Saturday, December 31, 2005

So eye am preparing our temple(s) for the New Year. We cleaned the house (well, mostly) for more than half of the day. There's something about waking up on the first in a centered environment not cluttered by "stuff".

The desire to attend a worship service has intensified over the last few days. Eye need to be in the company of a rejoiceful energy this evening. Eye feel so hopeful about the prospects of another documented "fresh start".


Friday, December 30, 2005

Habari gani?
::Nia! (Purpose)

For Ujamaa, we patronized one of the popular soul-food eateries in town. Harpers- to be exact. The restaurant is owned by one of Nashville's career congresswomen (Thelma Harper) and her husband, who won a discrimination suit against BP some years back. The restaurant is located on the historic and recently rejuvenated Jefferson Street between the campuses of Fisk University, Meharry Medical College, and Tennessee State University (my alma mater). Three vegetable plates proved for the first time to not be sufficeint for the appetites of our growing family, so eye ate light so that everyone else could fill their bellies. Eye was mostly there for the event anyway, so it didn't affect me all that much. Plus, you know that macaronicheese & overcooked greens don't really fit into the wholistic diet. But it was tasty! Magnificent took to the turnip greens; Kana the cherry cobbler; Zeke the green beans; and Kush showed no particular bias. Dwight seemed to clear his plate in one bite. Ujamaa at it's finest!

My husband & eye were even noticing how Ujamaa was reflected on David Letterman last night when this year's Heisman recipient, Reggie Bush came out to read the night's Top Ten list (perks of Winning the Heisman Trophy), wearing Sean Jean. That's pimpin', Sean!

We're now preparing to go to a birthday party this afternoon. We never have been the type of parents to spend a million bucks for the commercial kid-go-crazy-buck wild-fun centers (i.e. Chuck E. Cheeses, Showbiz Pizza, Circus World). No discrimination against those that do, but it's just not our idea of a personal earthday celebration. Something feels so wrong about spending what should be an intimate moment in the company of a crowd of strangers. Thanks to good friends who continue to invite us to share in their b-day outings, our seeds will spend the afternoon running senselessly, which should set the mood for a quiet night of rest. How thankful eye would be for a quiet night!

Eye finally finished my "Year End" list for Urbansmarts. Eye missed the deadline last year & quite frankly thought eye had for 2005, when a letter appeared up in my box requesting my last-minute contribution. It's always a blessing to be thought of in times like these. Thanks again, Tadah. Look for a link later-on...

All praise to the creator for purpose & the wisdom to recognize. Are you aware of your purpose as you plot this wayward journey? Or are you wandering aimlessly in pursuit?


Habari gani?
::Umajaa! (Cooperative Economics)


Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Why am eye even awake at 1:30 a.m? Had eye simply followed my body's orders, the hogs would be gathered around by now. But instead, here eye sit, in my office, fighting back tears. Just moments ago, as eye tiptoed through the pitch-black kitchen on my way upstairs, eye suddenly tripped and at once found myself flying across the length of the room without a wingspan.

As always, the first instinct is to look down to find the culprit. And owl be (Southern dialect)! That darn libation plant was still in the middle of the floor from earlier in the night when our oldest son proudly poured his heart out to his ancestors along with the pure, crystal liquid.

It almost feels blasphemous to harbor anger about the moment when eye may have broken my toe, since the beautiful greenery was left in the center of the room by way of a (w)hol(l)y experience. But, shoot...That hurt like hell! Seems the demons needed their fair share of attention, too.

Well, they [do not exist] are not going to stop me from working through this night. It is imperative that the Oriana lee MySpace Music Page be up and running in the next days. Eye am anxious to start sharing sound flavor from the EP. Eye don't plan to add friends to that space, but only utilize it for the MP3 capabilities - via my current page. Hopefully, all will coordinate to make this a reality by the 1st.

One love!


On the verge of sleep. On the verge on work. All at once.

This day has been most productive. This day was most exhausting. All at once.

Currently listening to the Oriana lee EP. Currently listening to the local Watson's Spa Commercial. All at once.

Anticipating my dreams. Dreading my mares. All at once.

Habari gani?
::Ujima (Collective work & responsibility)

We started our morning with the intention to light our candles, but were prevented due to faulty homemade kinara cups. Somewhere in the molding and baking process, a few of them came loose and left red & green candles laying to the side. Oh well, we kept it moving...

We went on to thoroughly clean our school following a discussion about the importance of working together & being responsible for our selves. During that activity, we decided that we should spend a portion of our day gathering Magnificent's gently used baby items & preparing them for give-away. The proud recipients : Nashville Rescue Mission. Kana has been wanting to "help the homeless" for the past two holiday season's. She put in her bid once again this year and won. Our daughter is such a wonderful being.

Word came today that the "Oriana lee EP" will be distributed in Japan in the upcoming months. Who? (You might ask.) Wouldn't you like to know. Well, let's just say that until the check clears, eye would rather sit on that info. You all know good & well how things tend to change up in this business. But when all is definitive, you will be the first to read the news - right here. Word up!


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Habari gani?
::Kujichagulia! (Self- determination)



Monday, December 26, 2005


Habari gani? (What's the news?)
::Umoja! (Unity!)

Happy Kwanzaa, beautiful people. Peace to you & yours. We spent the morning painting the zawadi (gifts) for our family & friends. This year we crafted everyone a homemade kinara (candleholder) for the seven candles (red, black & green) that represent the Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles). Again, today we celebrate unity. It's fulfilling to come together as a unit for the sake of enriching the lives of others. The children were very proud of their contributions. Can't say we (the KING & eye) did not benefit, as well.

In my short-lived, long pursuit of happiness, it seems that some days breed more insecurity than others. The holidays, with all the good cheer & spirit, also contribute to anxiety that causes me not to enjoy certain moments due to the gastric problems surrounding this ulcer. For hours at a time, my stomach bubbles like seltzer water. It handicaps me to a degree, forcing me to sit still or either pay the price for trying to be up in the mix. It's amazing what too much stress will do to your body...well, your mind & spirit, too. Don't get it twisted.

"I know you see me shinin', but it ain't all glamorous."


Sunday, December 25, 2005

iTunes Jesus Party Mix

1. Now Behold The Lamb/ Various Artists
2. Closer (Bonus Track)/ Count Bass D
3. The Lord Is Back/ Eugene Mcdaniels
4. I Love The Lord, He Heard Me Cry (parts I & II)/ Donny Hathaway
5. The Battle Is The Lord's/ Yolanda Adams
6. What Price/ Oleta Adams
7. Brokenhearted/ Kirk Franklin
8. Lord Help Me/ Donny Hathaway
9. I Know Who Holds Tomorrow/ Kelly Price
10. Holy Is The Lamb/ Oleta Adams
11. I Will Love You/ Oleta Adams
12. If You're Willing/ Oleta Adams
13. Victory/ Various Artists
14. I L-O-V-E U/ Take 6
15. He Reigns (The Medley)/ Various Artists
16. Lord I Believe/ The Winans
17. Finders Keepers/ The Winans
18. Time After Time (The Savior Is Waiting)/ Take 6
19. God Is Love/Marvin Gaye
20. Come And Walk With Me/ Oleta Adams
21. Let Us Worship Him/ Yolanda Adams
22. Come Unto Me/ Take 6


Saturday, December 24, 2005


Just yesterday, it came to me to refer to myself as old - finally. It has become a fairly regular occurrence to suddenly admit this little known fact. When you see artists on MTV that you see fit to mention as, "Thin Slug" on MTV, you know you have an aging problem.

**Names have been changed to better suit the original purpose of the post


Friday, December 23, 2005


If you think that somebody in this United States of America is not making big bucks on this day, then you just carry yourself on down to your local mall, Wal-mart, Target and get a feel for what eye am sayin'. Xmas falls on the weekend. And you know how we love to shop on the weekends. That's what those breaks in the work week are for, right? Not to rest; but to spend up that check. Word up!

Seeing as how eye am my own boss, perhaps eye should take myself to task about not having a check to blow. My spending cheer will go to keeping our vehicle in our possession (carnote due) and the rest to candles for the Kinara(s) that we'll be making tomorrow as a family project.

Magnificent recently broke the heirloom piece that Dwight made for our first Kwanzaa celebration 5 years ago, so we'll be making a new one for our household. We're also going to design several for our other family members, which will be our holiday contribution - in gift form. We started making our "love offerings" in 1999 and have followed the tradition ever since. We don't make any big purchases in the name of the "season, but we do create wonderful pieces worth a lifetime of love. The children so value the experience, and it gives them great joy to use their artistic talents to delight their relatives. Eye am getting so excited just typing about it!


Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Just a few hours ago, eye did an interview for Synthesis Magazine. Good looks, Corey!
Interviews are really good for gathering your thoughts and ideas as you would have them represent you eternally. Where casual one-on-one questioning sometimes lends itself to babble and brainstorm, knowing that the entire world will potentially read your careless drunken babble will clean it all up real quick. Word up!

Speaking of glossies, Susan Taylor seemed to basically vanish from the pages of Essence Magazine almost immediately following the buyout/merger . Eye have yet to hear anyone address this, but a few months ago (following the announcement) she wrote an editorial assuring readers that her role in the company would not change and neither would the format. Well, so much for the first promise. That's the business. Ya heard! " the bone." We wish her well in her future endeavors. Essence can't possibly capture it's own without her contribution.

Our oldest child, daughter "Nane", has finally reached an age where our unorthodox lifestyle concerns her during the massive holiday season. She has arrived at a place where she knows that what we provide for her is the best possible (as we know it), yet the commercial campaign advocating gift-giving from the true capitalistic perspective has become a measure of the various ways in which she is SOOOOO different from her peers.

Yesterday, she expressed to me that she sometimes feels left out because we don't celebrate Christmas (Solstice) or other Pagan-based holidays (i.e. St. Valentines's Day, All Hallow's Eve). We happened to be at the post office, where the line stretched out the door with patrons hugging last-minute presents for their friends and loved ones. She remarked that everyone seemed "so happy" and in her mind, attributed their joy to the boxes in their arms.

My first instinct was to remind her of the undermining ploy to raise U.S. economics. But, she knows that stance all too well already. We address advertising and marketing strategies on a regular basis, so it just didn't seem to me that repeating myself would drive home the point. Not like it should.

What eye ultimately decided to present was a perspective that reassured her that we (our little family) are as much a part of this festive season as anyone else. That just because we do not participate in X-mas shopping and that the box in our company was stuffed with 25 packages fit for the stocking - but being mailed with the intention of promoting Something To Cope - she musn't consider herself an outsider.

Eye reminded her first that long-lasting gifts are intangible. Then, eye explained that she should feel proud of the fact that she truly evokes the spirit of the holiday season in a way that most grown-ups fail to ever grasp. It was imperative that she know that while spending your paper money on another individual may show favor and appreciation to a degree, it's the way you treat people that lasts over time. To buy a new "something" for "someone" signifies only that we are willing to share with another outwardly. Yes, the purchase may indeed stem from a place occupied by love, but if the behavior of the actual individual does not reflect a loving-posture in times when they are not giving, then the gift will eventually be reduced to just another "something" that "someone" gave.

Say a philanthropist gives a hard-working disadvantaged black youth a million dollars to get out of the ghetto, hoping that they will take the money and carve out a better path for themselves. The only commitment requested of the individual is that they maintain supporting contact with the giver and always threats them in a loving and respectful manner. For some strange reason, everytime the youth comes in contact with the "good Samaritan" and attempts to fulfill their agreement, the gift-giver engage them in a condescending manner. They may yell at them when they feel that the money isn't being properly spent. They might ignore their calls or worse, intentionally hang the phone up in the middle of a conversation that they dislike. They might even begin to break appointments and sabotage all attempts for the youth to maintain proper contact.

Now some might argue that the youth should just be so grateful to get the duckets, that it shouldn't matter how the patron treat them. The youth has an opportunity to succeed in a world where the odds have always been against them. And that makes a tiny bit of sense if your perspective in shaped by money. Just so happens that my perspective is usually more wholistic, believing that mind, spirit, and body are the true indicators of whether any particular situation is successful or not.

All praise to THE CREATOR.

What happens to the mind of a young black disadvantaged youth treated so disrespectfully? What does yelling do to a person's spirit? How does remaining in a monetarily generous relationship affect an individual's health if their mind is unhealthy because of it? It is my belief that all things work together for the greater good, but that all too can work dissonantly to the greater demise of any person.

It is my desire that we as a people break the spending cycle and really do hone in on what it means to give - really. What we "give" a person to feed their spirit is firm nourishment that continues to multiply beyond that of a price tag, that which tends to devalue over time. This year, my goal is to be a part of the festivities only as much as it feeds the spirit - be that me to another or to my advantage. There is not a single purchase they eye feel like eye can't eventually make from hard work and saving. That's the American way - overcoming financial obstacles. So monetary contributions, while they may aid, simply do not impress me anymore.


Do we really need portable DVD players, gift cards and home dry-cleaning machines? Who knows? Eye just know what eye need...


Sunday, December 18, 2005


It's only today that eye finally understand the significance of the Nashville Chess Center in our lives. And it does go beyond those sinful, sweet treats that the children purchase each week with a considerable amount of their allowance...

...So as my husband is setting up a studio session with a particular musician in town, the conversation comes to include discussion about a genius child protege in town that he believes he has discovered. Just so happens, that after much description of the young man, Dwight realizes that he knows the young lad of the hour. Probably the only near adult that we do know? Just so happens that during this same discussion, we're multi-tasking while preparing sandwiches for the children to eat before leaving for their Sabbath science.

Genius child protege (in discussion)=Son of the chess center director

eerie right? Eye know. What's the likelihood?

The energy surrounding this facility is bigger than Kings AND Queens.
The energy surrounding CountBassD is bigger than Hiphop.


Saturday, December 17, 2005

See. It's Sunday again tomorrow. Time to take the children to the chess center. It's always time to take them to the chess center. Geez...

Today was Kana & Zeke's monthly class at the Frist Arts Museum. The educational outreach department offers a valuable program to the community for free "Art Saturdays". It's best to reserve space in advance (just in case it fills quick), but they surprisingly accept walk-ups, so long as seating permits. Hi, Ms. Ashley!

This creative outlet for them grants me a free visit to the museum monthly. Not that eye could not go otherwise, seeing as how Writehanded has been one of the museum's press partners since 2003. But it's a much more lowkey experience to tour the exhibits as a "Parent-Chaperone". My advisory sticker actually reads : Frist Center School Tours Chaperone. So of course everyone is looking at me like eye am SOMEBODY, in a way different than when eye have visited on "Press Days". To be a parent...

BTW - Freethinking technology "Macks" use Mac. Hardware "Squares" prefer PC's = Microsoft. Which are you?


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Posting poses such a problem during this period. Seems darn near impossible to just maintain decent communication. Even checking my voicemail has become a hassle. It's a vicious cycle. Too busy to answer, therefore messages build. Voicemail becomes full that no one can even post their request. So then there are so many there's really not free time enough to sit through 10-12 NEW messages, not to mention having to first hear all of the old SAVED messages. ARGH!

Well, eye survived the process this morning. Voicemail on "e". Feel free to contact me today knowing that even if you don't catch me, you will have space to make your presence or presents known. At least until the space fills again.

YO! Randall won on The Apprentice last evening. GO BLACK MAN, GO BLACK MAN GO! Isn't it odd that we still live in a society when seeing the Brother victorious in a system where odds are opposing can bring about a sense of accomplishment for the American Afrikan culture? Would any self-respecting Black American truly feel comfortable among the hierarchy of the colonialized and capitalistic world? Though the opportunity is a relative advancement for "the people", it also points to the complacency of some of "the community".

All told, it is what it is, and that's the point. Randall's laid-back leadership style can only get him so far in an industry of "hammerheads" and "meatcleavers". For now though, his most personable, lovable personality will get him beyond the threshold. There's nothing more appealing in European-based business than a passive Brother. Just don't be a doormat, Randall. That's my advice to the "good guy that my son Zeke and eye have championed for weeks now from afar.


Sunday, December 11, 2005


Why is it always time to take the children to the chess club? They only go on Sunday afternoons, but it feels like it's always here. Maybe because we no longer have the diversions of the other extracurricular to help move the week along. As soon as afternoon hits, the oldest two start the scurry in search of loose change to feed the sugary snack cup at the Nashville Chess Center. This is where we allow them to go to coat their sweet tooth & condition them for the next week of junk-free fuel.

We're going on a skool fieldtrip to the Adventure Science Museum on tomorrow. Even though the exhibits are pretty standard & hardly even rotate accordingly, our children look forward to going with an intensity unmatched. Perhaps because they have been going since their toddler years, it's the familiarity that has them open. Children really value comfortability. Frankly, that's probably what eye most get out of taking them over & over & over again.


Friday, December 9, 2005


With all of the work that my husband & eye do to get ahead in this industry, it's nice to be recognized for the effort from someone, at some time - no matter how casual. ALL PRAISE TO THE CREATOR. For us, the work that we put is not solely for the purpose of feeding ourselves digestive nourishment, but as a debt to our artistic nature and a primary sacrifice to our God-body.

Oriana lee has been fortunate to put a great many years in the game. My hands have touched nearly every aspect. My husband has been a recording artist since 1991 - when he first appeared on Me Phi Me's debut album, so let me assure you: he is no punk when it comes to the rules and regulations. Nah...this is real. Us, together - forget about it! When it comes to bizness, we rely on Maat for complete guidance. The rest just happens in a cohesive fashion. Roughly 99.999 percent of the time.

So those who know, don't usually step to us wrong. Some folks actually chose not to deal with us at all simply because they know what it is. Then there's those who just have such a blatant lack of respect for the game that they force us to lay down our goon hand. They don't understand it coming from the mind- spitting it from the heart. They want to see that you have the ability to act a fool. We both severely dislike this "necessary evil" strategy, because we usually end up feeling out of character and wishing "it didn't even have to go down like that".

Really. Confrontation has frustrated me since childhood. Some who might know me might say that's moot, but it's really the truth. Shame the devil. Fact is that an early age confrontation became a mild habit that eye learned from the women in my family. This is to say nothing bad of them because my grandmother and mother were a dope team, but they were as many Black American women who have been beat down repeatedly by this system. Proud, loud and demanding. Moving confrontation was a key tool for emotional survival. The need to confront does not stem from an ugly place in this instance, but a familiarly fearful one. It becomes a survival skill.

Dwight and I have finally come to overstand that being on top in the entertainment industry means having to deal with people referring to you as an asshole out of context due to their lack of understanding. This epiphany is most uplifting, while still a crushing realization for a pair of kids from the ghetto who saw Hiphop as a surefire path away from the struggle.

Never mind. So long as the top assholes do feel the point.


This business will smoke you like an Optimo if you let it. You know, real slow like. But burning all the while. You find yourselves in situations where cats will rob you without even a BB gun pointed at your dome; screw you in the rear without a prophylactic or lube, as they [do not exist] say. Straight jacking for verses, tracks, publishing, writer's credit, hotel rooms, performance fees, appearance fees, jewelry, individual lyrics, mixes, remixes...whatever's up for grabs, more or less. It is sometimes disheartening to face having to soak in what often reeks of a cesspool in order to provide even a decent lives for the offspring. What jolts most is knowing that "it ain't even gotta be like that."

Why do those who are the kindest find themselves most used, abused and mistreated? We all find ourselves in the bully role in certain instances, knowing that if we just do the right thing we could make life a little easier for the next man. But, somehow many of us lose focus from time to time and eventually find ourselves remorseful and apologetic. But then there are those who get out of focus and continue down a blurry road of stepping on the next person until it becomes the norm and you may as well write them off as blind at that point.

Eye am still having trouble finding comfortability in such practices. Eye am still unable to see the justice in such treatment.


Wednesday, December 7, 2005


Before long, we are going to have nothing "safe" to eat unless we grow it in our own backyard. This theory about soy being as poisonous as swine has finally been released from the inner vegan circles & unleashed on the populace. Years ago, eating "healthy" was all about soy. First tofu; then soy milk. Texturized Soy (Vegetable) Protein, affectionately nicknamed TVP. Morningstar burgers. Soy strips. Soy (ice) cream. Soy Slices. Shreds. Sausage. Chips? You can even indulge in the seasonal soy (egg) nog - rum not included.

As a parent, this issue gives me great guilt. A similar indecisiveness arouses when it comes to vaccinations, too. It's like...Dwight & eye spend so much time shaping the children's lives for the best. From day one, we committed to continually giving this gift until the end. But, life in general is so confusing now. Sometimes we may think that we are giving them the best possible, while finding ourselves undermined by a code of ethics that contradict our own. We are often forced to accept "that's just the way it is" as the all in all. End. All.

Well, right now, the babies & eye are catching the Wednesday night, reality-show line-up. These are our guilty pleasures. Martha Stewart's The Apprentice is on right now. You can tell about how little attention eye am paying. But, Kana(8) & Zeke(nearly 7) are glued. Eye am just not impressed - seriously. However, eye did catch the last half-hour of America's Next Top Model. Once again, the judges were inches away from choosing a model of mixed heritage. But, to our surprise, they patriotically chose the All-American chic.

Tyra Banks (+1)= Guest List for MF DOOM / CountBassD show tonight in L.A.


Monday, December 5, 2005


Remember to catch Count on tour with MF DOOM from December 5 through December 17. Check dates and cities.



Saturday, December 3, 2005


It seems that soon after Roger Troutman was brutally murdered a few years ago by his brother, bandmate & business partner, Larry Troutman, the world of Hiphop turned its back on a legendary contributor to the genre. Think: California Love & the whole commercial west coast rap sound. Too bad Roger & backing band, Zapp, have no quality supporting links to follow, but do your own search to piece together their funky story. Or should that ready fonky? This here though is pretty funny: Roger Troutman Online.


How much is parental commitment worth? Is it normal for parents to make promises to their children & then regularly back out - even partially? Is it disrespectful for a child to request fair & loving treatment from their parent? Is this what the Bible means by obey your parent? Is it wrong to question your parent's motives at any time? Eye have never had a "normal" relationship with either parent, so eye genuinely do not know what's considered regular.

Weigh in with your thoughts:

Psychology teaches us that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Therefore, more often than not, we can guess how a particular person will act based on how they have in previous experiences. Keeping this in mind when we find ourselves in guarded situations will prevent us from making decisions that will potentially expose our vulnerability. Eye am learning to trust my gut instinct in these circumstances. This is my Saturday morning epiphany.

All praise & thanks to my Granny for teaching me how to be a great mother by her example. She truly did sacrifice all for the sake of her family, and you just don't find that type of grandmother anymore. Even on her meager income, she would be of financial assiatance however she could to keep things moving for all involved. She even lessened her work week at times to help me finish school, so that the life that we are providing for the babies now would be possible. She jumped at any opportunity to spend time with her children & grandchildren because family first was truly her life & not a concept. Most importantly, she never stopped mothering me, even as an adult. She gave me much advice that was not requested & knowledge that my mind was too young to grasp at times. For these things, my gratitude is abundant! It would have been nice to have appreciated her more in those times. Hindsight is indeed magnifying.

Last week was my first visit to her burial site. It was a really bugged experience. Here swell the tears...more in a bit.


Friday, December 2, 2005

Join us in Hartford, Connecticut @ UCONN (9 p.m.) on Saturday, December 3, for performances featuring CountBassD & Jneiro Jarel. Though this is primarily a business trip for me, as always, the King & eye will surely enjoy our time away. Our time together. It is so incredibly overwhelming to see our dreams & pursuits all coming to fruition at once.

We have been together for 12 years. We have both been working in the business for at least that long. We decided to see Count on top in 2000. This is when my career as a freelance journalist morphed into a part-time publicist position, which soon snowballed into a fulltime, exclusive management job. In 2004, eye decided to narrow my scope of work & clients to focus solely on he who eye believe in most.


In only two years, ALL PRAISE BE TO THE CREATOR, we have come full circle in our initial endeavors. The Oriana lee EP is finally scheduled to drop mid-month with the launch of the Unchaste belt line. Visit for more info. Click Music.

Catch CountBassD on tour with DOOM beginning December 5 in Austin, TX.

To the folx: Thanks for the loving response...


Thursday, December 1, 2005


We are back in the office after a 5-day family vacation. No rest for the weary. At least, not any more hot tubs or jacuzzi's to aid anyway. But it's cool. Our get-away was fie! We chilled mad hard. The babies had a blast!

December 1st happens to be the start of my new year.