All Articles Tagged "songs"

What Was That? Singers & Rappers We Can Never Understand In Songs

August 2nd, 2013 - By Davisha Davis
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Source: Marco Piraccini/

Source: Marco Piraccini/

Whether they’re rapping too fast or singing too low, we can never understand what these entertainers are saying once they get behind the mic. We still love them, of course, but we’d just like to know what exactly they’re saying on a track every once in a while .

Lionel Richie Says His Own Songs Saved Him From Depression

July 2nd, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN



From theGrio

Many people have turned to music at sad times in their lives. Singer Lionel Richie is no different — except the music he turned to was his own.

Richie told the U.K. Mirror that in the 1990s, he was going through a divorce and fighting depression

“Then a friend said to me: ‘Lionel, I have some inspirational tapes I want you to listen to,’” Richie recalled to the newspaper. “He handed me my own songs with certain ones underlined and I started listening to my lyrics – this time from the point of view of someone who needed that message.”


Aaron Hall’s “Don’t Be Afraid” — When Sexual Assault Had a Catchy Beat…

May 17th, 2013 - By Charing Ball
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don't be afraid feat

As Clarke Gail Baines pointed out in her recent post, there are certainly times when our favorite songs give us reason to pause.

In her case it was Miguel’s “How Many Drinks.” In my case that song has always been Aaron Hall’s “Don’t Be Afraid” (Nasty Man Groove), which includes such questionable narration as this:

No need to run and no need to hide / All the doors are locked baby and I have you inside / You can yell and you can hit me / It just makes me more horny”

Yeah, somebody needs to get detectives Stabler and Benson up in here because we might have a predator on the loose. Seriously, I do not want this song following me down a dark alley. But at one time in my past, I remember this being one of my favorite Hall songs. Just goes to show you how contradictory our  culture is about the message of the wrongness of sexual assault.

As defined by this anti-rape culture website:

Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as ‘just the way things are.’”

Sort of how we indoctrinate women (since birth) on how not to get raped (including erroneous advice, which in some cases can run dangerously counterproductive to the realities of sexual assault) yet neglect to reinforce with the same level of tenacity the concept of “do not rape.” You know, like teaching folks that certain behavior, say like holding a yelling and screaming woman against her will, a la Hall in this song, is likely not an indication that this anonymous woman is looking for a little sexay time. In fact, as the song title suggests, she actually sounds pretty afraid.

We can say that it was just a sign of the times, that folks didn’t know better, however folks have been having this same conversation since Bing Crosby put a little something extra in Doris Day’s cocktail, while trying to convince her to stay the night because, Baby It’s Cold Outside. And that’s a damn holiday song that our grand folks were singing as they toasted egg nog around Christmas trees. Point is, sexual violence against women has long been normalized in society. And it is not just reflective in music. The website Racialious did an excellent job breaking down how we routinely paint problematic behavior in all forms of popular culture as okay, and even laudable or romantic. Basically in the world of popular culture, the accepted idea is that consent is erroneous. And that women, in particular, can always be convinced to say yes. You just have to be persistent and inventive.

Just For Laughs: 9 Unique Ways People Have “Honored” Their Mothers

May 12th, 2013 - By Kendra Koger
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"TupacAfeni pf"

Mothers.  Aren’t they great?  We couldn’t be here without their eggs, and when Mother’s Day rolls around we are encouraged to celebrate those women who contributed to bring us into the world.  When you were younger you made arts and crafts projects, when you got older, you might have made it rain in the Hallmark Store, and now that you’re adult you might have to put in a little more thought about it.  Well, there are options, and these individuals have upped the ante on celebrating the moms of the world.  So, take a gander at some of these good, funny, and some slightly misguided celebrations.

Me And You, Us Never Part. Makidada: Jump Rope Jingles And Hand Clap Games We Used To Play

March 22nd, 2013 - By Kelly Franklin
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Remember the scene in Color Purple where Celie and Nettie play their hand game? It took us  back to a time where we clapped hands and chanted lyrics to catchy songs with a group of our girlfriends. It was rhythmic in nature and taught us hand-eye coordination and communication skills. It also boosted our confidence to be able to weave hands in an intricate, synchronized fashion. We clapped hands in solidarity, and we also jumped rope. With one long, braided rope, two plastic handles and three girls, feet would smack the ground to the beat of song and rope hitting the ground. We’d jump in and out, waiting on the perfect moment so as not to stop the rope. These ol’ school games brought us together – kept us active and young at heart. And to this day, Michelle Obama still loves jumping rope for a good workout. Which of these childhood jingles do you remember?

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

turn all around,

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

touch the ground

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

shoe yo’ shoes

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

be excused

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

jump back in

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

do it again

This classic jump rope song kept you jumping in and out of the swinging rope space.

Gangsta Bey: The Most H-Town Hood Songs From The One They Call King Bey

March 21st, 2013 - By Kelly Franklin
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Beyonce, mega star of the world, has never forgotten her roots…or has she? Is referencing dookie braids in her latest “Bow Down” single hood enough to prove it? Actually, we don’t even have to do that because if you’re a real Bey Stan, you know she’s been a lil hood for a minute — or four albums — now.  Oh you forgot about that? Let us refresh your memory.

So What You Popped A Molly?! The 10 Most Annoying Phrases In Songs

February 6th, 2013 - By Meg Butler
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We all have a song or two that we just can’t stand. Sometimes the radio plays a jam one time too often. Sometimes the beat isn’t exactly on point. And sometimes, the lyrics are the problem. It may not be the whole song we’re over, but there are choruses and phrases we’re just sick of or that make no amount of sense at all. Check out our list of 10 rap phrases that we don’t want to hear anymore.

Juicy J

Image Source: Jlnphotography/

“Popped a Molly”

Rap music may need an intervention. Apparently, Molly is the new hot drug in the street. Rappers spit about it so much, white people get on the Internet and Google “who is Molly?” They know Molly as MDMA and they’ve been losing their minds on the designer drug since the late eighties.

Rappers like Juicy J talk about popping a Molly in almost every song. And all I want to know is can we move on and talk about something different? ‘Cause ya’ll sound like a broken record. No? Well get back at us when ya’ll are done getting high.

You Know You Love ‘Em…Or Not: Top Ratchet Songs Of 2012

December 31st, 2012 - By Davisha Davis
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Trinidad James Album Cover


2012 was filled with some of the most ratchet, booty bouncing and just plain ol’ ignant songs. Anything made from 2 chainz or a down south rapper had to be ratchet. If it wasn’t ratchet, it wasn’t hot. There’s more songs that could of made the list but it’s safe to say that these songs were the most heard — and possbily the most obnoxious. Let’s check out some of the videos that made you twerk

Can You Ever Successfully Make a Song About Skin Tone?

September 6th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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“Brown skin, you know I love your brown skin. I can’t tell where yours begins, I can’t tell where mine ends.”

 “I like a long-haired thick red bone, open up her legs then filet mignon that ….”

“When you come wrap them chocolate legs ’round me. Please baby, wrap them chocolate legs ’round me”

“She’s my, redbone girl. A bitter sweet, but she’s my world Coffee cream, thick and lean…”

“So all my redbones get on the floor, and all my yellow bones get on the floor, and all my brown bones get on the floor”

Most likely you’re familiar with at least one of the lyrics above. You’ve probably danced to a line or two when the song came on, and expectantly reveled in the fact that someone was singing a song about you and your skin tone. But in celebrating your lovely shade of brown, be it red, yellow, or tawny, did that mean you were simultaneously knocking those of a different hue?

That’s the criticism singers get whenever they make a song about black women and the many colors of the brown rainbow we come in. It’s one thing when we’re talking about Weezy, who is so far up the red bone tree I’m not even sure he realizes the women he’s been seen with as of late aren’t even light-skinned, they’re just straight up white. But even Eric Benet has felt the heat when he sang admiration for those of a lighter hue. He wasn’t talking about exotic yellow b****es like Wayne, although I’m sure it didn’t help to have him on the track, he was simply admiring his coffee cream, as opposed to the chocolate legs he was in between on the last song. But we all now how ill-received that effort was. Light-skin woman can’t get any shine when it comes to lyrics without an assumption that the songwriter admonishes those who are darker.

It’s not hard to understand. Light-skin women get enough shine as it is, right? Do we really need to shout them out in songs too? I imagine that’s how the criticism goes from those not in said light-bright group as they quickly turn the station to India Arie and think about their gorgeous brown skin against a man with a matching tan. And we know why these songs exist. If magazines, advertisements, television shows, and movies are going to keep acting like the only colors black women come in are honey and caramel, then dammit somebody coffee brown or mahogany is going to make sure somebody knows they love their skin and why. It’s all self-expression and it’s all love — as long as the object of desire has enough pigment to be celebrated.

For some reason we look at all of these songs as some sort of separator, and I’ll be honest when it comes to rap lyrics and what type of chick they want to pop it for a real ninja, there usually is some sort of preference being expressed. But when we’re just shouting out skin tones, color shades and the like as a part of who we are, what’s the problem? Everybody get’s their turn, again maybe not in some rap lyrics, but we can all think of a track where some artist wanted a woman just like us and we promptly shouted “heeyyyyy” to the beat. And if we’re being honest, do you really want to be hypersexualized as a light-skinned woman in a Kanye lyric? Trust me, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, especially when men in real life think it’s endearing to come up to you and profess their love for light-skin chicks like you’re supposed to be flattered. Get ya life, and some chocolate in it, preferably. But all jokes aside, we know the scales are tipped in the preference category, but there’s still plenty of love to go around and share. There’s a clear difference between derogatory and discriminatory lyrics about skin tone and if we can celebrate the lyrics that praise darker tones right, let’s also be cool with the songs that acknowledge the beauty (not the booty) of lighter tones as well. Plenty of artists have failed to do this correctly, but every now and again someone manages to get it right, sort of.

How do you feel about songs/lyrics on skin tone? Do you like them or prefer people find something else to sing about altogether?

Brande Victorian is the news and operations editor for Follow her on twitter @Be_Vic.

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Happy Birthday Purple One! Our Top 6 Songs By Prince (Not 5, But 6)

June 7th, 2012 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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No matter what you’re doing today, make sure you take time out to stop and play some Prince. The Purple One, born Prince Rogers Nelson, turns 54 today, and doesn’t look a day over 40! The multi-talented musician has been ahead of his time since the ’70s, when he dropped his debut album, For You, and slowly but surely started to change both the R&B and rock game (don’t forget about funk!). So on this day of celebration, we thought we’d find a way to pick six of our favorite songs by a man with a catalog of jams so extensive and amazing. Feel free to let us know your own favorites in the comment section. And if you’re wondering why I picked six…well, I couldn’t pick JUST five and seven would have been doing the most…I know, it doesn’t make sense.


*Sidenote: I would have added all the videos, but Prince isn’t a fan of his stuff being accessible via the “Intanetz.” So attached are links to the songs.

I Wanna Be Your Lover

The minute this song drops, who doesn’t stop and start nodding their head really hard? The keyboards, the guitar action, and Prince singing like he got kicked in the gonads–it’s a classic! It’s also one of his biggest R&B hits and a jam that definitely makes you want to head to the dance floor for a bit. And the video, with his hair looking very laid and his clothing at a minimum, is a must-see as well. Good look finding it though, you know he doesn’t mess with YouTube…

When Doves Cry

“How could you just leave me standing…alone in a world so cold?” Many people have tried to cover this track (Hey, Ginuwine), but nobody has done it like this fella. A stellar track from the legendary Purple Rain soundtrack, the nearly six-minute song is guaranteed to make you dance, and possibly shout (especially around the breakdown). And who wasn’t either lusting or laughing at Prince when he was in the bathtub and then crawling butt naked towards the camera? Such an intriguing character he is.


There are few slow love songs out there that touch me to the point that I feel the need to play it nonstop, but “Adore” gets that reaction from moi. With deep lyrics and messages like, “If God one day struck me blind, your beauty I’d still see…” and the way the song gradually grows through the beautiful crescendo makes it one of those jams that inadvertently takes you to church with each listen. It’s so moving, that while performing the song during a tribute to Prince at the BET Awards, a very pregnant Alicia Keys felt so inclined to climb on top of her piano and jam. Can you blame her though?


A song from the highly underrated Parade album (which was the soundtrack for his panned film, Under the Cherry Moon), “Kiss” is a showcase of the power of some sick acoustics. The track is very minimalist when you compare it to other Prince songs, but maybe it’s his attempts to sing falsetto and the smart, snarky lyrics (“Act your age mama, not your shoe size…”) that make it a must-listen. Plus, the minute it plays at a party, or even on the radio, folks lose their ever-loving mind. What do I think when I hear the song? As Prince would say during the bridge, “I think I wanna dance!”

If I Was Your Girlfriend

What you know about this one? Definitely an alluring and seductive track, “If I Was Your Girlfriend” is supposed to be a song about the tight bond and relationship between a woman and her best friend, and a man’s quest to be that oh-so-close to his lady. The “lady” singing the track is of course Prince with his vocals altered to sound like his female alter ego, Camille, and the track as a whole appeared on the critically-acclaimed album, Sign ‘o’ The Times. This is one of those dance-around-in-your-lingerie jams, or better yet, sit-on-your-couch-and-eat-Cheetos bangers too...

Purple Rain

But of course. When Prince did this track during the Super Bowl halftime show a few years back, I was pretty sure I was going to cry, but instead, I just threw my cell phone light up in the air in my room and reveled in the awesome-ness of it all (Until the Chicago Bears lost the game, then I was sad.). Some of Prince’s biggest and best hits were with the Revolution, and this one for the movie of the same name is as big as it gets. I mean, the guitar solo, the strings, the lyrics–it’s just all too epic. But then again, so is Prince.

Which jams would you add to the list?

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