24 November 2008

Taking You Back, Part 2

Taking You Back, Part 2

Hello, All. How was everyone's weekend? Hope well. Mine was okay. I did the going out to the club thing, the staying in thing, the writing thing, the lazy Sunday thing, and the insomniac thing. I have terrible insomnia lately but…that's for another blog entirely. What'd you do this weekend?

It looks as though the first part of this "series" had a theme. Anyone else catch that? While it wasn't my intention, it was pretty cool to see. I think I'll just call the first one, "Taking You Back, Part 1- The Fine Men Joint. What do you think?

As for this part, I'm not too sure I can get a theme together as I'm kinda everywhere in this one. I have decided to do something different though. I'll post three videos from the trip to Memory Lane my brother and I took as well as two requests. Fair enough? Let's start.

Edit: As I was gathering the videos, I ended up changing my mind a bit on this "no theme" thing for this part. This part is easily dividable into many divisions because it's so broad, so let's call this one: Taking You Back, Part 2- Men Groups Do It, Subpart 1…..(That's hella corny, ehn…; I'm at work, so cut me a break). Here we go:

**NOTE: This blog was admittedly more focused on looks lol. (My bad) Soooo I changed it a lil and made it more musically-centered. The corrections are in the light-blue. Enjoy**

Naughty By Nature, Hip Hop Hooray

I really liked this video. This was my little brother's pick. Back when this video was out, I was into the light-skinned dudes (they were popular back then lol) so Tretch didn't really have a shot in my world. Now that he has a shot, he isn't desirable really. Is he still married to Pepa? Now that I look back in time, he was kinda fine….ya know…in a short dark-skinned man kinda way. haha.

I really think that NBN were those rappers that were really socially conscious on a more close to home kinda way. Tretch's flow was super dope and the group's content revolved around more close to home-ish issues rather than socially conscious issues on a more global scale (see: NBN vs. say…Mos Def. They aren't really all that relatable but you get my point). My other fav song by them was "O.P.P." I didn't even know what that meant at the time lol. I think I just liked the beat and the music. I remember in elementary school, some of my homies at recess would just randomly go, "you down with O.P.P?" And the person they were referencing would finish it up with, "Yea you know me". We were small. No way we knew what he was talking about then lol.

De La Soul – Me, Myself, and I

This was my pick. I think Dave was sorta kinda an eensy weensy bit cute back then…for a chubby dude, lol. Maybe I'm just hella particular, who knows…but none of these cats were really handsome. I mean not one. I would like to think that musical groups all have that one member that was at least a little bit um…tempting. But noooo De La Soul had to go and be ultra different. None of yall could get it? Not even Mase? Meh….at least the music was dope.

I really liked 3 Feet High and Rising and De La Soul is Dead. Those albums are old as dirt but I'm really lost on how much they haven't been exposed though. I feel like they should be a lot bigger in the music game. Dope music can never get much play…………these days. lol

A Tribe Called Quest – Check the Rhime

This was my pick. This was my very first ATCQ sighting. Can someone please tell me what I was smoking to think that Fifa was absolutely THAT DEAL?! I mean I was in L-O-V-E with Fifa as a young'n.For real. I think it was because my dad used to pump up Fif all the time when he rapped. Or maybe it was because he sounded so dope when he spit. Or maybe it was because he was literally only five feet tall and my dad told me of the "origin" of his name and he was just interesting to me on that alone. Who knows? I thought he was suuuuuuper dope though. I wonder what happened to him. Q-Tip is still spitting and I love his latest, "The Renaissance" work now. It just came out. GO GET IT!!!

Lyrically speaking, I think that Fife is better than Q-Tip…but again, that's just my opinion. Q-Tip, while a good artist, his flow all kinda sounds the same. Maybe that's just me though…. I don't know…Scenario is also one of my favorite songs from ATCQ. I want them to do another album together...

Oh and…don't make fun of the deaf dude in the group.

Your picks.

En Vogue – Runaway Love (blogger.com site request)

En Vogue still has unmatched voices. I was pretty upset when Dawn decided to put on her Selfish hat and go solo, thinking she'd be bigger than the group…..and take a Fail while she was ahead. Ugh! I hear they are all solo now…or something. * shrugs * I think they were the best all women's group Post-Motown in the history of music. Period. But that's just me. There were imitators though (see: Destiny's Child, Jade, Xscape, etc) but so far no duplicators. It happens, I guess…

On another note, y'all see that hunk of something too nice all topless in the video? Gee-zus. Okay…lemme stop. The beginning of the video reminds me of a scene from Set It Off though.

LL Cool J – I Can't Live Without My Radio (MySpace blog request)

Okay…I love this song. Pure. Wholesome. Good music. Anyone disagree?

LL got MAD hate from rappers everywhere for being so "soft" with his lyrics and content in his music that he eventually came out with "Mama Said Knock You Out" I guess to dip into his "hard persona". Whatever. I loved that song too but…..he was good where he was at before. I figure that just because everyone else was going into hard core rap and being socially conscious or just gangsta rapping (see: Public Enemy [socially conscious] and N.W.A. [gangsta rap], he didn't really have to cave into "mainstream". LL has always been fine and just like his arrogant name states, "Ladies Love Cool James" Was there no room for the hopeless romantic?

He's been around forever and like two days. And he's still fine. * swoons * LL, when you get done with what's her face, gimme a call. I'm old enough now…..

Okay seriously…I really do love LL. I liked Bigger and Deffer and I actually liked 10 (which I really didn't think I'd like at all for some reason). They say that he "blew up" once he got "hard core" (see: Mama Said Knock You Out and 14 Shots to theDome), but personally, he was cool either way. I didn't really care which way he did it, really. His flow was good and he is a pretty good artist. His only mistake, in my opinion, was completely outside of music. It was…….FuBu. I haven't heard his latest one though.

Hit me on a the hip with your requests if you want to see something specific. Til then….Part 3 on Monday…..Stay Tuned…

21 November 2008

Sadness by Jim Rohn

"The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy."


Taking You Back Part 2 on Monday...

17 November 2008

Taking You Back, Part 1

My little brother and I are some true old school hip hop and R&B heads. In a day and age where true musical talent is so unbelievably scarce, he and I like to talk and reflect on the "good old days".

Now granted, he is only 18 and a lot of the artists that we reference were out when he was around….2 years old and I was 7 years old, however, what a lot of people don't know nor understand is…my brother and I were always exposed to the stylings of Heavy D and the Boys, Dr. Dre, Public Enemy, Sister Soldja, Mc Lyte, and yes…even Big Daddy Kane. Some of these artists I just mentioned are even risqué for our elementary eyes and ears, but…that's what happens when you are raised by music lovers.

Our parents are something like oil and vinegar. They are literally polar opposites. However, they both shared an immense love for music…of different time periods. While my mom loved the real oldies music of Jackson 5, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and Minnie Riperton, my dad loved those too…..but also loved 80s and 90s Hip Hop and R&B as well. On Saturday mornings, we'd have a huge clean up day where we clean up the house all day long and while we're cleaning, we'd have combinations of 60s classics all the way down to 90s music blaring on my dad's Radio Raheem-esque stereo that he got when he was in the Army in the 80s. Over time, my brother and I rubbed off on our parents and now we refuse to cave into the powers that be with today's mainstream music…because we know better.

A few weeks ago on a Saturday night, I was at my parent's house. My brother had gotten in from work and we began chatting on one of our favorite subjects—Music. Pretty soon, we started perusing YouTube and taking turns on what we wanted to listen to next. This was only supposed to go on for a few minutes. It went on for several hours. Lol.

Here are a few clips. I'll be taking it back a bit further in more blogs, but this is just a starter. Let's call this: Taking You Back Part 1

Montell Jordan – This Is How We Do It


Montell was one of my baby daddies back in the day. He's like 6'7" and looks good? I'm 5'9" and the tallies have always been on my radar. For me? The taller, the better. This song was hot back in '95. I think it was hot for a lot longer than that though. Where is he at? Anyone know?

Ginuwine – So Anxious

Maaaan who didn't love this song? At the time of this song, while it was more than obvious what he was talking about, I certainly couldn't relate. So I watched and thought, "dang, Ginuwint is FWOINE!" Now though? I can't really type how I react to this song/video now. I figure it's best to keep my squeaky clean image for you folks.

Silk – Meeting In My Bedroom

Again, this is a hit. Where IS this group? That main singer in this song did it for me instantly back in the day with his hair and his dimples and he looks tall too! I fell in love with him in this video and got a little semi-jealous of the girl in it too. That white jacket is FIRE though, isn't it?

Part 2 Coming Soon...

13 November 2008

Temporary Insanity

Temporary insanity

I'm kinda goin insane today. Kinda. Definitely more than usually though.

Soooo……it's pretty well-known how much I love me some Usher and Common, right? They're everything a woman can ask for physically. Usher with his milk chocolate tint and Common with the strength to bring the popularity of the light-skinned brothas back? Lawd! Anyway, as luck would have it, Usher is playing at the House of Blues tonight and I'm broke as hell.

(I swear...I'm in love with a man with a good pork-chop)

(See? Because of him....the light-skinned men have a better shot. Thanks, Common, lol)

It was bad enough that Common had a concert on my birthday weekend and his tickets STARTED at 100 dollars because it was a fund-raiser for his organization. But there was Talib Kweli with him, Floetry, and Bilal (who I saw early this summer but still...)

What the hell?

I've never seen my Usher in concert. And now he's here in Chicago? Not Atlanta? Not Los Angeles? Not even NYC? But HERE? Here, like ten minutes away from my office? Here? In Chicago?

And I have no money? Like broke as hell? Broke like I need a second job? Broke like I can't wait til I get paid tomorrow JUST so I can pay down some of these bills and just HOPE that I can make it through after all the bills are paid?

This can't be life. It just can't be.

You gotta love Facebook. You just gotta love that website. Because of facebook.com, I found out about the concert that my cousin is going to, thought it was at her school and figured that if he was just playing for students at the University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign that I could just drop in for the night or something. (The school is only about an hour and a half away). I ended up being informed that he's actually ten minutes away from the office, talked to my cousin who has been encouraging me to put up the eighty-five dollars to go with her.

Eight-five dollars.

I wanna go, y'all.

But I'm broke.

Some would say "it isn't meant to be" but DAMN THAT! I can't remember the last time that Usher was in CHICAGO. I need to see my "man".

I'm going insane. And I'm mad that I'm broke. Damn economy. Being broke does not pay.....

Can anyone help? Hit my inbox...please...

11 November 2008

The Mass Agree Part 2

The Mass Agree Part 2

I'm nearly a week late, but...so what? It isnt old news. Here we go.

It was very sunny, very bright, and pretty warm outside. Pretty warm for a November temperature, most definitely as weather here in Chicago tends to go through some pretty major temperature changes, oftentimes dropping from seasonably warm weather (mid 60s and above) to blink-of-an-eye drops. This is pretty common 'round these parts. We're all used to it.

However, today...was just a bit different. Today, the sun shone brightly, radiating over the heads of everyone outside, and put a little extra pep in everyone's step. Today marked an odd start to November. Today was Election Day.

Despite the birds that were singing louder than usual, the happy-go-lucky expressions etched across everyone's faces, and the seasonably warm weather, on the inside, while everyone appeared to be in good spirits, people were really nervous. Very nervous. Today was Election Day.

And it wasn't just any Election Day. Today was the official Presidential Election Day which would help to determine who would help to run the reigns of a now troubled country. At no point in this country's history had Election Day been so important. And it wasnt because the current president had run the economy into the ground and below but also because...whoever won the presidency would surely be marked in history.

The United States, known for its vast historical background that revolves around a 400+ year run with the enslaving of Africans now had an African-American candidate running. On the other end, the typical white male...with a White woman as his 2. Either way the race had went, history was no doubt to be made.


On Election Day, I woke up from my sleep amazingly refreshed. For the past week, I had been severely sleep deprived, staying up too late and having to rise to work too early. At around ten o'clock every night, I was always tired, but...I couldnt get to sleep. And if I did? I was sure to awake at the middle of the night to write, read some more of one of the books I am working on, grab a drink of water, go to the bathroom, or talk/text on the phone, or....etc. Insomnia sucks.

But on Election Day? You'd think I got my usual eight hours of sleep and had breakfast to boot. In reality, I didn't get to sleep until around midnight and popped up at around 3am looking in my closet for what I already knew I was going to wear for the Big Day, and signing onto facebook, changing my status to: Mal really needs to take her ass to sleep...but she can't because she's too busy worrying about what she's going to wear for the Big Day. Or something like that.

I was too damn excited. That's for sure.

I took pics, prayed, and held onto a hidden worry all day about the possible results of the Election. At 7 o'clock, the first polls would close and the official count down would start for the Electoral College. I kept this in my mind all day long, looking at the time constantly and becoming silently annoyed with how slowly time seemed to creep forward. For me, 7 o'clock could not get here soon enough.

Work for my company let out at 1pm because we expected heavy traffic in downtown Chicago for the rally held at Grant Park, which is about 5 minutes away from my office by car. By the time 1pm hit, several streets were already closed off for the event that expected to start at 8pm. One of my homies, Randy had asked me to come join him and his son at the rally, but when I looked online for tickets, they were unsurprisingly all sold out. He (Randy) didnt have a ticket either but still wanted to go. As for me? As soon as I got off at 1pm and headed back to my area in the Wild 100s, I couldnt really see myself turning back around in all that traffic. Ugh! So I passed. And promised to watch the rally intently on my screen.

A few hours later, I was at my aunt's house. My aunt had organized a small watch party and after doing some minute running around just to pass the time (I was anxious as hell, y'all), I finally sat and watched the results slowly pour in.

[brief sidebar]

Everyone knows that Obama is my president and that I've been putting him into existence since the beginning of October. With all of the scandals and the information that came out about Palin at the last minute, making voters actually swing from dedicated Republicans to a Barack vote, my worries had actually ceased and a huge part of me wondered just why we had to wait until November 4th when it was soooooooo obvious who would be victor. However...when November 4th came, I'll admit that I humbled myself. Fast. I grew nervous (but not too nervous) and started praying more that day than I have for anything. Ever.

[end sidenote]

I really enjoyed watching this election day unfold on the tv screens. With every state that we (Democrats - Obama - Blue States, duh lol) won, I sent a mass text out to about 7 people at a time. I was waaaaaaaayyy too excited. One of my male homies kept asking me to come over to his place for his watch party but I didnt see a point in that and declined about 4 times. About an hour into the watch, one of my homies texted me to meet her at a bar about 7 minutes away. We text back about the plans and I tell my friend to text or call me when she finally gets home (she was on her way back from church and wouldnt be home for about a half hour).

At about 9:25pm/cst, I decided to head towards the bar. I really didnt want to leave my watch party but I left in order to keep an obligation to my friend and the results that had Obama in the lead (180-75, I believe) were moving very slowly. I wasnt worried at this point. Not at all.

I get to the bar, find my friend, and we wait outside. In a long line. As stupid as it was for me to leave my party to go to a bar just to wait in line, it was even more idiotic for me to stay in said line for about 10 minutes, to which case the line never moved. All within that time, I'm shaking now, texting people and asking them what the score was like it's a Lakers v. Celtics Championship game.

A minute after I send the text out...literally ONE minute after I send the text out, people in the line go (in unison), "YAYYYYYYYYY!!!!" My face, now blank, goes, "what happened?" I had just read a text from my friend Joy who reported the same tally of electoral votes that there were when I left the house about 20 minutes before.


I wanted to shout and get completely out of character but....I didnt. My homegirl and I just left the line, said we'd talk later, got in our cars, and went back to our homes.

As soon as I get in the car, I call my homie Ronnie and was way too excited. He didnt seem all that impressed.

It was then that I noticed my Cool leaving me. Right at this exact second.

As soon as I get off the phone, my phone immediately starts blowing up with calls. One of them was Jen. As soon as I answered Jen's call, "AHHHHH HE WON, GIRL!" was all I could say. I had been at a stop light and dancing in my car to a song I dont even remember now. All I know is...Obama won. And I was very quickly losing my mind.

When I get back to my aunt's house, my aunt and my grandmother were on the phone with my mom. I was on the phone with Joy. It was all too much. The excitement got the best of me and I got off the phone....and cried. When Obama won PA, I cried a little. But this? This was different. I looked at my 80, going on 18 year old grandmother who sat comfortably talking to my mother on the phone about everything, while she wiped tears of joy from her face. She has told me so many stories of her own bouts with race that she's experienced and seeing the first African American president (mixed or not) is something out of a dream. As soon as I saw her and her reaction, I immediately wished that my other grandparents had seen such an achievement. My grandmother is the only one left and this was huge for her!

I knew right then that I may not be able to write at all the next day. The feeling was incredibly surreal.

And as usual...I couldn't sleep. I was too excited and I needed to make sure that this was real. I couldnt believe it. We have our first African-American President of the United States and............the mass agreed.

Part 3 Coming Soon....

05 November 2008

The Mass Agree Part 1

I've actually been trying to write a blog all day. Fact is, I am way too in my emotions about this. I am too happy. I am too estatic. I am too overjoyed, overwhelmed with excitement, and overemotional about the last several days. I have not been this emotional all year long. I just....havent.

(God, I love this man)

So...since I am at a loss for words, I need some time. I need some time to let it all sink in. I need some time gather my words together. I need some time to get my "Cool" back....because I've definitely lost it since 11pm cst. Trust.

Please stay tuned. And here's a small clip. Enjoy. LOL


04 November 2008

Barack the Vote!

Let’s see here—12:42pm. I have 18 minutes before I’m busting out of the workplace and continuing on with my day—Election Day.. Ahh what a beautiful day it is.

I actually told myself yesterday that I was done writing on politics and this whole thing until tomorrow at least. But I can’t pull away from it. Not this go ‘round.

I feel so wholesome this election season. It’s an indescribable feeling that leaves me filled up and whole within every orifice in my being. My soul feels a divine sense of worth and belonging—something I’ll admit that I never truly felt until this election season.

I absolutely love the changes that Obama has made already, without having stepped foot in the White House yet. I love him with a passion—to the core of my being. And why? I love him because he isn’t just a Black man wanting to paint the White House brown and making changes his way, but because he’s smart and brilliant. A man that sees the severity of the change needed and is willing to work towards achieving such tremendous change, not for him, but for the good of Americas as a whole.

Michelle should really feel like the most blessed woman in the world.

Through all of the scandal, the media attention, and lies and stretched statements that starters have tried time and again to make Obama out to be a force to fear, he has pulled through, risen above it all, and remained standing tall. You cant help but grin in his direction or whenever you hear his name. Just his name alone has the ability to leave you (or at least myself) with a filled heart that I can’t ignore.

Today in downtown’s Grant Park, Obama will have a rally that is expecting something like a million people from all over the nation. Right now, some streets are closed and things are bound to get crazy pretty soon, especially tonight. I do not have a ticket to get into the event but I know that I can still make it. I haven’t decided whether I’ll be there or not but one thing’s for sure: I’ll definitely be bookmarking this moment in history. Today, I will be taking pictures of everything. Tomorrow I will too. Call it a Before and After show of sorts. I am expecting things to change somewhat 180—all within a matter of hours.

I can’t wait.

I’m going to wrap this up now. It’s almost time to catch my train outta here. If you haven’t voted yet…………Please go and do so. The time is now for change.