Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 63: Black Music Month - BuddahDesmond

For the last day of Black Music Month, I've decided to be a little selfish. It's all about me! Jazz is one of my favorites genres of music to sing. Anytime I have the opportunity to exercise and enhance my chops, I'm taking it! Here's a throwback performance from the RIT days of "Georgia On My Mind" featuring Jamil Khan on the keys. Hope you enjoy it! :D

Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 62: Black Music Month - Syleena Johnson

Syleena Johnson is a Grammy-nominated vocalist, songwriter, and producer.  The daughter of legendary Blues/Soul singer, songwriter, and musician Syl Johnson, she’s proved to be one of the most promising R&B/Soul singer-songwriters in the industry.  She’s a soul singer – point blank. You can’t help but be moved by her powerful, sexy, gritty, and emotional voice.  She has old school sensibilities that flourish in a contemporary soul environment.  Her style can, at times, be reminiscent of of Betty Wright, Millie Jackson, Mavis Staples, and Tina Turner (to name a few).  Since 1999, she’s released 6 albums.  Her most recent release, “Chapter V: Underrated” (2011), was released on her own label—Aneelys Records.  It’s her most ambitious and satisfying album to date.  This summer, Johnson will be featured along with Faith Evans,  Nicci Gilbert (of Brownstone), Keke Wyatt, and Monifah on TV One’s “R&B Divas.”  Shot primarily in Atlanta, the show chronicles their true personal and professional lives as women in the music industry and their tight bond as friends (through it all).


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 61: We Need You

To us–you are our everything.
We depend upon you for our way of life.
We need you to nurture us, guide us, and protect us.

Even though we sometimes go about our days as fearless as can be,
We need you,
Sometimes more than you know.
That's why it hurts us so when you don't hear us,
When you don't see us,
When you aren't listening or paying attention to how we feel or what we're trying to say.
And we internalize it, thinking it's something that we did to make you act this way,
not knowing–or always aware—that what happens or has happened to you

or what affects your mood and how you treat us often has nothing to do with us.
But how can we know when you don't know how or are scared to talk to us openly and freely?
We may not be grown but it doesn't mean we won't understand.

And if we don't, we can at least try.

What we often don't understand is why we get hurt so

when we don't get what we need from you,
Or when we get taken advantage of.
It's a whirlwind that can leave us lost;
Some of us sadly never find our way back home.
But those of us that do successfully breakthrough.

You may not fully comprehend how much we need you or how much you need us,
But one without the other simply isn't right.
If you would only think about the great impact you have on us–so much would change in this world.
Just imagine, this world could become the world we've always dreamed of.
And what a world that could be. 

© BuddahDesmond

Day 60: Black Music Month - Adriana Evans (Redux)

There’s something about Adriana Evans. Listen to any of her five studio albums and you will be spellbound by her rich musical landscape. Her music is an intoxicating mix of classic soul, funk, hip-hop, jazz, rock, 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. Evans made her self-titled debut album (featuring the singles “Seein’ Is Believing” and “Love Is All Around”) back in 1997 with music that was then being dubbed “neo classic soul.” But even then, it was clear that there was so much more to Evans and her music than that. Her most recent album was 2010’s “Walking With The Night.” If you haven’t already, give Evans music a spin. It won’t be long before you can’t get her hypnotic music out of your mind.

Day 59: Black Music Month - Cassandra Wilson

Cassandra Wilson is a jazz vocalist, musician, arranger, and producer. She’s arguably the best jazz vocalist today. For nearly 30 years, this two-time Grammy winner has mesmerized audiences with her moving, sultry, rich, resonant voice. She inhabits songs. With the slightest nuance or phrase, she can take you places others can only dream of taking you. During her illustrious career, Wilson has expounded upon the jazz songbook with her ingenious interpretations of classic folk, pop, country, soul, and blues tunes. Like the greats before her, she has a distinctive style and can make any song her own. Wilson is a trailblazer that continues to transform and push the boundaries of her talent and jazz music. Her most recent album is the critically acclaimed “Another Country” (2012). 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 58: In Remembrance - MJJ (Repost)

The King!


You were truly gifted.
An inspiration to many.
You were the greatest entertainer in the world.
Touched so many of us with your heart, soul, and spirit.

There will never be another like you.
So we are grateful that God kept you here as long as he did.
We are sad that you had to go so young.
But it was time.
You were called.
And now peace is finally yours.

You will truly be missed.
Your music and legacy will continue to inspire, uplift, and shape us all.
You will never die.
You will always live on.
We will always love you, Michael Joseph Jackson!!!

~ BuddahDesmond

Day 57: Black Music Month - Robert Glasper

Robert Glasper is a multitalented jazz pianist, composer, producer, and musical director. Though he may immediately be identified as a jazz artist, it’s hard to deny the heavy influence of Hip-Hop and R&B/Soul on his music. He has an ingenious style that has reinvigorated jazz music in ways that very of his contemporaries have been able to. His most recent album, with his band The Robert Glasper Experiment, is entitled “Black Radio” (2012). On this release, Glasper more than proves he’s an artists without limits. The album features smooth, eclectic collaborations with Lalah Hathaway, Musiq Soulchild, Chrisette Michele, Bilal, Lupe Fiasco, Erykah Badu, Ledisi, Shafiq Husayn (Sa-Ra), KING, Meshell Ndegeocello, Stokley Williams (of Mint Condition) and yasiin bey (Mos Def) to name a few. As described on Glasper’s website, Black Radio “boldly stakes out new musical territory and transcends any notion of genre, drawing from jazz, hip-hop, R&B and rock, but refusing to be pinned down by any one tag.” Black Radio is a groundbreaking album that may serve as the blueprint for other artists who want to make great music that challenges the notion of genres and categorization yet resonates deeply with the audience.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 56: Black Music Month - Phyllis Hyman

I've written about Phyllis Hyman several times.  I never grow tired of talking about her or listening to her timeless music.  There's so much that can be said about her artistry.  She really knew how to get inside lyrics.  Whether you had experienced what she was singing about or not, you couldn't help but to feel it.  A supreme song interpreter and a dynamic performer, Hyman proved that she was in a league reserved truly for the greats.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 55: Black Music Month - Mint Condition

Like The Roots and The Brand New Heavies (and Tony Toni Tone before them), Mint Condition is one of the best bands in the business. Mint Condition has carved a unique path for themselves, and after seven albums--they’ve stayed true to it. They’ve been a consistent musical mainstay for over 20 years. Never to be limited by formula, style, or genre, Mint Condition’s music is progressive, versatile, and infectious. Whether it’s funky up-tempo numbers, rock or jazz-inflected mid-tempo grooves, or smooth, soulful, heart wrenching ballads, they can play it all with ease (and sound even better live). With consummate artistry, superb production and instrumentation, relatable lyrics, and vocals to die for, Mint Condition will remain in a league of their own.

Day 54: Black Music Month - Conya Doss

Dubbed as "The Queen of Indie Soul," Conya Doss is a singer, songwriter, and producer who defies categorization. She makes organic, feel good music that touches the soul. Doss has a unique style that feels both old school and contemporary. Like Mary J. Blige (whose timbre her voice echoes slightly), Maysa, and Adriana Evans, she's very versatile and can sing anything. Since 2002 Doss has released 6 albums, her most recent is entitled "A Pocketful of Purpose" (2012). Like a true artist, growth, maturity, and wisdom are evident with each release. Happy Black Music Month!!! :D 

Day 53: Black Music Month - Vikter Duplaix

Vikter Duplaix is an eclectic singer, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and DJ. He's played, written, and/or produced for artists like Erykah Badu, Eric Benet, Incognito, and Esthero. His music is "Bold & Beautiful" (2006) and a "Departure" (2002) from what you hear on the radio everyday. It's "sexy soul music," as Duplaix called it, fused with electronic, house, dance, jazz, Latin, and African rhythms. It's an experience. And one you won't forget. It just might get you in trouble (in a good way). Happy Black Music Month!!! ;)

Day 52: Black Music Month - Eric Roberson

If not a current fan, you may still be familiar with Eric Roberson's music. He's written songs for artists like 112, Musiq Soulchild, Dwele, Carl Thomas, Vivian Green, and Jill Scott. He made his mark with his first single "The Moon" in 1994, which was a mainstay on urban adult contemporary radio. After nearly 20 years in the industry, Roberson's released 8 albums and has remained one of the most consistent, authentic, spirited, and relatable artists in the game. And he's done it all independently. He established his record label B.L.U.E. Erro Soul in 2001. His latest album is the acclaimed "Mister Nice Guy" (2011). Happy Black Music Month!!! :) 

Day 51: Black Music Month - Teedra Moses

Teedra Moses is like one of the industry's best-kept secrets. On that "Luxurious Undergrind," she's a singer-songwriter who's written songs for Christina Milian, Macy Gray, Trina, and Mary J. Blige to name a few. But it was her debut album, 2004's Complex Simplicity, that got fans really hooked. Not to mention, she's released several mixtapes that often rival her the studio album of peers. Her voice is distinctive, smooth, and pure. Her lyrics can pack punches just as hard some rappers. She's got a sweet yet street swag that is reminiscent of the sass of Cherrelle and Pebbles and the soulful, emotional grit of Mary J. Blige. Yet, she’s got a style that’s all her own. With her recent signing to Rick Ross's Maybach Music Group, it won't be long before the world knows just who Teedra Moses really is. Happy Black Music Month!!! :D

Friday, June 22, 2012

Announcing the Release of My First Book - "Prevail"

I'm so happy to announce the release of my first book - Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics.  It's been an arduous journey but well-worth it.  I'm elated to have achieved one of my many lifelong dreams.  It's self-published through iUniverse.  Here's the description:
Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics presents an eye-opening collection of poetry inspired by personal experiences, current events, history, culture, and social issues. This collection provides a glimpse into the mind of BuddahDesmond as he investigates our contemporary world. Written over the course of the last decade, these poems serve as an introduction to BuddahDesmond’s range, voice, and style.

Prevail is divided into three sections—life, love, and politics, each of which provides the author with an opportunity to thoroughly dissect his thoughts and feelings on each topic. “Life” challenges the notion of living happily ever after, considers the struggles of dysfunctional families, and shares the perspective of a laggard in a high-tech world. “Love” discusses the power of real, true love, the up and downs of relationships, and the difficulty finding a mate in the technosexual age. “Politics” explores the power of rhetoric and the underhanded maneuvering of politicians, as well as providing perspectives on many contemporary issues.

In this new collection, BuddahDesmond seeks to offer an underlying message of strength, persistence, and triumph.
The book is available for purchase directly from iUniverse, along with retailers like Amazon (Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Book-A-Million (Paperback | Hardcover), and other retailers.  Please check it out.  If you like it/love it, spread the word and encourage others to buy it.  Be sure to stop by and "Like" the Facebook Fan Page as well.

Thank you to all the readers for the love and support over the years.  Enjoy!  Peace, Love, and Many Blessings!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 50: Black Music Month - Meshell Ndegeocello

When I saw the words "Alternative Hip Hop" emblazoned in the liner notes of Meshell Ndegeocello's debut album Plantation Lullabies (1993), I thought--how limiting. She's definitely not an artist you can lump a single category. After all, her last name in Swahili means "free like a bird." She can play/sing anything. Her music is passionate yet cerebral. And when it comes to funky bass players she's one of the baddest in the game! Happy Black Music Month!!! :D

Day 49: Black Music Month - Lenny Kravitz

When compared to his contemporaries Lenny Kravitz is in a league all his own. He's an extremely gifted singer, songwriter, arranger, producer, and multi-instrumentalist who marches to the beat of his own drum. His retro-leaning music is an extraordinary blend of rock, funk, r&b/soul, folk, and reggae (to name a few). Album after album Kravitz proves that you can have style with substance and purpose. Happy Black Music Month!!! :D

Day 48: Black Music Month - Janet Jackson

Just as Marvin Gaye did with "What's Going On," Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation" (the song and accompanying album Rhythm Nation 1814) proved that music could still be hit-worthy and entertaining yet socially conscious, relevant, soulful and funky. Happy Black Music Month!!! :)

Check out my previous post, All 4 Janet.

Day 47: Black Music Month - Chaka Khan

When Chaka Khan burst onto the scene as the lead singer of Rufus back in the 70s--the world was never quite the same. Jazz, Soul, Funk, Rock, Gospel, Pop--you name it she can sing it (effortlessly). Her inimitable, stratospheric vocals, unique style, and stage presence still leave audiences captivated to this day. A beautiful singer, songwriter, and musician--she's truly one of a kind. And most certainly--iconic and legendary. Happy Black Music Month!!! :D

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 46: Without You

The pain hit me all at once.
I thought I was going to pull through.
It'd been three weeks since you left.
Didn't feel a tremor or shed a tear.
And suddenly, it was like the environment in the instance of a landslide–it just keep coming
And I'm wondering when it'll stop.
Guess you meant a little more to me than I cared to admit.

I couldn’t let the emotions get the best of me while in the relationship,
But they're tearing my ass up right about now.
I can't seem to keep my composure.
I've never fallen this deep.
I feel like pavement and the a loss of love pounds me incessantly.

All I know is I have to pull thru this.
But I don't know if I can make it without you.

© BuddahDesmond

Day 45: Whenever the Feeling Comes Along

Whenever the feeling comes along—the one that I can't shake because it shakes me—
I have to close my eyes, take a few deep breaths and think about something unrelated.

Whenever the feeling comes along I'm temporarily paralyzed.
Can't seem to move, think, or speak normally.
A momentary loss;
Have to make myself snap out of it to get beyond it.

Whenever that feeling takes over,
I have to regain my composure.
It's like I'm fighting against a foreign invader–with everything within me—to win.

Whenever that feeling comes along,
I have to do what I can to conquer it.
Don't want to be the victim of my own defeat.
Can't pass the blame on anyone else if I can't deal;
It all comes back to me.

Whenever the feeling comes along—I have to be strong.

© BuddahDesmond

Day 44: Once Upon a Groove

When the beat drops I just have to ride it
Never going against it,
Just naturally flowing with it
When it hits it captures me,
Seizes my soul,
Taking control of every word I say and every move I make

This groove colors the night,
Painting scenes never realized before,
Igniting otherworldly emotions,
And deepened connections.
Don't want this musical excursion to end.

Why should we ever have to step outside of this groove?
If I were its proprietor I could mass market this experience
      so that everyone could get a fix.
Cause after a groove like this–how can your life ever be the same?

© BuddahDesmond

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 43: Closure

I've searched my mind so many times in the last few days
     to find whatever it is that I did to be whited out, erased,
     terminated from the picture.
The search results came back null.
Even when I did boolean, it rendered my time and efforts useless.
I'm still trying to understand how it all got to this point,
     and why everything feels so disjointed.

All I want is a reason
     A real reason.
Aren't I good enough for that?
Aren't I deserving at the very least of that?
Maybe you acted in haste,
     but the actions still remain unchanged.
At least respect me enough to tell me what I did
     that was so wrong 
So I can properly move on,
So I can learn,
So I won't repeat what made me obsolete
     in a world I was led to believe I belonged in.
But as as we know nowwe were both wrong.

For the sake of closurecould you just fill me in?

© BuddahDesmond

Day 42: 100% Phony

Nothing rings true
Nothing quite real
It's all staged and scripted
Better than make believe
Left wondering if anything gets past the pretense
So contrived
Like co-stars with bad chemistry
Though they keep trying--disbelief is never suspended
Except for those weak, naive minds who continue to fall for it
Meanwhile, those in the know are waiting for the showdown

If you ever wonder why the reception is icy
or lacks the warmth you feel you're accustomed to
check yourself
You may not be as genuine as you think you are
You may not be genuine at all
Just fake and phony
100% fake and phony

(c) BuddahDesmond 

Day 41: Apologies

If you really meant what you said, why apologize?
Anyone could feel the words,
they were jam-packed with passion.
Could the presentation have been different?
Could your tone have been less caustic?
If anything, you should apologize for how you said what you said.
Otherwise it's meaningless.
Phony apologies don't suffice in any instance.
Unless it's sincere and heartfelt--keep it to yourself.

(c) BuddahDesmond