What I’m Reading

What I’m Reading

My brother gifted me We Are the One’s We Have Been Waiting For by Alice Walker a few years ago for Christmas and I’ve reread it 3 times already. It’s a book that continues to teach you lessons and gives you many “ah ha” moments no matter the amount of times you read it. Different lessons. Different words, thoughts, phrases that stand out depending on what I’m personally going through at the time. The book is set up in essays or talks that Walker has given.

One essay in particular chapter 4 titled “All Praises to the Pause; The Universal Moment of Reflection” stood out to me when I read it this time probably because right now my life is in a giant pause and I’ve been reflecting a lot on things. While also just being in the weird space of the middle. Walker says ” This is a time when a major transition from confusion to order has been completed.” “As a culture we are not in the habit of respecting, honoring, or even acknowledged the pause.” She goes on to talk about meno-pause which literally is a natural pause and shift for women which is quite often feared and talked about in a negative way.

“To me, truth, that is to say reality, is the only infallible guide. I would define Truth as God.” This quote has a whole backstory to it about censorship (but I want ya’ll to go buy the book and read it yourself). It is taken from chapter 10 How It Feels to Know Someone Died for You: Living with the Voice of the Beloved. There are gems like this one all throughout this book and she speaks on a wide variety of topics from 9/11, war, birth, blackness, her dog Marley, nature, the Earth like I said its a book that keeps on teaching and if you’re interested in growth at all. Read this book and other Alice Walker books.

I also read My Hero Academia Vol 1 , its a manga (which I’m gonna assume ya’ll all know what that is). I was into manga heavily in school as early as elementary. I remember reading all the manga that the little library had in Manassas, VA. I remember Ranma 1/2, Marmalade Boy, Fruits Basket, Inuyasha. I grew up watching Full Metal Alchemist and Sailor Moon. I had a full collection of manga and a full collection of Shojo Comic that my mom paid a subscription for me for years. I bought my first manga in years a month ago and I honestly don’t know why I ever stopped buying or reading them. My Hero Academia, is a really good anime that I recently started watching but I just wanted to buy a manga so I can start collecting them again – my daughter might find the same comfort in them as I did.

The Breakbeat Poets Vol 1 : New American Poetry in the Age of Hiphop, I’m currently in the process of reading this 350 page volume of poetry from writers born in the Hip-hop Age. All the poets in this book were born from 1961-1999. I recently found out about this newer version of the breakbeat poets and was interested. I decided to get Vol. 1 and not Vol. 2 (the black girl magic one even though I plan on purchasing it next month after I’ve digested this Vol.) because hip-hop and music has always been special to me. An avid Tupcac lover. And a writer that is sonically driven and always listening to how words flow and push against each other in my own writing I thought this volume would have a lot to teach me and I haven’t been wrong.

Here are a couple of my favorite lines so far from poems:

"she fast food     she                                                                                                                 buy one  get one free" 

from Quraysh Ali Lansana “crack house” There is a line from Joel Dias-Porter aka Dj Renegade “Turning the Tables (for Eardrum) that I really fell in love with.

"Lower it slowly 
let it tongue
the record's ear"

There are also poems by some of my favorites like Jamila Woods, Danez Smith, and Safia Elhillo that I haven’t gotten to since I want to read the poems in the order they’re presented first.

These 3 books I am in awe of. I am in awe of writers and illustrators and artists. I am excited to start reading more and taking the time and space to sit and read. I know with things like social media its easy to forget that an art and learning tool as old as reading can and should still be relevant and I’m making it a priority to be still and pick up a book everyday.

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Toni Morrison Tribute

Toni Morrison Tribute

The first time I read Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, was in high school. I didn’t fully understand it but I knew it was profound. I came back to it again in college with a little more understanding after studying metaphors in poetry. I knew this book was for black girls like me who had struggled with being dark. Who had struggled with not being what society defined as beautiful.

I read Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, for the first time in high school as well. It was a book I constantly reread in college. Picking at it. Dissecting it. Googling others responses to it. If anything Toni Morrison’s writing has intrigued me for years.

When I learned of her death it felt like I’d lost a friend. Because I’m away her words her books had been my friends. They had taken root in my mind for years coming back to its forefront again and again. At first I wasn’t sure what to feel (reasons why this tribute is weeks after her death) I hadn’t revisited her words since having my daughter (I haven’t done much reading honestly in years which is a shame seeing how in high school books were my closest friends) in her passing I realized I’m in a new stage in my life – and I haven’t read a Toni Morrison book or reread one for new meaning and lessons. I felt like I’d betrayed her. I felt like I’d betrayed myself for not continuing to read her words when they’d done so much for me.

I made a silent vow to start rebuying her books (I’ve since lost both my high school copies from constant moving). To start rereading her words. To help keep her legacy alive.

Thank you Toni Morrison, the woman in me thanks you. The dark skinned woman in me thanks you. The mother in me thanks you. The writer in me thanks you. The reader in me thanks you. The student in me thanks you.

My hope is that my own words will touch as many as yours have one day.

Snoh Aalegra: Ugh Those Feelings Again

Snoh Aalegra: Ugh Those Feelings Again

I don’t remember how I first heard about this soulfoul woman. I remember listening to her first album “FEELS” her intro “All I Have” was featured on my April 2018 playlist.

Okay, so I’m a sucker for a good intro a short little sweet song. And she does just that with “Here Now” I think if done well intros set the whole tone for an album and the high pitch of Aalegra’s voice on this is bomb. In “Find Someone Like You” when the chorus starts it sounds holy – honestly I don’t know how else to describe it. The harmony. The melody everything. The way the song ends on the last “oh woo” The whole album just sounded like heaven. Like healing. Like a warm hug. It feels like a song I’d sing if I was in some real ass love.

“Situationship” is the single that Snoh released on this project and I like how catchy yet relatable to the actual dating scene it’s lyrics are. “Whoa” is a song I would play all day if I was really feelin someone. It feels like a summer breeze off the ocean. Snoh’s raspy but soft angelic voice is like brandy smooth and full. It’s a song about the chemistry two people can have. It’s a more upbeat tempo than some of the other songs.

“Toronto” is probably my favorite song on this project. I really dig the background vocals and beat on this one. It’s a little jazzy and just so effortless. I swear if sound could be the equivalent of touch this is velvety. It’s just smooth as butter.

“Nothing to Me” is a song where you’re feeling someone and you’re giving 100% and they’re giving 50%. It’s a real ass song that made me think about my own relationship history. It’s a relationship, situationship, self love song all in one.

“I Want You Around” is a song about literally wanting someone you’re feeling around.

“You” is a song that got me in my feelings. And if you know me I’m usually already in my feelings. This song is about liking someone but knowing it’s wrong.

There wasn’t a song on this album that I didn’t like I didn’t have to skip any songs or anything. This is a solid project. From the lyrics, melodies, production. It’s just good. It’s soulful and introspective. Even if you’re not a fan of r&b or slow songs try this album out. It’s 14 songs and 40 minutes less time than a marvel movie.

August Playlist

August Playlist

For August’s playlist I wanted something a little bit more fun. Something I could dance and chill to. I always feel like August is more of a transitional month. For me it kind of feels like the end of summer. It feels a little bittersweet.

I threw it back with some of the songs this month and I wanted a heavy female lineup this month and found it really hard to find songs but girls I really liked.

Not even gonna fake it this summer was nothing I expected it was rough. But I do feel like the hardest parts may be over and there’s a little bit of a glimmer of something left that’s not so hard to get through.

Hope y’all enjoy this one. And please recommend me new artists to listen to if you listen to any of my playlists y’all should know what kinda artists I dig. But surprise me.

gold 💎

Abortion

Abortion

There’s been a lot of abortion talk the past couple days cause of these ridiculous heartbeat bills being passed at the state level. I don’t wanna preach about my views on the issue cause it shouldn’t even be an issue. However, I wanted to say my little piece about it and post some information some sites on abortions post my favorite internet things I’ve seen on the issue and that’s it.

So I like some women have a personal experience with abortion and a lot of this talk has brought up feelings and things I thought I had dealt with but I’ve been pretty angry and moody the past couple days and some of it I can say has come from all the abortion talk – which let me set the record straight I am so happy so many people are speaking up and sharing stories on the issue. There was a time right after I had an abortion where I felt immense shame for it like I had committed some unspeakable sin that I had to hide from people. But the experience like most experiences had an affect on me and it’s human nature to want to share things that change or you struggle with. The shame came from growing up Christian and if I still believed in Christianity like I used to my shame would probably still be here.

When I had my abortion I remember there was a woman sitting next to me where you wait in the hallway for your turn. You’ve been given pain medication already so your drugged up waiting in a hallway with other women who are all about to also have abortions. And I remember I was cold. Like shaking cold and the woman next to me asked a nurse if I could have a blanket. She then asked me if I had any kids I was 22 at the time and I know I looked younger than that when I said no she realized it was my first pregnancy. And she told me she was a mother of 2 but did not want another child nor could financially support a 3rd child. And I remember thinking this is a narrative I had never considered. I was just 22 and scared to have a baby.

The thing about abortion is that there’s all this stigma around it. There’s all this feeling and opinion and what is moral what is right or wrong. That women have abortions at a young age cause they’ve fucked up. Or that only poor women have abortions or only ethnic women have abortions. Whatever the case is what you’ve heard about abortions what you’ve thought about women who get abortions look like it’s probably false. Mothers have abortions, young girls have abortions, couples in love have abortions, older women have abortions, white women have abortions. Every type of woman has abortions.

I read this excerpt on ig earlier today about how the words pro-choice aren’t even really what people need to be using. It’s not about having the right to chose it’s about just having the right. It’s like just having access that’s it. It’s not about my body. It’s not about a heartbeat. It’s not about politics. It’s not about feelings. It’s not about religion. Abortion is a right. It’s not a choice. It’s a fucking right.

The first photo is a caption from @voluptouswitch on ig.

Top 5 Lesser Known Artists

Top 5 Lesser Known Artists

At the moment. I would consider underground artists as anyone who isn’t getting regular play on the radio (but honestly I don’t even listen to the radio that much so don’t quote me). So, lately I’ve been real into this type of r&b bad girl vibe feel like Summer Walker (she’s not on this list I don’t really consider her underground). But girls who sing about sex, drugs and whatever else and not just love. I don’t know being in my late 20’s and going through romantic relationships that whole love me and I can’t live without you thing doesn’t appeal to me. But maybe I’m just growing through a phase or realizing I don’t really need a man – probably a little bit of both. The other half of this list is my love for reggae type of music with 2 artists from Nigeria with that whole tropical vibe going on. These are the artists I’m digging right now and the songs I feel like you need to be familiar with from them.

  1. Iamddb: I’ve recently become obsessed with this singer and I love her smooth soulful voice but I love it more that she’s not singing about needing a mans love. She makes songs that give you confidence and hype you up. She calls her sound a fusion of trap and jazz. Listen to: shade, xox & urban jazz live.
  1. Ojerime: bad girl r&b tracks. Like late 90s early 2000s bad girl r&b vibes. Reminds me a little bit of Aaliyah. Just really in love with her sound. I like love songs that are a lil dirty. A lil gritty and that’s what you get with this artist. Listen to: turn you off, 56 plate corsa & handle.
  1. Santi: this Nigerian artist has all these summery chill vibes that I love. Roll your hips music. And honestly every time I hear a track it puts me in a better mood and I just want to get up and dance the bs away. Listen to: sparky, rapid fire, freaky. Also check out his new album that’s being released on May 17th.
  1. Dizzy Fae: She’s like electric pop/r&b. Idk but her sound is fun it’s experimental and different. And her raspy high voice over upbeat sounds is all I need on a hot humid summery afternoon. Her sound kind of reminds me of a soft 80s electric feel. Listen to: lifestyle, baby pillz, & indica.
  1. Odunsi: I’ve had one of his songs on a monthly playlist and have been infatuated with his music ever since. He’s another Nigerian artist and is apart of the alte scene out there which is for the youth doing new bold things in music and fashion. His sound is really a whole vibe and is perfect for relaxed chill summer nights. Listen to: tipsy, rare, & star signs.

Also here’s a little playlist with all the suggested songs from these artists.

Top 5

Figuring it out

Figuring it out

Lately, I have been trying to figure out what drives me, what I’m passionate about, what I love and do as easily as breathing. I know I am a creative 1. Because I believe everyone is. Creativity is energy. And anyone and everyone can tap into it. And 2. Because I’ve created before I know I can again. I’ve kinda hit a rut, I guess. Ever since I’ve had my daughter creating seems like a struggle. It gives me anxiety. I procrastinate in doing it. It stresses me out I tell myself I don’t feel inspired and without that feeling whatever I do create won’t be that great. I think too much and then end up not creating at all. But sometimes there’s this fire in me that flickers a little and I know it’s still alive.

So, when I talked to one of my closest friends a couple weeks about what it is I wanna do with my life and what kinda impact I want to have. I started getting serious asking myself well what do I want to create and what do I want it to stand for and what do I want it to do for others and for myself. Cause creating really is a service.

And other than poetry and writing what is it that moves me. And it occurred to me that music moves me in ways that nothing else can. From a young age it’s been my thing. From singing in church choirs to singing in school chorus. Taking piano lessons and quitting it all. Music has always been the thing that moves my emotions and gets me feeling.

I remember being in high school feeling down about my looks not being secure in myself yet. I was so anti. I’d sit in my room after school everyday and listen to my radio. And I’d play Prince or Tupac my eyes closed and daydreaming. I’d fall asleep every night with my radio turned to v103s quit storm to keep the nightmares I’d have at bay (I’ve always had crazy vivid dreams that scared me that I’ve now learned to live with).

I guess what I’m trying to say is I think music is that thing for me I don’t know how or what to do with music. I know I don’t want to be a singer or rapper or performer. I take pride in these playlists I make every month. So, maybe something in that direction maybe making mixes. Maybe djing who knows honestly what I wanna do with my life changes so frequently (guess that’s the Gemini in me) something new always seems so exciting to me. But honestly music has always been with me.

I’m not sure what I mean to say here maybe nothing. But like if you know you’re destined for something and you’re unsure of what that something is this stage is okay too. Try a lot of shit out whatever interests you just try it and see what happens.