Thursday, September 15, 2011

AN ENTIRE YEAR??????????

I thought I would come on here and write a lil' thoughtful lil' blog or something, until I realize it has been an ENTIRE YEAR. LITERALLY, AN ENTIRE YEAR that I have written something here. I kid you not, I did NOT do that on purpose, waiting until today to post. I checked my dashboard for blogs that I follow and then I came here. Wow.

Well, wow. I mean, just wow. LOL!!!!

I have been running around a lot, I guess, mainly in the past few months. My background vocal calls and session singer calls have increased. I guess you can say that I am "in-demand". While there are MANY, MANY singers that I think are fifty times better than I am, I am thankful for any of the opportunities that I have been given, past, present or future. It's just something that I enjoy. I've never been one to REALLY want to be a solo artist or even a part of a world-renowned group or anything; I REALLY do like singing in the background. I have a LOT of tracks of me just singing the chorus to things to hear how the harmony sounds or things like that. I've done some demos of my own songs that I have written, but for the most part, they will remain largely unheard. I think one day I will get the bug again and actually finish a project, one that I can actually say that I am proud of. I'm not looking for fame and fortune or anything like that; I'd just like to say that I completed a CD. lol. I guess we will see, sooner or later.

As of late, that's really all that's been going on with me. I haven't really done much of anything outside of musical ventures, simply because that's a large part of my life. I guess I'm just too boring. LOL!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WhiteWashWorld....

I've never been prejudiced or racist about anything, nor have I ever been the "militant black guy", but I've noticed something on today's television...

Call me crazy, but what's with the disappearance of prominent, Black-themed shows on television? Gone are the days of Martin, Living Single, Half&Half, etc., now we practically have no predominantly-Black shows on television. Or maybe I'm not watching enough?

Surely it cannot be because no one is watching them. Examples:

The CW - The CW has never really been a force to be reckoned with when it came to network television, but some of the highest-rated shows on the network were the Black comedies. Girlfriends was an awesome show; disappeared. The Game was pretty good, too; gone over to BET. Half&Half was awesome, gone. Eve, funny as all get out; gone. The CW, according to a statement, wanted to remove all of the half-hour comedies from it's lineup to focus more on the hour-long formatted shows; yet, NOT ONE of them are what we'd call Black shows...really?

"Sherri" was a show that was on Lifetime that was absolutely funny. It starred Sherri Shepherd and a predominantly Black cast that gelled with each other for awesome comedic timing and wit. Gone, without explanation, even.

ABC cancelled "My Wife and Kids", hilarious in its own right, because the show was, allegedly, "played out"...who says that anymore?

Even on the Disney Channel, "That's So Raven" still shows old episodes from over three years ago...can I get a new one? All these shows on Disney now are full of mindless, non-talented teenagers and young adults...can I have a few Black faces thrown in there?

The only shows that immediately come to mind that are still on are "House of Payne" and "Meet the Browns", which probably has Tyler Perry spending his money to self-promote and keep on the air. "Are We There Yet" is being renewed for a few more seasons, maybe then it will grow on me.

What happened to the comedies of yesteryear? I say that because no Black-oriented drama series ever really fared well on TV, with the exception of The Wire, Lincoln Heights, and some more I can't really think of now (but not on network TV)...gone are the days of waiting to see The Cosy Show or In Living Color or Sister, Sister.

We have to settle for "Wizards of Waverly Place" and "Vampire Diaries".

I think I'll just pop in my Girlfriends DVDs.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Unwritten...

Musicking: "Occupy Until I Come" - Lexi

She was the first one to want to know the real me instead of the me that she heard about from others, the me she saw on my profile, the me that she saw on TV, the me that she saw walking the halls or the me she saw at concerts or other appearances. She was the first one to take me seriously, to understand my sarcasm wasn't a defense mechanism, and to know that when I said something I really meant it. She was the first one to really get inside my head and understand why I did or said the things I did.

She was the one that made sure that I looked appropriate for interviews or for concerts and appearances. She was the one that kept my weight right and made sure I cared about myself and my appearance. She was the one that made sure that education was my top priority, and that I stayed on top of my studies. She was the one that braided my hair, cut my fingernails and toenails, trimmed my sideburns and goatee, and ironed my clothes for the week (after she picked them out).

She was the first one that didn't decide my future for me, made sure I had a hand in those decisions. She was the one to support even my dumbest ideas and thoughts, even if they didn't agree with hers. She was the first woman that ACTUALLY didn't WANT to argue and get the upper hand in a disagreement. She was the first one to match my wit and sarcasm.

She was the first woman that didn't go all out to make me PROVE that I actually liked women. She was the first one to really burn into my mind that it didn't matter what people thought, it only mattered what I did. She was the main one in my corner. She was the one that I could actually see myself in my corner.

She was the one that my mother actually LIKED.

She was the one that I wanted to be with for the rest of my natural life.

But:

She wasn't perfect.

She was the first one to betray my trust. She was the first one to cast my name into the bottomless pit of rage and vindictiveness. She was the first one to want to seek revenge for a missed phone call or a missed text message. She was the one that stayed outside my house to make sure I didn't bring another female home.

She was the first one to break my emotional and mental defenses. She was the main catalyst for my weight fluctuations. She was the one to call some of my ideas and thoughts "stupid" and "moronic". She was the first woman to make me not really trust women (or anyone close to me for that matter). She was the first one to make me feel like I could never be worth anything.

She was the first woman to find whatever "dirt" she thought she had on me and try to use it against me. She was the first one to call anyone in my phone and tell them all about some lie she made up. She was the first one to actually attempt to be abusive. She was the first one to check up on me to see if I was where I said I was or doing what I said I was doing.

She was the one that became the hypocrite. She was the one that believed her friends before she believed me. She was the one that sullied my name to the best of her ability. She was the one that tried to turn my TRUE friends against me. She was the one that tried to turn my TRUE family against me.

But:

She was the first one I forgave. Not forgot, but forgave.

And then she was the first one that missed the water when the well ran completely dry.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

I took the ring off my fourth finger, left hand, and placed it inside the box. I grabbed a couple more pieces of jewelry and placed it around the ring. I looked at the pictures that told of happier times and places seen and heard and put them in the box as well. I closed the box, taped it, and set it on the dresser to be taken to the post office first thing in the morning. The phone rang, and I answered it.

"Hey my son," my mother chimed. "What are you doing?"

"Nothing," I said. "Packed up some things, prepared to finally start this new chapter in my life."

"Oh Lord," my mother said and sighed. "Look at my son, trying to get all deep. Are you okay? You know you can always fly home and stay here if you want."

I smiled and chuckled a bit. "Nah, that's okay. I'm pretty sure I can handle this."

She gave me one of those snide mmmmhmmms and then chuckled herself. "Are you in for the night?"

"Yes," I told her as I stood up and headed towards the stack of DVDs. "I think I'll just watch some TV and then doze off for the night."

I reached for "Clueless" and took it out of the stack. A picture fell on the floor at my feet, and, instinctively, I picked it up. I looked at it and was immediately taken back to a place that I didn't want to go. I whispered to my mother that I'd call her back, much to her chagrin. I took the picture and sat on the bed and stared at it, not really or fully believing what I saw in it.

There I was, Kool-Aid smile intact, sitting next to her. In the front of us were twin boys that bore a striking resemblance to me with the same Kool-Aid grins on their faces. In her hands was a baby boy that had my nose and my eyebrows and my light eyes. I stared at the picture trying to remember how much time it was taken before the one night that shattered my entire life. My vision became blurry and the colors all melded together, so I blinked and let the floodgates rise and fall.

She was the one that broke my heart. Twice. In one night.

And my life as I knew it has never been the same again.

In one fell swoop, she took my kids, my ring, and my fiance all away from me. I had never in my life before felt like everything I had achieved, every goal attained, every prayer and wish answered was a lie. All lies. I never felt so lifeless and empty as the day the doctor confirmed what she told me. I never felt so betrayed, so hurt, so empty, so lifeless, so dead inside.

But:

She was the one I forgave. Never forgot, never will forget...but forgave.




"You think you know, but you have NO idea..."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My So-Called Life...

I told myself that I was going to write more, but for some reason I cannot find the knack for it. I don't know why; there are so many things that if I had the thought to write them down (random melodies, song lyrics, things to do, etc.) I'd probably be a lot more organized. I'll get it together sooner or later.

Being unemployed now (wow...reading that bothered me a little, but I won't edit it out of my writings) frees up a lot of time to...do nothing. LOL. Most of the time and most of the day, I sit around in tank top and draws doing nothing. Listening to music, watching DVR programming, short trips to Popeye's and random places notwithstanding, what is there to do? No job to wake up for, occasional meetings at the school, choir rehearsal...and then what?

It's funny...being unemployed has shown me the true nature of a LOT of people. When people THINK you don't have any money, they're less prone to invite you out to eat, less prone to invite you on random road trips, less prone to invite you to parties and what not. I still get invited to the occasional social events that I really don't want to attend to begin with, but sometimes, it's best to show your face so people don't worry about you and shower you with feigned pity. LOL. I support my friends and their events still with no concerns about my bills, because they are clearly paid for. That said, I know I have to be more financially responsible now that I don't have an extra income to fall back on. My bills are paid, food is stocked in the fridge, all that jazz...but no more Ferragamo boots or things like that. I might even have to eat at...dare I say it...Applebee's...nah, NOT happening anytime soon. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Sitting here listening to music with the TV off is making me be a little more real and honest than I usually would be, but I don't mind. More often than not I volunteer information in my quest to be transparent as often as possible, and that WILL continue, believe that. That said, here goes...

It's a little awkward waking up with nothing to do. I had fallen in the routine of waking up and begrudgingly dragging myself to work that I miss it. Granted, I DO NOT miss some of the people at The Bullseye, but there are some people that I do miss, even though I could just go up there anytime I'd like. The difference is, the time period. There was a lot of fun that I had at work and I'd wake up excited to work with CERTAIN people. I mean, there were people I know that I HATED to see, but I figured I didn't have to work with them as directly as I did with cashiers and guest service team members. The daily interactions I had with some people have even carried into my personal life, and I appreciate that to no end. However, that red and khaki was fun, I can't lie. I'm disappointed to an extent that I wasn't one of the "favorited" ones; I say that because the infraction I was fired for (yes, I don't mind telling people that I was fired, it's the truth) was something that almost every person in my position has done before. I think it's just a matter of who tells on you and who is told. LOL. I've really thought about that a lot and it bothers me that people would act so juvenile, but believe me when I say that KARMA is an evil heifer and she exacts her revenge mercilessly.

I'm feeling the need for a J-Bizzle Experience 2.0 (or is it 3.0?) in the near future. I think I want to get more of the western states in this time. Texas, Arkansas, California, Washington; states over there, not just states in the southeast and northeast like last year. I had an AMAZING time in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York, Boston, Charlotte, Atlanta, Norfolk, Philly (even though I just breezed through), Orlando, Tuscaloosa, and all the other places I went last year, but this year I want to really head WEST. So look out west coast. LOL.

Okay, I had my fun, but now I need to get into my music. I'm SOOOOOOOOOO behind on listening to my music that I'm going to be digging in this weekend HARD. Darien Brockington, Monica's latest, Erykah Badu, Raheem DeVaughn, Slim (from 112, finally), Coko's latest, just a BUNCH of stuff. Maybe I'll even write some reviews. LOL.

I'm out...two fingaz...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sing, Sing, Sing!! (Not the Prison...)

Musicking:
"These Are the Last Days" - Twinkie Clark
"Valley of Lonely" - Betty Wright
"From Pain to Joy" - Betty Wright

When I was younger, as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a singer. I remember singing along with my mother to "Saturday Love" by Cherelle and Alexander O'Neal, singing "Through the Fire", and even singing the "whistle notes" in Shanice's "Lovin' You" (before I knew Minnie Riperton did the original and before the pubic hair set in). It just seemed like music was the place to be.

MANY years later, before the onset of commercial R&B (when people just needed to shake their a**es to obtain a record deal), I was a high school kid in my sophomore year, just singing for the fun of it, when I came across a couple friends that wanted to form a group. Up until then, I never took singing seriously, just playing around and what not. But, the group then actually had something, and that's where I learned harmony. I fiddled around previously with harmony, because I always seemed to hear the other parts other than the main one that everyone else would sing. But actually singing a harmony line by myself and hearing the sweet sound of it was great to me. It was then that I decided that I really didn't want to be much of a solo singer, but to be in a group.

Being in several groups and hearing SO many singers, professional or otherwise, has taught me something; opinions of good singing are SO varied. I've heard some legendary recording artists that I would never consider great singers, and I've heard some upcoming artists that I think can blow those same legends out the water. But, that's just me...if I were to list some of those legends that I think weren't or aren't all that great, sooo many people would think I had bumped my head and lost my mind. But, I promise I'm not crazy.

To me, a good singer doesn't do eight thousand runs in one sentence, knows the difference between "modulating" and "inverting", knows the difference between head voice and falsetto, knows what tessitura means, and doesn't rely on unnecessary vocal gimmicks. Or, even someone who may not have all the knowledge but just does something to my soul when they sing. Singers like Betty Wright, Lisa McClendon, Minnie Riperton, Donny Hathaway, Peabo Bryson, and Whitney Houston (before 2000) didn't have to do all those runs and riffs but just relied on their natural tone and sang WELL. It's singers like that that make me want to buy their albums. I mean, runs are cute and all, but runs don't make someone a great singer. Someone who can control the timbre in their voice, someone who can call forth emotions without showing it, someone who can tell a story with their voice; that's what I like.

I'm soooo not into a LOT of these "singers" of today. If one were to look into my Zune, you'd find much more music from the 80s and 90s than you would from the past couple of years. There are too many people out these days that go for the hit instead of the acclaim. I'd rather hear someone scat than scare. People have relied so heavily on their image and their beats and producers that the focus has gone away from the voice. What happened to the real singing? Auto-Tune? No. Breathy, rap-singing? I'll pass. Fifteen melismata in one word? Not necessary.

Just give me some good ol' singing, darn it!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year?

Today was January 1, 2010. And I practically forgot.

Wait, let me rephrase that. I didn't forget at all; I just didn't do any of the typical stuff most people who "celebrate" the ringing in of a new year do. No bowl games, no parties, no tailgating, no unnecessary traffic to wherever, no kazoos, no silly A firecrackers, no random and forwarded Happy New Year text messages/instant messages/Facebook wall posts/phone calls. Nope.

I went to work. Didn't do much at work, but I went. And left almost on time. For a change.

Now I'm sitting here watching some DVR content (namely, trying to catch up on "Smallville"), and reflecting on what has truly been a GOOD day. I didn't need to party or drink myself into oblivion; I just lived my life as I usually do.

Actually, I take that back. I went and ministered outside of Orlando at Mission Road COGIC with JLCMI's praise team (Love you Toni!!!!!!!!!!!), and throughly enjoyed myself. On the road trip back at 1:30 or so early this morning, I went into what I typically call a reflective daze. This usually happens when I ponder what I am going to do in the near future.

I thought back to 2009. I did a LOT of things that I would have never thought I'd be able to do, but with a little happenstance and blessings, I DID it. I OWN a car, not lease, not rent, not my-momma-bought-it-for-me; I OWN my car, I travelled to a LOT of places that I never visited or just wanted to see what happens there. I went to the Big Apple!! New York City!!!!!! I had the most amazing birthday weekend in NYC and met some GREAT people! From DC to Charlotte, Atlanta to SW Ga., Nashville to Chicago, New York to Norfolk, I DID some travelling and LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. So what, pray tell, can I do to top it off?

I have no clue. But I'm sure I'll have soooo much fun figuring it out.

2010 looks to be an amazing year. With my group, Ledger and Voices of Remnant on the comeup, I'm excited to see what may come and I thank God for ALL of it; the good, the bad, the ugly, and even all the foolishness in-between. Everything happens for a reason...I'm going to learn my lessons from ALL of them.

And that's enough reason to celebrate for me.

It's 2010 bastitches...to coin a phrase from my friend Farris: "MAKE IT COUNT!!!!!"

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thoughts and Thinkings...

Musicking:
"Wait A Minute" - Lawrence Flowers and Intercession
Witness Playlist:
"Thoughtful"
"After the Storm Is Gone"
"Why Not"
"Learning to Love You"
"You Haven't Lived"
"Take the Time to Wait"

I told myself that I was going to "write" a lot more; I just wish there was some way to transmit my thoughts to blog, without the tedious process of typing and rearranging words and the like. I'm trying to maintain my word by writing a little more. There are soooooo many random thoughts that run through this big head of mine that I should be able to write something EVERY day...just don't have the desire to.

As this year is rapidly coming to a close, I'm being quite retrospective. I've done A LOT of things that I didn't think I would be able to do; I was blessed to bless others, I was able to do some light travelling, and even work on my attitude and what not. I think that this year was a VERY good year. Even though there were plenty of hiccups, failed friendships, faked relationships, and frayed acquaintanceships, I've done pretty well in maintaining my sanity. Plenty other people would have lost their minds or something worse, but God has kept me.

I've noticed how subjective honesty really is. Lots of people are quite unwilling to hear what you have to say, even if they've asked for your opinion. I won't name names, but there are a couple people that I came into 2009 with that I surely will NOT leave 2009 with. If you ever feel the need to question my friendship based on an opinion that you've asked of me, then we probably shouldn't've been friends to begin with. If you have to question my friendship based on something I know NOTHING about, even after I ask you what it's about, then it's probably for the best that we maintain our distance (literally and figuratively).

A lot of people don't take constructive criticism well; I can freely admit that there have been times where I've fallen into that category. It's because of it that I can say, through experience, that it depends on HOW that criticism is given. Of course, if it's given in a sardonic, condescending way, it's DEFinitely not going to be received any way other than sardonic and condescending. If it comes from a loving place, then of course it'll be loved. However, the receiver should be WILLING to receive it in love, and not as someone "trying to get them together" or something like that. Now, I never volunteer constructive criticism (unless I'm being sarcastic, which is my trademark and different altogether), but lots of people feel as if that's what they give me. I just smile it off and try extra hard not to G.G. with them...

Speaking of which, working in retail has taught me to be PATIENT. Lord knows, if I were my old self, I could NEVER work in retail and deal with irate customers and actually enjoy it. My coworkers and even nosy, overhearing customers have noticed how I handle situations with ease, whereas most others get flustered. Thankfully, patience is something that I have been blessed with lately. Before, I'd cast one aside with the slightest of ease, like turning a page or tossing trash. Now, I just smile through others' frustrations, for there's lots of victory in patience. In patience possess ye your souls...

Take the time to wait...

So, as I close out this year, I'm going to live it like I lived it thus far...how I wanted to, dagnabbit!! LOL.

But best believe...I'ma do me in 2010...

Two fingaz!!