Introduced to her awesomely "REAL" writings back in the day, by one of my bestest girlfriends, asha bandele continues to get me open. She's been on my radar again for the last few months since eye replyed to a tweet in which, writer (& much more) dream hampton shouted her out on her born day.
There exists just enough online content for you to do your history if you're not already hip, but seems sister could use a website to boutique her works and goings-on. Some of us are still anal url-ing. An artist of any kind not having a website is like being virtually homeless. Still, seeing it more than eye care to these days. Maybe eye can find a way to make a difference. Maybe...
Anyway, ended up checking the following two part video in the pursuit. One more cool point for asha. NO ONE is more of a sucker for the library than moi. Ha! Right? She's the real deal literary appeal.
*REAL TALK 1* Personal access to so many of the amazing, accomplished writers that have inadvertently mothered/fathered my style, absolutely BLOWS my mind! Dealing with short bursts of wanting to geek at times. Real talk.
Nothing like true to life supporters. Great folks who exalt you in moments when you need that outsourced energy the most. Just because. No prompting. No prodding.
After finding myself in a situation where thinking will be the dominant activity of my next days, eye will have the time & opportunity to send many boosts of energy through thoughts & prayers. You all are on my mind & in my heart. Always. Know this in my absence from these virtual grounds.
Watch this video for your healthy heaping of daily bread. What an awesome display of love.
It pleases me greatly to announce that there are a few quality R&B gems in commercial radio rotation...right now at least. With past behavior being the best predictor of future behavior, it's to early to place a fair bet on this as the beginning of a paradigm shift, but hearing well-written songs certainly does make me nostalgic anymore.
Yeah, older folk say it all the time, "Back in my day, we had real music." It gets to be redundant when all you know is what you have to reference as music is what YOU know. But once you live & grow a little older, it becomes evident that the times really are a'changin'. "When eye was a child"...life was about maintaining a respectable quality in all things made, developed & created.
But not now...
Most of our manufactured goods are made in Asia or Mexico for cheap parts or labor. Most of the popular AND underground music comes from kids who are better at programming computers than they are real-live drum machines & fewer play real instruments.
Jennifer Hudson's single, Giving Myself gives me a reason to believe that the paradigm shift is in full effect. So many things about her make me think Chaka. The pipes. The swagger. The class. As far as female vocalists were concerned, Chaka Khan stood out to me even as a child as Every Woman, in her own way.
Would do these wayward & misguided young girls some good to admire an artist that truly shows them strength & resilience, God & love, & womanism beyond sexism. Kudos to Jennifer Hudson (& team for knocking this one out of the ballpark! Looking forward to the video!
On another note: Would be great if Jamie Foxx took a page out of her notebook on how to make quality & successful black music, but still maintain the Oscar poise. Looking forward to him finding himself.
You deserve every scream, holler & praise anyone ever gave. Is this really the end? Friend through rocky times & the thrills. Too bad it's dangerous to kill. Feel like eye wanna ring somebody's neck? What the heck? Who knew he could do it to me, too? Love me. Leave me. Through.
My husband & eye turned our daughter on to the King of Pop at age three (along with the Beatles & Carole King). Since then, our love for him has grown beyond the neighbors fence & well into the community. Having been a major force in my musical upbringing (Mom got to see the Jackson Five in concert as a kid), the news of his transitioning hits me like that of a fond, yet distant uncle would. Saying that he will be missed is way too cliche'. So how about, never a day in World History will pass where somebody doesn't see his footage or think about his legacy and say, "Damn! Eye wanna' be like Mike!" That's right! American Afrikan royalty!
Thanks to the CREATOR for such a blessing as Michael Jackson (even with his flaws...we ALL have them.) His passing...HUMAN NATURE...
Going home to rock the Exit/In with Blueprint, Illogic & Tunnel Clones (Hosted by Big Fella) this Friday, June 19. Usually don't get this excited about performances, but eye am stoked. Looking mad forward to giving & receiving the love!
Mom has always called me Missy Palate know no sip of Crissy Ms. Prissy piss me way off Pray oft' here and fro to stay soft Used to rock afro puffs being skuff Nowadays wrap the naps, save the claps for audience and rowdy crowds Thinking aloud about how to resound Repetitious attempt to pound profound Whether gerund, preposition or pronoun
Still enjoying yesterday's gloomy morning. Cloudy skies appeared more beautiful than ever. Showers seemed inviting and refreshing. Streams rushed past the sidewalks to the street drains exciting me.
Woke at dawn sure that this would be the best day since yesterday was the best yesterday.
Thoroughly enjoying the squeals of a loved toddler. Clear blue sky more beautiful than ever. Sunrays bathe my neck and eye lift my locks for full exposure. Dreams manifest and new paths present themselves, exciting me further.
New Mexico looks like the pages from a social studies textbook. Feels like calm in the middle of the storm. Beautiful scenery! Super greenery! Good peeps all around. Towns once underground, filled with earthly images & mountainous sound.
Off to the next gig. Performance poetry on the menu. Thinking the 15-20 minute set list will be:
Netsanett Ahun The Expose Ghetto Soliloquy Hear the Headstone Rolling Toward the Sun Stuck on Passion Felt Mingus Fingers Living Out My Dream
Might change it up depending on the vibe though. Promoter told me it was cool to keep it loose, so hey...let's do it!
Eye know first hand what's it's like to grow in the family business. As a youth, my once obsessive passion for vehicles grew out of my grandfathers love for tinkering around under the hood. Such a fascination that for many years he owned & operated an auto shop that he built & had me help him manage well into my 20's.
Now having children of my own who are musically inclined & likely to end up following Dad & Mom into the business, it pleases me to see solid examples of what carrying on the legacy looks like.
See evidence of two incredible R&B vocalists passing on the torch. So sweet!
We all know that sex between consenting adults is normal. No judgment here as to whether the participants should be married or not, that's a personal choice. What people decide to do specifically during their intimate moments, are, too, up to the individuals. But, when evidence of acts shared privately mysteriously 'go public', it can turn a loving moment into a 'freak' show.
As a person somewhat public, it makes me wonder just what COULD eventually turn up on the web. A high school photo of me surfaced out of nowhere this week. Even though eye was sure those pics died with New Jack Swing, unbeknowst to me, someone from my past was still holding on to the memory.
With that said, eye am curious to know who's leaking all of these private celebrity sex sessions to the public.
Is it a close friend? Family member? The help? Might the stars themselves be involved in some desperate ploy for media attention.
However it's going down, seems that such flicks & images are becoming increasingly more common. Keeping in line with America's double-standard, females are mostly the ones being exposed. With the exception of the ultimate PK, Ray J, who has constructed a whole new tier of fame from his well-publicized tape (so has his co-star), actresses and female MC's are among the most mentioned, and scrutinized.
Don't get me wrong, these powerful, public sheros have the right to do what they will behind closed doors (even with the tape rolling), but obviously need to be more conscious about what happens after the recording stops. Ladies, remember:
1. Take care. No one can or will protect your 'private parts' or your image like you can. Make sure the people around you can be trusted.
2. Be safe. Sexual temptation goes back to the original humans, but unlike those times, there is such a a disease called A.I.D.S. that takes no prisoners.
3. Be smart. A night of fun caught on tape could end up diminishing your funds in the long run. Protect your greatest financial interest - Self!
After peeping around the net for "research" purposes (lol), someone looking on my computer advised me to remember to clear my history before eye loan it out for use. Good advice, too. After some of the images eye came across (after having to change my search filter from moderate), eye am certain my little men are not ready for even a small taste of Kelis' milkshake.
How refreshing! Nikki Giovanni continues to cradle Hiphop as a true God-mother of the culture.
"Hip-hop Speaks to Children" (2008), shows Ms. Nikki's commitment to properly educating the youth of today about the positiveness often unassociated by the masses, but distinctly in her own voice, as always. She is really reppin' as we would hope any elder in tune with our generation would. Thanks for always remaining true Professor Giovanni.
Karen Clark-Sheard is the BEST singer in the world. Pound-for-pound. Period.
Comes to me eye have written that here before. If so, then just consider this a reminder.
Our meeting this past July - completely divine ordering. Imagine tapping the first domino and watching every other domino fall promptly into place with no effort from you at all. Crazy like that.
Really though, as much as she had impacted my life through her music, and, especially the previous six months, eye always thought it better off not to ever have a spoken exchange. Of course, in this industry it was certainly possible we would cross paths, but eye never wanted to share more than a vibe...maybe a stare. (HA!) All coming from the school of thought that meeting would ruin the image, which would have ideally tainted the fantasy. That's all you have when you have not shared space with someone you admire. We cling to it for that reason.
Ironically, the experience was the total opposite. More pleasant and natural than ever imagined.
Eye am almost certain that my ex-step-father's mother took me to see the Clark Sisters live at a church in Philly around '80-'81. Not being able to confirm that with a family member is a clear examples of the detachments that occur when families breakdown. Stinks. Such is life.
As eye digress...whether or not we were reconnecting, or just current, it was a serious testament to the power of The Creator.
At that very church, eye first recall feeling the Holy Spirit. Tried to join the crowd of worshipers moving to the front of the church. Wow! Amazing how the past evokes as powerful an emotion as the future.
Actually, a biography about Ms. Walters propelled my love for writing. This is one of those "you would never guess it" facts about me. Still not sure if it was her story or great perspective by the book's author, but from that moment in second grade it was as if something was bestowed upon me bound to eventually come out in a book of my own. Sure wish eye could find that book in a library or at a used book sale just so eye can figure it all out. But thanks to those forces, Something To Cope will be available through Kindle Books. YEAH!! All digi-tal, baby!
While begrudgingly buttering toast (darn...after discovering no bagels), a classical piece coming softly, but forcefully through the radio speakers caught my attention. It's been a while since eye wanted to purchase music on first listen, but this one hit me in my middle digital download section. The instruments played like the soundtrack to my Monday & the movements naturally moved my mood in a more positive direction.
When the DJ finally broke to announce the playlist, eye listened eagerly for the name & felt comforted when it rolled off of her tongue. "How ironic?", eye thought while chuckling.
Usually, March 1 initiates an itch under my skin for springtime air. But, as today brings us the first real west Tennessee snow in the three years we have been here, eye am finding winter to be a welcomed seasonal guest. But ever since streaming the Super Bowl, eye have wanted to watch sports for the first time since not owning a television. Something about the healthy competition that stirs excitement in my own winning pursuit.
Gimme a sec to find a live feed & consider this afternoon a wrap. Putting on my fan robe. Toasting to the Sol inside & out! College basketball- count me in the pool. Got $5 on it!
Much debated is the argument as to whether genuine Hiphop continues to grow or if it has become stagnant through commercialization, like Jazz, Blues & Rock - forever stuck in a past tense. While moot, scholars & die-hards continue to present evidence to show that the culture is alive & thriving, at least from their perspectives.
Shout out to author & English professor, Mickey Hess for continuing to challenge the theory & presenting facts that should indeed be considered before burying the movement in a 24-carat gold casket at Forest Lawn alongside Dilla. Is Hip Hop Dead: The Past, Present & Future of America's Most Wanted Music dissects the elements of rap that make up what have led to the bastardization of the whole culture and places them under a magnifying glass for fine analysis. Filled with lyrics and quotes from some of your favorite MC's, his approach to getting to the bottom of the matter is well worth exploration.
So...a few loved ones have been on my case lately about my lack of lack of visibility as a writer. Eye initially pulled back from journalism to write Something To Cope, but kept my chops up by creating the now defunkt, In The Know entertainment newsletter.
Once that phased out a few years ago, my commitment to blogging was a firm one that would surely help me stay on top of my game. But, due to difficulties both technical & some personal, that has become sometimey, with a post here and maybe a post there from time to time. We all know that's bullshit (def: Taurian mess) for someone mostly known as a writer. Here today eye am deciding to try the blogspot format, as eye have always used the original Blogger format that's embedded in the writehanded.com/orianalee.com site. With the support of my peeps, my own drive & motivation and your readership, eye am determined to get this back on track. Fo' sho!
In 2000, eye graduated from Tennessee State University with a degree in English. At the time, freelancing was my gig & eye was surely on my career path. My plan was to close the chapter with a graduation celebration (another story), but to start my new journey with the new Sony ICD-R100 digital recorder in hand. Talk about life-changing technology! For the past years, eye had recorded all of my interviews with an MC tape recorder, or on paper in rare instances where a recorded was prohibited. Eye was certain that this sleek device would put me on the next level as a journalist. Eye would be able to dump my audio directy into the computer with the aid of a connector and not have to clutter my office with micro cassettes. One less thing to buy. In a recession, that matters...eye guess.
Fast forward a few years to me finding it in my desk drawer today..piece of crap equipment. As it turns out, Kathleen Cleaver and Bobby Seale have been trapped in this device for a few years now, so it's basically serving as a glorified storage device for these valuable exchanges. Neither wanting to discard these precious moments, but wanting to use the contraption of it's intended purpose...eye fret. Between a rock and a hard place some might say. Hmmmmmmmmm... For some strange reason, the discs won't load. Weird, but true. Can you help?
Good looks to the homie Gee-O for including me in his latest Podcast. Big up to all the other DJ's bangin' Oriana lee sounds on the net & airwaves. Looking forward to my next opportunity to blaze the microphone. Hopefully within the week.
Seems more & more people are offering me their IM info as an easier means of communicating than email. Admitting that it feels awkward, the practice of giving out screen names is increasing in the wake of Twitter. Go figure!
Considering your favorite celebrities (Shaq), musicians (Erykah Badu) & writers (dream hampton) are conversing daily right in front of the whole world, eye am left to ponder who really thinks that IM is the preferred choice anymore. Not to sound like a sales rep, but it just makes so much more sense to tweet, all around.
Unlike the various IM apps, Twitter does not require an internet bundle on your cell. So whether you are in the office or away at the beach, you have access to your base. On Twitter, you are everyone. We are all connected. Big up to Danyel Smith for making mention yesterday on Twitter. Wow! This medium is effortless to cite. Perhaps they have some sponsorhip dollars lying around..eye speak of the service all day already (cracking mysef up today). HA!
But on the real money tip:
We need computers people. Won't you please be...my neighbor? Help! Please. Techs & geeks alike welcomed. Apple hook-ups desired (more than anything). Real talk!
Technically, it's out first day back in school from winter break. We decided to skip the traditional December/January break so that we could take off for our two January birthdays, the inauguration, and other early Feb. activities. We hit the library, Kinko's, and now proudly announce the first effort of our True School Academy fundraiser for new computer equipment. We run a technology based school, so it's really our most important tool in the classroom. Currently, we're operating with a PC down, in addition to a G4 that won't boot, so we're down to a fairly functional laptop & my Powerbook. We decided that with all of the kids in the neighborhood, we would try our hand at pushing candy, cookies, chips & hugs to the other sugar fiends around the way. Feeling a little guilty about it, eye guess, but this is where we are starting nonetheless. Hopefully we can step our game up to more healthy treats in the near future. Sooner than later, as the babies are already acting out like crack addicts, downing hugs & dancing around chasing their tails.
Eye have to ask myself, "What is so friggin' difficult about a post a day?" There was a time when being a blogging fool was right up my alley. It seems that over time, the frustrations that eye have come up against with using Blogger through my site & never converting to an actual Blogspot has slowed down my stride. Quite frankly, it has put a complete damper on my output & has diminished my readership greatly. Bad place to be as a writer. Terrible, actually. But, as Percy Shelley once said: "Fear not for the future, weep not for the past." & this is where eye am with the matter. Months of posting, as empty as my van fuel tank, will be no more. This evening, share my spirit of complete renewal & rededication to "the blog". If eye falter, then have your way with me loyal readers...well, within reason, of course. But leave this site feeling like you want to come back for more. Again & again. Please!
Remembering James Yancey today, along with the rest of the Hiphop world. Rumors that Ma' Yancey's battling a health condition have been circulating recently. Let us keep her uplifted with both spiritual & financial support.
Found some pics from February 7, 2008...
Exactly one-year ago, NickJr. debuted the Dora-inspired, Ni Hao Kai-lan. Whereas we normally pride ourselves in not participating in the hoopla surrounding new commerical shows & products, this time around, we fully indulged. Our long time friend, Matt Mahaffey had actually superceded his Shrek scoring by landing a steady gig as the musical director for this show & the children were very excited. Me, too (actually)! Now the show's up for it's third season. Home run!
eye rip raps; on same microphones poetry.
eye balance formality with artistic integrity.
eye close deals, book shows, then pen prose.
eye cook meals before heading to post bills .
eye read to the youth; record to the beat.
eye flow, consult, lecture, teach & speak.
eye blog & tweet; send messages to senders.
eye fool to the internet; slave to lender.
eye write for the love.
eye fight for the write.
eye am a writer.