Archive for music

Cant C Me

Posted in music, Old School Flava, poetry, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2010 by blackstarr

There probably has not been a more loyal fan of Tupac Shakur than yours truly.  First, though, a few “despites” –

despite the fact that I hate the “N” word and the “B” word, and

despite the fact that I am not an advocate of either profanity or violence, and

despite the fact that I am anti-drug abuse, I have always been in awe of Tupac and his musical genius.

Perhaps the one song that makes him stand out from the crowd more than any other song is “Can’t C Me”., from the CD “All Eyez On Me”.  The entire song is the epitome of his musical genius, but, let’s forget the entire song – the opening verse is the ultimate in word manipulation and lyrical sculpting.  In the event that you aren’t familiar with the song, you can click >HERE<  for the lyrics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although there are probably many depths to his genius, I believe that his greatest assets were threefold – lyrics, music, and the ability to spit words out as easily as you and I breathe air.  He had a peculiar penchant for re-using lyrics from previously recorded songs.  Other artists have done this before him, but the way in which he did it and the meaning that his re-used lyrics brought to the songs took on a life of its own.

I cited this song from his collection because it is my favorite rap song ever, but, his repertoire was seemingly endless when it came to great lyrics, music, and spitting.  A few that come to mind which, in my humble opinion, that come close to the greatness of “Can’t C Me” are “Hit “Em Up”, “Death Around The Corner” and he even did a few love songs that were worth mentioning, which included “Can You Get Away?”.

There you have it – my short and sweet tribute to Tupac.  You owe it to yourself to check out this song .  You can find it on Youtube, of course.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it to load here.  In the event that you want to save time, here’s a link to the song from Playlist.com:  Can’t C Me.  Perhaps you’ll be as impressed I have been all these years.

Afeni, wherever you are, thank you.  Peace.

 

copyright  2010  blackstarr

freerealm@gmail.com

Photos from The Huffington Post, and The Judiciary Report.

a renaissance for the new millennium

Posted in poetry, political commentary, politics, Quotables, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2010 by blackstarr

here is
a renaissance
for a new millennium;
now is a time for literary finesse.
ours is a time
for new paths to be blazed,
the time for palpable ideas
to be raised.

we contemplate the
future that lies
with our next generation,
we question the choices
of our past,
we criticize the errors
that have brought us to
this place of turmoil.
a renaissance,
a new millennium,
a consciousness of grand proportion.

we press pen to paper
and social awareness is revived.
we debate
the topics to which
blind eyes had once been turned.
we answer the questions
of ages gone by,
and set the tone for those who
sit in silence, teeming with anticipation.
our renaissance.
our millennium.
our consciousness of grand proportion.

sharpen the blade
of intellectuality
and let its acuteness
and accuracy
run us through
until truth’s blood
flows freely from our minds.
then, let the wounds of incivility
be healed by the power of commonalities.

now is the time of literary finesse.
there are new paths to be blazed,
and fathomable ideas that need to be raised.
a renaissance.
a new millennium.
a consciousness of grand proportion.
i dare say
“a renaissance
for the new millennium . . .
a consciousness of grand proportion”.

copyright 2008 blackstarr
freerealm@gmail.com

Brand New Day by Tim Myers (ft. Lindsey Ray)

Images in this post are from various locations on the web.  If any belong to you and you have an objection, please e-mail me and I will remove them.

young white sburbanite (excerpt from “the village”)

Posted in humor, music, poetry, politics, prose, racial discrimination, satire and sarcasm, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2010 by blackstarr

on any given friday night,

a young white suburbanite,

cruises in his beamer,

into the city, bose blastin’ fiddy.

he sports the latest, greatest, hippest, dopest, phattest rags

that his daddy’s silver spoon could buy,

but that silver spoon is the very reason why.

he protests the riches that they don’t deserve,

lashes out at his very own private federal reserve.


he’s looking for some black flava,

or some brown suga’,

or some white powder,

music getting louder.

young white suburbanite,

in the middle of the night,

loses himself in another man’s culture.

not understanding the subtleties of cp time,

he hits the club way too soon,

stands around with beer in hand,

realizes that the night was not so well-planned.

but he’s fly and hip and dope and –

and thinks he’s ahead of his time,

but the reality is that he simply

got there way ahead of time.

the music swirls within his head,

and the sistas think it’s so dred

that he’s holding his own,

while out of his element.

but to his detriment,

the beer pulls him to the dancefloor.

now, whitebread ain’t so fly no more.

and we think “ooh, that’s gotta hurt!”

beer has him moving to the beats,

the sight has us fallin’ out our seats.

“yo – young white suburbanite!

some fly sista would like ta get witcha”,

but homeboy’s homeboy has had

one too many rollin’ rocks.

young white suburbanite

struggles with all his might

to get his homeboy standing upright.

now, homeboy’s homeboy wants to fight.

young white suburbanite

came to the city,

blastin’ fiddy,

lookin’ for some black flava,

or some brown suga’,

or some white powder.

whitebread

got that gangsta beat going ‘round in his head.

cruisin’ in his jet-black beamer.

he’s just trying to understand

why we always catch it from the man.

tries to understand what that’s like,

he beats a path to every open mike,

struggles to get a feel for what it’s like.

a fruitless pursuit and he can’t see why

he can never feel the pain like you and i.

he innocently protests and lets out a sigh –

“it wasn’t me and i refuse to carry that lie”.

it’s neither out of compassion,

nor because it’s popular fashion,

but, instead, because the guilt of the fathers

prey upon the innocence of the sons.

**********

on any given friday night,

deep within the urban blight,

from dusk until daylight.

lookin’ for some

black flava,

brown suga’,

white powder.

out of the gloomy mist and into the light,

comes an urban legend . . . a young white suburbanite.

copyright  2008  blackstarr

freerealm@gmail.com

Lose Yourself by Eminem

Images: silver spoon (metalmuseum.org), Rolling Rock beer (hoppsy.com), Flava (myrunkspace.com), Bey caricature (pinoypix.com), Philadelphia skyline (wordfromtheweb.com)

Where the h*ll have YOU been?!

Posted in social commentary with tags , , , , on September 16, 2009 by blackstarr

M.I.A. is too good a term for my lack of postings.  That term, for me, brings back thoughts of heroes who disappeared while stationed in Vietnam.  I’m no hero but I was, indeed, missing . . . for quite some time.  I won’t say that I’m back, but, rather, making my presence known and alerting the world that I am still here and very much alive.

electronic chip 01

There was another incident that kept me off the electronic highway – my DSL went down for over a week!  As it turned out, my modem was bad.  VERIZON sent me another one poste-haste and after connecting it, my DSL was still down.  Of course while all of this is going on, keep in mind that I was back and forth with customer service (yes – I use the term very lightly).  Each and every rep with whom I spoke was extremely “English challenged”, to coin a phrase.  The “final” outcome was that there was a problem on my line.  Now, I retired from VERIZON when I was a service tech (one who installs and repairs telephone service for a living), and I assure you that there was no problem on my line.  After a few days, I was told that there was a problem in the office, not my line.  I don’t have a video phone but I can say with certainty that both a Black man and an Hispanic man called me to say that there was no trouble in the office.  The real problem was that the modem that I was sent was very new and quite complicated to configure.  They told me what to ask for when I next called for technical assistance.  When I called, I asked for the very same – to no avail.  I called the Hispanic gent back and told him of my quandary and he said that he could do nothing to help me as he was not trained in that capacity.  He was, however, very gracious in transferring me to the Black gent with whom I had spoken earlier.  He took about ten minutes of my time telling me what to do and, voila, my DSL was back up and working.  I was extremely pleased that my problem had been solved, but, I think that I was more impressed by having two gents  assist me who spoke fluent English!

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That is when my “mobile troubles” began.  TWITTER is nothing more than time wasted foolishly.  It is not productive, is non-utilitarian, and the same results can be accomplished by already existing entities.  However – non-productive, non-utilitarian, and redundancy is exactly what I’ve been looking for – blind indulgence, if you will.  Ever since my DSL went down, I have not been able to log in to my mobile TWITTER account.  I accomplished that feat yesterday while inside. next to my PC and was whistling Dixie when it happened.  However, once back outside and in the public arena, I could not log in with my cell phone.  I was distressed once again.  I tweeted last night that I hope to have a decent cell phone by the end of the week and all of my “tweet” troubles will be behind me.  We shall see.

Evony 01

I also spent a lot – no wait – an extreme amount of time playing a MMORPG (Massively Multi-playing Online Role Play Game) entitled EVONY (which can be found at evony.com).  It is a game that combines a sim-type game, a role-play game, and a war game for an exciting and time-consuming experience.  I won’t even go into details as I could go on for forever about the game, but, if you have the time and patience and don’t mind becoming addictive to yet another distraction, head to the site and let the fun begin.  I know – I’ve already said it, but, let me reiterate – extremely addictive!

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My e-troubles brought up an interesting thought:  why is it that when our technological toys are not responding properly, we lose our minds?  I love the time spent with my children.  I bike ride with my best bud just about every weekend and it brings on hours of fun and conversation.  I can go for days without turning on the TV, radio, or my MP3 player.  Yet, when the internet and all of its wealth of information becomes unavailable, I swear that I just about lose it.  It’s almost like my world has come to an end.  Sad, indeed.  I’m not (all that) embarrassed to let you know that I am a somewhat fan of  The View (on ABC).  Believe it or not, I can’t take my eyes off of Whoopi and Sherri.  Yeah – sue me.  At any rate, I quote their motto that is used at the end of each show: “Take some time to enjoy the view”.  Peace.

copyright © 2009 freedom

freerealm@gmail.com

“It’s A Beautiful Morning” by Felix Cavaliere and Edward Brigati

“It’s A Beautiful Morning” by The Wipe Outs

Halo

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , on March 14, 2009 by blackstarr

Some entertainers hit you like a ton of bricks.  For me, one of those would be Michael Jackson – His One-ness.  I was already “up in age” when The Gloved One hit the airwaves.  Even so, I was one of those nuts who would sit idly by the radio, hoping to hear his latest single.  I sat anxiously in front of the tube after they had announced the day for the debut of his next music video.  Remember when Thriller was about to debut?  WOW!!!

bey-04

Well, this isn’t about His Strangeness – this is about someone else with whom I am super-fascinated – BEYONCE!  Ever since the demise of Destiny’s Child, I have been an avid fan of Her Wonderfulness.  I love the way that she dances, I have caught a bit of her acting (not too shabby), but, more than anything else about her, I love, love, love her singing. I’m not that naive – I am aware that the studios have devices that make her and others who may be tone-deaf sound absolutely dead on key.  No matter, at least not to me.  I love to hear the woman sing.  No – it doesn’t hurt that she is drop-dead gorgeous.  As I write this piece, my ears are filled with sound of HALO, (from “I am . . . Sasha Fierce”) playing over and over and over.  I LOVE that song!!!!!  I intended to make this a tribute to Her Sexiness, but, instead, I decided to give her song the tribute that it deserves.  Not only is the music fabulous, but the words are awesome, as well (a bit touchy-feely, I will admit).  Sorry . . . I gotta fled.  I’m headed over to MTV.com to see the video again.  I’ll leave you with some links to some of my favorite Beyonce songs.  You know you want it.  You know you love her.  You know you can’t get enough.  OK . . . maybe it just me.  Peace.

bey-02

HALO

SINGLE LADIES

IRREPLACEABLE

RING THE ALARM

copyright  ©  2009  freedom

freerealm@gmail.com

FADE TO BLACK 3: En Vogue

Posted in Fade To Black with tags , , , on February 25, 2009 by blackstarr

en-vogue-01I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – today’s music listeners are fickle, if nothing else.  They’ll love you today and hate you tomorrow.

In 1990, the group En Vogue consisted of Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, Dawn Robinson, and Terry Ellis.

En Vogue sold over twenty (20) million albums and singles worldwide.  They have won seven (7) MTV Video Music Awards – more than any other female group in MTV history.  The group spent 2800 weeks on various BILLBOARD charts, and were nominated for five (5) Grammy Awards. Their debut album, Born To Sing, was released in 1990, with the single Hold On reaching number two (2) on the Billboard’s Hot 100Lies and You Don’t Have To Worry went to number one (1) on Billboard’s R&B Chart.  Later, Don’t Go made it to number three (3).  The album finally became platinum certified.

1992 gave us Funky Divas, which went multi-platinum, selling more than three (3) million copies.  The album produced five (5) noteworthy singles: My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It), Giving Him Something He Can Feel, Free Your Mind, Give It Up Turn It Loose, and Love Don’t Love You.

en-vogue-03

From 1994 to 1996 the Funky Divas had a lot of downtime, recording only alongside other artists including Salt N Pepa and with numerous other female vocalists on a song entitled Freedom for the soundtrack of “Panther”.  In 1995, Terry Ellis recorded her solo album Southern Gal.  Was this the beginning of the end?  Not ones to be counted out so easily, they returned in 1996 with the song Don’t Let Go (Love), which was recorded for the soundtrack of “Set It Off”.  The single reached number two (2) on the Hot 100, number one (1) as an R&B single, and went on to become platinum certified.  Unfortunately, it was the last album featuring Dawn Robinson.  The group’s third album, EV3, bombed.  Despite their failure, a world tour was planned.  It was soon canceled after poor ticket sales.  As a result of bad sales on their fourth album, Masterpiece Theatre, the group was dropped by Elektra Records.  Maxine Jones left the group in 2001 to put a better focus on her family.  She was replaced by Amanda Cole, who was soon after replaced by Rhona Bennett.  In 2003, Cindy Herron went out on maternity leave and while on tour, the group replaced her with original member Maxine Jones.  By 2005, it had been eight (8) years since Dawn Robinson left the group.  Re-enter Ms Robinson.  Later that that year: re-exit Ms Robinson.  Dawn Robinson actually returned once more in 2008 alternating lead singing with Rhona Bennett while on tour.

en-vogue-021

Aside from the public’s fickle-heartedness attitude, I believe that one of the things that hurt them more than anything else was their frequent personnel changes.  I adored En Vogue from day one – as a group of hot vocalists, as well as a menage of beautiful, sexy women.  Their music lives on in my heart and I continue to play their music on my MP3 player.  Despite my loyalty, we still managed to witness their fade to black.  Peace.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

freerealm@gmail.com

“Right Direction” by En Vogue

Now, that’s gansta!

Posted in just for the bull of it, relationships, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2008 by blackstarr

98_buick_skylarkWarning:  I’m not angry, today.  So, it’s time for some old crazy sh*t.  It starts with my brother and I.  My little brother, who’s bigger than me.  My younger brother, who’s wiser than me.  He and I like to check out the cafes, sip on a cup, and contemplate the solutions to the world’s problems.  We do it with class, we do it with style, and we do as often as is possible.  Today being no different, he says that he’s coming by to pick me up to check out this new cafe in my neighborhood and – to show off his new ride.  He gets here and when I come to the door, all I can ask is “WTF??!!”.  My little brother, my younger brother, my partner in crime done gone gansta on me!  He bought a Buick Skylark.  This car doesn’t have any tinted windows, nor rims (which he says he needs), but what makes it gansta on one level is that it has a 1000 watt amp in the trunk.  It’s pumpin’ out beats like crazy.  What makes it gansta on a whole ‘nother level is that the music that I hear is LIL WAYNE.  By itself, that’s nowhere near gansta.  But, my little brother, my younger brother in his fiddies, “married with children”, one credit away from his PHD, blastin’ some LIL WAYNEnow, that’s gansta!

Rap has been lost on me for quite some time.  I still chill with my Jay-Z, Tupac, and Biggie, but, for the most part, Rap has been dead to me for a long time.  I like my music “homegrown”, and as a result, make my own mixes on my MP3 player and kick it like that.  Before today, you could have offered me a thousand dollars to name one Lil Wayne song, and you’d still have that money in your pockets.  That’s how out of touch I’ve been with “over-the-airwaves” music.  I like to hear what I want to hear when I want to hear it.  That was before my “gangsta” brother showed up at my door, today.

lil-wayne-01For those of you not from Philly, I live in the heart of a ghetto neighborhood known as West Oak Lane.  It’s West Oak Lane because there is an East Oak Lane.  I like to think of East Oak Lane as ghetto suburban.  It’s an almost up-and-coming neighborhood, smack in the middle if the ‘hood.  We stop in at this quaint little cafe and it’s all that we had expected.  The coffee was great, and the atmosphere was superb.  There was also an added treat, one of life’s little unexpected treasures – they served Spinach Quiche.  I haven’t have any kind of quiche in many a year.  I know that some say “real men don’t eat quiche”, but to that I say “whatever”.  Made MY day!  After contemplating the world’s troubles and their respective solutions, we decided to take a leisurely drive to extend the get-together a bit longer.  Besides, this family man of a brother  of mine was free as the breeze for a while longer, today.

Back in the Buick Skylark, he turns on the CD player and LIL WAYNE starts up again.  Now, believe it or not, up to that point,  – wait for it: I had no idea who it was that was winding his way through the sound system!  So, my little brother played song after song, amazed that I was so clueless.  I was , indeed, clueless, yet, amazed myself at how much I liked what I was hearing.  As he dropped me off at home, he gave me the CD  (“THA CARTER III”) so that I could check it out fully, and save it to my PC.  I haven’t done that, as yet, but, before the day is out, I certainly plan to do just that.

I looked back on my brother’s life and the times that he’s endured.  Like everyone else, he’s had his share of ups and downs, smiles and frowns, and setbacks difficult enough to make a grown man cry.  But, through it all, he’s managed to always find a way to let a smile come through.  I could think of many ways to describe the way that I see his life thus far, but, someone else came up with another way to describe it, a better way, as it were: that’s the way you let the beat build . . . b*tch! Now, THAT’S gangsta!!  Peace.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

freerealm@gmail.com

“Let The Beat Build” by Lil Wayne

Photos from theautochannel.com and mangoout.com, respectively.