Friday, June 25, 2010

Remembering Michael Jackson: One Year Later

One year ago today, we lost the biggest icon in musical history. He was bigger than Elvis. Bigger than Jay-Z. Bigger than his own image. Michael Jackson, whether you agree with how he chose to live his life or fed into the crazy rumors, was no doubt a musical genius. The impact he made on music and fashion is timeless. His style will never be mirrored successfully, no matter how hard these newbies try. His influence can be felt and heard on so many tracks out today it isn't funny.

Michael Jackson was the first entertainer I developed a crush on. I remember being a child looking at the Thriller picture album my father had (that I inherited in his passing) thinking, 'Wow he's gorgeous!' Micheal had such an endearing quality about him that came across in every photograph. 'Thriller' was the first music video I ever saw, and it changed me forever. Michael made MOVIES, not just music videos. From 'Billie Jean' to 'Beat It', the videos from the Thriller album made me fall even deeper 'in love' with Michael.

When he was burned shooting that Pepsi commercial, you should have seen the chaos in my house. My mother & I were glued to the television, praying like he was a member of our family for his safety and well-being. That's how it was with Michael. Every person felt like they knew him personally. He gave out so much love in his music that it was hard to resist him. When he waved to the cameras as he was being out into the ambulance, I cried tears of relief to see that he wasn't too badly hurt. That's the impact he made on me even then, and I didn't know half as much about music as I do know.

My favorite MJ album is probably Dangerous because that's when I was growing into a woman and could really relate to the music. I will say, however, that Bad was a DOPE ass album too!! 'Liberian Girl' still makes me cry to this day! When MJ sang a love song, you could feel every beat of his heart in each lyric and transition. But 'Remember the Time' from the Dangerous album may be one of my all-time favorite MJ videos EVER! The fact he had icons such as Iman in it alone made it dope, but the way he turned into gold dust had my ass SWOONING! And that dance sequence at the end?! It just doesn't get much better than that for me. The whole album was full of hotness. To this day, it stands out as my fave MJ album.

I could go on and on about his many accomplishments, but that would take all day. Since my father passed earlier this year, it's given me some peace of mind to imagine him in Heaven playing the drums (which he did his whole life) in the band with greats like Michael, James Brown (my dad's musical hero), and all of the greats we've lost recently. I picture the two of them laughing and hanging out together, jamming out as my dad used to say lol. When I heard that Michael passed, I was in a state of shock. At the time, I was blogging heavy for EZ Street and he called to tell me to watch the news because they had taken MJ to the hospital. When I saw the reports, it took all I had not to totally collapse. When Jermaine announced to the world that MJ had, in fact, left us, I sobbed. I cried like I had lost a member of my family. I cried like I did at my father's funeral. I felt like, the one constant musically in my life had left, leaving me raw and devastated. Luckily, I had blogging to help me pour my emotions into. I couldn't even call my mother when I heard the news because I knew she'd be a wreck. See, she literally grew up watching MJ grow from a boy to a man, so she felt a kind of attachment to him that I just couldn't understand.

My son, Dominic, has taken the helm as the resident MJ expert in my family. He portrayed MJ in his school play, and knows all of his songs. He tries to moonwalk. If he sees someone doing an MJ move wrong, he gets in his feelings and jumps to correct them. It gives me life seeing him love MJ as much as I did at his age. He understands the legacy MJ left behind and wants to keep it going. We don't discuss the negative about MJ, because he hears that enough on tv. At the end of the day, it's all about the love. The love MJ gave us for music. The love we have for him.

Michael, we miss you. Music will never be the same without you. No one will ever be able to make us feel the way you did when you took the stage. There will never be another as great as you, no matter how hard they try. We will watch your children grow and wonder if any or all will follow in your footsteps and take to the stage. We will watch your brothers and sisters continue to live and wonder how they make it though when so many of us are still so devastated. We will keep your legacy alive by teaching our children, nieces, nephews about who you were as a humanitarian and musician. We will tell them that, no matter what the world says, that you were great. We will continue to crank your songs all the way up and attempt to moonwalk. We'll live life 'Off the Wall' and promise not to stop til we get enough. We'll 'Remember the Time' when we fell in love and tell 'Dirty Diana' and 'Billie Jean' to 'Beat It' if they disrespect your name. We 'Just Can't Stop Loving You', MJ.

Con todo mi corazon,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

VH1 Hip-Hop Honors: The Dirty South

Last night, VH1 aired their Hip-Hop honors: The Dirty South show and to say I was disappointed would be a gross understatement. While I believe and know VH1 had good intentions going into the show, I think they executed it poorly.

Okay so, the fact that Outkast wasn't honored pissed me off in a major way. I honestly didn't watch the first hour of the program because I was so in my feelings about Andre & Big Boi not getting the honor they so rightfully deserve. I mean, how are you gonna honor Southern Hip-Hop and NOT give Outkast a mention or award or whatever they received on the show last night? Like seriously, VH1, that's just ridiculous. I am aware that many artists declined being honored/performing on the show for whatever reason, but to not give Outkast their due respect is just ignorant. Outkast is one of the main groups people all over the world use to identify the South, so to not honor them is just disrespectful. Then, to add insult to injury, they had Nelly (who hasn't put out a decent album in who knows how long and isn't even from the South) performing an Outkast song during the Organized Noise set. Really?! Are you serious?! I almost punched my tv watching that foolishness.

Then, VH1 had Asher Roth (y'all remember him; the saltine rapper whose album flopped and allegedly made racist comments) performing a Ludacris song. That shit right there infuriated me. I mean, they couldn't call Luda and ask him to perform his own damn song?! Then, Asher didn't even do it justice! They should've had Eminem do it if they were gonna throw some saltines in the soup. At least Em is a credible artist. That Asher Roth is a hot damn mess. To have him doing a Luda song totally shit on the South in my humble opinion. I mean, I read tweets and some folks didn't even know who the hell Asher IS!! C'mon, VH1, I need y'all to get your whole life together STAT.

Okay let me say something positive before I continue this roast. The No Limit set was probably my favorite on the show. Mystikal, who just got outta jail not too long ago, came out on stage and KILLED it!! He made Gucci (who was there in his LisaRaye gear-all White everything, including his ashy lips) and all the young bucks that were at the show look dumb as shit. He made my entire day I promise you. Silkk the Shocker even came through and did a lil something. I woulda loved to see Mia X on stage too, but I"m happy with who No Limit had. Even Master P got his old ass up and did a lil something lol.

Another set I liked, but was a little confused about, was the Timbaland honors set. Okay, I know VA is technically the South, and he IS one of the dopest producers in the game. That goes without saying or argument. I guess I just didn't understand why, rather than having folks perform Timbaland rap tracks (I mean, he has put out his own albums, VH1), they had people performing tracks that Timbaland had produced. I'm not saying that that was a bad thing at all, just a little off to me *shrug*. Missy came out in her staple Adidas track suit (leather too lol) and did her damn thing. I was siced (happy for you non-DMV readers) to see her, although her half hawk was a little much for me.

Okay, back to a little negative. Why the HELL was Diddy there at a show honoring the South?! His attention whore ass always has to be on some shit. And him performing with JD and Bow Wow was just too much for me to deal with. When Diddy showed his grill, I about died from disbelief. Really, Diddy, I need you to sit down somewhere already. I'm so over him I don't know what to do with myself. Of course, I respect his hustle and his grind. He's one of the few folks in the industry that has maintained longevity, however he did it. We all have our theories on that one, but I'll save that for another blog.

They honored 2 Live Crew last night, which made sense to me because they did pave the way for rappers to curse on records and fight for their 1st Amendment rights. I respect that to the fullest. However, they looked like they had just snuck out of the retirement home when they were performing. Then, Luke's whole speech at the end of their performance was a little strange to me.

Now, my biggest beef with this whole show isn't who performed as much as who was left out. Where the hell were 8Ball & MJG? Where was T.I.?! He kinda introduced the Atlanta set, but he should've been on that stage performing since he is the King of the South. DUH VH1! And why wasn't Goodie Mob honored? Or Triple 6 Mafia? Or Young Buck? Or anyone else from Tennessee for that matter! What about Tha YoungBloodZ? I'm fully aware that it would've taken all night to honor EVERYONE that's deserving, but damn VH1. Y'all couldn't have picked the best?! Of course, since VH1 is mainstream, they're gonna highlight more mainstream people, which I get, but Luda isn't mainstream enough for them? Triple 6 isn't either? The list goes on and on.

Like I said earlier in this post, I know that some artists like Young Money declined to be on the show for one reason or another. Mac Mane of YM tweeted that they didn't go because they felt it wouldn't be the same without Wayne there. Ummmmm, okay. Didn't T.I.'s camp still perform and accept his award at the BET Awards when T.I. first went away? I'm not trying to throw shade, but c'mon y'all. Others declined because they didn't feel right about the show as a whole, that the timing wasn't right. That speaks volumes to me about the whole thing.

At the end of the day, the thought behind the show was awesome. Honoring the South as a major Hip-Hop hub in this country was definitely a good look. However, I feel that the show didn't do justice to Southern Hip-Hop artists and the culture. They had this one dude doing a voice over and he said 'Peachtree City is Atlanta Hip-Hop.' Seriously?! Now, I lived in Atlanta for a long time, and I NEVER heard of any rappers coming outta Peachtree City. I know a lot of ATL rappers live in Buckhead and the suburbs now that they're rich, but I doubt they started out living there. Matter of fact, I KNOW T.I. didn't, but whatever.

Then I got mad at myself for expecting more from the network that brought us Flavor of Love, I Love New York, Basketball Wives, etc. etc. I shoulda known better than to trust them to respect Hip-Hop the way it deserves to be. These bamas at VH1 are distributing coonery at an alarming rate. Do y'all realize that almost all of the reality shows with Black folks are on VH1? This summer alone, T.O. AND Ocho Cinco are gonna have shows on there, and Basketball Wives got picked up for another season. I'm not even gonna touch the Brandy (whose wig last night was a monstrosity btw) and Ray J show.

As I've said repeatedly throughout this post, I feel VH1 had good intentions, but they didn't execute the show well at all. Between the unfunny host to the whack jokes at the end, I just can't with the whole thing. VH1 could've done a much better job of selecting the honorees. Maybe they'll see the abundant Twitter rants from various people and do another one to honor more of the South's greats. Outkast, Goodie Mob, Triple 6, Scarface, Luda, T.I., and the rest of the South's greats that didn't get honored, don't worry. The fans know what it really is.

So what did y'all think of the show last night?


Monday, June 7, 2010

Excuse Me Sir, Your Vag is Showing

I just cannot understand what is happening to guys these days. In such a 'pause' and 'no homo' driven society, the fact that so many of these dudes are in need of Manpons and Midol astounds me. There is a great difference between a man that is in tune with his feminine side and a guy that's acting like a straight chick. And by 'acting like a straight chick', I don't mean homosexual men that dress up & live as women. At least they're open with their chickness. I'm talking about these straight 'I'm the hardest dude on the block' guys that, if you ask me, are all in need of some serious hormone therapy.

Now, fellas, I'm sure you're thinking to yourself (or saying aloud, whatever moves you), 'Hol' up, T! Yall chicks complain when we aren't sensitive enough, now you're saying we're TOO sensitive?!' Um, yes, fellas, that's what I'm saying. Not ALL of you, before I get hit with these crazy messages. However, the number of Vaggy guys is starting to grow at an enormous rate, so I had to bring attention to this epidemic. There is such thing as being TOO sensitive, guys. Sure, we women want you to understand us and not treat us like youhave no clue how we feel, but when you take that to the next level, it's definitely no bueno.

Perfect example: Dating a dude that makes a woman feel like she's the one that has the testosterone. This is just crazy to me. I've been in this position before and it sucks. If every time I say something to you that you don't wanna hear (which, be notified, is a great occurrence when dealing with me) you break down into tears, that's not gonna work for me. C'mon, dude, seriously?  coming at me with that 'you don't really love me' crap every time I say I do will not only get a Midol slipped into your drink, but a tampon placed in your pants pocket. Feeling emotions isn't the problem here, guys, so please don't take it to the extreme. It's about balance. Sure, I want you to be sensitive to my needs, but I don't want you crying all the damn time.

Another thing you dudes do that screams vaginal is gossip. Now, I don't give a good hot damn what any of you dudes say. Y'all gossip and whatnot just as much, if not more, than we women do. At least us girls own it and don't try to do it under the guise of just trying to converse with a chick to get with her. I've witnessed guys sitting around together, much like us women do, talking about another dude like he's the worst person in the world, but when they see him it's all good. Now, if that ain't some female stuff, I don't know what it. If you're gonna talk shit about us women running our mouths all the time, do me a favor and check yourself prior.

The place to find the biggest congregation of vaggy dudes is on Twitter. I swear, I never knew how girly rappers, thugs, and every kinda guy in between could be softer than Charmin triple ply. I understand we live in a hyper sensitive society these days, but Twitter must be where the vaggy boys go to meet and learn the tricks of the trade. These dudes read a tweet, sometimes not even directed towards them, and totally get in their feelings like you just told them you heard they have a little pecker or something. Fellas, this has GOT TO STOP! Unless a woman tells you directly you're a pussy or have a little pecker or whatever else we women may say about men, please don't feel the need to get in your feelings. It's fucking ridiculous and it makes your huge vag show even more.

And fellas, please, for the love of God, be mindful of how you use text acronyms like 'LOL', 'LLS', and the infamous smiley face. While it's cool to use one here and there occassionally, if every text I get form you has 'lls' or something similar in it, not only will I talk about you to my friends, I will suddenly disappear from your life. I can't with that shit right there. Of all teh vaggy things you guys do, that may be in my top 3. Fellas, just cuz Trey & Soulja Boy did a song about it, that doesn't make using or saying 'LOL :)' a socially acceptable text or tweet. Furthermore, if anything Soulja says is key in your thinking, you need more help than I am able to give.

I could go on forever about this, as I'm sure y'all already know, but I'm gonna leave it alone. Just know, fellas, just like you're watching our every word and comment, we women are doing the same to you. Just like you get in your little circles and talk about us, we're doing the same about you. If you're calling yourself a man, please act like one. I'm not saying you have to be a heartless prick to qualify as a 'real man' by any means, so please don't twist it that way. All I'm saying is, keep your female tendencies in check because, if a woman has to call you out on it, it won't be pretty.

Con Amor,