Tag Archives: grace

Nothing Can Come Between Us- The Affection of a Capricorn

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….A Capricorn woman neither falls in love at first sight, nor wastes time on mindless flirtations. Love is serious stuff and should not to be trifled with. She believes in love, but she will have no truck with fate. Ever convinced of her own abilities, she takes matters of the heart into her own hands, though it may be awhile before she makes her move. Observant and discriminating, she spends some time to get to know her partner, and will usually allow herself to fall in love completely when all the outcomes have been considered. Sometimes, however, she is taken off guard, and emotions overcome her…

Capricorn Woman in Love – Cafe Astrology

I learned love from the earthy, pragmatic spirit of Capricorn women. Their aura of coolness often coupled with their blunt, carefully crafted persona of mystery and strength was always in direct opposite of my fiery, emotions on my sleeve Leo attitude. A Capricorn woman could be miserable, lonely, lost and U.O.E.N.O!! A Capricorn woman would never put her vulnerability or shortcomings out for the world to pick at like left over Chinese food, or would she? Although each woman is unique our experiences are shared and sometimes the only person who gets you is somebody who you’ve never spoken to and wouldn’t know you from a can of paint. Enter Helen Folasade Adu. The woman who gets me more than anyone else.

Reeling from a breakup that tugs at the pit of my soul, or being so lost in love that I’d never want to find my way out, there always was the music of Sade setting the backdrop for my desires, my weaknesses, and my fears. No one could tell the story of what it was like to be alone in the world wondering why yet carrying on, being wounded yet still alive like she has. Sade sings the songs of the broken spirited with so much enchantment that hollow souls somehow warm with smoldering presence even if they never see the spark of the flame. Perhaps the alchemy of the Capricorn woman, even Sade’s love songs have an air of the melancholy. She could give you the “Kiss of Life” and leave you longing forever.

The lyrics of her songs sometimes don’t rhyme. Sade’s words sound as if she’s in the studio with her diary flipping back and forth through finding the most raw of her feelings to bellow out for the world. Her band Sweetback melts their bass heavy percussion into each song and somehow always reminded me of a heartbeat. The moments in my life where love has almost stopped my heart from beating, Sade was my defribulator. When life sucked the air out of my lungs, Sade breathed for me. When the great loves of my life shut the door in my face, Sade was in the hallway with the Kleenex. Sade showed me there was always strength there- even when she and I seemed hopeless. Despite the quest that life and love took me on, the Capricorn woman taught me to be authentic to my soul.

Happy Birthday to my mother, my best friend, and the fabulous, airy, hopeless romantic Sade!! So opposite of me in so many ways these three women know my soul as if it’s my reflection they see in the mirror. I only hope to learn to apply grace in my vulnerability like they have.

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Beyonce & Tina Knowles Hit The View

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Beyonce discusses her general bad assery in all things and her mama Tina’s new line Ms Tina hitting the hangers in Wal Marts all over the United States on The View. Bey also dishes on her curves, being a chick who doesn’t cook or clean, but dresses her ass off and her walk being mean and wearing FOUR PAIRS OF PANTY HOSE to hold everything in on stage. #mentalnote

What Happened To The Feminists In Music?

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…Hormones racin’ at the speed of light,

But that don’t mean it’s gonna be tonight

baby, baby….

Genie In A Bottle – Christina Aguilera, 1999

…I’m dancing alot and I’m taking shots I’m feeling fine

I’m kissing all the boys and the girls

Someone call the doctor cause I lost my mind…

Not Myself Tonight – Christina Aguilera 2010

At its basic definition, feminism represents equality and fair representation for women. Long fought battles in the 1960’s and 1970’s took women out of the kitchens and bedrooms and into the boardrooms of America, setting precedence for the rest of the World to follow. Women have always been portrayed as submissive and super horny in the media, and in music in particular. The 1980’s and 1990’s saw a wave women singing and rhyming about self-control and safe sex, while still maintaining undeniable party and radio friendly vibes. The stories they told were thought-provoking interpretations of a world that wanted to relegate them to the backseat instead of driver’s seat. Their strength was their convictions, and the added sexual element was the icing on the cake and not the batter from which the cake was made. Along the way, all that feminism was morphed into women somehow becoming mini men- hard liquor drinkin’, one night stand cruisin’ self serving righteous gluttonists. At its core feminism is the FREEDOM of being whatever you want to be, but the current state of music begs the question, what is it that women want to be?

Image is everything. Hip Hop music specifically, has maintained a love-hate relationship with female rappers. MC Lyte’s talent made her one of the boys and Queen Latifah’s non wavering Ladies First attitude made them both household names, even as platinum plaques eluded them. Salt N Pepa talked about sex, and TLC never left home without the Trojan man. Rappers like Yo Yo and Nicki D wrote narratives about how lacking self-control can put you into jams with careless punks. These women were always aware that their personal conduct had to be different from men because they were women. Da Brat’s platinum success was not so much based on a feminine stance, but because of undeniable skill. Women rappers began stealing the show from the men as Lil Kim, Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliot, Foxy Brown, and Lauryn Hill routinely outshined the male counterparts they were paired with. These mid 90’s rappers were the golden era of women in hip hop, diversifying what the young female experience was about in even more profound detail. They were able to merge Salt N Pepa’s femininity with MC Lyte’s lyrical prowess into a hybrid of new female emcee. No matter the story told, it was absolutely female. Then blatant sexual overtones and carefreeness somehow began to overshadow the genre all together. Now it seems the only thing the female rapper has to offer is blow jobs for shots at the club.

Pop music used to be sprinkled with sexual innuendo, carefully blended with coy tongue in cheekness and hypnotic grooves. Janet Jackson, the underrated queen of pop music launched her Rhythm Nation in 1989, calling for unity, peace, and understanding. The ambitious record was Janet’s most commercially successful album, bringing topics like education, racism, and sexuality to the forefront. There was deliberate consciousness to confront ignorance and violence in Rhythm Nation 1814, the most fitting follow-up to the pro woman stance of her Control masterpiece. Madonna coupled her Like A Virgin antics with the pro-choice anthem Papa Don’t Preach, showing a more complete picture of what the modern woman’s life was really like.  Mariah Carey was then known for powerhouse singing instead of ass and titty bearing. The evolution of artists like Christina Aguilera went from sugary pop flirtations into full-blown dirty limericks. Christina’s signature song Beautiful, started a trend of female pop singers singing deeply personal records as Pink sang about abuse and depression. The trend the Beautiful started quickly evaporated, as Beyonce and Destiny’s Child were left as the sole bearers of feminine substance, singing about being independent women, not being Federlined in the hit Bills, Bills, Bills and embracing their curves with Bootylicious. Very few female artists could maintain visibility and talk about female issues on such a grand scale since the hey day of these artists, as once again the sexual overtones and blatant objectification ran all the positivity out of pop music. Classic tales like Unpretty and Waterfalls by TLC have been replaced with songs about kissing girls, Daisy Dukes and bikinis, and brushing your teeth with Jack Daniels. By the way, these songs were recorded by women.

It is a slippery slope to define women singing about sex as unfeminist. Women CONSTANTLY singing about sex is unfeminist. The current state of women in music is appalling as even talented women that sing about love like Corrine Bailey Rae can barely chart, let alone women who take on the subject matter of feminism. Women have allowed their place in music to be in the bedroom and the club instead of the minds and souls of their listeners. I can definitively say if I didn’t grow up in the 1990’s with TLC, Janet Jackson, Salt N Pepa, Lauryn Hill and many other female representers I would not be the woman I am today. Although these artists have integrated sex in their music, they have always exacted balance on what they represent. Will we look back on this era of female music as the exploitation era? I wonder what the culture of Ke$has, Mileys, Nickis, and Katys will breed in the young women of America. I hope they realize the world is watching.

History hidden from me
To hide my identity
So I’d never feel
I am somebody
You’ve gouged my eyes
I see more clearly
You’ve tried to rub me of my humanity
My spirit you tried to break
My soul you tried to take
There’s no need to be afraid
“Cause I won’t do unto you now
Amen
All that we’ve been through
Our time has come to rejoice
A new agenda’s due
Amen
It’s time to know the truth
Our time has come to rejoice
A new agenda’s due
Because of my gender
I’ve heard “no” too many times
Because of my race
I’ve heard “no” to many times
But with every “no” I grow in strength
That is why
African American women
I stand tall with pride
You want to know what it takes
To rid yourself of me now
There’s nothing you can do
Accept me for who I am now..

New Agenda – Janet Jackson From the Janet Album, 1993

At Your Best — In Memory of Aaliyah

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The world will pause and a reflect, even for just a second to reminisce on Aaliyah Dana Haughton, the R&B songstress who was taken from us nine years ago today. Aaliyah, whose smooth grooves captivated and inspired us is always remembered as a graceful and humble woman, was on the cusp of becoming a break out star when tragedy struck on the shoot of the visually moving Rock The Boat video. We celebrate her memory and the impact she made in her short time on this Earth and in her memory contemplate the importance of our own legacies that we pass on to the next generation of young girls.

When her first hit single Back and Forth dropped in 1994, it shot up the charts and led her Age Ain’t Nothin But a Number album to multi platinum status. At 14, Aaliyah was praised for her Sade like yearning and soul far beyond her years. Her voice dripped with an aching, melodic echo that was a perfect blend with R. Kelly production. Part of Aaliyah’s mystic was her apparent enigmatic demeanor and cool unforced sensuality. Amid rumors of liaisons and a marriage with accused pedophile R. Kelly, Aaliyah’s approval with the public never really took a hit as she switched up to the futuristic pop funk team of Timbaland and Missy Elliott to produce her follow-up album One in A Million, which sold eight million records worldwide. On this album, Aaliyah mesmorized her audience showing off clean and polished dance routines in her videos and a cool confidence that would no longer be confused with being shy. Solidifying her as a formidable star and establishing Timbaland as a bona fide hit maker, Aaliyah parlayed her rapport with the public into movie roles and ad campaigns with Tommy Hilfiger. Before her untimely death, Aaliyah was already the sweetheart of R&B music.

Despite enduring a drama with R. Kelly that could have been a career killer, Aaliyah stayed in tune with her calling. Choosing not to bow to the depths of the gossip and speculation around her, Aaliyah proved that talent, ingenuity, and resolve would reign over smack talk. Her humble, angelic disposition left a resounding imprint on her fans, even as artists to come failed to duplicate this from Aaliyah’s arsenal. Ciara may have copied from Aaliyah’s blueprint, but we all could learn a thing or two about how being your One In A Million self and dusting yourself off to Try Again can open up a world of possibility and opportunity. Her gracious and grateful spirit will reign forever, as we will never forget who Aaliyah was, and in her memory today and always be At Your Best.

I Miss You- Aaliyah featuring Jay Z

Aaliyah’s Last Interview FOUR DAYS before her death

This Industry Was More Like A Different World
When It Was Just Me, Monica, And Baby Girl, Aaliyah
I Never Got To Tell You How Much You Mean
I Wish You and Me Both Were Sittin’ Here Working With Tim
Just To Be In The Presence Of The People That You Affected
At the Personal Level Just Makes Me Stop For A Second
[Breath]
You Were Such A Blessing
You Helped Me Answer All My Questions

Should I Go- Brandy-Brandy’s take on Aaliyah’s impact on her life.

Red or Blue Pill

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Is it better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all? Can one man’s trash truly be another man’s treasure? Perspective is the mind of our souls. It shapes why and how we experience what we experience. It wears rosy colored contacts, or blindly rages at the rest of the world. A healthy perspective is a discipline that will be soul food in a world of moral starvation and self gratifying gluttony. Being able to take yourself outside yourself will allow the personal sting of the situations placed on our shoulders to simply become the unluck of the draw.

The pain of betrayal at the hands of BFFs, or the rebuff of eye candy, even professional pitfalls add up to an all too familiar feeling of why me again? Instead of questioning why me, we rarely wonder why not me? We move through life as if we are immune to hurt, negativity, and setbacks like all these things don’t make up a normal life. No amount of preparing, planning, and pondering will ever prevent confusing or uncomfortable things from happening to us. Women become afraid to love because someone hurt them before and cut themselves off from every man on the planet, yet refuse to look at themselves to make changes. Many of us only seek to place blame. Some of us embark on new ventures and ideas and at the hint of failure retreat back into the safe world of mediocrity by never doing anything ambitious again. When we begin to believe the world is undeserving of the best of us we only hurt ourselves. The pain of self limitation and regrets makes life a disaster waiting to happen instead of a joy meant to experience. Pain is love. Pain is meant to teach the lesson of appreciation and growth. Setbacks are set ups for bigger and better things. Disappointment is not some isolating, personal pain but the honest universal truth that every human being experiences. Internalizing and over analyzing mistakes as personal ass whoopings from God and turning your back on all mankind is the cowards way out of experiencing life. Perspective will change the tune of any negative situation. A sharp perspective is the light in the dark. Perspective is seeing the yin and the yang in all of life.

Understand, perspective is a choice. It’s not some magical understanding received after successful relationships or career moves. A sharp perspective is a constant and steady flow of energy that recognizes negativity is part of the game. Muddling in despair, confusion, and isolation is the refusal of allowing perspective in. Good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. The pieces that life’s puzzle leaves us to put together is of our own creation. Moving from point A to get to point B isn’t impossible over a burned bridge, it takes powerful, mindful navigation. Choosing to be negative will simply make the trek harder, but there is even beauty in that mission. Or we can choose to just sit idly while life passes by. The pills we choose to swallow either be our nourishment or malnutrition.

Maury’s Most “Unthinkable” Guests Alicia, Swizz, Mashonda, and Jahna..(A Hypothetical Daytime Talk Show)

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This is a topic I’ve been trying to avoid for months. Soul music’s “Superwoman” Alicia Keys has wowed the masses with her artistry, creativity, and powerful messages of love.  Her body of work stands out amongst club friendly party anthems and half-dressed sex sellers that seem to dominate R&B’s ranks. When Alicia sang “Everything means nothing, if I don’t have you..” or “This love is unbreakable…” who would have ever guessed she could have been singing about smashing a married man? Swizz Beatz, a prolific hit maker who has crafted hits for everyone from DMX to Beyonce, to her husband Jay Z, traded in his family and four-year marriage to another R&B singer, Mashonda to do the unthinkable with Alicia after a year long affair. All of this could have been fine and dandy- except for the fact another R&B singer, Jahna Sebastian has come forth with another Swizz baby. If you have been living under a rock, Alicia Keys is currently pregnant by Swizz. Am I the only one that’s started to think the life of A.Keys is becoming an episode of Maury?



Maury: Welcome back. This is Mashonda. She’s been a previous guest on our show with her cheating husband Swizz Beats who failed a lie detector test and got another woman pregnant. Not only was Mashonda publicly humiliated, she was shocked to find out her husband wanted to throw the towel in on her and their family, look at the picture of Kaseem Jr, isn’t he adorable?

The audience coos.

Mashonda: Yes Maury he is adorable. I love my son. He misses his father so much….

Maury: Has Swizz been taking care of his child?

Mashonda: He’s in and out. He sends money. Kaseem needs more than that, he needs his father. I never thought I would be a single mother raising a family…

Maury: Well I know that’s hard Mashonda. We do have another guest Jahna, who claims that Swizz is the father of her baby girl. Come on out Jahna….

the audience applauds

Jahna: Thank you Maury. Hi Mashonda…I don’t mean to be disrespectful to you Mashonda. I know how hard this is for you but my baby needs diapers, clothes, formula… look at the screen. This baby looks just like Swizz he won’t acknowledge my child, he won’t see my child. He sends me $1500 a month Maury. He’s a millionaire!!


Jahna screams at the screen showing Swizz backstage

Swizz: I’m a millionaire not you!!! Get outta here you bust down!!

the audience boos

Maury: Well Swizz says that both of you are causing drama in his life and won’t accept the fact that he’s moved on to be with his pregnant fiance. Do you two still want him?

Mashonda and Jahna: Hell no!!!

Swizz: They lyin Maury. They both want me and they both still love me. They just mad cause I’m with Alicia…

Jahna: Don’t nobody want you!! You need to take care of your child!! That’s all I want…!!!

Maury: Do you want Swizz back Mashonda?

Mashonda: He is a great father and our family doesn’t feel complete without him there…

the audience boos

Maury: Let’s bring Swizz and his pregnant fiance Alicia out. Swizz and Alicia come on out!!


the audience boos LOUDLY, flashing thumbs down signals at the couple

Swizz: Haters! Haters! Haters! Y’all don’t know me haters!! What’s up Maury?

Alicia quietly moves her seat away from the girls and Swizz follows her lead

Maury: Now in a twist to the story, Swizz did admit to our producers to being the father of Jahna’s daughter and has admitted that he was sleeping with all three of you women at the same time…

Swizz: That was before me and Alicia was serious Maury. I take responsibility of my children but I no longer want to deal with these psycho *beep* that are trying to ruin my life with this *beep* and Jahna, Jahna… tell the truth… You was a one night stand and you was just tryin to get some tracks from me and…

Jahna: What married man just sleeps around with other women and he’s married? And you need to just look to your left to see who’s really trying to get tracks from you, please!! *Beep* you, pay me!! How’s that Swizz?

Maury: Alicia- you are kind of quiet…

Alicia: I just know both of these women are thirsty and desperate and Swizz is a wonderful, great man. We are truly soul mates and we just want to be happy together without all this drama these women have caused in our lives. We are together. I am pregnant with his child. We are unbreakable…

Maury: Well Alicia- yesterday we set up cameras in our green room with Swizz backstage with a sexy decoy.. Do you want to see the tape…..??

the audience roars…

The image of the angelic songstress Alicia Keys is slowly being replaced by allegations of homewrecking and selfishness. We don’t know if she is truly in love, or just another naive woman who accepts the “unacceptable” just to have a man in her life. Truly I hope Alicia is aware of the “ruff ride” she’s signed herself up for by getting involved with a married man, that had no qualms about being involved with her, or any other woman for that matter.

one of the MANY songs Alicia has thinly veiled as an ode to her love, Swizz. You may not go crazy, but you most definitely look crazy right now Alicia.







You Act Like You’ve Never Seen a White Person Before, Essence Readers

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In hindsight, maybe they could have broken everybody in with a Fergie cover. Ellianna Placas in September will become the Little Rock Nine of Essence Magazine when she begins her stint as Fashion Director for the prestige “black” magazine. Some black women are sweating through their Fashion Fair make up, fuming at the decision to hire Ellianna. Clutch Magazine released a statement saying

As the publication unofficially deemed “Essence’s little sister”–a growing young urban women’s online brand for news, critical commentary, lifestyle, fashion and beauty–it felt like our Mom walked us hand in hand to the center of the biggest shopping mall in the state, turned around, and left us. But we are no longer the little girls eyeballing the glossy giant who taught us how to love ourselves.

Really? Are people still so obsessed with race that they feel a white woman isn’t competent or “black” enough to add insight to fashion editorials for a women’s interest magazine? Who would they rather have, “tacky” Tina Knowles as fashion director? Would it be fine with the black consensus if Kimora Lee stamped her Baby Phat kitten emblem alongside the Essence name? These are the same readers that flipped their lace fronts when Essence featured Reggie Bush on the cover of their February Valentine/Love issue because he was dating Kim Kardashian at the time. These black women show their insecurity, hypocrisy, and jealousy by harboring on old stereotypes and actually becoming stereotypes by their disapproval of interracial dating and social integration. How can these women in good conscience reject a white fashion director when our fellow (and mostly white) Americans have elected a black president?

Exclusively associating with people of your own race is not only detrimental to your development in a multi cultural world, it truly excludes you from wonderful experiences and friendships. I personally share a Cher and Dionne-esque vibe with my best friend, a white chick from Memphis, TN who is my soul sister. We have many more similarities than we do differences, yet the differences we share have never negatively affected our relationship. If not anything it gives us a soundboard to air our cultural differences and questions about the opposite race. Racial exclusion is cosigning the ideas of extremists who practiced and promoted Jim Crow laws and advocates of separate but equal establishments for blacks and whites. Funny how these prejudiced blacks forget about the white people who had dogs sicked on them by police, marched with blacks on Washington and in Selma, and pushed for legislation to change the laws in this country. Are these black women so angry because they are not attracted to white men at black men for dating white women that they have adopted unjust racial bias against the fellowship of sisterhood?

I am sure that Ellianna Placas, a former O Magazine staffer, is more than capable of handling her new job. I hope that she is welcomed by the staff and readers as a contributing member of a team and brand that has taught women of all colors beauty, class, and elegance. Clutch Magazine should be taken to task for race baiting unnecessarily in these times volatile racial climates. Their feelings of being threatened by the choice of Essence Magazine to hire a white fashion director seems like attention whoreism more than a legitimate racial gripe.

Say black versus white, we off that
Please tell Bill O’Reilly to fall back
Tell Rush Limbaugh to get off my balls
This 2010 not 1864
Yeah we come so far
So I drive around town hard top and its off
And my Tribeca loft with my high brow and my high yellow broad
And my dark skin sis and my best white mate say whats up to Chris
Hows that for a mix
Got a black president, got green presidents
Blue prints in my white iPod
Black diamonds in my Jesus piece, my God
We ain’t tripping off that
This is a Benetton ad, (we) been up off that

Off That- Jay Z

Benneton

Jolynne and I, the 2010 Cher and Dionne