Jay-Z on Race, Friendships and Therapy

I watched this interview that Jay-Z did with the New York Times and his words just stuck with me. Especially when he confronts his emotions and how that has impacted his life. One the things that is striking in this interview is how openly introspective he appears. It is a rare thing for a black to open up about his emotions to the world.

The strongest thing a man can do is cry. To expose your feelings, to be vulnerable in front of the world. That’s real strength. You know, you feel like you gotta be this guarded person. That’s not real. It’s fake.

Something else that my friend pointed out is the way he presents himself to the world. Here is a man who is a considered a legend in the rap world for not just his music but his ability to build a business. Instead of letting his ego be on display by spreading out, he is actually quite contained. Watching him and his mannerism closely gave me a sense that he is comfortable with who his is. That comfort comes across in the way he is able to speak openly about his life and the things he values without being scared of judgement.

There is also the discussion on race which I find to be interesting on two levels. There is the discussion of OJ Simpson and the idea the money does not erase blackness. I related to this on the level of someone who had to realize that my education does not exempt from the racism of being black. Second idea, which I am still ruminating on, is his position that Donald Trump is good for the discourse on racism in America. Alhough, Jay-Z is clear that the discourse is not ideal, I find it hard to understand if the level of trauma with this president can lead to positive change.



#thursdaytune: Simisola by Simi

My love of Simi’s music goes way back a few years. I remember posting up one of her songs on one of my old blogs. There is just something about her voice that I have always found rather refreshing. I am a bit of a late comer to her album. Don’t blame me! I am just discovering how to listen to Naija music while living in Boston. I don’t have a lot of Nigerians around me so I actively have to find ways to stay engaged.

Anyway, this album is amazing. I was in Nigeria and everywhere I went, Simi’s Joromi was on play. That song is pretty cool. But my fave at the moment is Aimasiko. It is almost a gospel song but it just speaks to having hope and faith in God. The whole album is highly listenable (if that is a word). There is something about songs like HipHopHurray that sticks with you once you have listened once.

If you are looking to discovering more of Simi’s music, can I recommend that you listen to her collaborations with Falz. Those songs straddle a fine line between comedy and romance. I find that Simi has a way of picking her work that I love. I have yet to find a bad song from her.



I’m Here

‘Tis the time of the year when reflection is generally accepted and resolutions run amok. I have had a long think about what I want to say about the year 2015. All of the good and bad; all of the beautiful and ugly. And still, I have found that there are no profound words coming to me.

Make no mistake, I am thankful.  I am really thankful for this exiting year. I have had a lot of good times. The best part was living with my sister in the earlier part of the year. I had career growth this year. Without going into list, it has been a progressive year. For that, I am thankful.

I was watching  YouTube when I ran into this video and I just felt it was the most fitting song for the end of the year. Have fun, be safe and see you on the other side!




Music: Ms. Lauryn Hill’s Unplugged (2001/2002)

Yesterday, I ran into Lauryn Hill’s Unplugged album. I was reading some posts on Facebook when there was this commentary about how her album was so it almost ruined her life. Anyway, as I was listening to this album that I had never really consciously listened to, it made me realize that Ms. Hill is the one who allowed artistes like my dear Ms. India Arie to do what they do. Ms. Hill’s lyrics are (and I use present tense because some words never age ) soulful and insightful. I was so touched listening to her beautiful words that I knew that I wanted share it here.

Enjoy your Sunday!