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Lessons From Dblock Verzuz Dipset: #Verzuz

Hello All! obviously, this is not a post that was in the drafts, I had to create time for this post, the same way Dblock made it worth my time to stay up watching their performance during Verzuz! Well, I have been loving Dblock for probably half my life or more than half at this point, and if you’re wondering who Dblock is, it’s the Lox! The Lox is a hip hop trio that first came out on Bad Boy records in 1997. They went on to make hits for themselves and others, and had the biggest transition of their career when they signed to Ruff Ryders, joining the likes of DMX, Swizz Beatz, Eve, and Drag-on. They are not mainstream mumble rappers, they are raw, and spit records that are timeless, as we saw last night. Well I want to talk about what I learned from them lastnight, not so much their music, which I love, but that could take all day.

I am so in love with what I saw last night simply because I like the small lessons just as mush as the big. Here we have 3 Black men, they have not placed themselves out there as any moral authority, but they are consistent. I believe they are consistent with each other, first. Three Black men who met in high school, remained about their business, grew in life and in business together, and protected each other with integrity. Someone pointed out that they have been together all this time with no scandals, public fallouts, gossip interviews, etc. I would like to add that, I’m sure it does not mean that they have never disagreed on anything, we just didn’t know about it. I am sure these brothers have seen each other go through all kinds of things; I know Styles P is married and has been married for like 25 years (to a beautiful cocoa Black Queen by the way), I don’t know if Sheek Louch or Jadakiss is married, but these brothers I’m sure have seen each other though relationships, business, highs and lows, and everything in-between. Even when they left Bad Boy, they protected each other and moved forward as a team. Why am I saying all this? because it showed up in their performance. Everyone was saying Dipset would win because they have more mainstream hits. I agree that Dipset can get me turned up in the club, but their performance last night was reflective of all the drama they’ve had with each other, and their lack of preparation. No disrespect to them, I am making a point about unity, execution, and doing what you love. No matter what happens behind the scenes, make it a point to be a united front, don’t go off popularity and numbers, because when it’s time to execute, it will show up in your performance. The amount of times I got up and danced last night to a Dipset song did not stop the fact that when Dblock was performing, they captured the attention of our minds. Even if I was dancing, I was attentively and listening eyes glued to the screen, the energy that Dblock put forth made me pay more attention. Jadakiss especially was flowing all night, the Lox clearly prepared and didn’t need to rap over a track to help them, they were effortless in execution, they were a unit and stood side by side clearly as brothers. If you notice, Dipset kept their shades on, took longer to get comfortable, and they didn’t interact with each other as much. Everybody publicly knows the issues they have with each other and what they have accused each other of on interviews. I do not know Dipset, but I can guess and say that they have avoided their issues and focused on popularity, I can see it in their interactions on stage. I watch couples do that a lot; step outside as a broken unit, but since they look good together, they think people won’t pick up on the lack of cohesion. Everything is energy baby. Dipset counted on their popularity and the sound of their hits to make them champions, but nothing beats cohesiveness, effort, preparation, and passion that was displayed by Dblock (why I loved them all these years).

This is a blog dedicated to the unity and uplifting of Black people right? So, my people, my people; I am not here to scold Dipset, or act like I know them; I used Dblock’s victory as an example of what we can all do when we focus on cohesiveness as a people, working out our problems as a community, and remaining consistent on the path to liberation. A united front is what we need. For some reason, people think it cannot be done, but again, other communities do it all the time, chaos and drama isn’t necessary for entertainment. We not only look to other cultures, but what we have done in the past as Africans cohesively living amongst one another. I only speak of the example of other cultures as something you can see right now, since people claim they need evidence of what their eyes can see. Asians and Jews specifically probably have internal conflicts, beef, and outliers. They all do because human interactions come with disagreements; but when it’s time to unite they always show up. That is what we need – we need the spirit of Dblock, let’s not publicly bash each other anymore, and cancel each other. I am sure that this blog post here is the only blog post in 10 years that I spoke a little negative about a celebrity, but I in no way wish to trash talk anyone publicly, I wish Dipset the best and I enjoyed their songs. We can no longer continue to be the only people who make all of our shortcomings and disagreements public for public consumption. Every gossip blogger’s main content is Black celebrities and even making up stories just for a click, it’s the honest truth – let’s change that. Let us get back to being talented, create something that we can consume that is good for our soul, together. Let us always practice standing up to injustice in our everyday life so that when national occurrences happen, we are ready to stand united and fight for what’s right. Focus on what is lasting and not fleeting in the moment. All those other groups who thought they are going to win this time based on their track record of looking good will be surprised the day we as Black people come together as united and consistent, and last but not least, victorious!

Join the upcoming Decolonize Your Mind™ class NEXT MONDAY August 9th, 15 spots available! and pair it with your favorite Melanated Gem™ jewelry to remind yourself of who you are everyday!

Toodles!

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#MusicMonday

Hello All! I wrote a new verse for my Twitter audience and they really loved it. I took a few days to rest and all of a sudden my creative mind came back around to me. Creativity is where my mind flourishes. I feel like if I could have made a song a day, that would be what drives me each day. It fuels an energy in me that is unmatched. Literally creating lyrics and perfecting it – the sound of it, the intonations, the facial expressions, music is an art in every form. So I wrote this, and I pretty much kept it how it is from the time I wrote it which was about 2am last Friday, after I had finished creating waist beads, a headband, and bracelet as part of the Melanated Bundle through my Melanated Gem handmade jewelry series (be sure to custom order yours today). So I was literally creative all day, and that led to my mind being free and creating. That being said, I will still blog, but I will be creative in my writing. I believe in structure, but what last Thursday did for me, brought back a new energy, I love music and creative writing! Today is #MusicMonday, so we focus on the music, but, tomorrow is #TeachMeTuesday, so we focus on IGBO’s of course, stay tuned! Check out my latest rap below!

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Ogene Music: #MusicMonday

Hello All! I’m going to be talking about Igbo’s a lot more often on my blog. As you know, I am Igbo and Igbo people can currently be found in Southeast Nigeria, as our 2nd home only after migrating from the Middle East. Well, today is about a type of Igbo music called Ogene. It is a fast paced music involving the Ogene instrument which is in the shape of double bells -“ogene mkpi nabo“, or triple bells – “ogene mkpi ito“, which is a highly important instrument amongst Igbo people. Men can also be seen holding drums – “udu“, shaking rattle instruments “ichaka” , slit drum – “ekwe” and skinned drum – “igba”, while singing along in harmony in Igbo language using call and response. The music is usually accompanied by Ogene dance, but I’ll dedicate another blog post to the dance because I want to have enough content to give each part of Igbo culture it’s own post. Check out the video below!

Ogene Instrument made by Igbo Blacksmith
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#MusicMondays… Igbo Highlife Music

Hello All! I’m loving learning the voice of my audience. Your voice plus my voice creates a universal sound, and we can move forward together! Speaking of sounds, have you ever heard of Igbo highlife? If you’ve been following me for some time now, you know that I’m Igbo. On my dad’s side I’m fully Igbo, on my mom’s side I’m Igbo by ancestry via slavery (unfortunately but we’re getting it back SOON!) Well, there is a form of music called Igbo Highlife, and I want to talk about.

African cultures have a storytelling tradition that comes through in the music. Highlife music tells important stories over highly instrumental beats using guitar, horns, drums, and is bass heavy. Many times, the songs pace increases as the song goes on, starting off slow and eventually becoming fast enough to dance. The songs are usually long, and sung in Igbo with a mixture of English words as time went on. I am telling you what I know having grown up with my dad playing highlife music all the time. A major artist he listened to was Chief Osita Osadebe, who famously released the album, Kedu America – Kedu is an Igbo greeting. Chief Osita Osadebe’s career lasted over 40 years and is widely celebrated as the king of Igbo Highlife. I mean, his songs are in my spotify playlists, I love him! Check out a video then continue reading below…

Flavour N’abania is a contemporary highlife artist, and sings my favorite Igbo song to date, Oringo. I love how Flavour is contemporary but keeps the Authentic Igbo sound that older and younger generations can relate to. He singlehandedly made one of the most popular Nigerian songs that can be heard at most African parties, Nwa Baby. Flavor hails from Enugu state in Nigeria, with origin In Anambra state, so we may be cousins 👀. Just kidding! Take a listen to Oringo!