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Video: Whitney Houston & Kim Burrell SANG At BET’s Celebration Of Gospel Read more: Whitney Houston & Kim Burrell Perform At BET’s Celebration Of Gospel

I’m LOVING this!  Oh, I feel like an old church mother on the front pew of the church house. 

Whitney is not back to her old vocal stylings, BUT this is the best I’ve heard her sing in YEARS!  Leave it to Kim Burrell to help a sista out.

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Is it just me or is Sunday Best a lil different this season?

I watched “Sunday Best” on BET last night.  I have to say, the tone of the show is much more “holy roller-ish” than last year when DC’s own Y’Anna Crawley won.  I must say off top, I’m calling Leandria Johnson for the win this season.  The girl is Legendary.  Her singing is effortless and she’s humble about it.  That’s a combination for gospel greatness.

Any who…

Last year the girls from Mary Mary and BeBe Winans were giving the singers real industry critique.  They did not shy away from telling people that they sounded bad.  They didn’t sugar coat or give a “That’s ok.  Sing baby!” pity observation.  They told the truth.  As a singer (yes, yall.  I sing.) I appreciated the honesty.  The last thing you want to do is tell someone they can sing and put them out in public to be humiliated.  (…like they do on American Idol.  From what I understand, those people go through a number of tryouts before they get to the real judges.  Why would they think they have a chance in front of the cameras?  Perhaps because no one has told them the truth and they’ve moved on to the next round in the audition process.)

Well, this season the judging is much more toned down.  Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, Tina Campbell, and Kim Burrell are some of the best singers in gospel.  They know singing, but they are not coming with fierce critiques this season.  There is a whole lot of classic African American church dialect, phrases, and praises being tossed around.  I think the old rule of “If you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all.” is in full effect.  As I watched last night I really wished that the advice and direction that was given last year, given in love, was there as well as the admonishment and praises.  I really that judges are sharing the harsh realities of the music industry with these singers behind the scenes.

They must have gotten some letters from the saints saying that they weren’t being nice.  Perhaps people felt that since it’s a gospel show is should be more about the spirit of God and giving praises than singing ability and performance on stage.  What do you think?

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Erykah Badu: We love your nakedness

I was really, really shocked at the negative response that many Black people have had to Erykah Badu’s “Window Seat” video.  Outside of the fact that filming was done without a proper permit (which could bring some legal heat from the City of Dallas), I really didn’t understand the drama.   Then I remembered that she’s a black woman.

  • She is a black woman who has not allowed her image to be over-sexualized in the media.
  • She is not Trina or Lil Kim.  She’s not a video vixen
  • She is a “natural sista” and “earth mother goddess” whom many have put on a royal pedestal to be held up as an example of truth and light
  • She’s done something shocking and many are not comfortable with it.

How dare she make you uncomfortable?  How dare she try to do something different and strange?  How dare she be so “out of the box.”  Right?

This is all about the boxes that Badu is metaphorically evolving from in the video.  The boxes that say in the Black community only video hoes, strippers, female rappers and the like can take their clothes off in public.  It’s ok for them right?  The boxes that are at work right now telling us that we should not THINK that this video is ok.  We should think what THEY say we should think, right?

Of course, sisters with wisdom and truth, who wear their hair without chemical straighteners and understand mathematics would never expose themselves to make a point, right?

If you agree with that, I’m sure you’d  agree that Black people don’t do performance art anyway?  We can’t possibly understand all of the symbolism in the video because we are so caught up in the “groupthink”.  The same groupthink that says Waka Flocka Flame and Soulja Boy make good music.  Isn’t that right?

So let’s all just take this video at face value and join in the chorus of people who don’t get it and can’t accept it.  Let’s stay on the surface and not dig deeper.  Let’s assassinate the character of the beautiful black sister who is trying to speak to us from a place of vulnerability in her art.  Let’s do to her what she’s already symbolically done to herself…strip down her motives and assassinate her character.

“As soon as the thought came to my mind, I decided to assassinate myself as a gesture. Because it was going to happen anyway. The video is a prediction of what is happening now. […] I would like to say that it was a protest to awaken a term called ‘groupthink.’ It’s a term that was coined in 1952. It’s the recognition of a state of being for humans. It’s human nature for a person to be afraid to express his or her self in fear of being ostracized by the group or general consensus,” the singer explains.  – source

I don’t know about y’all, but I’d rather see a video like this, something risky and artistic, than 90% of what I usually see in the media.  I’d much rather see nakedness with a point than random booty shaking and bikinis.

Erykah Badu, I love your nakedness, your vulnerability, and your strength.  I hope you sell lots of downloads and CDs.

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Chris Brown Cries Out For Help

Did Chris Brown appeal to his fans to prey for him?  No.  Did he put a call out saying that he’s working with a domestic violence organization and he wants people to support a new campaign against teen domestic violence?  NO.  Chris Brown has sent out an appeal to his fans to help him get radio air play.

Global Grind reports: Chris Brown has received a lot of flack since the incident withRihanna. Now Chris Brown is asking for the help of his fans to help him get back to the top of the charts. Chris Brown took to his SayNow page to plead for help from his friends. Chris Brown said:

“I ain’t never really did this but right now I need all of my fans help. A lot of radio stations aren’t playing my records. They are not being that supportive and I wouldn’t expect them to. It’s on the fans and what you guys do in your power to bring me back. That’s all I need is you guys and nothing else will do that except for the fans.”

Chris Brown continues on by saying he’s doing everything he needs to do but leaving it by saying:

“It’s on ya’ll. My singing and my music I do it for you guys and everything else but it won’t be possible if I’m not relevant on the radio and it wouldn’t be possible for me to be an artist if I don’t have the support.”

Chris Brown closes by saying he loves his fans.

  1. Chris, please ask your PR person to review your SayNow.com posts for consistency sake.  You don’t have to write like a Harvard grad, but you should use standard english.  I know that people want to sound authentically hood. I guess it’s about street cred.
  2. If you want people to stop hating on you, you need to be really, really apologetic.  Sure, you’ve apologized already.  Keep apologizing.
  3. To support someone is an endorsement of their personal brand.  A personal brand can be changed but it can’t be changed by the fans.

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American Music Inaugural Ball

Who: Dionne Warwick will host
When: Jan. 20; there will be two balls–the Legends Ball from 8:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and the Urban Ball from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Where: Wardman Park Marriott, 2660 Woodley Rd NW, Washington, D.C.
Tickets: Legends Ball $450; Urban Ball $350; both $650. See Web site for more information.
Why You Want to Attend: Star-studded cast: Co-hosted by gospel star Yolanda Adams the “Legends Ball” will feature performances by Rodney Atkins, George Clinton, Chaka Khan, Marvin Sapp, The Temptations (Dennis Edwards), Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, Kirk Franklin, the H.B. Barnum Orchestra, The Caravans and Smokie Norful.

The “Urban Ball”, co-hosted by Big Boi of Outkast, will feature performances by T-Pain, David Banner, Athena Cage, Cedric The Entertainer, The Cheetah Girls, Fantasia, Lil Jon, Monica, Bella Steez and Bobby Valentino.

Presenters include Isaiah Washington, former NBA stars Jalen Rose, Kenny “The Jet” Smith and Reggie Miller, Tracey and Alonzo Mourning and current Washington Redskins defensive end Jason Taylor who recently appeared on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

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The Ruler: An Obama tribute video by FlyGy

www.flygypsy.com This video features DC and MD artists Fly Gypsy (Alexei Jendayi (aka Poor Russian Boy), and Kom Plex. It feautres Kuku on vocals).

Let us know what you think.

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“Wouldn’t you like to be a Nigger too?”

“I’m a nigger, he’s a nigger, she’s a nigger, we some niggers,
wouldn’t you like to be a nigger too?
They like to strangle niggers, blaming niggers, shooting niggers, hanging niggers,
still you wanna be a nigger too?”

NAS had my attention before, when he was going to name his new CD “Nigger”. That has been scrapped and the CD will be untitled from what I hear, but I’m loving his new CD cover. What I’m REALLY REALLY REALLY loving today is his new song “Be a Nigger too” and the video for it. You can check it out below. I’m so excited about this song. The song in the video is longer than the CD version, but I think they should change that. I know some of you won’t be able to get past the n-word. That’s ok. I know it’s painful. However, as a child of black revolutionaries…I love this s**t. I think it’s conscious and I haven’t heard much consciousness in hip hop music lately. In the video he says,

“They say we N-I Double G E-R, We Are, Much More, But still we choose to ignore the obvious/ We are the Slave And the Master. What you lookin for? You the question and the answer.”

Yes we really are.

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Nas on Racism, Obama, and of course “Nas World”

Nas is readying his latest LP and the legendary emcee is also being his regular outspoken self. Recently, he spoke out on racism and how it affects him and how it may affect Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

“I get reminders,” Nas recently said in an interview with MTV. “I see a lot of people get reminders all the time. But the president of the United States? I don’t know. He can expect that everything that can happen, will happen. But he’s a lot more powerful than Nasir Jones in a lot of ways. I think he’ll be all right. People like me, we’re gonna deal with [racism]. There’s a lot of ignorance in the world. Look at the human family. We’ve been able to design iPods and so-called go the Moon. Yet, we can’t get over racial difference and colors of skin. That’s gotta go.”

“If Barack becomes the president, it doesn’t matter who looks at him as a n—er at that point…Everybody gotta go through scrutiny, criticism by crazy people. They will criticize your child. They talked about the Clintons‘ daughter, and they talked about this one and that one. You gotta be able to take the high road on everybody. I think Obama is perfect for taking the high road. He’s prepared. He’s a black man. Him taking the high road is him taking the country on a high road. I think it’s gonna benefit everybody in America with that guy in office. Let’s hope it happens. Let’s hope it’s no funny business with that guy in office. Let’s hope for the best,” Nas continued.

For years, he was not interested in the political game but now Nas is giving Obama credit for bringing that interest back.

“It got me interested…I think in about 10 more years from today, you’re gonna have more politicians who grew up listening to Illmatic that are … MCs! That are rappers. You’re gonna start seeing more rappers evolve into politicians. If we have a change this year and it’s a positive thing, we trusting the system now. We believe in it more. We see something positive coming out of it that makes us want to get involved more. Five or 10 years from now, you might see somebody like me trust it more. Who knows? I won’t say for sure.”
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Someone’s messing with Ray Charles’ money

The LA Times is reporting that shortly before Christmas 2002, Ray Charles called a meeting of his 12 children at a hotel near Los Angeles International Airport. Ten of them, ranging in age from 16 to 50 — with 10 mothers among them — listened as their father told them he was mortally ill and outlined what they could expect from his fortune. Most of Charles’ assets would be left to his charitable foundation. But $500,000 had been placed in trusts for each of the children to be paid out over the next five years, according to people at the meeting and a trust document.

Yet Charles’ description left so much to the imagination that some of the children came away with the impression that he meant to leave them $1 million each. Charles also hinted that there would be more for them “down the line,” which some interpreted to mean they would inherit the right to license his name and likeness for profit.

The confusion and contention that resulted from that family gathering, the only time so many of the children met with their father as a group, helps explain what has happened since. Charles exercised iron control over his music and recordings, but his legacy is in disarray, knotted up in legal disputes between the estate’s management and his family members, according to interviews, court documents and correspondence from the California attorney general’s office.

Charles died at 73 in Beverly Hills on June 10, 2004, after a long battle with cancer. In lawsuits filed against Charles’ former manager, several of his children have asserted that their father’s legacy has been mishandled by the manager and others associated with Ray Charles Enterprises, which holds the rights to his music, and the Ray Charles Foundation.

At issue are not only money and the family’s standing but also the fate of thousands of musical recordings, videotapes and other artifacts produced during Charles’ long career. Professional estimates place the value of Charles’ original masters at about $25 million — on top of the $50 million he held in securities, real estate and other assets.

Charles’ children are hoping to win control of the marketing of their father’s name and image, and a greater voice in foundation affairs.

“No one is as committed to RC as his family,” said Mary Anne Den Bok, an attorney who is the mother of Charles’ youngest child, Corey Robinson Den Bok. Continue reading

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The Things I’ve Seen

I like this song.  It describes the “fun filled” day I’m having.  *sigh*  Drama!  The Groups name is “The Spooks“.  Very interesting name, huh?
cough*RACIAL*cough

Enjoy!

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