Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day 40 - Just Jill: Words & Sounds Live

Recently had the opportunity to catch Jill Scott live as part of her Summer Block Party tour. And what an amazing experience it was. Still think and dream about it to this day. So I wrote this poem as an ode to her magnificence.

Just Jill: Words & Sounds Live

There's something about Jill
Natural beauty and wonder,
Talent that seems limitless,
Has a heart and soul so deep, so pure that it boggles one's capacity
     to understand.
She gets you as soon as she makes her appearance
Immediately captured.
She's a musical wizard,
Who casts her spell within the first few notes.
The studio is great,
But there's nothing like the real thing live.

Jill's larger than life spirit commands the stage.
Head held high, never down;
Always standing in high-esteem like a regal Goddess,
Like the Queen that she is.
Undeniable authenticity,
And a familiarity that makes you feel as if you're in the good hands of a
     loved one.
Jill's better than your best friend
     she's family.
So real, so genuine, so true;
She goes places very few dare to go on and off the stage.
Saying all things we'd like to say so beautifully, so eloquently
She's not afraid to go there.
She's fearless.
She's wide open to the point of being selfless.
That's why we relate;
That's why weyour core fansjust can't let anything get in the way of 
     what we're feeling when it comes to you.

Jill takes us on a journeyone we'll always wish could last a little while
The ride is an indelible experience
One we'd relive any chance we get.
Because Jill's the whole package;
Never needing to depend on the pyrotechnics to put on a great show
She's golden like that,
She's divinely touched,
And we are so grateful that we can experience the blessings.

Whatever it is, whatever it is;
Let it be, let it be.
Let us PLEASE let Jill Scott be!

© BuddahDesmond

Day 39: OUT (Written in Honor of National Coming Out Day)

In honor of National Coming Out Day, here's a piece that I wrote entitled "OUT."

Nothing worse than being silenced, especially in an environment where your voice has a rightful place to be loud and heard.
Nothing worse than living in fear because you don't know how family, friends, community or the larger society will deal with the "real" you.
Nothing worse than living a lie because you succumbed to complacency and conformity of cultural or societal norms.
Nothing is worse than hiding from everything and everyone (including yourself) because you've been led to believe that you are less than or simply not worthy.
It's bullshit.

Nothing should come before you, your authenticity, or your well-being.
You were made divinely and with a purpose regardless of what mortal beings may tell you.
So honor yourself.
Not just today but everyday.
Because nothing is better than being free.
Nothing is better than being your whole, true self.
Nothing is better than loving yourself.
Nothing is better than love.

(c) BuddahDesmond

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 38: Adriana Evans - Walking With The Night

There’s something about Adriana Evans. That “something” enraptured me (yet again) while I was finishing my last final exam this weekend. Within the first few bars of “Waiting,” the first track off of her latest album “Walking With The Night,” I was spellbound by her rich musical landscape. Her music is an intoxicating mix of classic soul, funk, hip-hop, jazz, and Afro-Cuban and Brazilian rhythms. Her voice--an instrument that is reminiscent of the preeminent jazz vocalists of our time--is the soulful, sweet, sublime element that brings everything together. Like all great singers, she could sing anything and make you pay attention. It’s artistry. It’s realness. It’s music from the heart. And you can feel it. Whether it’s the latest album or one of her previous efforts, it won’t be long before you can’t get it out of her hypnotic music out of your mind. Aside from “Waiting” and the title track, songs that stay on repeat are “Surrender,” “Midnight,” “Set in Stone,” “Never Thought” and the album closer “El Sol” (which is one of several songs from her catalog that I believe provides an excellent snapshot of her artistry). Like her previous releases, I’ll be jamming to “Walking Into The Night” for life.

Evans made her self-titled debut back in 1997. This effort was one of several to lead the pack of what was being dubbed “neo classical soul” in the mid-to-late 90s. Her singles “Seein’ Is Believing” and “Love Is All Around” received moderate airplay on urban adult contemporary stations. But just as she was making headway, she disappeared from the “mainstream” music scene. I had been wondering for years when we’d be graced with her presence again. And in 2004 while finishing my final quarter undergrad, I came across some music from her “Nomadic” album. I was ecstatic. Fast forward to 2006 when I discovered that Adriana Evans “Remember The Love” (from the “Nomadic” album) was chosen to be the theme song to Patrick Ian Polk’s “Noah’s Arc” series. A black gay series on television with a soundtrack supporting indie and underrated musicians – it was a win-win. The series featured several other songs from “Nomadic” and Evans 2007 release “El Camino.” Thanks to Polk Evans and other artists music was exposed to a wider audience. It’s still a shame that music like this isn’t flooding the airwaves. However, unlike the non-believers whose ears aren’t to the ground, we know that real music still exists. Therefore, we must continue to support it. We can’t wait for mainstream to pay attention. We must talk it about, blog about it, tweet it, and share it on our social media and networking profiles. Keeping good, real, authentic music alive is a necessity!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Day 37: Love & Bills

"Love don't pay the bills!"  How many times have we heard this statement?  If we could cash in every time we heard it, we'd probably have some hefty bank accounts.  While it may be true, shouldn't we be digging a little deeper?  Love is more powerful than money.  More spiritual.  More meaningful.  Money is tangible but does not last forever.  Love is ever-lasting.  Once you've got it--you've got it.  You may not always be in love.  But you will always love and be loved.  That's what makes you rich. 

Whether you're by yourself or in a committed relationship--you'll find a way to pay the bills.  With love on tap, you'll work to find a way.  That's if you want to.  That's if you care.  That's also when faith, loyalty, devotion, and due diligence come into play.  Money can bring you lots of things, but love is not one of them.  And love can bring many things as well...  So much so that you may not realize how truly blessed you are.  Maybe that's what The-Dream was getting at on Love Vs. Money...  Well, one hopes that's what he meant. :-)

Day 36: Analog Life Vs. Digital Life

I think my analog life will always win over my digital life . There's just something more personal, more comforting, more reassuring about it.  While my digital life may have greater reach in a shorter period of time, it's hard for me to believe that it will ultimately have the same touch, impact, and feel of my analog life.

Day 35: The Gift & The Curse

The further you run away or ignore life's gifts, the more they will haunt you.  The haunting can make them seem curse-like.  It's a calling that we each must heed eventually.  It's where passions, dreams, and destiny all meet up.  It's an extraordinary collision course that puts us in the right place, the right time, and the right moment.

Day 34: Communication

Sometimes when I say "I wonder why I bother," it's due to some miscommunication or misunderstanding.  But I can never own up to it as being a sole responsibility of mine.   Communication is typically not a one-way happening.  If you end up in a place where I didn't intend to take you (and vice versa), it's the responsibility of both of us to get back to where we each need to be.  We have to work together, actively listen, pay attention, and make light of confusion or pinpoint where issues need to be addressed.  That's the only way we will ever be able to successfully communicate with each other.