Whatever Happened To Real Music??

I’m at that age where I know a little sumthin’ sumthin’ about the past, but I am still in tune with the present. Having a foot in two eras almost, it reminds me even more of the direction real music is heading.

Where are all my 80s babies!

How many of yall miss the music that had depth?… Music where lyrics actually had meaning besides doing things with no hands?? What ever happened to the Jodeci’s, the Boyz II Men’s, the Aaliyah’s??? I miss the days of the music where words were more important than the actual beat and base of the song; the two elements harmonized to create a wonderful experience. Nowadays I find myself listening to more music from back in the day than the present. The songs of the present are good for your “getting hype to go out music”, but when I want my music of substance I take it back to the 80s-90s.

Here are a couple of my favorite back in the day songs:

Knocking da Boots- H-Town

Come And Talk To Me- Jodeci

Love Of My Life- Brian McKnight

Human Nature- Michael Jackson

There do happen to be a few good artist still in our present time. Currently I am absolutely addicted to Marshia Ambrosius’ album “Late Nights & Early Mornings.”

What are your favorite songs from the past? How do you feel about the future of our music and its influence on the new generation?

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The Black Body Done Right

 **Disclaimer: Video is NOT safe for work**

After my eyes and ears were viciously assaulted this past weekend after tuning into to Robin Fenty attempting to sing “performance” AND seeing the new “Unbreakable” commercial by  Khloe “Why Am I Famous?” Kardashian and Lamar “I’m Just Here for the Publicity” Odom, I knew my senses were in need of a retreat.  Lucky me when I stumbled to Necole Bitchie and saw something that was like a breath of fresh air. I stan over fresh new artists so this was heavenly! 

The song itself was audibly pleasing and the video was just visually stunning.

I am referring to the, “Til The End of Time”  video, by new artist Timothy Bloom featuring V. Bozeman. Initially, I thought immediately D’Angelo’s “How Does It Feel” video, but after 30 seconds I realized that it was something more.

Check it out for yourself:

or here.

When the camera panned out to reveal their naked bodies, I wasn’t shocked, I wasn’t angry, but instead, I was intrigued and by the end I was relieved. And not because their bodies make you want to  finally put that gym membership to use. Rather, it has been a long time that I can recall since the black body has been used in a way that wasn’t exploitable and demeaning. Especially in terms of the female body, where if you see a naked black woman’s body in the media, chances are she’s shaking it for cash or in hopes of becoming the new it video vixen. Furthermore, there’s a WHOLE LOT of intense sensuality and passion going on in the video that makes you question if they are seeing each other and if not, then maybe they should teach some couples* (cough, Kholmar) how to have on-camera chemistry. In fact, there’s so much passion that after a while, the nudity becomes an afterthought and I believe that was the message the director was probably trying to convey.

 Another motif that stood out to me about this video was the theme of black love. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that if it was up to the media, black love would be a thing of the past. I say that because very seldomly now in R&B and obviously in Hip-Hop videos are the main love interests black and also, dark-skinned. It is worth noting that while I am not trying to make this an issue of dark skin vs. light skin, because, after all, black love is black love.  However, today’s videos often imply that light-skinned and ethnically ambiguous women are more desirable, so to see a woman such as V. Bozeman, dark-skinned and practically bald-which are two physical attributes that has been historically considered undesirable within the black community, being embraced by a black man is refreshing.

LAST, but not least, what about the talent here? True talent is really hard to find these days and even harder to have recognized in mainstream society. Case in point #1, while writing this post, I tried to find out more info on both artists, but unfortunately nothing but the video popped up in the search. Case in point #2, having Robin Fenty unable to at least sing over a track.

So what do you guys think of the video? Was the nudity too much? Or was it a reflection of true artistry and creativity? Let’s discuss.

Music, Sexuality and the Double Standard

Amidst the Lil’ Kim and Nicki Minaj beef,  I thought about how so often I hear from bloggers, celebrities, and radio personalities that Lil’ Kim should throw in the towel, that its Nicki’s time to “shine.”  While Nicki may be the “it girl” of the moment, we should not forget the contribution Lil Kim made to the world of hip-hop, as well as female sexuality.

Yes, female sexuality!!!

Before Kim, the message of female sexuality in hip-hop was always conveyed through the perspective of a man. For example, see:

2 Live Crew's 1989 album, "As Nasty As They Wanna Be"

Too Short's 1992 album, "Shorty The Pimp"

In general, sexuality has always been a taboo topic for discussion amongst black women. Let’s rewind back a few of years, shall we?

For women, particularly white, the 19th Century was all about true womanhood; maintaining piety, modesty, submissiveness, purity and all that other sense and sensibility mumbojumbo. A woman’s power was her virtue, her purity.  Since black women were slaves, and were considered “sub-human,” the ideals of womanhood excluded them. Thus, they spent the next hundred years trying to gain the image of  what was deemed as “womanhood” by going hard to prove their piety and virtuousness.

Fast forward a few hundred years and you hear:

 

The only way you seein’ me is if you eatin’ me
Downtown taste my love like Horace Brown
Tryin’ to impress me with your five G stones
I give you ten G’s nigga if you leave me alone, screamin’

-“Not Tonight,” Lil’ Kim

Kimberly Jones, a.k.a., Lil’ Kim burst onto the rap scene and redefined not only the image of female emcees, but also redefined female sexuality amongst black women.  While there were some rap tracks by female artists long before Lil Kim that were suggestive, like Salt-N-Pepa’s, “Push It,” and Adina Howard’s “Freak Like Me,” Kim’s debut album title defined her lyrics overall: Hardcore.

The sound: blunt, direct and explicit. The look: sexy, sultry and confident. The female emcees before her downplayed their femininity, while she embraced hers. She would mark the beginning of a new female voice- the voice of the sexually liberated, confident, brash and brazen female emcee.

However, her presence wasn’t welcomed by all women. She was labeled everything from a “hoe, slut, etc., etc.,”  by some women, and surprisingly, some men. Which frustrated me. Sure, her lyrics were raunchy, but what about Biggie’s? Or Tupac’s?  Why is it that when male artists release songs that are sexually explicit, we shrug it off as just another hip hop song, but when a female emcee does the same thing, she’s met with contempt?

While there are some who may disagree, and will argue that Kim perpetuated the stereotype of the hypersexualized black female, I say Kim used her sexuality as a form of empowerment. Her lyrics showcased a woman who used her sexuality as a way to control and dominate in an unapologetic way.

Case in point: “I don’t want d*ck tonight, eat my p***y right!”

So before we write Kim off as a “has-been,” we must give credit when credit is due. From Lil Kim came similar emcees like Foxy Brown, Trina, Khia, and whether or not you want to admit it, you too Onika. These artists embraced their sexuality and femininity in their lyrics without having to bare the brunt that Lil’ Kim had to endure. Hopefully this has gotten someone to think about the double-standards in hip-hop in terms of sexuality.

Discuss

What’s On Your Ipod?

So it’s been a while since we’ve talked about new albums and mixtapes. I can admit that I have been out of the loop for a little while but i’ve just stocked up my ipod with brand new material, so here is what i’ve got and what’s noteworthy to listen to. Let’s start with mixtapes:

J Cole has another mixtape out called Friday Night Lights. I haven’t been through the entire album yet but once again my absolute favorite song is “In The Morning” ft.Drake. I already loved this song from his previous mixtape but this one incorporates more piano and as a  piano player I could definitely appreciate it. I hope that he doesn’t become commercialized once he really gets big. I love Drake and all but I do feel that some of his material has become a little mainstream.

So Chris Brown released a new mixtape, In My Zone 2 last Friday. I absolutely loved the first release, and most of the songs I actually like better than the singles he has been putting out right now (cough cough Yeah 3x). Anyways because of the success of his first mixtape with two of the songs actually becoming full blown singles and gaining success, I think the same will happen with this new release. I haven’t gotten into this one yet but I’m sure it’s definitely one to check out.

On to Kanye West. Kanye released a mixtape, Good Dreams, before his highly anticipated album. Now I actually happen to be one of the few people on this planet that hasn’t been a fan of Kanye West lately, but I recognize good music when I hear it. As of right now I haven’t invested in his album (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy) because honestly I haven’t even given the mixtape a real chance. From the reviews it seems to be a musical masterpiece but it’s all left up to the taste of the person in my opinion. Therefore I won’t give it a thumbs up or down, but I would suggest giving the mixtape a go before you pay the big bucks to get the album. Now on to noteworthy albums.

Like I just mentioned Kanye West has a new album out called My Dark Twisted Fantasy. Also Rihanna (Loud) and Nikki Minaj (Pink Friday)  also released new albums.

Currently the only one I have right now is Rihanna and I haven’t been able to get through the album because I have been stuck on the song “Man Down”. Anyways, if you need something new check all of these out.

If you are a little low on money, go for the mixtapes, sometimes they are a whole lot better than the albums. If you don’t know where to pick up mixtapes, I go to http://www.datpiff.com for all of my mixtape needs. Let me know which ones you like the best!

Enjoy!

Free (insert random rapper’s name)!!.. Why should we??

After all the “free weezy”, “free tip”, and now recent “free wiz” sightings, it has become more than frustrating to me. Why do these celebrities deserve to be free? So they can’t keep producing the music we all know and love? Nevermind the law and what they did was illegal, free them so we can continue to mimic their behavior and let them be our children’s role models so they will end up in the same predicaments as these people. It makes perfect sense.

I know after a long day at the office or even during work and the car right home we all like to bump a little (insert rapper’s name) to calm us down from the stress of ignorant people. We appreciate the music that they provide for us, but do they deserve special privileges because of it? We are all citizens, and I’m assuming we are all suppose to abide by the law. As of lately, the law has become more harsher on celebrities in order to prove a point that they aren’t special. At the same time, their sentences seem to be a little too hard, for example the sentence that Michael Vick was given. Where do we draw the line between what is reasonable and what is too harsh in order to prove a point?

We know that they are wrong, yet we give them going away parties and say “free them” until they are actually free, where they proceed to go about their lives the way were before. All the while they are still giving you the music you want to hear while being in jail. Nothing in there lives seems to change besides the fact that when they are in jail they can’t do everything they want. I’m going to use the most obvious example for my argument, T.I.

Now this man just spent over a year in jail. We spent that whole time telling T.I. to keep his head up, don’t let it get you down, etc, etc. He puts out inspirational music (Dead and Gone) explaining that he understands that he can’t continue the way he is going, and that he has a family to think about. He also proceeds to create a little documentary of MTV helping youth get their lives back on track. I don’t know about anybody else but I thought that we wouldn’t see anymore trouble out of him after being in jail. Suddenly just a few months after getting out of jail, dude and his new wife get arrested for marijuana possession?!?! Are you kidding me?!?! Wouldn’t it make sense to leave those things alone when you know that you are on parole and you are more likely to be searched and pulled over because of your status?? When things like that happen I continue to no longer feel bad for people. You deserve exactly what you get.

So when our favorite celebrities get arrested which diminishes our hopes for a new single and we proceed to say “free (insert rappers name)!!” think about this one: If you went to jail would anybody be saying “free (insert your name)!!?” I can tell you one thing, you’re favorite rapper definitely won’t be.

Willow Smith: Whip My Hair Official Video

It’s only right that we post Willow Smith’s new music video for Whip My Hair. I absolutely ADORE her daddy, so i’m backing the offspring too. Check it out!

Alicia & Swizz Welcome Baby Boy Into The World

Last night Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Egypt Dean. What’s with celebrities and unusual names?? Anyways, I have reserved opinions about their whole relationship but regardless a new blessing has been brought into the world to be happy about.

What do you guys think about the power couple? Is it true love?…like we ever really know for sure.

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