Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hip-Hop: A Love Letter

One thing that really surprises people about me is that I’m a huge fan of hip-hop music. Huge.  I literally have thousands of songs on my iPod and a large portion of my personal catalog is hip-hop.  Old school, new-school, conscious rap, southern rap, alternative rap, crunk stuff, Miami bass, you name it!

I think it’s the creative artist in me.  To me, rappers are just modern day poets.  They have the unique ability to take complex, controversial and often times painful life experiences, and create stories.  Stories that I, me *points to self* can relate to.  That’s so dope to me! 

I mean, who would think that a kid from the Marcy Housing Projects in Brooklyn, a former drug dealer who was abandoned by his father, could write ‘Song Cry’? One of the most beautiful love songs I think I’ve ever heard.  It’s a familiar script: Boy meets girl. They fall in love.  Boy messes up (big time).  Boy loses girl.  End of story.  But there’s a twist to this story. The break-up was so bad that dude wants to break down and cry, but instead he raps “I can’t see ‘em (tears) comin down my eyes, so I gotta make this song cry.”  And that he does.      

The end product: A 5-minute emotional hip-hop love letter to his beloved lost "one".  Brilliant.  A part of my heart aches every time I hear that song.

So, I guess this post is my love letter to hip-hop…

You (hip-hop) are…an old friend who’s still young, hot and exciting. I love that you challenge me to think outside of the box and you constantly remind me that it’s not always about the package, but the message instead. I admit, I don’t always understand you.  But I do understand the method to your madness.  I admire your history.  And I can’t wait for other generations to experience you the way I that have.

My love for you can be summed up with a question. “Oh you fancy, huh?”  Yes…yes you are.

My Top 10 All-Time Favorite Hip-Hop Songs

  1. Keep Ya Head Up – Tupac (My favorite rapper of ALL time!)
  2. Int’l Player’s Anthem – Outkast
  3. Song Cry - Jay-Z (Tupac is my #1, Jay is #2)
  4. Cha Cha Cha – MC Lyte (My favorite female MC)
  5. One More Chance - B.I.G.
  6. Flava In Ya Ear - Craig Mack (I’m probably his #1 fan)
  7. Music – Eric Sermon
  8. Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z & Alicia Keys (Best collab in hip-hop history)
  9. Rapper’s Delight – Sugarhill Gang (The intro alone makes me smile)
  10. One Mic – Nas (Deep…very deep)
                                                                             "Song Cry"

Friday, February 11, 2011

Smart Chicks Wear Stilettos!

A male friend recently said to me: Chicks who wear red lipstick and stilettos look good, but usually have little substance. Huh?  Now, I proudly confess…I’m a girly girl (sticks out chest).  I love to shop, wear stilettos, buy make-up, bake cookies and anything else that screams GIRL! And yes, I love the color pink! I thank LJC (Lord Jesus Christ) daily for making me a woman.  *Side Note: He really outdid himself when he made us women. Yes He did.*  But that’s just one side of me.  And like most women, I have many sides. 
Like any other red-blooded American girl, I love a good shoe sale at Nordstrom’s. But I get equally excited about a town hall meeting with my Congressman; even more hyped about teaching a class full of 6th graders on Junior Achievement day.  I love pedicures, but on any given Saturday, you’ll find me at my neighborhood Barnes & Noble with a good book and an even better caramel macchiato.  Get the picture?  
So guys, don’t let the stilettos and red (or pink) lipstick fool you!  Take a sec to get to know a woman.  Don’t judge a book by its cover. Take time to learn what’s inside. You just might be surprised by what you find.                                               
                          ** Famous Smart Chicks Who Rock Stilettos **
Madonna, Pop Culture Icon
Kimora Lee Simmons, Businesswoman, Philanthropist, Top Model, etc.
Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Invesments, LLC

Angelina Jolie, Philanthropist, Actress
Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing
Candace Bushnell, Best-selling Author (Sex and the City, etc.)
Dr. Lisa Masterson, Women’s Healthcare Pioneer (featured on The Doctors)
Judge Glenda Hatchett, TV Personality, Author, Philanthropist
Sarah Jessica Parker, Hollywood Power-Player
Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing