Category Archives: Music & More

health hop music

I believe the children are our future. I believe that it’s important to meet people where they are when trying to reach them. I believe we should educate young people about real topics like sex, economics, politics, race and health. So it follows that I should like Dr. Clarke’s “Health Hop Music.” Uh, no.

Dr. John D. Clarke has a series of albums he’s written, produced and performed focusing on educating young people about their health. Relying on studies with conclusions like “the average teen listens to 40 hours of music per week and 10,500 hours of music between the 7th and 12th grade,” and “today, Hip-Hop is the music of choice for many teens and is the ideal genre for capturing their attention,” Dr. Clarke hopes to use hip hop to break through to kids and get them to listen up.

While the doctor’s motives are admirable and his attempt to make good songs not too shabby, I have to say that this is a fail. Take a break from reading right now and head over to the Health Hop page on CD Baby and listen to some clips. See what I mean? No? Read on.  Continue reading

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Filed under Health & Wellness, Music & More, Routine Ramblings, What kind of fuckery?

whew!

I see now that it might be a couple of days before I can really get back into blogging. I started a new job on Monday so I’ve been getting acclimated there, as well as getting back into a 9-5 schedule. Do you know that I haven’t had to be at a 9-5/5 days a week job since last summer? Even that was an internship! My law classes didn’t even have that type of schedule. In Tokyo, we admittedly did more partying than studying or spending time in class so that wasn’t too stressful. This past summer, as the steady readers know, I didn’t have to be anywhere really. When doing the consulting/freelance, that was on my time for the most part. So now here I am trying to get back on track which includes getting up early, riding the subway to work, running errands after 5pm, heading home, attempting to make dinner, then studying for my MPA classes. Which reminds me, I haven’t even started this week’s reading AND my group members want everyone to turn in a draft of our project sections this Friday. Suffice to say that I won’t be doing anything for the remainder of the week besides work and school work. Womp.

I did go out to SOBs last night to see Black Sheep and Tanya Morgan rock with Revive da Live, a jammin’ ass hip hop band. It was awesome. TM already bangs but they definitely should try to hook up with the band more often. Hmm, perhaps they should do a reality show like Diddy. Making TMs Band?

Remember my crazy uncle? He had me put him on the phone with Dres from Black Sheep. Embarrassing but I did it anyway because I knew it’d make him happy. He wanted me to get an autograph too, but I have my limits. Besides, I had already gotten a pic with Dres for my Old Rapper Collection. More on that later for those who don’t know. LOL

Holla

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Filed under Music & More, My Life, Routine Ramblings

untitled

Ten years later, my reaction to this video is the same as when I first saw it in my dorm room freshman year (holla 404 E-haus, UNC’s South Campus!) with my roomie and my bestie. We three were jaw jacking about something when the video came on my roomie’s 13in television. All conversation ceased. I was sitting cross-legged on the top bunk, roomie was sitting on her bed, and bestie stood in the middle of the room. All three, mesmerized and silent. All three, breathing in sync with him. We were the ultimate voyeurs, peeking in on an intimate moment with a man we could have built from all of our favorite parts. It wasn’t raunchy. It wasn’t vulgar. It was sexy in the way romance novels try to be with all of that grand, overly-descriptive language.

Not until the video went off were we able to start talking again. There was about a 10 second delay and we all snapped out of our trances and laughed. Real talk, some kind of Lex Luthor, Dr. Doom, Magneto, Boris & Natasha, or Dr. Evil could have put his world domination propaganda into that video and we would have willingly done their bidding. I still really can’t tell you what the lyrics are or what the song’s about because I don’t really *hear* it. SMH.

Can you breathe now? Read more

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Filed under Celebrities, Music & More, Routine Ramblings, School Daze, Videos, Yummy bodies

Paging Dr. Shanté

I’m not going to rehash the whole story here because it’s all over the webz, but when I heard how the feel good/made it out the hood story about former teen rapper, Roxanne Shanté, getting her record company to pay for her education (including an Ivy League Ph.D. in Psychology) turned out to be false, I wasn’t surprised. Not in the least. Oh, not that I thought a rapper from Queens couldn’t have accomplished such things…

That's Dr. Danielle Spencer now... as if she'd let you call her Dr. Dee Thomas!

I BEEN knew something was wrong because the Daily News article on this unique record contract and amazing rapper-turned-doctor referred to her as Doctor Shanté. People were repeating that mess on blogs, message boards, twitter and facebook. Dr. Shanté. Really? Um, wasn’t Roxanne Shanté your RAP name, one you dreamed up after hearing UTFO go in on some stuck up chick named Roxanne? How am I supposed to take you seriously when I’m seeking out a therapist and she’s going by her RAP MONIKER? Sure, we still call Queen Latifah “Queen Latifah” but she hasn’t left show business so it’s allowed. I bet if she were to become a surgeon or an attorney we’d call her Dr. Owens, Dana Owens, Esq.

All types of folks are known to fudge their resume and trump up their credentials and it’s pretty much accepted. Flat out lying about where you went to school and what degrees you’ve earned, however, is a douche move. It makes you look silly in the end and it’s an embarrassment that will stick with you forever. People like myself, working on 2nd and 3rd advanced degrees don’t appreciate it Ms. Shanté! It’s not like people go around telling everyone they’re rappers (oh, wait. nevermind. Anyhood, USA proves me wrong on that front).

It’s just that we would have always thought of little 14 year old Roxanne Shanté in her slicked back ponytail and doorknocker earrings rapping with the big boys and smiled. Now that she got our hopes up by faking the funk, people are let down and a bit peeved. If there’s one thing the hip hop community doesn’t tolerate, it’s a liar.

Hold up now. ALLEGED liar, because maybe she really did get those degrees. Maybe she is a psychiatrist that uses hip hop to heal her patients. Perhaps there was a mix up with the name she used to enroll (clearly, she’s not good at sticking with one name). It’s possible the record company wants to deny paying that money to save face and just maybe a couple of somebodies at Marymount Manhattan and Cornell have it out for the good rappin doctor. Slate could have it wrong just as easily as the Daily News. Even Russell Simmons is cosigning her! Gooden/Shante doesn’t seem to be fazed, though. As of last Thursday, her Twitter page was still posting links to articles like the Daily News piece (@DrShante. Hmph…if it’s her real twitter account). It doesn’t really matter to me how it turns out because either way, she’s still dead wrong running around as Dr. Shanté.

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Filed under Celebrities, I'm Judging You (reviews & criticism), Music & More, Not New News, television, What kind of fuckery?

Making His Band: i’m over it

Sorry yall. If you were looking for this week’s recap/commentary of Making His Band you’re out of luck. I watched Monday’s ep and I had started to blog about it. Mid-way through, I lost interest. The show is simply not that interesting anymore. I don’t know if it ever was. Not even Jaila’s fabulosity can save it. I’m completely uninspired to force myself to watch every Monday and even more uninspired to write about it. No worries, plenty of other places on the web to get your Diddy fix. In related news, Diddy’s new MTV show, Starmaker is not work watching. It’s safe to say that all of these reality talent shows (American Idol, America’s Got Talent, and Diddy’s own shows like Making The Band) have already run through America’s wannabe singers. Who else is out there that hasn’t already been to a casting and summarily rejected? Those rejects are on Starmaker. Will not be tuning in anymore.

When Diddy brings back Da Band and Dylan (hot fiyah), THEN there will be something to blog about!

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Filed under Celebrities, Music & More, television

Making His Band ep03: teamwork

Count Diddula working on his vocals

[Contains Spoilers]
Back on the scene after last week’s back to basics catastrophe. To be honest, I’m not as committed to this show as I am to others but I’m watching it so you don’t have to (or so that you know you’re not the only one!). Anyway, let’s get to this week’s recap.

Where last week was about the individual, the musicians were put into groups tonight to focus on programming, playing as a team and sonically reproducing the feel of Last Train to Paris. While it’s apparent that many of the musicians weren’t formally trained or know the fundamentals, they’re here now because they’ve taught themselves or have a natural ear for music. Broken up into 4 bands, the musicians had three days to three songs (Point of No Return by Expose, Pleasure Principle by Janet Jackson and Take On Me by A-Ha).

Out the gate, Brockett was hype. “Once we get the sounds right… there’s nobody gonna play with the kinda feel I can play on these records. Trust me,” he proclaimed. I liked that kind of confidence and from what we’ve seen so far, Brockett can really back up all the tough talk. He can afford to run the keys all he wants in his group though, because he’s the only keyboardist there.

In the next group, Lynnette was on keys along with Jason aka J-Sweet and they weren’t meshing quite as well as they needed to. Everyone cannot be the leader/music director but at this point, with it being a competition and all, I don’t think that’s an easy concept to swallow. Hence, discord. I really like Lynnette though. I feel as though she’s hella talented and humble which is a rare combination. What I’ve noticed is that J-Sweet has a very negative and defensive attitude. Every time Lynnette says something or asks a question, J-Sweet gets super condescending and patronizing. Ew. It’s not the way to rally a team if you ARE the leader. To be fair, I don’t think Lynnette should react by running away. Continue reading

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Filed under Celebrities, I'm Judging You (reviews & criticism), Music & More, television

Making His Band ep02: Fundamentals

Last week’s premier was the massive weeding out of less than stellar talent and our first intro to the musicians who made it into the house. This week, we get a closer look and more Didtastic shenanigans, of course.

The house is not a home. It’s a freaking mansion. That place is huge and fits 30 people, son! Amenities include a pool worthy of ___ and a mini theather with stadium seating.

Lynnette and Brockett (who violated by wearing sunglasses indoors) have a connection to Berklee and a formal music education. Most of the cats in the house seem self-taught though so it’ll be interesting to see how education or lack thereof impacts their sound. The judges apparently feel that music education is important at some level because they stressed technique on the first challenge. FUNDAMENTALS is the name of the game. Brockett made a pretty good analogy likening everyone to new NBA players who gotta go back to basics and shoot free throw drills. Although, I must say that the slam dunk v. free throw comment reminded me of the racist assumption that Black players have natural skill and athleticism whereas white players work hard and dedicate themselves to training. I’m not saying Brockett is racist at all, by the way. I’m just saying. Continue reading

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Filed under Celebrities, I'm Judging You (reviews & criticism), Music & More, television