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Dear Beyonce . . . .

Thank you, for being the soundtrack of growing up.  I first paid attention to Beyonce when the remix to No, No, No came out.  Maybe junior year of high school? I didn’t care enough to know who was in the group, and I wasn’t buying no albums.  But I really liked that song.

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Destiny’s Child

Enter the summer before College.  I spent most of my time with Nakkia, as we tagged along with folks.  We both worked at Pizza Hut, with a cool ass white boy boss, who mostly looked like Drew Carey.  He let us play our music, and the single for Bills, Bills, Bills came out.  I loved the song, and the video. The single also had song snippets.  And the 15 sec clip that was on repeat . . . Bug A Boo.

Any group that could have me feenin’ for snippets on random AOL Chat Rooms, I needed this album.

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The Writing’s on the Wall

Fast forward to every Friday Night 1st semester of Freshman Year, this was the CD for the “Get Ready” dance party.  4 Girls, in one small ass room {who knows why my single dorm was the hang out spot}, dancing in the mirror getting ready for the BATU Party.  This was the soundtrack for my first drink, my first nasty dancing in a corner at a house party, the first times I tried to do my hair on my own.

I remember the conversation we all had when the Say My Name video came out . . . and we saw new noses and group members.  We were eagerly awaiting the explanation . . . and we ain’t eva really get one.  Didn’t really matter.  The album was Flames, and we couldn’t wait until the next one came out.

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Survivor

The first song I ever sang in public (not at church) was Independent Woman, Part 1.  We had to harmonize the bridge,  and we KILLED it.  Not to mention, I somehow got the nickname Bug a Boo during my process. This album is the soundtrack of my 1st year as a Zeta.  The road trip to Blue & White in Columbus, the summer I worked in the bakery.  Aaliyah leaving Dangerously In Love on repeat in her dorm for at least 12 hours. Happy Face helped get me out of my 1st real bout of Depression.

Image result for beyonce album coversDangerously In Love

We all knew she was going solo, when we heard Dangerously In Love on Survivor.  Just like JT and Gone, we knew Beyonce was ready to branch out on her own.  This album is the soundtrack of my 1st car. . . . of the man who sold it to me, and my intro to [redacted]. This is car concerts singing Baby Boy, and driving down to Dayton to make sure I got to dance to songs from this album.  This album is #TOTGA and realizing I was in some serious like with #HIM.

Image result for destiny's child album coversDestiny Fulfilled

Their best album, in my humble opinion.  This album felt like, we grown now . . . let us be.  This album is the soundtrack of living on my own for the 1st time.  The mix CD’s I made for a childhood crush . . .  the ones he made for me as replies.  The background of the end of a significant friendship, and the rekindling of the most important one.  Every video was an entire MOOD, and we were all waiting for them to premiere on TRL.

 

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B’Day

This album reminds me of a huge time of transition in my life, the time when “Flaws and All” was my guiding light.  If someone can accept her, they can accept me, right? But I wasn’t part of the BeyHive yet.  I was just liking music and buying albums.

 

Image result for beyonce album coversI Am . . . . Sasha Fierce

This album is when I became a fan.  This is the soundtrack of MJ’s Detroit Year of Love.  This is the soundtrack of getting ready to go out every weekend.  Of attending every Greek event, and making new friends. Getting numbers for the 1st time in my life. The brief moment of self love that was shining through every where I went. This is also the soundtrack of my 1st teaching job, having fun in my classroom, making up dance routines with Nicole and Carmen, and still remembering them to th day.

 

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Whew . . . . this album.  The second major heartbreak of my life.  This album is the pick myself up off the ground . . . then drag me right on back there.  The despair of losing everything . . . and the joy that came when I got it back. Every song on this album takes me to a specific place, time, emotion, person.  Baby I miss you . . . . Nigga you lost the best you will ever have . . .  Can we try everything all over . . . .

I remember when we were all excited to find out Blue was coming.  This is definitely when I became a card carrying member of the Hive.  This album was on repeat in my car.  This is my . . .  Beyonce done Grown Up, album.  She was singing about different shit.  I started to take notice.

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Beyonce

I was in a hotel room when this album dropped.  [REDACTED] Someone bought this album for me, on iTunes, because it wasn’t on Spotify.  This album is the soundtrack of my going back to AZ. Of starting something new . . . and holding on to someone I should have let go.  The soundtrack of a specific relationship, of starting it and ending it.  Of living alone, and being happy in my space alone.  These videos take me to a specific feeling of awe, that Beyonce is constantly able to do something new.  Being in awe of her talent, her seeming perfection.

 

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Lemonade

At this point, Beyonce had become a black cultural phenomenon.  We all gathered whenever something was happening. To comment, Stan, be in love with Beyonce the entity.  We had warning.  We knew it was coming, but we were unprepared.  We had just lost Prince, we were reeling from that . . . and along come Lemonade.  There was a collective sigh on Social Media as it started . . . I think i have 83 tweets for that day.

It was the Black Female experience in a way we never knew it needed to be told.  The raw emotion Lemonade evoked . . . seeing this person you’ve come to Idolize, be human.  Have flaws, have been hurt publicly.  IT was so beautiful to see the progression of that time in her life.  In a real way, without making everything look shiny and new.  And she had the NERVE to give us a remix with Dixie Chicks.  The only other soundtrack of my Freshman Year of College.  It was everything I didn’t know I needed.

Image result for everything is loveEverything Is Love

This album . . . is the soundtrack of the summer my life changed.  This album is Malachi, and #ThatNigga, and #HE, and letting go of #HIM.  This soundtrack of driving around in downtown Detroit, and random events around the city.  Of looking for a job, then studying for my teacher certification.  This album feels like once the storm is over, and you just need to celebrate.  

Beyonce finally letting the rapper that lives inside free.  She bodied Jay on every verse.  We con’t care that he wrote them, she BODIED every beat.  I love vulgar Beyonce.  She don’t give a good hell about your feelings.  She is happy, in love, and a mother of 3.  You better get the fuck in where you fit in.

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Homecoming

I mean . . . . . BeyChella was the blackest thing to happen ever.  In life of ever.  It took me back to college, and step shows.  Watching my friends introduce their kids to her, having my sandz send me pics of her son dancing when he thought no one was looking.  Watching people react to seeing it for the 1st time.

Before I Let Go . . . . The best, most blackest, most awesome thing ever.  The fact that we finally got the album of BeyChella, then she had to do one more Black Ass Thing! Take the best Hustle song, and add a bounce beat to the back of it.  We don’t deserve Beyonce. I’m just so grateful we have her.

Fall 2019 Playlist: Free Write

So I decided this summer, to create a playlist for the season.  Put some songs together that reminded me of specific people, places or things.  It all started at The Read Live in DC.  They were playing so MANY good songs before the show started, I had to find them and at them to my Spotify Rotation.

That Playlist is the perfect way for me to get all up IN my feelings, cuz this past summer was life changingly awesome and horrible, ALL AT THE SAME TIME.  It’s always good to repeat an excellent Idea, so I made a Fall 2019 one as well.  I present, some thoughts about life thanx to Spotify.

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Aye, I’m CUTE.

I don’t know if you knew.  You should know . . . I’m getting cuter by the day.  Shouts to My Personal Trainer.  I’ve lost about 30 more pounds this summer . . . I’m wearing clothes I never thought I would.  I set goals that would have been outrageous 6 months ago, and now, completing them by the end of the year seems very possible.

Unfortunately, with the Glow Up comes the stragglers.  Folks that wouldn’t give me the time of day 50 or 100 pounds ago.  Now it’s, “Heeeeeeeeeey MJ, you are doing so good.  I’m proud of you. You should call me.”

Why? I’m the same MJ . . . just smaller. If you wasn’t tryna drink out the 2 Liter, you can’t get the 20oz, ya dig?!?!  Also, I can’t call you. . . . My Personal Trainer doesn’t allow me to train with other people 😉

Can’t Be Broken

So many times in the last year, I’ve felt like . . .It can’t get any worse.  Nothing else could come into my life what is harder to understand than this thing I’m trying to heal from right now.

Then . . . Here comes Harder.  Some kind of way, I keep fighting my way out.  I keep clawing my way out of the low places I’ve found myself in.  That’s the lesson – You can Always Get Out.

Even though it feels like there is no hope.  You will get out of it. I know it seems impossible.  I know the weight feels like it’s trying to break your chest ON PURPOSE.  But you getting out of it, will let you know just how Strong you are.

You Don’t Know

Jill Scott made this album before I grew up.  When it first came out, I wasn’t really feeling it.  I listened, then went back to the albums I already loved. The vibe of the album didn’t appeal to where I was in my life.

A year ago, I listened to it again, and realized why Jill Scott had changed in the last few year.  She grew the fuck up.  She realized the type of love she was looking for required Preparation . . . Sacrifice . . . . SelfLessNess. Things I’m STILL trying to learn about.

I can’t believe how hard it is to try to build a LIFE with someone. To have to get out of your own head . . .let go of your own shit . . . make them let go of theirs . . . and try not to fuck it up by assuming the worst about EVERYTHING.

It Ain’t Yours to Throw Away

Look, Nashville had some GOOD ass Music.

I’ve had some days y’all. I’ve had some days where it seemed like being around wasn’t helpful to anyone else.  One of those days, I put my phone on shuffle, and this song came on 1st.

What if you’re just a vessel,
And God gave you something special,
It ain’t yours to throw away
It ain’t yours to throw away
Every time you open up your mouth,
Diamonds come rolling out
It ain’t yours to throw away
How can you hear those words . . . and not feel like God was sending you a gentle reminder?  It ain’t over yet.  Its the life I gave you . . . so only I can take it from you.  Check on your Strong Friends.

Wonder

Being a teacher is HARD.  It’s not hard cuz you have to teach kids how to read.  It’s hard because you have to Heal Children, AND teach them how to read.  Every day, some child is looking at me, hoping I can help them with whatever ails them.
Then, we all have a moment.  A Silly Moment in Class. The 1st time one of my students had Pop Rocks . . . Extreme Wonder on his face.  The Wonder in small kids, learning new things.  Finally making sense of a word, or a math problem.  The Pride on their face.
That’s why I’m still a teacher.  Giving something like that to a child.  Being blessed enough to be able to do that.  When things get bad . . . I can always remember, that I can bring wonder into a child’s eye.
That Blessing . . . Is not Mine to Throw Away. 

The Love We Had Stays On My Mind

I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this blog. The 1st blog after I lost my WHOLE Heart. My whole world is different, because my Mother died.

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I had a plan for this summer. It didn’t include this. I made the dopest playlist ever {See Below} . . and made my plans to travel all over. Then . . .

Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer.

The foundation I’ve rested on . . . started to crumble. I reached out to my people . . . because we had decided we were going to just . . . Live the Best Summer Ever.

Together. Me and My Mommy.

  • Life got in the way.
  • Other peoples issues got in the way.
  • 600ML of Fluid on her Lungs got in the way.

She started saying her goodbyes. She left messages for me with her friends. Directions on how to function without her.

She was tired.

I gave her permission . . .to stop fighting. To Stop being a Warrior for me. I told her everything. My plans, the back-up plans, and the people who were going to help me meet those goals.

Now She’s Gone.

  • Moving on feels like the Worst Thing Ever.
  • Being Happy feels like the Worst Thing Ever.
  • Because she’s Gone . . . and That’s the Worst Thing Ever.

thank you

To My Brothers: Thank You. Thank you the calls, for coming, for sitting right next to me as I said Goodbye to My Mother. Thank you for the Hangouts conversations, the cards, the everything you’ve done.
To Stacey: I’m so Grateful for the way you Loved My Mother. Thank you for being ME, when I couldn’t be there. I’ll never be able to repay you for the last 2 years.
To Emmanuel: Thank you for picking me up off the ground. Thank you for helping me pick up the pieces. Thank you for being You.
To Kaitlyn, Raji, Diamond, Aaliyah, Chavi, Jo, Nisha, Dom, and Michelle: Thank you for being my Sister Circle. For answering every text and call . . .for letting me cry, and vent, and breathe . . .for the Spanish Inquisitions, Disney Adventures, and Gourmet Meals.
To The Cousins: Thank you for surrounding me with Love. Thank you for the arguments, and chicken wings, and bottles of liquor, and stop overs, and UFC Fight Nights. For loving my goofy ass dog, and checking on me daily. I promise to be around more, because If i don’t, Joyce will haunt me.

Thank you to anyone who sent a prayer, positive thought, text, message, smoke signal, edible, hug, emmisary on their behalf. I don’t have enough words to say it. So Just . . .

Thank You.

03/06/2019: Free Write

*Today’s soundtrack is my saved song library on Spotify*

Wonder – Emili Sande

I’ve been afraid to write this year.  Not because I don’t have anything to say, it’s just that what I feel like writing is hella personal.  Remember when everything I posted was relevant to everyone, had a kind of global feel?   When it was social commentary and satire blogs?  The past 3 years have just been . . . me.

I told myself I’m going to publish whatever comes out tonight.  So here we go . . . 

Might Not Be Ok – Kenneth Wallum

Depression is a thing.  The latest wave . . . took me ALL the way under.  Crawling inside myself  and still trying to function on 0%. The good news, I’m coming out of it.  I called a therapist yesterday, set up an appointment for ASAP. I’ve been faking the funk for quite some time, and last week just slapped me dead in my face.  Thank God for music, and friends you can be 100% honest with.

My circle sho’nuff saved me this week. 

I Gotta Find Peace of Mind – Lauryn Hill

First of all, FUCK YOU SPOTIFY. Here we go.  So I met a guy.  He was amazing.  It was amazing . . . then it was over.  {*SeePreviousSection} This song reminds me of him.  I miss hanging out with him.  Conversing with him filled a hole I forgot even existed.  I got used to it too soon.  Losing it was NOT awesome. There are more Words . . . Thoughts . . . and Feelings. . . but those will go in the blog I don’t post. 

Big Green Tractor – Jason Alden

Hilarious!!! I love this song.  It reminds me of a student I had at the Tucson JCC. I asked what he wanted to sing in circle time, and he said, “Big Green Tractor!” I was like, that’s a kid song I don’t know, which is rare.  Then he sang it . . . I was like DAMN he’s white as HELL!

I know all the words to this song.  Because I like it.  Because I listen to country music.  Because some of my friends do.  Because some of my friends are white as HELL. I grew up with them.  So I have learned to not feel uncomfortable in white as HELL situations. . . . [however If I see bikers or too many trucks, I’m Out!]

Spar (feat 6Lack & Kodak Black)

This is definitely in the Summer 2018 playlist.  Whew, I miss Malachi! I do better when I have a running buddy.  Someone who is always ready to go out, and get into something new.  I had Bono for that in AZ, and Malachi here.  I gotta figure out who that’s gotta be, ‘cuz I want to explore Detroit: The Gentrified Version. I’ll look at all the white people with derision, but I want to go throw a Got Damn Ax!

This summer, I’mma be running around in booty shorts and crop tops.  If I can CONSISTENTLY take my ass back to the gym, it’s gonna go DOWN. At least 10,000 steps a day and water workouts, ya’ll not READY. I’m going Fowling, and indoor skydiving, and ropes courses.

I’m looking forward to it.

 

*editor’s note*

Creep – sung by VINCINT 

As I was packing up, this song came on. VINCINT’s version of this song, is the 1st time I ever actually listened to the damn lyrics . . . because sad white boys do this song at Karaoke all the damn time. I tune them out, it’s usually the bathroom break.

VINCINT’S interpretation of this song . . . is me walking through the world. 

Every. Single. Day.  

 

Pick Me! Choose Me! Love Me!

(This Blog’s Soundtrack is located below)

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I remember this episode so clearly, and how it made me feel. I knew that feeling, begging some dude to pay attention to me. To be in public, what he said you were to him in private. To acknowledge my existence in some real way, instead of just via text or phone call or inside a hotel room. Meredith was basically saying . . . ‘I’M RIGHT HERE, THE FUCK????‘ It felt like every conversation I’ve ever had with men I was genuinely interested in.

Things have already started happening to me that are brand the fuck new. Random dudes asking for my number, people actually acknowledging my existence instead of ignoring me. It’s a heady experience, being seen for the 1st time in a long time. I’m still trying to rap my head around it, and how to properly react to it. Personal trainers at the gym commenting on my progress, people I haven’t seen in years hitting me up to hang out. Lil’ Ole’ Me.

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I’ve started talking to people I’ve always wanted to talk to. Just shooting my shot all in folks DM’s. Racking up numbers and Peen Pics. Reopened my OKCupid account, and updated the pictures with my new slimmer face and body. Walking with the switch in my hips my brother told me NO ONE is ready for. Put out some feelers to some old Beauxs, and lined up my #Summer2018Heauxtation.

JUST as I was already feeling myself, enter the Man of 16 Y/O MJ’s DREAMS, LightBright.

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TWINS

I’m not bragging, I’m just setting a scene. All 16 year old MJ wanted was a light skinned boy to like her (This is a whole nother blog. Save your comments for that one.) I just wanted somebody cute to hold my hand in public, and make other people jealous. Yes I USED TO BE petty . . . SO.

Below is 16 Y/O MJ’s Boyfriend Wishlist:

  • Taller than me
  • Skinny
  • Have Light eyes, and
  • Have a cool car.

Don’t this negro fit all my shallow ass criteria to a got damn T. Where the hell did HE come from, and how long is he staying? Because YES PLEASE. For some reason, this fine ass man asked me for my number, then actually called!!!!!! HE SAW ME, and wants to keep doing it. What is my Detroit Life?!?!?
LightBright makes me feel a way when I see him. I giggle. Anyone who knows me, knows this makes no sense, because I don’t do that lame shit. Stupid girly shit … that ain’t me. But it is when LB is around. Just . . . hands in front of my face, stop looking at me type shit. I would be ashamed, but that shit is FUN.

Simultaneously, ENTER THAT nigga.

The great thing about THAT nigga, I can be myself. I don’t have to dumb shit down. I can be me, and 85% of the time, it’s just fine. 10% of the time, I’m in my feelings and/or horny so I say and feel dumb shit. That last 5% . . that’s when we are both too intoxicated to function and the entire conversation is just us laughing at each other.

WHY DON’T I DESERVE THIS?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!???

Why can’t I have this be my everyday?!?!?!

Why do I get to find these fucking people who make me want to spend every fucking second of my life with them? Then they are like . . . “I mean, U cool and whatever . . . but you ain’t good enough for me. Maybe some other nigga, just not me.

Some Facts that should be now stated:

  1. The most important thing I need to remind myself, is THAT nigga came out of nowhere. I didn’t expect him to be who he is. I didn’t expect him to be able to hold a fucking conversation. Let alone, turn me on, or know all my kink without me telling him. Shit like that . . . knowing my private shames without me telling you. I feel like there HAS TO BE a reason we connected.
  2. LB is younger than me. He’s not supposed to be anything other than what he is . . . I’m fine with that for right now.
  3. A bitch is . . maybe was . . . all up in her feelings for THAT nigga. I really can’t even be mad, because he told me what he was doing, did it, and then reminded me he did it. It’s my own damn fault for thinking I was different
  4. I like giving men power in most relationships, it’s prolly the submissive in me. Then I met THAT nigga. And he was like, “Thanx Simple Bitch, Imma use this to fuck you all the way up. You’re Welcome!”

Who did I call to cry about it???

#Him . . . the one THAT nigga was supposed to help me replace.

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Because #Him is the Prototype, and has probably always been. I’d murder someone for #Him, like plead guilty and er’thing. Spend the rest of my life in jail, knowing that he is with his family and safe and happy. That’s the reason I know it might actually be some real shit. . .cuz I can MAYBE count 8 other people in my life I would do that for, and he’s attached to 4 of them.

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Talking to #Him is like being held . . then choked while being dicked down . . . then held again.
Talking to LB is like being caressed . . . then dicked down . . . then caressed again.
Talking to THAT nigga is like being part of a whole . . . then ripped apart . . . then held . . . then choked within an inch of my life . . . then caressed . . . then dicked down. . . then patched back together with some of the pieces missing . . . then told its my fault for losing the pieces.

So the real question is . . . How long is it going to take me to get out of my feelings for THAT nigga. Because it’s not even worth being mad at him. Like not at ALL.

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I feel unstable right now. Spotify isn’t helping me at ALL. They keep hipping me to all these emo ass rapper/singer groups and artists. Like the hell. Can I NOT be in my feelings for a day? Like is that a thing???

Pigment . . . or Nigga What?!?!

To whom it may concern:

You broke my heart.  Not on some “We in love” type shit, I wasn’t dreaming about forever. But we had SUCH a good thing going.  And yet . . . at the end of the day, it wasn’t what I thought.  My brothers tried to tell me, but like a dummy I didn’t listen.  Because I knew better . . . I was doing this the right way, and my feelings weren’t involved. Or so I thought . . . because after all this time, I’m still hurt.

Maybe I’m the one to blame
That’s just how the game goes
Just want someone to hold
Everybody needs somebody to be there when they’re alone
I just want you to save me (yea)
Just want you to save me . . .

I’d made my mind up, we were going to make this whole thing work for years. Maybe I got arrogant, I thought we were on the same level. Underneath it all, I thought we respected each other enough to be honest, at all time.  I never lied to you. Not once, I was always upfront.  When I was wrong, I told you. When you were wrong, I checked you. I thought that made us friends.

I’ve known most of my life that I’m a loyal person.  If I consider you a friend, then that’s just it.  We are Ride or Die.  I have your back, and you have mine. I would never do something to harm you, and I thought it was vice versa. Maybe that’s why I’m so hurt. Because you accused me to something I would NEVER have done.

He said you’re my everything
I love you through everything, I done did everything to him
He forgave me for everything, this a forever thing
Hate that I treat it like it’s a whatever thing
Trust me, boy, this shit is everything to me

Okay, so maybe I lied once.  I told you it was just . . . fun.  It meant something. On multiple levels.  The right people knew what it meant, except you.  Either way, you mattered . . . and always have.  You know THAT, I Know you know that. But at the end of it all . . . the ugly ass way it ended . . . I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t have time to get myself ready.  Because it didn’t end the way I wanted to end. I just wasn’t ready for it.

The things that I would do to you with just a couple seconds
I would color every moment, make you feel like it’s forever
I’m comin’ over, so you can start undressin’
I’m givin’ you a chance to finally make a good impression

When I first heard the version of this song on Volume 1, I was PISSED it was only 90 secs.  I thought it held so much potential.  I wanted to send this song to you.  It was the perfect statement was what I wanted us to be. “Get Ready . . . a Bitch has plans.” That’s what the text would have said.  I needed you to know my mindset.  But alas . . . . The Road to Hell is Paved with “Good Intentions.”  This was supposed to be the next level shit we had talked about. But it all fell apart.

You only show me love
When it comes to the music
It’s like when I feel lonely
That’s when you start actin’ choosey
I don’t wanna keep playin’ them games
‘Cause I feel like I’m losin’

So I’m done. I needed to be anyway. But I’m done. Because it’s probably the better decision, at least for me.  But I miss the security that existed because you were in my life. I miss having the knowledge that there was someone out there that thought of me and smiled.  Or maybe you didn’t, and I’m making that up. It makes it easier to lie to myself.

He has you lost in your emotions
And you hate feeling so alone
And now your simpin’ because you know
You shouldn’t have stayed until the morning
It wasn’t worth all the heartache
It wasn’t worth all of the pleasure
Because you were once a diamond
He made you feel like buried treasure

You broke my heart. And I’m judging myself because of that.  Because I KNEW better. I’ve been down that road, and knew how it ended.  But I still . . . quite stupidly . . . had hope that we could be friends at the end of it all. But, friends don’t do that to each other. Friends don’t say shit like, “I mean I hear what you are saying . . . but I don’t believe you.” I’m sitting here, dealing with it.  Because I have to, even if I don’t want to.  But it hurts. Alot.

I’m still lost holding in all of the anger
At the bottom of the ocean and I thought you’d be my savior.
I was distracted, unaware of his behavior
But when I started drowning, I didn’t know he was the anchor.

2016: A Year In Review

Usually when I do my end of the year blog, I have a set list of things I want to talk about.  This year it’s going to be kind of a free write.  Spotify did this great thing, where they put together a list of the Top 100 Songs you listened to this year.  For me, it’s been a true portrait of what this year has done to me.  Yes, done to me.  So I’m going to let the music guide me in what I write about.

Be Alright – Ariana Grande

Baby, don’t you know
All them tears gon’ come and go
Baby, you just gotta make up your mind
That every little thing is gonna be alright

This part of my “I Will Survive” Playlist.  I needed songs this year that took me to the After place.  After all the bullshit, After all the tears, After all the pain.  This song is the perfect vibe for that.  You are going to be alright.  It’s not gonna be like this forever.  Sometimes, when you’re stuck in the middle of a storm that seems to be pulling you down, musical lyrics can be the life preserver that pulls you up to the surface.  I still think Ariana is wasting her voice . . . but that’s a whole ‘nother blog.

Rise – Solange Knowles

Fall in your ways so you can crumble
Fall in your ways so you can sleep at night
Fall in your ways so you can wake up and rise

A good reminder that you can rise above.  Even when you don’t want to, or you feel like you can’t.  You have to rise above.  Even if the only satisfaction or acknowledgement you will ever get is from yourself. That’s what it has felt like this year.  I’ve been patting my own damn self on the back. Cuz the hater’s been hatin’ like a muthafucka in 2016. It’s hard, to not just fight everyone in the face. {Maybe that’s just me…} This song is a great way to calm myself down when I’m ready to fight, which has been frequently this year surprisingly.

Needed Me – Rihanna

Don’t get it twisted
You was just another nigga on the hit list
Tryna fix your inner issues with a bad bitch
Didn’t they tell you that I was a savage
Fuck your white horse and a carriage
Bet you never could imagine, Never told you you could have it

When you have to explain on countless occasions that you are NOT like these other females.  I can be attracted to you, even see a future with you, and not be trying to tie you down.  I can understand that we want different things right now, and either I can take what you wanna/can give, or I can move the fuck on. A Bitch has Options.

If I tell you I’m trying to engage in some Hump & Go type action, why do you THEN feel some kind of way? Especially if you told me that’s all you have the possibility to give me.    It’s just a matter of us being HONEST. Why must people lie and placate?  Or tell people what they THINK the other person wants to hear.  9 times out of 10, we are thinking the same thing, or want the same thing.  But you are too scared to be honest.  Weak People Suck. Like SO MUCH.

Better ThanGretchen Parlato

This precious heart, broken apart
just leave it there and let it go
cuz all i know’s there’s nothing better than

how it keeps beating
it keeps repeating
a blessing in disguise
dry my eyes and realize there’s something better than

So like, I know a guy who told me a story about his friend trying an edible for the first time. Supposedly, this album was the music in the background while this friend of a friend was trippin’ balls. Which lead to some major life revelations.  My friend told me that his friend heard the lyrics to this album for the 1st time, and realized why it was her favorite album to fall asleep to.

This friend of a friend felt like she was having a private conversation with God while this album was playing.  And after she got done trippin’, she was seeing her whole life in a completely different way. At least, that’s what my friend told me happened.  I wasn’t there, so I can’t say what’s the truth.  That’s only what I heard when someone told me the story.

F**kin’ Wit Me – Tank

Every time I lick it, you be losin it
These young boys didn’t know what to do with it
You got it all on my face, I love the way that it taste
When you put it all on my plate
It won’t go to waste

It’s rare that I don’t know about songs like this.  My sexytime playlist is quite extensive. But this song . . . This song reminds me of a promise made, but never kept. Folks be talking so TOUGH, beforehand.  Then, in the heat of the moment, they lose their nerve. Cuz once again, I’m not like these other females.  I bring my A game all the time, and people don’t know how to hang.  Let me stop . . . I’m supposed to be working on being subtle, and not blaming or shaming people . . . 

Perm – Bruno Mars

You need activate your sexy (activate your sexy)
Silky, smooth and snap (silky, smooth and snap)
Now lean with it (lean), throw a lil sheen in it (sheen)
Then pat, pat, pat ’til it’s flat

Yall know this song goes.  This whole album – minus Versace on the Floor & Callin’ All My LoveliesGOES. This is the new getting ready to hit the club and be fly album.  It’s so much 90’s fun.  My chair dancing routine to this song is intricate, and makes people so jealous when they see me doing it . .. in my car . . . on the way to work. Bruno put his FOOT in this album. Also, you know your girl loves any song with a good Diva Finger Snap {no seriously, I have a whole playlist of songs which inspire the Diva Finger Snap} in it. I almost made this my ringtone . . . then I remembered my phone is always on vibrate because I work so much.

Alright – Kendrick Lamar

When you know, we been hurt, been down before, nigga
When our pride was low, lookin’ at the world like, “where do we go, nigga?”
And we hate Popo, wanna kill us dead in the street for sure, nigga
I’m at the preacher’s door
My knees gettin’ weak and my gun might blow but we gon’ be alright

Aye look . . . . this is my current morning alarm.  I gotta wake up every morning, remembering my people have survived some shit in the past.  The current political climate of the US might be leading to the worst shit since Slavery.  That’s not even hyperbole on my part.  I really believe that shit.  When it becomes a bit much, when I can’t seem to get out of the bed in the morning, so I can’t face another person telling me to give that asshole a chance, this song can get me through.

Ultralight Beam – Kanye West feat. Chance the Rapper, The Dream, Kelly Price, & Kirk Franklin

I’m tryna keep my faith
But I’m looking for more
Somewhere I can feel safe
And end my holy war
I’m tryna keep my faith

This is the only song on his new album I listened to.  Legit, I didn’t go past this song.  There was no need.  This is Kanye West’s best song {maybe ever} . . . not because his verse was great (cuz it wasn’t) . . . but because of everyone ELSE’S verses.  This song is such a beautiful way of expressing what I think we all go through with our faith.  Sometimes it’s so hard to keep the faith, and trust that God really has your back.  Especially when you see people who are supposed to have  your back {read: family} don’t.

I was raised in the church, and taught I should have unwavering faith in God. In all honesty, it took me awhile to get there.  My issue, I don’t have faith in people AT ALL. There are lots of people in the world who don’t have faith at all.  These people are hurting and for whatever reason, the way they cope is hurting other people. This song got me through the first part of 2016. It was played on repeat at loud volumes every morning. Because having faith isn’t hard, keeping it is. 

Father, this prayer is for everyone that feels they’re not good enough.
This prayer’s for everybody that feels like they’re too messed up.
For everyone that feels they’ve said “I’m sorry” too many times.
You can never go too far when you can’t come back home again.

So that’s my year in review.  Hope you enjoyed it 🙂

Awaken My Love…

I had two goals for this trip home. To see the people who matter to me, and get all the food I’m about to give up for the rest of my life. The latter isn’t working out all that well. But this blog is really about the former goal. 

I’ve stated since college, that I created my own family.  I’ve picked and chosen who I was going to rely on and trust.  I’ve actually been doing it since high school though.

My freshman year of high school, I met my best friend. Our relationship has been through so many things, sometimes I’m in awe that we’ve made it this far. But during this trip home I realized she’s my sister. We don’t even have to talk to have a whole conversation. We became a Triad our sophomore when I introduced her to a friend from biology class. From that point on, there is no picture that I could find that isn’t the 3 of us. 

We were always together, even after I changed schools. We did everything together. I was a triplet for about 6 years.  As friendships do, folks starting fighting over dumb shit (read: boys, drugs, and money) and I was the friend in the middle for a while.  Then I was the friend alone. We made up, in some shapes and forms after college, but that closeness from high school seemed to be unattainable.

In college, Zeta brought me my brothers, and another 2 sisters. They looked out for me, even when I didn’t know they were. Even though some of us didn’t develop our relationships fully until 7 years ago, the foundation started there. It’s hard to meet people, and instantly connect. Let alone if that connection stays through kids, heartbreak, marriages, and location changes. 

This trip, I got to finally introduce my high school best friend to some of the other people who make up my core. And it brought me so much Joy. Cuz she gets it now.  Why these people matter so much to me. Why I am who I am now, because of these relationships. 

In October, I sat down with the other triplet and just talked it out.  It wasn’t pretty but it was necessary. Because we let something small become something huge that changed our lives forever.  This trip, the 3 of us went to lunch. 4 hours went by so fast! It was like old times, a conversational ebb and flow that I’d forgotten could exist. 

I’m so glad we did that. I don’t know where it’s going to go, but I know that friendship isn’t stuck in the past anymore. We are grown ass women, which grown ass lives, who can still make each other laugh, cry, and think. I had missed that so much more than I probably wanted to admit to myself.

In the past, I refused to mix friend factions. Everyone had to stay in their proper lane, no merging.  I can totally understand why I did that, because I wasn’t secure in those friendships. I had yet to realize that I mattered to them as much as they mattered to me. But now…I want them all together all the time!

This trip for me has firmly solidified for me why my core group of people are so important to me. It’s also shown me, that if thrown in a room together they would probably all love each other. The mix of personalities and humors and world views would always lead to good conversations and adventures. To road trips, and girls weekends, and grown ass sleepovers. 

Cuz it’s all love. I can bask in being the hub for all this love, being the person who could bring them all together, and not be worried that I might lose them to each other.  I think they all kind of like me at this point 😀. 

I’mma Keep Runnin . . . Or My Fan-Girl Reaction to Lemonade

Your. Fave. Could. Never.  That’s the first thing you need to know.  I don’t care who your Fave is. They could NEVER be Beyonce.  Not ever in life. Not with training, not by drinking her bath water.  Not by living with her for 10 years.  YOUR FAVE COULD NEVER.  {YFCN}

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, Lets Talk about Lemonade.

beyonce-lemonade-video-trailer

Lemonade is a visual representation of the Black Woman Struggle.  It’s every part of a Black Woman’s life.  The Lies, the Love, the Tears, the Anger, the Jealously, the Shame, the Ugliness, the Beauty, but most of all . . . The Pride.  If you finish watching Lemonade, and don’t feel like a Proud Black Woman . . . you did it wrong.  Start all over again. I don’t care if you’re Asian, you should feel like a Proud and Strong Black Woman at the end.

BAAAAABY.  Beyonce said, “Keep Trying ME.” The Visuals, the spoken word (shouts to Warsan Shire) the music.  Every track is immaculate.  Yes, I am fan-girling the FUCK outta this album. Thank you to Tidal for this, because . . . yes.  I have to go Track by Track.  That’s really the only it can be done.

Pray that you catch me

1) Pray That You Catch Me

Ever KNEW your man was cheating.  Every sign pointed to him being an Ain’t Shit Type of Nigga, but you wanted to hold on to the part of you that feels like you can’t get played.  That’s this song.  She knows he’s cheating, she is praying that he knows that she knows.  While watching this with my Twitter Family, we were all like . . . hold on wait?!?! Is this about Jay? This is actually my least favorite song on this album. Not because it’s not good . . . they just all get consistently better.
hold up

2) Hold Up

Beyonce was walking down the the street, with a bat.  In wit’ dem micros flowing free.  All types of Bey from Destiny’s Child.  Like . . . everything.  Her in that yellow, smashing windows and breaking shit. She’s my Angry Black Girl Hero. Then she had the nerve to drive over all them cars with a Big Ass Truck.  Look Here, Don’t fuck with Beyonce. She is crazy.  And I LOVE it.

 

Don't Hurt Yourself

3) Don’t Hurt Yourself feat. Jack White

Angry Beyonce who curses is so much of the things. First, Jack White?!?!? Your Fave Could Never. Lets talk about these lyrics tho . . .

Who the Fuck Do you I am?

You ain’t married to no Average Bitch Boy!

You gone watch my fat ass twist boy, 

As I bounce to the next Dick Boy. 

Again, all of Twitter was like wait . . . what did Jay do to her?  Do we gotta hate him now? Is we fighting him in the face? Cuz why is Bey this mad?!?! At this point, Jay’s twitter mentions were in SHAMBLES. Men and women were like “Jay, I mean we can’t even help you out.  You done fucked up now.”

i ain't sorry

4) Sorry

Then she showed up with all her girls, in a bus. Throwing up middle fingers, and saying, “Fuck em’ Girl, Fuck Em'” AND had Serena Williams twerking in a video! But once again, them lyrics.   I have to admit, I was more than a little concerned at this point.  Cuz ummmmm, again, why is she so mad?!?

I love this Beyonce, not afraid to curse, to be real about her life (maybe) and talking about all the facets of her relationship (maybe). Best Line of the Song . . . “He betta call Becky wit tha Good Hair.” Bish WHET?!?!? Now we gotta be mad at any bish named Becky?!?!?

6 inch

5) 6 Inch feat. The Weeknd

Just . . . yes.  I’ve been waiting for this collaboration.  I can’t even tell you what this song is about {honestly, I think it’s about a working girl who wears 6 Inch Heels}.  I got caught up in the sampling of Walk On By by Isaac Hayes.  That guitar riff.  EVERYTHING. Seriously Guys, at this point I was just so much in my feelings at the beauty of the visuals. I had to stop tweeting, and just breathe.

daddy lessons

6) Daddy Lessons

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS Come Through with this Country Song. She said, “Hey Taylor Swift . . . fuck you.” And she started it with Zydeco music.  This visuals for this one were beautiful.  You get this home movie with Beyonce and her Dad which then switched into a video of Blue Ivy and Matthew.  At this point, I think we all breathe a sigh of relief, maybe it was about Matthew and Tina, and not Jay and B.  Okay, maybe that was just me.  Either way. I was able to deal a little bit better.

Love Drought7) Love Drought

At this point, the visuals changed, and along with them the message (at least for me)  From talking about Self, to the purity of having your sister’s behind you.  To having women in your life you can build you up when you are down. These women, in white in a river, gives me this feeling of being cleansed and washing off all the weight of the past.

Sand castles

8) Sandcastles

At this point, I started crying. Because . . . OH MY GOOD SAWEET LORD! It came out that Prince said in an interview, that Beyonce needed to learn to play the piano, it would take her to another level. Like . . . . Seriously.  I’m tearing up right now remembering that clip.  Because This whole WEEK has been shitty. I still haven’t processed the loss of Prince.  It felt like he was saying . . . “If they listen, I will guide them.” Plus, the VISUALS. Jay-Z at his most vulnerable.  With his hand on her ankle, laying in bed just basking in her. Sitting there holding her. Y’all #GOALS.

Black Moms

9) Forward

AGAIN, TEARS. This whole montage of Black Mothers and Children, in PAIN because of their loss at the hands others.  The PAIN in Mike Brown’s mother’s eyes . . . I lost it. These mothers, who raised beautiful Black Men, only to lose them in such a violent way.

Don’t ever say Beyonce doesn’t care about her people, don’t ever say she doesn’t understand or know the plight of her people.  Don’t Ever Say Beyonce isn’t WOKE.  She’s 6 Liters of Monster Energy Drink and 18 Cups of Coffee type WOKE. She doesn’t even have to set alarm clocks, she just wakes up on her own.  

Again, Your Fave Could Never.

Freedom

10) Freedom feat. Kendrick Lamar

Hands down my favorite song on the album.  The message of Black Power, of Black Female Empowerment, of Black Beauty coming in every shade, size (maybe), and age.

Freedom, Freedom I Can’t Move!

Freedom Cut Me Loose!

Freedom, Freedom Where are you?

Cuz I need Freedom too!

I break chains all by myself, won’t let my Freedom rot in Hell,

Im’ma Keep Running cuz a Winner don’t Quit on themselves!

black girls are awesome

Lets talk about this Visual.  You got Zendaya, Chloe and Hallie, and Amandla Stenberg. {Judge me not, I don’t know who the other girls are} Like, WHAT?!?!?

Beyonce called people and was like, “Look, I need you to come sit.  You don’t have a speaking part, I just need you to sit on some stuff.  There may be chairs, steps, perhaps a tree? You Down?” 

And EVERYONE SAID YES. Cuz at this point in life, you don’t say no to Beyonce.  You just Don’t. Can we also discuss Michaela Deprince and her ballet.  Yes Chile’ get it.  Beyonce is here for all the little black girls with a dream.
blue feeding Jay

11) All Night Long

At this point, I was so drenched in Love, and Black Pride, and happiness.  And then we get Family Home Videos?!?! Beyonce pregnant, do you SEE how cute Blue Ivy was as a baby! It’s just so much of all the things I needed today. The home movies, plus the beautiful pictures of all kinds of love.  Black Love, and Queer Love, and Interracial Love, and Young Love, and Old Love.  Tina and Richard! Come on now! So Damn Beautiful.

formation

12) Formation

Look here, she didn’t even have this in the Visual Album.  That’s how much she knew we didn’t even need this again.  What she had just given us was MORE than enough.  We thought Formation was the beginning of the Movement, and it was the Culmination of the Journey. 

Beyonce

Look, I’ve been an admitted fan of Beyonce since I Am Sasha Fierce. But Lemonade is everything I’ve been trying to tell everyone Beyonce could and can be.  This was like a therapy session, FOR FREE.  Twin said, “This should have been called Daddy issues Part 1,” and she ain’t eva lied.

She talked about generational curses, and the WORK it takes to break free of them, as well as the power that comes to women when they finally break free. I’m not really sure what I expected this to be. But I can tell you what it ended up being for me.

Magic.  

Black Girls are Magic.  Black Girls can do and be whatever the hell we want to be. Beyonce is the most magical Black Girl some people have ever seen.  Beyonce’s Magic appears to be effortless, even as she shows us all her flaws.  As I’m sitting here, watching Lemonade from the beginning on my phone {because it just feels more intimate} I am in Awe of what Beyonce has become. As well as excited for where she is going to take us next.

Also, YOUR FAVE COULD NEVER. 

Thanks for taking this journey with me.  How did Lemonade change YOUR life? Feel free to share.