My People

My People

“My” People

We African-Americans often refer to our peers as “my people”, a collective unit, a shared perspective and experience that only “my people” can understand. Yet, my positive experiences with “my people” have been few and far between. Our sense of community has diminished and has become more and more of a cliché-ish point of reference used to signify that we belong together in some form. I have had “friends” who openly use me; men how unapologetically abuse me; and family who fight consistently over not the most minuscule things… the love for one another has been lost. Although these situations do not apply to everyone in my life (I have some absolutely wonderful relationships that I cherish and invest in), this blog comes from a place of exhaustion and frustration of what I see is becoming the norm. We have become a selfish people – one that fails to care for the souls of our own folks. Yet, while I write out of frustrations, my heart has hope for the future. We must know that we are one. We are Africans. We are the original people. If only we knew where we came from. If only we truly understood the fight of our ancestors. If only we understood our power as a collective unit, we could show the world the kings and queens that we are. We could use our strengths to uplift our people instead of tearing them down. Until then, I’ll continue to try my best to show the love and compassion we all need… it’s the only way to heal a broken heart and a broken people…

‎”…And I could have freed more had more of them known they were slaves.” -Harriet Tubman

-Ashe

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Why I LOVE Trinidad James (and understand why others don’t)!

This has been on my mind for quite some time… so I write to release. Yes, Trinidad James looks a bit odd and represents pretty much everything hood. But musically and business wise… the man is brilliant! Trinidad took free production straight from the internet, took his odd looking gimmicky image which I would argue isn’t all hood but more of a mix of hood an skateboarding and his smart lyrically skills and made a hit. Notice I said smart and not good… he knows how to use lyrical hooks and concepts to attract a large diversified audience. And his music is addictive! Furthermore, I don’t think people truly understand this man’s influence. I saw recent pics of the audience at one of his concerts and it was mix. He and his team have marketed not only his music but himself… you can’t separate the two. Whether you hate him or love him, when you see him or hear him…you talk about him… and that’s the key! Trinidad James is a brand and I’m a fan!

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Lil Buck performs “Dying Swan” with Yo Yo Ma

Boy… when I tell you I LOVE this performance… I LOVE IT!!! This young man, Lil Buck, from Memphis Tennessee captures the eye of a ballet instructor. She gives him a scholarship to study ballet and he ends up in China performing “Dying Swan” and also performs with none other than the amazing YoYo Ma!! I just love when the different arts find a way to connect… it’s becomes magical! I LOVE IT!

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Sisters of the Yam by bell hooks

Sisters of the Yam by bell hooks

Ladies, as we enter into this new year, I believe its important to take a step back and reflect on yourself – where you are mentally and emotionally. I love this book by bell hooks and refer to it often as she guides us into self discovery and recovery. Chapters like “Knowing Peace: An End to Stress” and “Dreaming Ourselves Dark and Deep: Black Beauty” can give you a little extra sound guidance and uplifting you may seek as you face the challenges of a new year!

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New Music: Kwabs

Hearing a new great voice on the scene is like tasting that perfect amount of honey in your late night tea…. Its like you never tasted that tea before. Well Kwabs…he’s just that right amount of honey that I’ve been searching for to add to my collection of music. This British artist from Ghanaian descent is growing popular by doing covers of greatly written songs. Yet, when I listen to his smooth melodic yet raspy voice, its just like I’ve never heard these songs before. Furthermore, the acoustic touch of these covers makes his sound even more appealing. The excitement of his new sound sent chills up my arms to the back of my spine. I look forward to more and more music from this new talent.

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A Great Musical Combination – Gary Clark Jr.

I always think I’m on top of my music until I have conversations with my musically engaged friends. Recently, my deejay friend put me on to a hot mix of R&B, rock and the blues called Gary Clark Jr. Gary is musically smart and entertaining… Lyrically… he will challenge some of the best of the them. He’s grimey yet refined… He’s definitely in my ipod rotation these days and I’m heavily waiting for his American portion of his recent tour. Check him out – Latest album is called “Blak and Blu”.

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My New Love – Brass Bands (Rebirth Brass Band)

Let’s just say I was quite hesitant to go to the Rebirth Brass Band Concert this past Sunday in Philly. A friend of mine thoroughly convinced me that I needed to be in attendance and that I wouldn’t be disappointed. And to my delight… I was not only entertained I became a fan of brass bands. The sounds of the brass instruments ran through my blood with excitement. The pounding of the drums and the sounds of the tuba kept my feet moving. I felt the sounds of the south in my spirit and connected! It was awesome! I will definitely see another show in the future… I might even head down to New Orleans and give the city another chance… just to get another piece of that solid brass sound!

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Ol’ School Jazz

Although I have enjoyed my time with family… nothing excites me more than a quiet nite with jazz at my humble abode… Listen… just listen… pay attention to the words… to the notes… to the words in the notes… let it take you there….

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The Hustle Behind the Music

My fascination with the world of music is vast. The art is one thing but the hustle behind each artist is simply inspiring. Many have sacrificed their entire lives for the dream. Whether you like their music or not, you must give them their due respect.

I remember 2Chainz before he was was 2Chainz (aka Tity Boi)…when he was doing his rounds with Disturbing tha Peace and Playaz Circle but if you didn’t live in the south back then then you probably knew nothing about him. Admittedly, I heard his music back then but I never really listened. Today, his hustle over the many years has paid off making him one of the most sought after rapper’s on the scene. While some of his lyrical content might deter the more conscious hip hop fans… you might want to take a harder listen! He has a story to tell…its about his hustle and staying true to himself along the way. So don’t be so quick to dismiss some of these new artists… you might hear your story in their rhymes. Needless to say… I have grown into a fan.

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Emotions – Best of My Love! (Soul Train Performance)

Heard this song earlier today and couldn’t help but run home and search for the Soul Train performance!! I love the song and this whole era of music. Folx used to sing songs with heart and emotions! Put your dance shoes on and enjoy!

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