Category Archives: music

SHE CHRONICLES: Happy Birthday Billie Holiday!

The legend in music that the world knows as, Billie Holiday, was born on this day in 1915.  Sit back and take a listen to the poetic words of the classic song, “Strange Fruit”

billie holiday

B-E-L-O-V-E-D | hip hop

motherandaughterthinking

 

I remember when the Nobel Prize winning book, ‘Beloved’, was made into a movie.   I was relieved I was finally going to be able to understand what the book was talking about.  Like other Morrison fans, I understand that to indulge in one of her books you have to completely abandon yourself and become involved in the art.  ‘Beloved’ was one of those books I had not been able to finish because I found it too complex.  Or maybe it wasn’t complex at all, perhaps it was the direction that didn’t allow me to finish the book.  I remember the narrative being very haunting when it spoke to me.  There were times in the book when it spoke directly to me and I felt like I had to protect or defend for myself.

The other day when riding in my car, my 12 year old niece wanted desperately to listen to a hip hop radio station.  Even though the language is altered to be radio ready,  I cannot stomach the majority of the new hip hop music today.  I agreed to let her change the channel from my jazz station and we began to listen to a song, “hit her with a left, hit her with a right, I’mma knock her out like fight night!” (those aren’t the exact words but definitely the intent and close to it).  My niece knew the words and sat happy smiling and bouncing in the passenger side dancing to the song.

When we got home, I got on the internet and pulled the song up.  I called my niece in my room and let her hear the real lyrics, “hit her with a left, hit her with a right, I’mma knock that p*ssy out like fight night!”  The expression on my nieces’ face changed solemn.  It was a mixture of embarrassment and disappointment.  Needless to say, I was pleased to see that the narrative disturbed her and she didn’t want to listen to the whole song.

Continue reading B-E-L-O-V-E-D | hip hop

some days i feel like, nina simone

nina simone

some days I feel like a fusion. a blend of church revival, street corner and classical energy. I feel bordered and limited and have the ability to make prejudice transparent. I feel like I am everything “separately and simultaneously”. nina simone.

a unique voice with a brazen beautiful bold look. she is known as the high priestess of soul due to her stage presence and use of silence as a musical instrument. when she used the silence she called it, “mass hypnosis.” leaving the audience mesmerized!

simone was born in the south and was very active in the civil rights movement. she sang and spoke at several civil rights meetings and marches but unlike Dr. King, Simone advocated violent revolution tactics when needed. simone was an artist who was granted creative control over her music in simple exchange for her voice. the music/lyrics she recorded has transcended into past and current soul music and even the hip hop generation.

this classically trained pianist lived her later years abroad after learning there was a warrant out for her arrest for unpaid taxes. she continued her music career in Africa, Barbados and ultimately in France where she succumbed to breast cancer in 2003.

another example of timeless art. nina simone.