I love a good blog. I’m more likely to peruse the pages of blogs for news since, as art is concerned, primetime news is rarely giving face to the issues and people I care most about. And when I discover a blog that showcases something I love and brings critical convo to the table, I’m all in – and I pass it on.

Meet More about the brother behind the blog later; but for now consider this a resource for good underground artists interviews (especially for us LA kids), smart commentary on this music industry, and big love to good artistry in general.

Check out his most recent entries: interviews with Brook D’Leau and Miss Jack Davey of the bad-ass music duo J*Davey.

Let’s Keep the “Thug” Ball Rollin’ – Part II

Slim Thug recently participated in an interview with Vibe where he disclosed a bias he has towards black women. In this interview he states: “My girl is Black and White. I guess the half White in her is where she still cooks and do all the **** that I say, so we make it. She just takes care of me and I like that.” However despite this controversial comment he continues and manages to pick up the dirty laundry he threw on the floor by saying, “White women treat they man like a king and Black women feel like they ain’t gotta do that *****. Black women need to stand by their man more. Don’t always put the pressure of if I’m ******ing with you, you gotta buy me this and that. Black men are the ones that mother****ers need [but] I think a lot of them need to step it up too. A Black man who gets a little bread will go make it rain in the club and be broke the next day or instead of him going to invest in a business he gonna go buy new jewelry or a new car and still live in the hood. Black peoples’ mentality is real ****ed up in general [and] it’s affecting everything.”

On my first read, I couldn’t make out half of the argument because every other word was a curse word. He’s right: the world does NEED more black men however; we NEED black men with an extended vocabulary and proficient writing skills – in other words EDUCATED.

I am not here to degrade any ethnicity because that would be counterproductive; however I will say that certain people are born into wealth and therefore a job is not a requirement. Things mean a lot more to you once you have worked hard to get it and some people do not have to work at all to get what they are given in life. Also, black men and women need to start investing their money to gain wealth.  Everyone wants to be rich, however wealth is where the money really is.

It’s shocking and a shame that black men think like this and to be honest, I am grateful that Slim Thug did have the balls to call it like it WAS. We need to change this negative idea society has of black women being loud, nosy, rude, aggressive and, for lack of a better word, “ghetto.” However the image of black men needs to change too. We need to change the gang banging, baby daddy, no job having, high school dropout image. Black women are slowly progressing to change this image and we need a strong black man beside us. Why would we bend over backwards for someone who won’t make the effort to bend? If you think looking for a black man with an education and a stable job, who can afford to not support but spoil their girlfriend or wife is too much, then you have some soul searching to do. If you tend to attract gold diggers then you need to be extra careful about the company you keep and the decisions you make.

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