Category: Lavish Music Picks (Page 1 of 11)

Let’s Talk About Jesse Williams’ Explosive Speech

Freedom is somehow always conditional here. You’re free, they keep telling us, but she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so free.

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Jesse Williams drops the mic.

Last night, I actually watched the BET Awards in real time. My sole purpose was to see how exactly they intended to memorialize Prince after Madonna’s catastrophe at the Billboard Music Awards. Since the tributes were sprinkled throughout, I had no choice but to stay. Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar wasted no time in getting to the Black of it by performing her song “Freedom”. I watched as Erykah, Bilal, Maxwell, Janelle Monae, and the incomparable Sheila E. did the damn thing on stage. Hs Royal Highness would be pleased.

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But the most mind-blowing moment? When actor Jesse Williams took to the podium to claim his humanitarian award. And he blessed the crowd with more than a thank you.

The gems:

what’s going to happen is we’re going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function in ours

Yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday. So, I don’t want to hear anymore about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on a 12-year-old playing alone in a park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich

If you have no interest in equal rights for black people, then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

…Gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit.

And the entire transcript, just in case the powers that be make it extra-hard to view the video. Just read the whole thing, and then read it again:

“Peace. Peace. Thank you Debra. Thank you, Nate Parker. Thank you, Harry and Debbie Allen, for participating in that. Before we get into it, I just want to say I brought my parents out tonight — I just want to thank them for being here and teaching me to focus on comprehension over career. They made sure I learned what the schools were afraid to teach us. And also, thank you to my amazing wife for changing my life.

“Now, this award, this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country. The activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do. All right? It’s kind of basic mathematics. The more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.

“Now, this is also in particular for the black women in particular who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.

“Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s going to happen is we’re going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function in ours.

“Now, [standing ovation] I got more, y’all.

“Yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday. So, I don’t want to hear anymore about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on a 12-year-old playing alone in a park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich.

“Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better to live in 2012, than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Darrien Hunt.

“Now, the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money that alone isn’t going to stop this. All right? Now dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back. To put someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies and now we pray to get paid with brands for our bodies. There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There’s no tax they haven’t levied against us. And we pay all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. You’re free, they keep telling us, but she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so free.

“Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter but, you know what, though, the hereafter is a hustle. We want it now. And let’s get a couple of things straight here, just a little sidenote. The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job. All right, stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest in equal rights for black people, then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

“We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo. And we’re done watching, and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us. Burying black people out of sight and out of mind, while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil — black gold. Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them. Gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is, though, the thing is, that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real. Thank you.”

This may very well be one of the most important speeches in contemporary culture. Thank you, Jesse Williams.

This Valentine’s Day Will Be Amazing

I can’t WAIT for Valentine’s Day this year. I’m not usually a fan of the day because, to be quite honest, I give and get love everyday. I love love, and I love being in love. So the notion of having an extra special day for love is just silly to me. If you want love in your life, just surround yourself with it, give it, receive it, be thankful for it, and it will come in abundance!

So back to my excitement. This year’s Love Day has two bomb performances that I will be checking out, with a few of my all time favorite performers hitting the stage.

Number One: Valentine’s Day with Amel Larrieux
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This sweet, breathy songbird is on constant rotation. Amel Larrieux always makes me smile and lights the fire of my femininity. I feel like flying when I hear her sing. And that is an understatement!

Date: Sunday, February 14, 2016
Showtime:  7:30pm
Doors Open:  6:00 pm
Tickets: $47.50 in advance, $55 day of show
http://www.bbkingblues.com/bio.php?id=2752

Number Two: Maxwell and Nas w/Special guest Emili Sandé
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Now who better to put you in the mood than Maxwell. You hear one note of one of his songs, and you know its on. He is a classic, and he doesn’t even need to try. And then to be combined with one of my all time favorite rappers, Nas. Really good hip hop merged with soulful R&B? I’m there.

Date: Monday, February 15, 2016
Showtime: 8:00 pm
Doors Open: 7:00pm
Tickets: $45-175

http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/02004F8D100D2F71?camefrom=CFC_PC_WEB_PRU_MAXW1983

David Bowie

Because hip hop always had a love affair with the music and style of David Bowie, and so did I. Rest in Peace to a legend.

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You know it when you hear it:

And you MOVE when you hear the original which SLAYS. Every. Single. Time.

And the list of people who sampled THIS song is just endless:

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Brandy is Winning Right Now

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Brandy is all over the map these days. She just released “Beggin and Pleadin” a bluesy, guitar-based song that recalls the soul of Ma Rainey, B.B King, and Etta James, with her raspy vocals confidently riffing on the track. It’s definitely not what you’d expect from the singer in this climate of oversexed, same-sounding R&B, but I welcome her growth.

This follows the premiere of her new show Zoe Ever After, a show about a businesswoman coming into her own after a divorce. I watched it; it’s cute. I’ll need it to grow on me.

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You go girl!

Lavish Music: Tweet – Won’t Hurt Me

Ladies, have you every had that dude, that ex, that swears on his life that you are sweating him? And although you’ve happily, successfully moved on, he still comes back at you with the wackness?

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Well, Tweet has the song for you. I can appreciate the calm, subtle tone of this song. No crazy bass, no rapper cameo. Just a simple message, given a firm resonance with Tweet’s earthy, raspy vocals.

The song is from Tweet’s forthcoming album, Charlene. From what I’ve heard, its a soulful, collection of grown-woman reflection, that I truly appreciate right now. I think I’ll add this album to my collection.

Tweet_charlene

Lavish Music: But You Caint Use My Phone

Erykah Badu is that crazy girlfriend that out-crazies you and you love her for making you laugh, cry, vent, and it keep it all the way real. Because she is just true. So how geeked was I to hear her new mixtape But you Caint Hear My Phone?

I’ve missed Ms Erykah. Sure, she’s put out a few solo gems here and there, but I haven’t heard a solid album from her since Mama’s Gun. And I own all her albums, so I would know. Phone, with its obvious Drake shoutouts, consistent phone theme, and a surprising duet with ex, Andre 3000 gives me that trip, psychedelic, neo-soul drip that I’ve missed from her. Nothing too far out like New Amerykah, but just high enough in the clouds to stay within the hemisphere, so we can all come back down and process that shit. I’m all here for it.

My faves:
U Use to Call Me
What’s Yo Phone Number
and Hello

But You Caint Use My Phone is on iTunes.

And did you catch the Soul Train Music Awards? She did her thing as the host. Loved the Soul Cipher.

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Rest. Rejuvenation. Rock and Roll

#AfropunkFest

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From the festival front lines: @fvp_cpt

I took a brief digital vacation while I enjoyed the sun, city life, and some less-humid days in New York City. On Sunday, after dancing my way into the sunshine in Central Park with my long time African dance community, my daughter and I headed over to Brooklyn for the AfroPunk Festival to catch Lenny Kravitz close out the weekend show.

A video posted by Lavish (@lavishchic) on

I have to admit, I was a little turned off by the $50 entrance fee, although I understand that with unique, artistic events like these, the inevitable corporate control of branding comes into place, where the original influences become priced-out of a once unique event. With this new tier-pricing, I expect to see a lot more of the scene-y types in coming years, with spreads in the high fashion magazines that make anything underground instantly uncool. But, back to the scene. I enjoyed browsing the vendors and taking in beautiful, stylish black people. And most of all, the music, which is the whole point of it all. Here are some truly inspirational looks from the weekend:

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A photo posted by Yvonne Gougelet (@yvonnegnyc) on

Afropunk takeover|| #AFROPUNK2015 #melanin #blackgirlmagic

A photo posted by Saph (@shes__agem) on

A photo posted by Klairkia (@klairkia_theartist) on

A photo posted by Keite Young (@keiteyoung) on

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A photo posted by Kalae Nouveau (@kalaenouveau) on

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Lavish Music: Erykah’s Mixtape + Jill Scott’s Woman

And aint she a Woman?

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First off, congrats on Jill Scott for getting the number one spot on the Billboard 200 for her latest album, Woman. Fool’s Gold is definitely my jam. Listening to this album had me reminiscing about her debut album; Fool’s Gold could easily be an updated Love Rain. Another of my favorites is Lighthouse, with its reflective strings and her mix of poetry and song that Jill does so perfectly. The album overall feels like a woman who is taking her time to be in her feelings, while letting you be in yours.  It’s moody, sultry, and grown, with a clear nod to Aretha’s 60s melodrama.

~

Meanwhile, Erykah Badu released a compilation of music that inspires her moods, with her mixtape Feel Better World. The mix is a compilation of her favorite soul and jazz artists. Of course we knew she has great musical taste. Listen here:

FEEL BETTER, WORLD! … LOVE, MS.BADU by Erykah She Ill Badu on Mixcloud

We’re Feeling You, Janet

Current mood right now. Anyone else get a That’s The Way Love Goes vibe in the new Janet video for No Sleep?

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Watch:

Lavish Music: The Venus Bushfires

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I was entranced listening to Helen Parker-Jayne, of The Venus Bushfires playing her unusual instrument as part of an exhibit for artist Hassan Hajjaj’s My Rock Stars. The instrument, called a hang, rings out soft, echoing melodies, reminiscent of a hushed steel drum. Relax and indulge in the sounds o The Venus Bushfires.

 

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