Posts from the ‘music’ Category

Addendum: New Yorker Cartoons with Kanye captions

I wasn’t going to post today, but then I saw this great collection of New Yorker cartoons with Kanye tweets as captions. If you’ve seen Kanye’s Twitter page these are rendered more hilarious, but many of them are so well executed that they almost stand alone.

Enjoy. And, you’re welcome.

Kanye won’t let Twitter be great: an open letter

Dear Kanye,

Hey bro. How’s it goin?

It was very cool to see this story about your performance at the Facebook offices. I have to say I’ve been a fan of yours for a while, so it’s very cool to see social media music colliding in such a great way. Even after the emo madness that you unleashed on 808s and Heartbreak, I’m proud to say that I can’t wait to see what you do on Good Ass Job.

But that’s not why I’m writing you this letter. I’m writing you this letter because of you recent shenanigans on Twitter.

and my personal favorite because it’s only stating the obvious:

Taken by themselves these tweets aren’t so bad. But I’ve taken a look at your timeline, Yeezy, and I can’t say that I like what I saw. A whole stream of tweets and nary a retweet or @ reply to be seen. Shame on you, Kanye.

Twitter is about influence, it’s about connection, it’s about sharing information. One could argue that there’s some narcissism wrapped up in why people tweet, and I get that. But you take it to another level. Not only do you randomly follow just one person, but you don’t even interact with that one person you so haphazardly decided to follow!

Kanye, the problem is simple. You have an opportunity to really show us how influential both your image and your music can be, but unfortunately that opportunity is slipping away. Instead of interacting with your fans and giving us a glimpse into your world the way Big Boi or Chrisette Michele does, you give us tweets filled with verbal vomit about jogging in Lanvin or a new Rolex you just bought.

With all that said, I can’t say I’m necessarily surprised that you’re cuttin’ up the way you are on Twitter. I mean you are the guy who interrupted Taylor Swift at the VMA’s last year. But what do I know? I’m just a social media geek in California with high hopes for Twitter’s potential–potential that you’re currently sh*tting on.

Kanye, my request is simple….just let Twitter be great.

and you can go run tell that, homeboy.

V V Brown is a Bad Broad

This week I had an opportunity to see V V Brown in concert with Little Dragon here at Liv Niteclub in DC. Her music was just a breath of fresh air. I think she did almost every genre of music in her performance, from rockabilly to hip hop. Yes, I said rockabilly.

Anyways, just check out her acoustic cover of Kid Cudi’s Day N Nite:


Black People, Decorum and Privilege

As I settle into another work week, I realize that this hasn’t been a good couple of days for Black America. First, Serena Williams loses her shit after a bad call during the US Open, which cost her the match. Then, Kanye decides to be a jerk (again) and ruin country music star Taylor Swift’s very first acceptance speech at the VMA’S by bum rushing the stage and declaring Beyonce’s Single Ladies video the greatest of all time.

The two situations above may seem very different, but I think the only difference between Kanye’s outburst and Serena’s outburst was a bottle of Hennessey. These are grown ass people who are fairly young. Black, and at the top of their game. So why did they act out in public like they could get away with it?

The way I see it, Serena and Kanye’s fame and talent, and even their wealth will not make up for their lack of privilege. Kanye didn’t get to perform at the VMA’s and was escorted out of the event. Serena lost  the match and had to pay  a $10,000 fine for her behavior. It wasn’t waved away as just being “colorful” the way it was when McEnroe did it, and I’ll venture to say that it’s because she is a Black woman and he is a white male. No matter how high a Black celebrity climbs, they will not just be a celebrity getting out of pocket, they will be a Black celebrity getting out of pocket. They will not escape their lack of privilege to do certain things and be able to LOL it up on the David Letterman show the next week.

That’s not to say I”m excusing Kanye and Serena’s behavior because I think both of them showed an extreme lack of decorum and what my Nana would call “home training.”  Everyone has to be accountable for their actions, but what I need for Black celebrities to understand is that their fame doesn’t put them on an equal playing field with white celebs that act out in a similar manner. Get your decorum game up and let’s cut back on the nigga moments from here on out.

So what you think? Does a lack of privilege mean greater attention to our public behavior?

Song of the Week

Okay, Songs of the week since I couldn’t pick just one. Kickin’ it old school this Friday.

First up: 4hero’s  cover of “Superwoman” by Stevie Wonder. Good stuff.

next: Minnie Riperton-“Adventures in Paradise.” Minnie really is one of my favorite vocalists….

Happy Birthday, Stevie

Yesterday marked Stevie Wonder’s birthday.

Many of the people who know me know that music is very important to me. It has the power to change a whole nation of people.  I grew up in a house where music was used to inform, to comfort, and to educate my siblings and I.  My dad and I would drive around town listening to Earth Wind and Fire and listening to him tell anecdotes about the exact moment he first heard “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.”

I had always known about Stevie Wonder, but at the end of my junior year, Stevie’s music started really speaking to me.

There was a boy at a private school across town who I was just in love with…you know, that high school type of “love.”  He was a year older and I thought maybe he’d take me to his prom. He told me he hadn’t found a date yet.

And then, as high school drama goes, I found out he indeed had a date, and it wasn’t met.

The night of his prom, to take my mind off of the disappointment, my dad came to my room and said, “Let’s go to Marina Del Rey.”

At the time there was a HUGE Tower Records in Marina Del Rey, California where dad and I would go to buy music and sometimes just to stroll around and talk. This time, though, he said we should get a copy of Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions album. At this point I had only heard a few tracks:  “Don’t you Worry ‘Bout a Thing,” “Higher Ground,” “Living for the City,” and I think I was at least familiar with “Golden Lady.”

But when dad and I got home, we listened to the album in its entirety. By the time we got to the end of the album, I had forgotten all about not being at my high school love’s prom. Besides realizing how much of the conscious rap I had been into at the time was influenced by Stevie’s work, I realized that my Dad gave me this incredible opportunity to think deeper about the stories Stevie told in his music.

Visions made me consider my dreams, and my goals for the future as I looked forward to college.

“Higher Ground”, “He’s Misstra Know-it-All”, and “Livin for the City” made me think differently about social change, not only as a career but as a life passion.

I still revisit Innervisions for days when I need inspiration and an example of the way that music informs a generation and, sometimes, invokes a higher power.

Thank you Dad, for teaching me about Stevie Wonder that Friday night.

Song of the Week-Part 2

Because this needed its own post.

I’m not sure how I missed this long version of Jill Scott’s “Crown Royal” but…I heard it this morning for the first time and it is fantastic. Wouldn’t expect anything more from Jill though. What I loved about her last album is that it had a level of erotic sensuality that we hadn’t seen from Jill before. Audre Lorde’s “Erotic as Power” comes to mind.

This song is for grown folks…so make sure the babies aren’t around.