It will not be denied….

•November 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

This is pure inspiration and I applaud Trey Songz for being unafraid to show the world his bedroom swag…sheesh I need a cold water.

I wept…

•February 9, 2009 • 1 Comment

Cadillac Records

I know ya’ll are like..What? That movie was so last year, but as many know I am a late bloomer for movies, technology and music. I have to really “feel” something to commit to it on a time and interest level. Anyway I just wanted to share my reaction with you because it was surprising, even to me (no big Beyonce fan here). Here goes:

I saw Cadillac Records for the first time last night (02/07/09). My initial thoughts (pre movie) were “oh great another Five Heartbeat/Dreamgirls movie”. I was sadly mistaken. Sadly, I mean in a good way. While the acting was okay and the dialogue uninspiring, the aesthetic portrayal was excellent and the story behind the words…the illustration of the plight of African Americans at that time was really moving…I wept. Yes, I wept, from the understanding I received as I read between the lines so to speak. I wept for the inner turmoil musicians in that era faced because of having to do things none of us in this day would do and literally not having a choice or voice resorting to self medication with alcohol and drugs. I wept for the loss of true identity in the conditional acceptance that America gave them and the arrogance and disrespect of self visually and physically born of the newness of this pseudo acceptance that resulted, the denial of the legacy of not slaves but the predecessors of slaves, kings and queens of Africa by altering their looks to conform with what a segregated America wanted, when all they (the musicians) wanted was a voice that would be heard and recognized. I let the tears slip down my face and wept openly for the justice in the redemption of all that was taken from them, just as a child’s innocence is stolen in the realization that invincibility and immortality are just dreams. What I wept for the most was the legacy given to us by these artists and the enormous charge they have tasked us with to facilitate its nurturing and bestowal through generations. I was touched by my own realization that this passing down of historical legacy is a tremendous task that we all must embrace or we will be murderers who left it perish because of indifference, lack of respect and refusal to honor those who paved these life roads we travel with bricks made of their bodies and mortar mixed with their blood, sweat and tears.

Recently, I have read many blogs concerning the recent drama concerning the Neighborhood Ball for the 44th Presidential Inauguration (YES WE DID!) and the first song which was At Last sung by Beyonce Knowles and Ms. Etta James’s remarks at a show she performed in Seattle concerning her dislike of Beyonce, her denouncement of the president and her threatening physical violence to Beyonce because of not being asked to sing her signature song herself at the ball. Ms. James later recanted and said she was just playing, but like everyone else I had to hear the audio. (This was before I watched the movie) My reaction ranged from appalled, to shocked, to a very real understanding and last to laughter because Etta James is 71 so who could take her threats seriously and if we can deal with these rappers including Bey’s husband, JayZ (JayZ and Nas circa. 2001-200) had beef concerning who the greatest NY rapper was and Nas’s baby’s momma) threatening each other and arguing every time they get a mic in their hands and not feed into it, why not this?

I was very surprised a lady of Etta James’s caliber of musical success would chose such a public arena to air dirty laundry, angry at her remarks concerning President Obama especially knowing the shoes she had to walk in and finally a very deep understanding of where she was coming from. Etta James and Beyonce are human, despite what some “stans” out there think these women are not infallible and are ruled by the same human vices and afflictions of conscience as me and you. They are not immune to mistakes. My next shock came from the various blog comments. I read so many that were disrespectful to Ms. James and derogatory concerning her personal life she granted us access to in the movie and her success which is the catalyst musicians of today use as a springboard for success. I felt sick to my stomach. I even read one that implied the cont5ribution made by Etta James to music was irrelevant before her portrayal by Beyonce. I could only shake my head and say WOW! I was really in awe at the share ignorance displayed in that comment and incensed at the dishonor given to a music legend but above all an African American woman in her 70’s. I only replied on one blog though, Bossip.com, here is my reply:

This is written under my screen name SoulJourneys

Shame on us as a people for this….

First of all, who really has a text war about people who do not even figure into everyday (Beyonce and Etta could give a damn about us and this blog).Give your opinion, but don’t get extra with sh*t that really doesn’t matter.

Anyway, I am very sorry to hear that Ms. James does not recognize Obama as her president because that is the same as denouncing yourself because he represents an “At Last” moment for all of us as African Americans. I don’t know about you ma’am but I have become a better interpretation of myself because of Obama and the sense of belonging I have now because of what “WE DID”.

The song was beautifully done and appropriate, but I too questioned the absence of the woman who made it famous. Owning a song is not necessarily in the creation, but also in the delivery, definition and sincerity. I think the coordinator of the ball dropped the ball on the chance to really leave an impact on viewers and attendees.

I try not to be a hater but, I am really over Beyonce, she has systematically messed over sistahs in the entertainment business from the jump and that is a disgrace. You can be a warm and kind person and be a star that is evidenced by the fame of Halle, Angela, Jennifer Hudson and many others. I am really over J-Lo, Puffy and other megalomaniacs too but…I digress, the real issue here is the forum in which Ms James decided to deliver her opinion. Next time call B on the phone and don’t just put her on blast, educate her and put her on notice. Etta James came from some pretty bad stuff and overcame, now is not the time to pedal backwards but “children live what they learn” so let there be a lesson in all of this.

This is a moment of poor judgment on everyone’s part because we should be thinking more unity and less “ME”, they should have performed together. How momentous would that have been for a “diva” from the Civil Rights era to share the stage with a “diva” in the age of change?

And BTW…..At Last is “your song” Ms. James your relevance is evident, despite some of the unenlightened comments here…do not be fooled

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”

            I know that in the grand scheme of things my text means nothing, but I felt it was my duty as a keeper and purveyor of history for my child, her children and her children’s children to say something. These artist may not have changed the world for some but for me they were key in the change we benefit from today that transcends every industry and arena. I enjoyed their music as a child and still do as an adult. I encourage all who cannot understand the relevance and respect the accomplishments that lead to this legacy, while you listen you just may hear the silent scream of the longing they had for racial freedom and the whisper of change in every note traveling on the wind to you.

 LaTosha

Untitled

•November 20, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Untitled

To his complete amazement

I emerged a woman

After all the running

from a sick concept

being passed

off as love

after I lived

in the shadow

of a life that

was golden

after I watched the words

fall from your lips

intended  to rob

me instead robbing you

of what was declared sacred

after being lost

inside of a self inflicted

prison of indecision

after suffering repression

of knowledge of myself

after  being tired

from living

life in duplicate

to satisfy

their curiosity

after leaving

the stage

because I had

no voice

and I could not

remember

my favorite

song

or that

I loved

the two step

after my arms

had held

your ego

like a trophy

over myhead

while you

pushed them down

with your

insecurity and lies

after I lay down

in that pool

of misery

feigning defeat

planning my victory

after I saw you

as you see

yourself

I became

Once again

The thing

You

Fear most

A woman.

 

 

Revelation

•November 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment
I felt the song
as it hummed along
my soul
even as my body still shook
with the
pain of living
I began to dance
broken
but healing
face down covered
in the sludge
of what could
only be described
as fear
I had to squint
at my own
beauty
reflected not in the
monchromatic fallacy
I resigned myself to
but in the newness layed
out befor me
of limitless
possibility
I tore at the binding mask
of division
as I traded visions
with those who had eyes not like mine
but agreed
this was our time
to stand up
to the resistance of change
embracing
the full spectrum
of pain
it was inevitable
in order to
breathe
through
the lies
and inhale hope
so long we focused eyes
on individual hopes
dismissing
the dreams of so many
that came before us
and ignoring 
the river
of tears
that collected
in our negligence
I opened my eyes
and beheld
the courage
of me
and you and us
united against fear
as we slashed the ties
that silenced
the telling
of our victorious
transformation
and the sound
sprung forth and ran to
every corner
of this earth
telling
my story
your story
our story
and in taking back
our voices
from fear
the cry
united
our souls
and the song
that sung
was that
we made
HISTORY

YES, WE DID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

~ LaTosha J. Stoney

Copyright Pending

It was bestowed upon me……………………

•June 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

My talent lies in my hands which are an extension of my mind and I have learned to paint pictures with my tongue.

This is not an erotic or exotic talent I posses this is a spiritual gift bestowed upon me by Our Father who art in heaven.

This blog is my outlet. This blog is my voice. This blog is my choice. This blog is the scrap paper of my life.

I just might get it right, I just might write something tight, I just might touch a life.

I plan to open up my soul, I plan to let you see my glow, i plan to capture you in my flow, I plan …I may be doing too much, you know.

Welcome to the mind, of a DIVA defined…by the high of love, low of pain and too much wasted time……………

 ~ a DIVA musing about the talent that lies within….LJS