just like music…

The other night a friend of mine invited me to a birthday party she was going to and not having much of a nightlife lately I decided that I needed to ummm… ahem… get my life. The venue was modern and sleek. The crowd was a group of what is now sometimes known as urban intellectuals, if you will. And the DJ… saved my life with a song… or several.

It made me remember just how good music and good vibes can make you forget about all that is wrong in this world – in your world… if only for a little while. Music can call back the memory of a certain time and place or feeling that you thought had since been tucked away in the far crevices of your mind just by the first beat drop or the first few chords.

But it’s also like a native language; a common denominator. It’s sometimes the glue that binds together life experiences, decades, and generations. It’s infectious…

Don’t believe me? Let’s play a little game of call and response, shall we? Imagine you’re at your favorite club, bar, lounge, party, barbecue, reunion… you get the picture… and someone grabs a mic at random and says one of the following:

  • “Ayyyyyy…. YO!!” You say ______!
  • “Hold up!!” You say_________!
  • “La di da di…” You say _____________!
  • “Can I kick it?!” You say ___________!

Talib Kweli asking the crowd to get louder!

How many blanks were you able to fill in? All of them? None of them? I banish you to a muscial “time out” in the corner. Any emcee or DJ worth his or her turntables knows that any of the above will warrant an instant and unanimous reply from the crowd. This is for the very same reason that it seems like everyone in the room simultaneously and almost instinctively hovers to the ground when they hear “engine, engine number 9… on the New York transit line… if my train goes off the track…” and then slowly rises to a fever pitch as they hear and chant “_____, _____, _____!” (Did you fill in that one?) It’s for the same reason everyone feels the sudden urge to do a soul clap when they hear SoHo’s “Hot Music”. It’s why Will Smith (Fresh Prince) and Doug E. Fresh were recently still able to have the crowd rockin’ with them.

Music has the power to unite. It has the ability to transcend boundaries. It can rehash old memories and make new ones at the same time… Most importantly… music just feels so good.

“Music is my heart and soul… more precious than gold.”

 

-Love & Light… CB Radio

What about you…? What does music mean to you? What’s your favorite “call and response”? What song always makes you smile? What’s your favorite memory brought back by a particular song?

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blog love – be

The Blog Love featured here is a poem by Muze at Because I’m Write. I’d usually insert some sort of introduction here, but here I feel there is no introduction needed… How about a round of poetry snaps??

Love & Light… CB Radio

Be

Posted on August 5, 2011 by 

a dozen ways to Live,
we taught each other how to breathe
without oxygen
oxymoronic collaborations of genius
we crafted,
between stained fingers and intertwined strands
of lust and Love…
coasting on intangible planes of Pure.

not meant for consumption
yet you ate off my plate of afflicted beautiful
like your last meal was at stake
i fed you spoonfuls of consistent inconsistency…
washed your tongue with my words,
smiling in the moments when our palates met gracefully.

imperfected flawlessly, we reached
so far beyond any planet or star, we named this Abyss
sealed with a kiss of wrists when i lay lazily across your midriff
and not meant to rhyme but reason escaped, so Be was let Be.

blog love – how to know he is mad at you: 10 signs

For the next Blog Love article, Dr. J over at Single Black Male gives us ladies some insight by translating some “guyspeak” on ten signs your man is mad at you. Ladies, do any of these things sound familiar to you or have you been the one to say them? Fellas, have you said these things before? What’s missing from the list?

-Love & Light… CB Radio

How to Know He’s Mad at You: 10 Signs

December 20, 2012 By 

A few years back I was with my ex and she had a close friend who came home to find that her boyfriend had moved all of his things out while she was away at work that day. As she sat with her trying to console her I was thinking to myself, “I know for a fact that he didn’t just up and leave.” You know she had told me a story about how she kept pressing him to make plans for marriage and he was very hesitant, but they had been together for a minute so she kept pressing. In my mind, I knew what happened: he got so frustrated that one day he just decided he’d leave since she wouldn’t listen to him. I think that the majority of men whether they are excellent communicators or not always have a tendency to let things bottle up inside of them. I’ve noticed in myself that I have that flaw, I’ll never really tell a person when they’re bothering me until it’s too late and either I’m ready to move on or I explode. I thought back over all the times I’ve been mad and I came up with a list of ten signs he’s upset.

how to know he is mad at you

“Nothing.”

The fan favorite for the Black male is telling you that nothing is wrong. Pay close attention to this though, it’s different from when a woman says, “nothing.” When a woman says “nothing” she really means, “keep trying to find out what’s wrong.” When a man says “nothing” he really means “everything is wrong but I don’t want to talk about it because the situation isn’t likely to change.”

“You got it.”

At a certain point in every argument men reach that point where they realize that there is no way for them to win or even find middle ground. They also realize that sometimes their old lady has gotten so wound up for battle that he’s on level 1 and she’s preparing for an Extinction Level Event.

“I should just…”

This is my favorite… when I get to that point where I’m upset or frustrated I tell myself that I should just do something wild so you see exactly why I’m upset. If you’re giving me the silent treatment and I’m trying to ask if you want to go to this nice dinner tonight, I’ll just say, “I should just leave and then watch what she do when she see the pics on Instagram.”

“Don’t worry about it, I’ll take care of it.”

At this point, the man has completely lost any hope that you could possibly handle the situation or issue. This literally means, “cease and desist, move on to the side, and don’t do anything else to contribute to the dismay or failure of the situation.” Keep in mind, once a man loses faith in your ability to handle situations, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever get back that faith. This might be a time when an act of desperation or a “coming through in the clutch” moment should be inspired inside of you.

[Silence]

You ever been driving down the street, seen a couple in another car and the guy’s hands are on the steering wheel, staring out the front of the car while his girlfriend is ripping him a new one? Funny right? Nope. That’s a tactic used by men to not contribute to a crazy situation. Typically, when a crazy situation ends both sides say what they did wrong to contribute to it, by not saying anything at all it leaves no other chance for a result other than “woman you crazy.”

“Aight, bet.”

I’ve got a friend who says this just about all the time. It’s typically between men and not often used towards women. “Aight, bet” means, “I’m through with this argument, actions speak louder than words.” “Aight, bet” is also the most frequently used phrase before someone exits and returns with a pistol or shank. If you’re around a bar or lounge and you see someone say this and leave, you should go too.

“Are you serious?!”

We’re just seeking clarification that you actually know just how much of a hot mess you’re currently acting like. We don’t really expect anything to come from this question, but we want you to understand you’re being a hot mess. Feel free to continue on with your point, but we just wanting to level set on the status of your behavior. 

“OK.”

We are all very well aware that women hate this reply to anything. It means a lot but it doesn’t give a single detail or confirmation. If you start hooting and hollering and you get an “OK” it’s the ultimate finger to your storm. We’ll do it via text, we’ll do it in person, sometimes we’ll even do it over the phone just to have that long and awkward pause. No matter what, just know that it means we’re pissed about something.

“You know what?”

You definitely know what, you’re just denying it and he wants you to know. Typically, when I’ve reached, “you know what?” status it’s because the woman is operating under a completely false premise. Maybe I’m trying to keep the peace and she keeps pushing, that’s when I got to let her know what the “what” really is.

“I shouldn’t have to do this.”

Letting you know what we should and shouldn’t have to do is the last sign of frustration. The problem with relationships is that there really isn’t a manual for how to be in a relationship, just a lot of hearsay advice from various sources in our network. There are self-help books everywhere, but none of them are really telling you anything you couldn’t find out elsewhere. “I should have to do this” means, “You should know better.” It’s a sign that you’re neglecting something that you should be more than capable of handling.

Everybody’s relationship is different and every guy will express his anger in different ways. Some guys will agree with this list, some will say they’ve never said any of these a day in their life. (They’re probably lying to be honest with you.) Ladies, what are some signs that you look for when trying to figure out if he’s angry? Fellas, have I left any off this list that typically are the signs that you’re upset?

only in love and war

With the release of her new single, “Love and War”, Tamar Braxton (a.k.a. She! Me! Her!) seems to finally be on the rise and out of the shadows of her sister, singer Toni Braxton, and her music mogul husband, Vincent Herbert. Penned by Grammy award-winning songwriter, LaShawn Daniels of “It’s Not Right (but It’s Okay) by Whitney Houston”, “The Boy is Mine” by Monica & Brandy, “You Rock My World” by Michael Jackson, “Telephone” by Lady Gaga, and “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child (need I go on?) fame “Love and War” is that gut-wrenching, sometimes tear-jerking ballad of triumph in the war of love which, in my opinion, has seemingly been lacking  in the recent years of R&B. The rise and fall of the driving percussion topped with Braxton’s stellar range of vocals brings Daniels’ lyrics to life and gives it a soul all its own.  Watch her perform the song live at her artist showcase here.

Somebody said everyday was gon’ be sunny skies
Only Marvin Gaye and lingerie, I guess somebody lied
Started discussing it to fighting then don’t touch me please
Then it’s let’s stop the madness, just come lay with me
Truth be told, I’m waving my flag before it goes bad

‘Cause we made it this far on “for better or worse”
I want to feel it even if it hurts
If I gotta cry to get to the other side
Let’s go ’cause we gon’ survive

We stay on the frontlines, yeah but we’re still here after the bomb drops
We go so hard, we lose control
The fire starts, then we explode
When the smoke clears, we dry our tears
Only in love and war

It’s about that kind of love that makes you unleash your inner crazy on your significant other that you never knew existed yet no one else will bring them pain on your watch. It’s about knowing that your significant other can cut you so deeply but also knowing that they are the only one who can make it better. Somehow you can wear each other down so thin but you manage to build each other up every single time. The world can rise up against you but it’s okay… as long as it’s you and him/her against the world.

It’s that special kind of love… a love worth going to war for.

-Love & Light… CB Radio

What say you? Can you relate to the lyrics? In your opinion, is any love worth war? How do you feel about the song?

blog love – misery business: how to stop letting obnoxious people bother you

Today’s Blog Love is a post from the ladies over at Peace, Love & Pretty Things. More namely, GG Renee Hill. Their blog is absolutely phenomenal for helping you find the silver lining in your cloud or giving you that extra kick in the pants to just. do. you. There’s plenty of positivity to go around! This article specifically reminds us that the reflection in the mirror often includes others besides yourself… How do they affect your self-image and outlook on life?

-Love & Light… CB Radio

Monday, April 9, 2012

Misery Business: How to Stop Letting Obnoxious People Bother You

 Posted by GG Renee on 6:14 PM
source

Maybe I’m too sensitive. But I pretty much live by the standard that “If you don’t have anything nice to say to someone, then don’t say it.” I prefer to just let people be who they are and do what they do unless it directly impacts me or mine in some way. I don’t like when people give me unsolicited opinions about how I live my life, how I raise my children, how I dress, how I wear my hair. I suppose there’s something to the whole “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” thing, but really no matter how you say it, if it’s none of your business, it’s just none of your business.

I don’t understand it. Apparently, this is just how some folks operate. They must get some kind of satisfaction from hearing themselves talk. Or maybe they feel powerful when they think that they have successfully made someone else feel defensive or uncomfortable.  You know the type.

It’s toxic. We all have things we could complain or rant on about, right? But it’s a slippery slope. I’m not saying that I never complain, but I always feel worse when I do. And when I’m around people who are always grumbling and speaking negativity into every situation they can (especially at work!), I want to run in the other direction.

Miserable people feed off the energy of others, and they’ll take any kind of attention they can get. Once you become conscious of this, you become much less susceptible to it. If they are judging you, it’s sure thing that they are down on themselves in some way. And if they find something unpleasant to say about everything, then this is not the right person for you to open yourself up to.

Guard yourself.   Don’t allow this transfer of energy to occur. While you can’t control what others say or do, you can control what you internalize. Keep your heart and mind clear of other people’s trash. Know yourself, protect your peace of mind, and don’t let them see you sweat.

How do you handle negative people?  In the work place? Family members? Perhaps these things don’t bother you at all!   Do share.

it’s beginning to… sound… a lot like christmas

Here in Chicago we haven’t seen the likes of any snow just yet… knock on wood… really hard… Still the obligatory annual Festival of Lights took place on the Magnificent Mile and holiday decorations around the city have been making their appearances since before Thanksgiving. One would say it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around these parts.

One could also say, however, that it’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas, too. The internet is all a buzz with new holiday music like “Christmas Without You” from Eric Benet & Faith Evans and celebrity renditions of old favorites. Mariah Carey recently performed her holiday signature “All I Want for Christmas is You” with The Roots (playing children’s instruments nonetheless… and quite well I might add) & Jimmy Fallon. DMX even got in on the fun with his best version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”….Yep… See it to believe it.

But I must admit that I’m hard pressed to find much holiday music to replace the ones I’ve loved hearing year after year. Maybe its warm memories that the old classics call to mind. Maybe I’m just stubborn and stuck in my ways. (Likely.) After all, it’s not officially the holiday season for me until I hear Donny sing “This Christmas”! So I’ve compiled a list (in no particular order) of some of those songs that always get me into the Christmas spirit. See if you can find your favorite or discover a new one!

 

Donny Hathaway – “This Christmas”

Eartha Kitt – “Santa Baby”

The Temptations – “Silent Night”

Charles Brown – “Please Come Home for Christmas”

Charles Brown – “Merry Christmas Baby”

James Brown – “Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto”

Denise LaSalle – “Santa Claus Got the Blues”

Jackson 5 – “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”

Jackson 5 – “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”

Nat King Cole – “The Christmas Song”

The Drifters – “White Christmas”

Whitney Houston – “Joy to the World”

Mariah Carey – “All I Want for Christmas is You”

Mariah Carey – “O HolyNight”

Luther Vandross – “Every Year, Every Christmas”

Luther Vandross – “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

Oleta Adams – “O Come All Ye Faithful”

Stevie Wonder – “Someday at Christmas”

Stevie Wonder – “Twinkle Twinkle Little Me”

Kirk Franklin – “Jesus is the Reason”

Kirk Franklin – “Now Behold the Lamb”

Kirk Franklin – “The Night That Christ Was Born”

New Edition – “Give Love on Christmas Day”

Boyz II Men – “Let It Snow feat. Brian McKnight”

TLC – “Sleigh Ride”

Run DMC – “Christmas in Hollis”

Kurtis Blow – “Christmas Rappin'”

 

So… What am I missing? What could you do without? What newer holiday tunes do you like to listen to?

-Love & Light… CB Radio

 

let it flow

The year was 1995. I was in junior high school… not yet knee-deep into my teenage years but definitely far past the bench mark of childhood. My interest had just only begun to peak in boyfriends and not just friends who were boys. The word “love” still rendered a superficial translation of “I just really like you a lot” to just about any of us who dared utter it. Yet one of the songs I remember most from that year is “Water Runs Dry” by Wanya Morris and Co. Boyz II Men. I don’t know if I fully understood the meaning of the song back then or not… but it was my jam and perfect for those school bus ride a cappella harmonizing sessions!

Now they can see the tears in our eyes/But we deny the pain that lies deep in our hearts/Well maybe that’s a pain we can’t hide/Cause everybody knows that we’re both torn apart/Why do we hurt each other/Why do we push love away

Let’s don’t wait till the water runs dry/We might watch our whole lives pass us by/Let’s don’t wait till the water runs dry/We’ll make the biggest mistake of our lives/Don’t do it baby

-Boyz II Men, “Water Runs Dry”

One of the most remarkable lyrics in the song, “some people will work things out and some just don’t know how to change”  still rings loud and clear to me today… When you’re at that point in your romantic relationship – at risk of the water running dry – how and when is it determined that you and your partner can work things out or if you really are those who don’t know how to change?

I think a point worth mentioning here is that it isn’t always so much about knowing the difference, but knowing that something has to be done to preserve the “water” in the relationship… before it runs dry. For some that may mean bettering the relationship and making it last. For others that may mean “downgrading”, for lack of a better term, to a friendship and realizing that you compliment each others lives much better that way.

All of the time and energy poured into the relationship up until this point was invested because there was some emotion there. You felt something for that person and they for you. Why let that prove in vain or go to waste if you don’t have to? If the other person ever meant anything to you at all… don’t let it run dry. Let it flow…

-Love & Light… CB Radio

So, what say you? When the going gets tough, the tough get going… and running away from it all? Do you stand firm and fight for your relationships by any means necessary? What other nuances do you take away from the song?