Friday, June 26, 2009

michael jackson

“If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.”

--michael joseph jackson


it's taken me ages to post this. i have been in denial since the news of michael jackson's illness came in last night. writing down the date of his death means accepting that he is gone. i keep expecting to wake up and realize this has not really happened. this morning, when i told my sister the news, she paused...was silent...and said 'it's funny, ever since i can remember knowing about death, i always wondered where and how old we'd be when michael jackson died.'

it was the unthinkable, then. he was invincible. he was so much an integral thread in the fabric of our young lives. he is the first music most of us remember hearing, loving, and learning.

he is my first memory of music videos. he was the definition of cool. he was music. he was dance. he was a consumate entertainer. he was genius. he was a force.

for many of my generation, we all have a memory associated with a michael jackson song or album. 'thriller' is the first album i remember my sisters and i owning (and by 'owning' i mean, 'jacked from my parents') and i have distinct memories of weekends spent at our friend's flat down the hall, listening to it on her parents' record player, trying to learn words (most of which we made up), and gazing dreamily at this poster:

i don't want to speculate about who he was as a man. i know he was flawed and troubled. i just want to take this moment to give thanks for everything he meant to me, everything he meant to my youth, everything he contributed to the world of music and dance. i want to thank him for the music we danced to, and the music with a message we will never forget. to thank him for fearlessly thinking and inventing beyond boundaries and borders and becoming truly international. there is no artist who has not felt his influence--whether musically, through choreography, or through showmanship. he has permeated our collective conscious and has left an indelible mark.

i have no choice but to always love and remember him. he was glorious. and i am saddened by the fact that he passed before his comeback tour. it was meant to be his final curtain call, and i know it would've been a true spectacle that would have silenced those who doubted his ability to do what has always come to him so naturally.

i hope you left this world knowing how much you loved, michael.

there will never be another king of pop.

rest in peace.


Monday, June 22, 2009

wale and k'naan: the um rickan dream

wale's new mixtape 'back to the feature' was all over the interwebs this weekend. one track jumped off that album and smacked me upside the head: his collaboration with k'naan on 'Um Ricka'.

the track features amadou and miriam and samples fela kuti, and the lyrical flow from both artists is tight and flawless.

hiphop griots spinning yarns of the african experience in the west.
listen and download here:


Thursday, June 18, 2009

soul food: countdown to maxwell's BLACKsummer'snight

maxwell's having a listening party, y'all.
for the next four days, is featuring one track a day (including lyrics), from his forthcoming BLACKsummers'night.

the album is out 7/7/09 but will be available for preview on on june 26th.

...the countdown begins...

also, check out a clip from the deluxe version of BSN: 5 Days of Black, here.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

youth day: 33 years since Soweto

today marks 33 years since the Soweto uprising, when high school students protested against Apartheid and Bantu Education. police responded to the protests with tear gas and bullets, killing hundreds in the process. today, we remember and honor those who risked and lost their lives fighting against injustice.


Monday, June 15, 2009

when i get older, i will be stronger

little girl singing along to k'naan's "wavin' flag"
beautiful and powerful.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

soul food: maxwell--bad habits

'bad habits' is the second single from maxwell's BLACKsummers'night.
the lovefest continues.
(thanks, 2dopeboyz!)


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

soul food: the ecstatic

mos def is back...and negrita is so ridiculously excited, she's referring to herself in the third person.

mos def's the ecstatic.

i truly haven't loved anything of his, comprehensively, as i did black on both sides, but i have high hopes for this one!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

the 'infamous' date night

the Obamas on date night last week.
dinner and theatre in NYC.
why this would cause any type of controversy is beyond my comprehension.
all i know is...
the innappropriate crush continues....


soul food: k'naan's 'dayless night'

recently, two of my favorite Afropolitans, K'naan and Wale, decided to collaborate and tell an unfamiliar story using a familiar beat.
the result was a remake of Kid Cudi's 'Day 'n Nite.'
Wale leaked the track yesterday, via twitter, and it's already all over the interwebs.

dayless night
i'm in the darkness i can't seem to find the light
there's never peace somethings will never change
watch out for pirates in the ocean late at night.


Monday, June 1, 2009

soul food: on taking risks

You have to take risks.
We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.

Paulo Coelho

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