All Articles Tagged "music"

She Is The Lyte: Rapper MC Lyte Returns With New Album

April 9th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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Derrick Salters/

Derrick Salters/

MC Lyte was one of the groundbreaking hip-hop artists of 1990s, especially for women in rap. Now after an 11-year hiatus, the legend is coming with a new album aptly titled Legend.

There are a few promotions centered around the release, including the album’s one-day-only availability in throwback vinyl format only (with digital downloads for album purchasers) at independent record stores nationwide as a part of Record Store Day.

For the album Lyte, whose past hits include “Cold Rock A Party,” “Ruffneck,” “Cha Cha Cha,” and “I Am The Lyte,” had a little help from her friends. Ten in fact. And it’s already getting great reviews.

“The comeback in itself is an art. On Legend, however, MC Lyte doesn’t appear to have any jet lag,” raves the Source magazine.

The newest single to be released from the album is “Check,” with its retro underground hip hop feel. Prior to this, “Ball” featuring Lil Mama & AV was released.

And the single “Dear John” proved to be MC Lyte’s first Billboard charting single in 11 years. The track features Common and 10 Beats.

For more information on Lyte’s new release, check out her website.

Goapele Gives Us a Tour of Oakland for Black History Month

February 24th, 2015 - By jade
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A Black Mecca is a city where a good amount of African Americans live and thrive in the community on a daily basis. When you hear of a Black mecca you always think of places such as Atlanta and DC but in this segment, Goapele gives us a tour of her hometown Oakland, California. We are encouraging locals to support and celebrate small town businesses in the area during black history month!

Click here to see our editors tour St. Louis.


For more information on the places that were featured in the segment see below:

Oakland School for the Arts

530 18th St.

Oakland, CA 94612

Miss Ollie's 

901 Washington St.

Oakland, CA 94607

Owl N Wood

45 Grand Ave.

Oakland, CA 94612

Zoo Labs

1035 7th St.

Oakland, CA 94607


Rihanna’s Not Alone: Leaks That Broke The Internet

January 6th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Everybody is buzzing about Rihanna’s leaked single World Peace. But RiRi’s not the only celebrity who’s taking over the internet buzz. We’ll never forget these celebrity leaks that broke the internet.

12 Drummers Drumming: Celebrities Who Played In Their School Bands

December 18th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Did you play an instrument in high school? Then join the club with these celebrities who played in their school bands. They just made all that time we spent in the bleachers seem a lot cooler.

Image Source: WENN

Image Source: WENN

Halle Berry

The Monster’s Ball star played the flute in high school.

Throwback Thursday: Albums Every Neo-Soul Sister Had

November 13th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Neo-Soul music was one of the best things about the late 90’s. So put your head wrap and your amber jewelry on and get ready to remember the albums every Neo-Soul sister had.

Image Source: Motown

Image Source: Motown


Remember Hey Mr. DJ and these ladies from Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit collective? .

The Best Movie Soundtracks

November 11th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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From Purple Rain to Frozen, these are some of the best movie soundtracks eve made. Because movies are always better when you can sing along.

Image Source:

Image Source:

Waiting To Exhale

The only thing better than watching Waiting to Exhale is listening to the sound track.

Shoop Shoop? Let It Flow? Not Gon’ Cry? They’re all R&B classics, and Babyface wrote every last one.

Anaconda’s Not Alone: 15 of the Most Controversial Music Videos

November 7th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source:

Image Source:

Is it just us or are music videos getting more controvesial all the time? And as artists turn the volume up on video’s they’re getting into a lot of hot water. Should these artists be allowed to do what they do? Or are the censors right about things getting out of hand?

Remember What These Artists Looked Like When They Released Their First Album?

November 6th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Remember what Beyonce looked like when she was still in high school? Or when Prince had a ‘fro? Come take a ride with us down Throwback Thursday Lane and remember what all of your favorite artists looked like when they were just starting out.

Image Source: BMG Records

Image Source: BMG Records


It’s hard to believe that Aaliyah was just 15 when this album dropped and that once-upon-a-time, no one knew how to pronounce her name. Just a few years later, Aaliyah would take over the industry and have everyone wrapping their hair at night for her classic laid-back look.

Are We Selling Sex Or Is Sex Selling Black Women?

October 31st, 2014 - By TaMara Griffin
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Selling Sex

Source: WENN

With all the buzz that was surrounding Nicki Minaj’s video “Anaconda,” I have to wonder as a Black women is this all we want for ourselves? Is this really a representation of Black women and our sexuality? Why must we continuously be the focus of hypersexualized videos in order to be relevant? Why must we allow ourselves to continue to be exploited like Mimi Faust and her infamous sex tape? Is this five minutes of fame worth our selling our souls and destroying our people? What statement does this send to our young girls who watch videos and reality TV shows and think that this is a way of life?

While many women are empowered enough to realize that this buffoonery is a form of “entertainment,” many women are not able to make that connection. Unfortunately as a result, many women and young girls end up modeling their lives after these reckless, negligent and thoughtless images. These images don’t represent nor promote sex positivity nor do they denote owning and embracing one’s sexuality. In fact, it’s just the opposite. These images actually represent a conflict of values, morals, and a lack of self esteem
and self-efficacy that contributes to putting oneself at risks for mental health issues, interpersonal violence, substance abuse, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, etc.

Black women’s sexuality is already stereotyped, stigmatized, taboo and bogged down by layers of negative intergenerational patterns and ideologies that have been passed down from slavery. These ideologies were used to validate the inhumane sexual treatment of enslaved women. They were also used to imply that Black women were despicable and inferior. Unfortunately, these ideologies are still present. Today, the media uses these images in music videos, movies, television shows, and other forms of entertainment to continue to brainwash people into believing the negative stereotypes of Black women.

The prevailing images of Black women in the media include jezebels, baby-mamas, video vixens, chicken heads, gold diggers, angry Black women, and hoes. These images and ideologies, with their highly sexual undertones, helps to influence the way in which Black women view themselves. The more Black women see images of themselves getting famous for fitting into one of the aforementioned categories, the more likely they feel inclined to model what they see. In addition, these images helps to influence the way others value and interact with Black women.

While rappers, actors, entertainers and “reality” TV stars may not have signed up to become role models, they are! Once they step into the spotlight, they become a model for what is considered to be trendy and acceptable. These “celebrities” in many ways, good or bad, set the standard. But what standard are they setting and at what cost to Black women?

Unfortunately, Black women have become desensitized to seeing themselves portrayed negatively. While there aren’t any signs of these unhealthy images disappearing any time soon, there is definitely a need to counteract them in the media. We are in need of a cultural shift in sexuality, one that restores the dignity of Black women. It is time for Black women to reclaim our sexual images in society. We must ask ourselves the following questions: 1)Do we care about the type of women our girls grow up to become, 2) Is their public image worth defending, and 3) Is their sexual integrity worth protecting?

No longer can we sit in silence or stand idly on the sidelines while the images of Black women continue to be destroyed in the media. However, in order to change the trajectory, we need to begin with restoring Black women’s sense of value, worth and sexuality. We need to transform from the “ex’s,” “jezebel,” “angry Black woman,” “video vixen,” “gold digger,” “baby mama,” “chicken heads,” and “‘hoes” to self-respecting women, wives, mothers and leaders in our community. Once we do, we will be able to see a shift in our society that will begin to embrace and celebrate the true authentic essence of Black women’s sexuality.
Dr. TaMara G10517587_10152337526693315_3514000000734284521_nriffin loves nothing more than talking about sex! At the age of 13, she told her mother she wanted to be a Sex Therapist! Her passion is deeply rooted in spreading messages about healthy sexuality. Dr. TaMara is a sexologist, sex therapist, educator and motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. She is the owner of L.I.F.E. by Dr. TaMara Griffin, Live Inspired Feel Empowered LLC-L.I.F.E. She is also the Director of Project Create S.A.F.E. {Sexual Assault Free Environments}

It’s Not Musiq Soulchild’s Fault He’s Rapping; It’s Ours

September 17th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Not Musiq Soulchild's Fault

When it comes to figuring out the best course of action to deal with transitional periods in our lives, I always found that there are conflicting messages about how we should proceed.

There is one train of thought, which tells us to take a risk. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You’ve got to spend money to make money. Ain’t no half-steppin’…

And then there is the other train of thought, which reminds us that a penny saved is a penny earned. To stay in your lane and a bird in the hand is worth more than two in a bush. Basically, don’t go chasing waterfalls. Learn to stick to the valleys and the lakes that you’re used to…

Both schools of thought have their value and I suspect, time and place during some parts of our lives. But without proper guidance and insight, you can easily miss opportunities or even get yourself into lots of trouble by not choosing the right thought at the right time. And somewhere between those two thoughts is where I imagine Musiq Soulchild’s entire life and career is right now with this whole rapping thing.

Perhaps it’s just a mid-life crisis, which started kind of early for the 37-year old singer/songwriter. Or perhaps the mysteriously masked crooner, who gave us such dope classics as “Just Friends (Sunny)” “Love” “Halfcrazy” and “B.U.D.D.Y,” is not “Aijuswanasing” with y’all no more – especially since y’all ain’t paying him.

It just might be true ladies that we’re the reason Musiq has put down the pen and the prose and instead picked up a mic, donned an all black leather Burger King crown, and started rapping now. And it’s all because we ain’t buying his shit like that. Nobody bought his last album “Musiqinthemajiq.” And not a single soul even thought of the duet album he did last year with Syleena Johnson (Hell, I’m just finding out the thing existed as I’m typing this.)

As previously mentioned in an interview with MadameNoire in which he spoke about his career change, Musiq said:

Every time I turn on this radio, I heard this sound. And the other brand is R&B, but it’s challenging to see that sound being really popular right now. For whatever reason, I don’t know R&B is not really poppin’ right now. It’s Struggling; R&B is struggling right now. And I’m the kind of person, I like to entertain people according to what they are saying, entertains them. And right now, this sound is what is entertaining them. And as an artist, a musician, a songwriter, a producer, I sit back and I hear it. And I peep game, and I’m like, ‘ok that’s what y’all like? I can do that….”

And “I can do that,” especially when I got bills to pay. Right away, boss!

Yeah, I know: he is selling out. But truth of the matter is we – the listeners and consumers – sold out R&B long ago. As there is plenty of truth to what Musiq said. What used to be Rhythm and Blues pretty much sucks right now. Sure all the R&B singers are Black – well most of them. But that’s about all it has in common with its predecessor genre. First off, there are no real instruments to be found on these songs. Secondly, you got singers, who aren’t really singing, but talking songs on records over hot beats. You can almost classify it as rap, if not for them stretching out the last syllable of the word at the end of a verse

Even the ones with decent voices put very little effort and actual thought into their lyrics. And nobody, and I mean nobody, sings about love anymore. Oh sure, these new singers will meet you in the club and take you home and knock you off until the neighbors call the cops, but they ain’t wifin’ you or buying shit. They not even claiming you in a relationship – not even as just friends. The R&B of today has turned into the breathing embodiment of Junior Mafia: Fuck bitches. Fuck niggas. Git Money.

What happened to honesty in R&B? Like the kind that Stevie and Luther and Patti used to sing about? Songs about emotions like feeling happiness and the times you felt not so great? What happened to sending your special bae secret codes like “143” or songs about how you just been “watching you for a while and I just want to let you know that I’m feeling your style?” You know, the songs like the ones Musiq used to sing? In short, nobody is buying that stuff.

With no real appreciation for actual loves and life songs with real lyrics, true R&B artists like Musiq really don’t have a home anymore. So you might as well turn into Future. Hell, it’s working for Future and he ain’t got no talent.

So let’s cut Musiq aka The Husel some slack here. We are not supporting the kind of music that we claim we want to hear. And Black men don’t have lots of options in life. And it was either cut a rap album or sell $10 fried fish platters and weed. As written in fine print with his recently released five-song mixtape, “The Husel is not a person; THE HUSEL is a state of mind. Everybody has their own interpretation of the hustle, this just happens to be mines.”

Translation: It ain’t Musiq fault he is rappin’ now; it’s Philadelphia Water Department and Philadelphia Gas Works and Verizon and ’em.