had, or at least not very good at.  Poetry or as I affectionately call it, Spoken Word.

In late 2010 I poured my heart out on a piece of paper and eventually allowed it to drip down onto a floor of a booth during a session at a local recording studio where I’m sure a permanent stain remains.  Most people don’t believe this, but I’m a pretty shy person, so only a select few (literally only 4 people, 5 if you count the producer) has heard that particular piece.  Spoken word, much like music, allows one to express whatever is manifesting within the turmoils of the soul.  On many different occasions throughout my adult life, I have heard preachers, family, elders, books, talk show gurus such as Oprah and Dr. Phil stress how important it is that when a person shows their true selves, you should oblige what they are showing you.  With that said I would like to share a piece with you that has been burning its way out of my being for some time now…Believe!

++++++++++++++

Believe ©2011

I unzipped my cool

Button down my feelings for you

Believed smiling eyes

Invested nostalgic vibes

I’m the blind spot you’ve chosen to never see

Unless appropriately on your own RSVP

I’m no longer on board; 100% absentee

So tired of feeling how I feel

On the real

So I’m throwing this in an envelope; melted seal

Comb through my hair as if never depicted

Fade you to black-life and you never existed

Gave them perpetual energy, keys and life manuals

Approval denied; detect the smoke of my residuals

I left in summer not planning to return

No testimony, no examination, court adjourn

Confirm

I don’t believe his kisses; calculated spontaneity

There is no more congeniality,

Faced mine, watch your reality

Accountability

It astounds that you no longer accept my call

Believing I’m not your type can be a certain downfall

I got you bastin’, roastin’ like 6 pound Butterball

What? I’m sorry…did I throw you a curveball?

Shoulda got with your heart, but your head is like a brick wall

Lookin for my energy got’chu searchin’ for a recall

Of how clearly opaque that I ain’t here for the long hall

Befall

If I remember right, I won’t be your Mrs.

I no longer – I no longer believe in his kisses

Absolutely unsure of what you’ve been missin’

He’ll ask, is this about me?

Accidentally on purpose

I don’t know maybe.

Music is the soundtrack to life

~NLM

Family Lineage/Family Reunion

Like every year we claim that this year will be the best year and that great things will come. Little did my husband and I know that this year would indeed be like no other. His testimony and evolvement have been such a blessing to witness.

My husband has always longed to know who his father was, but it was always a ‘family secret’ and only a few people knew. Once he was grown and out of the house he started demanding answers. Finally his uncle who used to be in the service with his biological father told him all of the information he knew. He told him his fathers name and that his father was from a small town called Falmouth, Kentucky. This city is so small that it only has one street light. Only people from the surrounding area know about it. It’s the kind of town where everyone knows each other.

Well this year has been surreal to say the least. Not only has he been able to reconnect with his fathers’ side of the family. They have been loving, open and took us in from the moment they found out about us. He has five more siblings, and their chemistry is so strong you would think that they grew up together. In March he was able to meet four of his siblings. His oldest sister Opal passed two weeks after we met her. The impression that she left on us is unforgettable. The stories they tell of her match the Opal that we met and grew to love. A week after Opal passed his Aunt Christine passed suddenly. She was such a sweet spirit, musician and a community activist.

Last week they had their family reunion. We were blessed to meet even more family members. His father took us up to the graveyard and told us the history of all the family members that were buried there. The family history there dates back to former run away slaves! How amazing is that? To go 43 years of not knowing much about yourself, then a few months later receiving knowledge that dates back to slavery! He showed us the markers of family members that changed their name to not draw attention to the slave catchers, but their tombstone listed their actual name. He told stories of every single person that was laid to rest there. It was as if we actually knew them. Here we were in the middle of nowhere, in the hills of Kentucky, right next to a horse farm, former ‘Big Houses’, and slave quarters. Our cousin made a DVD slide show full of pictures of everyone in the family. My husband looks just like his grandfather that he never knew.

During our ride home we soaked it all in, and talked about everything that we learned. Even though my husband was raised in Miami, Florida, Falmouth, Kentucky is home. There’s no place like home. There’s nothing better than knowing where you came from. Thank you God for such an awesome blessing. To our new found family. We love you, and thank you for opening your hearts and homes to us!

There are too many family members to list all of them, but Dad, Mama V, Tony, Opal, Crystal, Darlene, Neal, Ashleigh, America, Zac, Christian, Cherah, LaTrisha, Alexyis, Ann, Shawna Jo, Jamie, Angela, Takyia, Uncle Spikey, Carol, JoAnna, James, Sandra, Khalilah, Terry Russell, Jackie, Fifi, Robbie, Robin, Sylvia, Christine, Larry, Gayle, Bo, Keemarion, Kegan, Mario, Nyrea, Kennidy, Darien, Devonte, Devon, Mya, Michael and Juanita. We love you from the bottom of our hearts! Opal and Christine, we know that you are looking down on us from heaven.

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