Saturday, November 13, 2010

Midlife Meltdown: Randomly Reminiscing

Me getting caked on my 21st Birthday

I'll be 24 on the 23rd. Almost 25. Halfway to 50. I'm getting old.

I've never been a follower. Never really tried to be a leader either. I was always just me. The goofy girl who loved to write poems... play basketball... and sleep. But I've changed. Life moved on and I grew up. This ex tomboy who can't seem to master how to walk in heels still opts to wear jeans and screen tees (or spring tees as my bestie Ash likes to call them) became a woman. A woman that some people may no longer recognize. When I look in the mirror while brushing my teeth or attempting to style my now natural hair, I see someone new every single day.

I procrastinate often. Still too shy to speak in front of large crowds... but I long to be heard.

2010 has been quite a reflective year for me. I can't pinpoint what changed me, but I'm different. I feel like another me... if that makes sense.

I've never been arrested.
Never smoked a cigarette... cigar... weed/reefer/blunt/joint etc. (second hand highs don't count)
No tickets.
No babies.

I have a high school diploma AND a bachelor's degree. Two parents who are still together. Happily married. A younger brother who looks up to me...

"They ask me bout pressure/They wanna see my pipe burst."--J.Cole

I lead by example.

I don't watch the news. I read it. I've realized that I can't fix all that's broken... and this world is mighty torn. I step over the fragments to find my way. I'm almost there.

I have a strong desire to inspire.

I can.

I must.

I will.

It doesn't matter how old I am.

My age won't kill the thrill.

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Review: For Colored Girls

For Colored Girls is based on Ntozake Shange's "choreopoem", For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, a collection of 20 poems made famous by her 1975 stage play of the same name. The poems collectively divulge the extremities of conditions that colored women endure with great valor.

Tyler Perry masterfully weaves together the story of eight displaced women who have suffered through various painful circumstances at the hands of careless, inconsiderate, vindictive men. The historic all black cast includes: Kimberly Elise, Janet Jackson, Loretta Devine, Thandie Newton, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Whoopi Goldberg and Kerry Washington.

For Colored Girls is an excruciatingly revealing film that explicates the effect(s) of recurring themes such as violence, betrayal, infidelity, love and fear.

Poetry is an intercoastal language that undoubtedly expresses hidden creative truths. The movie drew much criticism for the realm of difficulty that blending the poems would create, a feat that Perry overcame quite remarkably. The poems are what make this movie so emotionally spectacular. Each woman manifests her own individual desire(s) and distress while reciting some of Shange's poems as soliloquies and monologues with a tang of Spoken Word flavor in mid conversation. Viewers are able to freely witness the fight in these women as they attempt to heal their wounds with words.

For Colored Girls is a must-see... especially for African American women who have lost all hope in a black and white world with no pot of gold waiting at the end of their rainbow.

Notable quotes:

"Ever since I realized there was someone called a colored girl, an evil woman, a b*tch or a nag, I've been trying not to be that."

"You can't love somebody with that much hurt in them."

"Being alive and being a woman, that's all I've got. Being colored is a metaphysical dilemma I haven't conquered yet."

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Drake vs. J.Cole

Hip Hop lives, despite its current washed up state. A cultural movement that music lovers all over the world can identify with in one way or another. Some so-called Rappers have demolished the essence of the genre that defines our existence, but two heavyweight newcomers are fighting to preserve its value.

Thank God for Drake and J. Cole.

Although the bickering over who is the better lyricist may never be settled, at least Hip Hop fans can partake in an argument of substance when it comes to these two.

Drake-Lil Wayne's prodigy: Slumdog Millionaire Bollywood flow, mixed with some R&B flavor.

J. Cole-Jay Z's prodigy: Hardcore lyrics delivered in an articulate fashion.

Drake may have the upper hand when speaking in terms of popularity and record sales, but J. Cole is definitely on the rise.

Who do you think has the most potential? Best lyrics?

Speak your peace.

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bittersweet Indeed

Fantasia reigns as the most successful urban American Idol winner. Since taking the crown back in 2004, her life has been anything but "idolistic". After revealing details of her life before idol, many thought the famed television show would be her ultimate saving grace. She endured rape, teenage motherhood, illiteracy and poverty. But, despite those road blocks, she still rose to stardom. Her first album "Free Yourself" reached platinum status and her second album "Fantasia" fell just short at gold. She was nominated for four Grammys, starred in a lifetime movie based on her life and even gained Oprah's backing when she was asked to play Celie in the Broadway production of The Color Purple. Life couldn't get any better for Fanny...

That's what one could assume while on the outside looking in. Apparently, Fantasia wasn't completely prepared for the type of success she garnered. In an industry full of greed and selfishness, the bottom line is strictly business. Fantasia was dropped by her management company, sued by her father and faced foreclosure on her home. Yet, she still carried on. Footage from her VH1 reality show allowed fans to see the real Tasia... and also how her family took advantage of her fame. It became obvious that Fantasia was taking on more than she could handle. However, she portrayed herself as a fighter, someone who would never give up... no matter how hard things got.

When news outlets received word that she was dating a married man, Fantasia did what every celebrity is trained to do: deny. She deliberately lied even after proof was provided. Intimate photos of her and the "allegedly" married man together and a tattoo of his name on her shoulder. Busted. Fantasia refused to answer any questions pertaining to her love life shortly thereafter. But, when the wife of the "allegedly" married man threatened to sue Fantasia (a legal gesture in Fantasia's home state of North Carolina), she knew that she could no longer lie.

She was at a standstill.

Hurt. Ashamed. Embarrassed. Lost. Tired.

So she "allegedly" attempted to commit suicide by overdosing on aspirin and sleep medication. After being released from the hospital she didn't go into hiding and hope for the whole ordeal to blow over like most doctors would advise in her condition. Why? Because she ironically had an album to promote a week later.

Coincidence or Publicity stunt? Hmmm...

Whatever the case may be, I've always been an avid supporter of Fantasia. I voted for her on American Idol and bought her first two albums.

An artist's personal life and the music they produce are two separate entities that subliminally affect each other. It is extremely unfortunate when negative outbreaks overshadow the time, effort and passion involved in creating a timeless album for fans to enjoy.

Fantasia's third album "Back to Me" is in stores now.

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Just Say No!

Facebook is my addiction. I overdose daily. "They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said no, no, no."

It's funny how such a minuscule conception has grown to become an unbelievably extensive success. Flashback to 2005 when I first joined. I was a freshman at FSU and knew nothing about social networking. My roommate introduced me to what has now become my deadliest sin. Back then, a college email address was required for new users. Fast forward to today. Say hello to underage impostors and nosy family members. Facebook is now Myspace... wearing a cute disguise, covering up the remnants of a copycat scheme. I miss the old days. When it was actually used for networking instead of stalking (Guilty. Blame the news feed). Unfortunately, we have all been psychologically duped. Forcing ourselves to believe that we are using Facebook for its intended purpose, when we have fallen into the traps of a premeditated plan. I like to call it Hallelujah Hypnosis. A secular habit that we praise unknowingly. FML (Forgive Me Lord).

Facebook has ruined many relationships (both romantic and platonic) in the midst of its evolution stages. Poking is supposed to be a playful vice meant to evoke conversation. The status update is supposed to be used as an expressive outlet for one's own personal feelings. But those two features are the prominent sources of many broken hearts and hurt feelings. I've heard numerous stories and witnessed firsthand just how harmful Facebook can be. Who knew networking could be so fatal?

Ponder on the questions below and decide if you need to go to rehab. I'm still Amy Winehousing it...

What can someone's profile picture disclose about them?
When you poke someone, what are your real intentions?
Are your status updates too personal?
Is it safe to reveal who you're in a relationship with... where you work... where you're from... what school you attend?


You be the judge.

Monday, March 15, 2010

American Idol

American Idol Season 9 got off to a rocky start, and a meager top 12 has been chosen. This season has introduced many changes... and early surprises. Paula Abdul decided not to return and Ellen DeGeneres was named as her replacement. Simon Cowell proclaimed that this will indeed be his last season and once again viewers have witnessed the foolery of a secret, organic society that obviously values looks and personality over talent.

I've been a fan of American Idol since season 1 and in my opinion, this is the worst season of contestants... EVER! The first time in AI history that so-called singers (who lack personality) have struggled to find their niche... choosing irrelevant songs, missing key notes and having no sense of style whatsoever (only a couple contestants are excluded from said observations). Keep in mind that I'm speaking on the selection of contestants as a whole and I have reason to believe that the judges are sipping something other than coke from their frequently advertised Coca-Cola cups. Although I am highly disappointed with the way this season is progressing so far, I will still be watching. Not voting. Just watching... and critiquing.

Fun Fact: I tried out for American Idol last year. Shocker.

Examine the contestants briefly below:

Aaron Kelly--Age: 16, From: FL
Andrew Garcia--Age: 24, From: CA
Casey James--Age: 27, From: TX
Crystal Bowersox--Age: 24, From: OH
Didi Benami--Age: 23, From: TN
Katie Stevens--Age: 17, From: CT
Lacey Brown--Age: 24, From: TX
Lee Dewyze--Age: 23, From: IL
Michael Lynche--Age: 26, From: FL
Paige Miles--Age: 24, From: FL
Siobhan Magnus--Age: 19, From: MA
Tim Urban--Age: 20, From: TX

Favorite Girl--Crystal Bowersox
Favorite Guy--Lee Dewyze

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm Black and I'm Loud

Black History Month is coming to an end and I haven't participated in any traditional tributes or studies like I used to do in grade school. I still beat myself up for not knowing every single Black History fact, but each year is a new opportunity to discover and learn something new...

I took my brother to visit Bethune-Cookman University today. When he told me that he wanted to attend an HBCU, I initially tried to talk him out of it. I'm a selfish sister. I get caught up in the excitement of preparing him for life after high school, reminiscing about how eager I was at that time and I constantly forget that the choice is his, not mine.

Three of my best friends graduated from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU). I was accepted to FAMU, but I chose to go to Florida State University instead. I wanted to really experience college, escaping the atmosphere of life that I was more than familiar with. However, I found myself migrating over to FAMU's campus quite a lot. I'm totally satisfied with the education that I received at FSU and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience there, but I often wonder if I would have chosen to attend FAMU if I would be any different.

I'm perplexed by the fact that I didn't realize just how meaningful HBCUs are to their communities until now. On the tour of BCU, I witnessed just how much they value preserving tradition for future African American leaders of the world.

I'm a little disappointed in myself for doing what I hate for others to do to me. Stereotyping. Yes, I'm black and yes, I was raised in the hood. However, I'm not like every other black person you know. I don't succumb to what others believe me to be based on the color of my skin.

I place(d) every HBCU in a category, assuming that they're all unprofessional, boisterous and ghetto. My bad.

I hope my brother makes the best decision for himself... and if he chooses an HBCU, I'll still be a proud sister.

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Be Mine

Cupid deserves to be shot (with his own arrow). Injecting humans with false hope and dreams of a love-me-ever-after is a crime. However, Valentine's day is right around the corner and this year I just might be spending it alone. Sucks and soothes at the same time.

Love is a mere four letter word, but it packs a heavy load. It reciprocates its own meaning... i.e. A crush can eventually leave you crushed. But, it's still a beautiful thing and I'm glad I had the opportunity to experience it.

Furthermore, those who are currently experiencing love's blissful attributes are probably looking forward to February 14th. Chocolate. Flowers. Expensive dinner. Stuffed animals. Good movie. Romance. Period.

As I type this, I'm now realizing just how overrated Valentine's Day is. One should not have to be reassured one day out of the year. Love is a 365 24/7 job that pays you with satisfaction. The pleasure of knowing you have made your significant other happy. For those of you struggling with how to please your mate here's a tip, the little things matter the most.

Happy and safe loving everyone!

*Music is Life.... Poetry is Love*

Friday, February 5, 2010

Super Bowl XLIV

I'm a girl and I love sports so let's talk football...

The 2009-2010 season was full of disappointments and surprises.

Biggest Disappointment: The Jags' losing record
Biggest Surprise: The Saints losing to the Bucs

Super Bowl XLIV is drawing near. Time for predictions and more disappointment. I refuse to predict a winner because each team I chose in the playoffs lost. I rooted for the Vikings down to Brett Favre's interception right before OT. After that, I knew my luck had ran out. I should root for the Colts just because they're in the AFC, but that wouldn't be logical or fair. The Saints have more to play for, but football is about odds...

What are the odds both number one seeds would make it to the big brawl? What are the odds that both teams would have MVP candidate QBs? What are the odds that QB Peyton Manning would be playing against his hometown team? What are the odds that the Colts get the chance to repeat history with a Super Bowl win under an African American head coach?

Coincidence or fate?

Peyton Manning is not much of a scrambler, but he's gotta be the most accurate QB ever. The same can also be said about Drew Brees. Both have a strong defense so it may be difficult for either team to score on the ground. The Colts have a solid O-line, but the Saints will definitely push them to the limit and attempt to go after Manning on each drive.

One thing is for sure, the Who dat nation will be in full effect. Even though they are favored to win, the Colts better be prepared when the Saints go marching in. This is sure to be a good one.

Are you ready for some football???!! Hell yeah!

Indianapolis Colts vs. New Orleans Saints

Sunday 2/7/10

Kickoff 6:25pm

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The IGive

The IGive isn’t just a name… it’s a movement, an expression of deliverance wrapped up in positive messages of love. Greg East wasn’t born to be a star; he was actually raised to be a minister. Growing up in a religiously conservative family, he deviated from his initial calling after discovering a more comfortable format to deliver his motivational words, on a platform that others could appreciate and relate to in a different sense. Connecting those elements, he considers himself to be a Spiricist (a rapper, songwriter, prophet and poet).

Read more here:

Sunday, January 31, 2010

And the Grammy Goes to...

The biggest night in music came and went...

The whole world knows who Taylor Swift is now, even my grandma. Lady Gaga is a creative psycho gone mad and she apparently isn't aware that halloween is in October. Beyonce finally announced to the world that she is no longer a "single lady." Pink obviously wants to join the circus. All Rappers do is curse. Maxwell makes sexy jealous. Elton John is alive. We all know white me can't jump, but Dave Matthews proved that they can't dance either. Jamie Foxx blames it on the alcohol at all times. And finally, country music rules!

Taylor Swift has sold over 10 million copies of her first two albums so she is deserving of every award she gets. However, she should #thankKanye. He helped her crossover. Beyonce won 6 out of 10. She should have won 7. Robbed again. She should #blameKanye. The Black Eyed Peas should battle the Red Hot Chili Peppers for their name because they spiced things up with their performance... <--- #corny. Best performance of the night IMO. Pink was courageous, careful and... CrAzY. Can't believe she pulled that off. #noway. Lil Wayne outshined Drake in his Grammy debut. #typical. Luckily their fans were able to fill in the blanks of the bleeps... while others flipped the channel. The MJ tribute was spectacular. I sooo wish I had some 3D glasses for that. I should have put on a pair of shades like my mom suggested. #blondemoment. All in all, the Grammys were fun to watch. Then again, I am obsessed with celebrities. #dontjudgeme

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just Cause You Got An Opinion Does That Make You A Politician?

The President spoke to the world last night during the annual State of the Union Address. While those in attendance applauded routinely each time he said something to spark a reaction, those watching at home sat back and formed their own opinions (freely) about his plan of action to fix things gone wrong in today's economy.

I've never been a huge fan of politics, resultantly, I will never be the victor of a political debate. However, I did vote for Barack Obama. Not because he's African American, but because I was drawn to his oratory skills and his demeanor. When he speaks, I want to listen. He's relatable, passionate, understanding and fair. I have faith in his words and promises because he actually knows what it's like to be a regular American. Obama exhibits hope and promotes true American values, especially the belief that we are all equal.

"In the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college."
-President Obama

Moving on...

I read a status on Facebook yesterday that bluntly and disrespectfully stated, "fuck Barack Obama and all of his supporters." Pure ignorance on full display and a misapplication of the freedom of speech right. Yes, we can all say what we want, how we want and when we want, but when it becomes unnecessary slander meant to do harm and offend, something is terribly wrong. I personally take offense to stupidity that holds no merit when it is used as a tactic to evoke an emotional response from others.

Dear Facebook friend,

Despite your negativity and lack of consideration for other people's feelings and beliefs, I thank you for inspiring me to write this blog.

P.S. Yes we can!
P.S.S. Fuck you too!

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year's Resolution(s)

New year, same dream(s)...

(in no particular order)

1. Save more than I spend.

2. Become a more devoted Christian.

3. Drink more water.

4. Procrastinate less.

5. Begin writing my novel.

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*