LA Kids: Prince vs. MJ Party

There are some parties in LA that one can’t miss: The Wonderfull Party hosted by DJ Spinna (Stevie Wonder all night long!) and ANY Prince vs. MJ party, although Spinna’s is legendary. I can’t vouch for this DJ, but my blackness requires that I pass the info on. Besides, how can you go wrong with the playlist? This invite just hit my facebook inbox – be there or be assed out!

The Prince versus Michael Party: A Purple Thriller w/ DJ Tendaji Lathan

When: Friday, June 18, 2010 at 8:00pm

Where: Royal/T Art Gallery, 8910 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA

Occasionally, an event of cosmic proportion immerses our collective consciousness. On June 18, as the Summer’s steamy embrace reacquaints us with golden memories, one such event soars toward our galaxy. Gliding across the decades at an agile pace, you’ll be enveloped by the essence of the King of Pop and seduced by His Royal Badness. At the very moment you confront the majestic edifice that is Royal/T (, you’ll be enamored with the aura and allure of Celestial beings in your midst.

DJ Tendaji Lathan will be spinning from the extensive collection of danceable hits, collaborations, and covers from Prince and Michael Jackson. This includes Prince produced songs, the Jackson family, and more all night long.

Prolific artistry. Priceless personalities. Michael and His Majesty; partying at the speed of sound…

Brought to you by Darnell Holcomb

Cover Charge is $10 before 10:30PM and $20 thereafter. Upscale attire is required. RSVP to

2 Live Crew – Worth The Hip-Hop Honor?

A friend of mine and I got into a discussion the other day after Monday night’s airing of the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors. We found ourselves hovering over the topic of 2 Live Crew and whether or not their contribution to hip-hop was one worth celebrating. I flashed back to my junior high and high school dance days, grinding close to some boy as soon as I heard the unforgettable bass line and drums of  I Wanna Rock (Doo Doo Brown). The memories were fond ones for me, and I immediately thought, “Of course they deserve to be honored – Luke and ‘nem been in the game since forever”. My friend, however, had a different perspective. As she expressed, “watching Kid Rock give Luke props for starting the booty shake phenomenon” was not something to be celebrated. I had to let that marinate.

It’s true – 2 Live Crew and their pornographic-style of rap set off a trend in hip-hop music, and more importantly in music videos. The images in those videos evolved into a decade-long parade of scantily-clad women of color, cars, and money, and giving directors like Hype Williams millions of dollars in business and a catalog of hip-hop porn videos. The beats grabbed our ears and the videos captured our attention, shouting the message, “this is the life.” Almost 15 years later, these images still resonate in all genres of music videos and the current generation is less sensitive to images of sex, and tend to express themselves sexually a lot quicker than the kids of my generation.

Nonetheless, 2 Live Crew and their brand of XXX hip-hop had it’s place in the industry, in spite of the negative effects it might have had on future generations. Luke, by his own admission, said they were surprised by their success because “they weren’t talking about shi*t “, but the music became extremely popular almost instantly. Bass and drum heavy beats coupled with pornographic lyrics equaled success for 2 Live Crew – and since they were the innovators of this type of music, an award is due.

Let’s face it: our generation is the reason a group like 2 Live Crew attained any success. Even if their lyrics were freaky, we all did what they rapped about, in spite of it’s impropriety. Like porn, kinky music has its appeal – and like in our youth, the visuals that accompany it should be relegated to “adults only”. Unfortunately, we’ve gone too far to place a cap on that imagery now, and thankfully, many of us had a balance of images to keep us from being scarred. But I wish media outlets like VH1 that are in the position to influence the current generation with their programming, gave more thought to what artists they put on a pedestal, or at least offered a balanced perspective.  After all, I can think of many deserving hip-hop artists that VH1 continues to overlook.

But maybe, on VH1’s part, that would be too much like right…

Let’s Keep the “Thug” Ball Rollin’

Slim Thugs’ profound insight regarding what’s “wrong” with sistas initiated a conversation worth continuing. Basically sistas are too opinionated, independent , and self-righteous-shocker! Any woman of black descent who never heard that must not be from America. I’m certain sistas need to assume responsibility for their part, however they are not the problem in its entirety. So why are they often portrayed to have expectations that are too high as opposed to brothas having expectations that are too low?

If brothas choose women from other races because they’re more submissive, are sistas to blame for checking out on black love because they won’t play the submissive role? Or do brothas check out when they choose a submissive woman who aspires to do nothing more than cook, clean, and suck him raw? If brothas were really worried about preserving black love, wouldn’t they seek those successful and lonely sistas from the previous blog?  If black really is black love… no one knows a brothas struggle like a sista. Where there are commonalities there are souls intertwined. Sistas can cook, clean, care for children, carry on an intellectual conversation AND contribute financially. So what’s the problem?

Perhaps brothas expectations for themselves are so low they are incapable of sustaining a relationship with a powerful, ambitious, well-rounded renaissance sista of the 21st century. Maybe because they know if their ducks aren’t in a row an independent sista may walk away before a woman who is entirely dependent on her husband. So brothas seem to choose women who are more docile, dependent and low-maintenance who require nothing more than for you to change your Myspace status to “In a Relationship” and get her some followers on Twitter.

Happy Birthday Prince!

He’s only the baddest man in show business, an inspiration to millions, a real professional when it comes to his craft, a true entertainer, and savvy enough in the entertainment business to maintain a veil of mystery – but you won’t find his personal business on any gossip blog.

Happy birthday Prince Rogers Nelson.

Summer Must-Have Music

Music is my first love. I’m a writer, but a songwriter first, and always go to music when I need an outlet to express emotion, tell a story, or whenever the mood strikes me to create. I also LOVE musicians (I married a trumpeter) and I keep an ear to the ground for the latest good music. Luckily my hubby is a collector of good music and a serious hip-hop head, and one of our very best friends, and Black Is author, Mr. CEO is cut from the same cloth. The three of us put our heads together to compile a list of music you all MUST have in your collections. We tend to shy away from what plays on the radio – you’ll hear those songs repeatedly this summer – but these are albums that are worth downloading or buying from your local record store. So without further ado:


(click on each artist to see/hear more)

Actress – Splazsh

Dam-Funk – Toeachizown

Erykah Badu – New Amerykah Part Two

Flying Lotus – Cosmograma

Janelle Monae -The ArchAndroid

Jose James – Blackmagic

Method Man, Ghostface Killah & Raekwon – Wu Massacre

Nas & Damien Marley – Distant Relatives

Reflection Eternal – Revolutions Per Minute

The Roots – Dilla Joints

The Roots – How I Got Over

Yahzarah – The Ballad Of Purple St. James