Diana Ross ... Blue
"For more than 30 years, rumors have circulated of a never-issued Diana Ross album of jazz standards recorded around the time of her triumphant star turn in Lady Sings The Blues. Recently, these archival recordings were discovered in the Motown vault. The resulting album, Blue (Motown/UMe), marks the long-overdue debut of what David Ritz, esteemed author and writer of the album's liner notes, calls 'some of the most emotionally satisfying music Ross has ever made.'"
She's the one and only, they'll never be another ... the one who put the capital D in Diva. And in my opinion, the Lady Sings the Blues soundtrack is not only some to the best work she's ever done ... but she captured the soul of Billie Holliday in that performance visually and vocally. Blue was recorded while under that magical spell. Coming in June. My copy, of course, is already ordered.
Hattie McDaniel was hated on too.
When she received her Best-Supporting actress Oscar for her role in Gone With the Wind in 1939, Black Americans weren't feeling her. Not a damn bit. They couldn't see how the singer/actress could stoop to playing the mammy stereotype. Our people put Hattie through hell then. Now, of course .... she's revered.
Seven and a half decades later, and with only a handful of Black Americans owning the statuette, Three 6 Mafia is now being doused with a similar concoction of haterade, because apparently, a lot of ignorant black folks are still ashamed of ... well, other ignorant black folks.
Now Hattie was far from ignorant, and ol' girl had her hustle going strong, and was getting paid, yet the haters were out in force. But Hattie, bless her pioneering soul, had an answer for them. "I'd rather make $700 playing a maid ... than $7 being one." Same can be said for playing, or rapping about, pimps and ho's. As I told someone earlier today ... Snoop Dogg will never be Al Sharpton, and vice versa. But that's okay, 'cause I prefer my world with both of them. Who are we to say which lives are good enough to be immortalized on screen ... or in song?
Were Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Whoopie Goldberg, Morgan Freeman, Jamie Foxx ... better than our more urban artists and performers? Who gets to decide whose good enough?
Even before Hattie's Oscar, blacks where up in arms about the lone issue FIRE!! magazine. Why did it only have one issue? Because the subject matter was homo's and ho's. The events surrounding that moment in history was the subject of the movie, Brother to Brother. All these decades later, it still hasn't received adequate recognition for the ground-breaking literary work it was: featuring Zora Neale Hurston, Bruce Nugent, Langston Hughes and others. Why? Because the subject matter was homos and 'hos.
We habitually seem to be a day late and generations short of recognizing our own artists. Why is that? ~~~
And I have to mention the author of the essay, We've Got a Problem, which inspired this post. Tuan N'Gai is the author of "Will I Go To Heaven? The Black Gay Spiritual Dilemma", Founder of Biazo Ministries and Co-Founder of OPERATION: Rebirth. He can be reached via email @ email@example.com.
Thanks Tuan for making me think ... 'cause for a second, I too thought, 'How'd they get their ig'nant asses on the Oscars? And it just goes to show, that even though your idea of class may be a diamond-encrusted gold grill ... yo' ig'nant ass can still reach the stars.
Beth Achenbach, who shot my 're-birth', has a show @ Bagua, the trendy Juice Bar in JC.
It was a little weird seeing myself blown up like that, and with everyone saying, 'Oh wow, that's you' every five minutes or so ... made it even more surreal. But eventually I got into it and enjoyed my 5 seconds of fame in Camille Young's oh-so-hip new spot for the health conscious and cool.
I went back the next day to shoot these shots for my card. I'll be posting more, but I want some early opinions. Which one do you like best?
BaguaJUICE ... 364 Grove St ... Downtown Jersey City. The Achenbach exhibit (consisting of 22 images), Hands in Plain View, ends March 9th (this thursday!). But you can contact Beth @ Eye4OneStudios.~~~
UPDATE:Achenbach at Bagua extended to March 30th! So there is still time to come out and see Hands in Plain View, which has been touted as her best show yet! So come out, eat, drink, buy art. A portion of the proceeds benefit Garden State Equality.
Clik Magazine sizzles to a new height this month.
That’s as ‘writerly’ as you're get outta me today, because yeah … it did. And that’s saying a lot after last month's cover subject ... the delicious, sensitive and single,
Maurice--> who I've had the pleasure of seeing face to face ... and trust me, it ain't Photoshop, he really looks that good.
It sizzles ... not because of the artful eye of Fashion Director, Curtis Davis, or the gender-bending flair of the Identies Models photo spread (featured here—Daniel, who’s so fucking hot that if I see him, I'm liable to Tazer him unexpectedly, throw him over my shoulder, and bring him home, (saying, 'hey honey, look what I found') …
… not because of Scott Bogan’s shockingly sensitive, but lyrical portrait of both sides of a man, which left me thinking ... Damn, now that’s a real man for ya. Kudos, Scott.
... Not because another Identies Model, Jason, and February’s hottie of the month, got up close and very personal, and oh, uh … in the buff.
… not because Justin Hall, everyone’s favorite neurotic griot, is at the literary helm bringing “the diversity of our community in all its facets”, or because Rod McCullom ( ... of Rod2.0 ...) dives into our newest, gay-con Taye Diggs … and discovers why he’s suddenly so gay cool.
… and its mos def not because I was quoted in the editorial.
It sizzled because those were just the highlights. And with all due respect to the Editor, Dwight Powell ... Jonathan Plummer is a celeb and all that … but that Daniel pic (above with blond hair) shoulda been on the cover. I mean, check out those lips … among other things, they scream ‘cover shot’. When I first looked at that picture I heard an audible hum, like a sizzle. Maybe it came from the page, or from the back of my throat, but there was definitely a sound.
I look forward to the next issue like I’ve always looked forward to each new DETAILS. Come to think of it now, DETAILS doesn’t quite cover everything … does it?
I thought I just made that up and was feeling quite pleased with myself. All ready to say "Remember, you heard it here first."
But then I Googled it and my bubble burst. I still feel like I made it up though, and you're welcome to believe it too.
But along the lines of shameless objectification of pretty young black men (of which I've been accused and gleefully copped to)
... I want to add in my own defense that aside from being a card-carrying insensitive pig, I'm also an equal opportunity objectifier with the balls to admit it. Just keepin' it real.
But, and as such ...
... the cool Urban flava of this pretty young Asian kat reached through cyberspace and grabbed me by the nuts and made me say damn, damn, damnit.
Yeah. That's one pretty muthafuka. Pretty young men come in all sorts of delectable varieties, and the Asian ones happen to be especially titillating to my horn-dog soul ... or thereabout.
I have no idea what his name is or where the pictures came from. I don't know whether he's straight or not, what type of music he likes, what his dreams are ... or whether he farts when he busts a nut.
I don't care. I'm not interested. Well ... maybe, about that last thing.
That's the upside of objectification ... silly details like a persons humanity, all too often, only serve to spoil my fantasy. And when did it become politically incorrect to express an affection for a certain race? Some black men get so upset when a white man expresses too much adoration for black men ... because then he's "objectifying" them. All I can say to that is ... lighten the fuck up. It ain't that serious.
I love Asian men. Screw political correctness ... I love 'em just because they're Asian. Asian kats with his flava make my dizzle nizzle fo' shizzle ... that's it. Anyone who finds that offensive probably also needs to get laid.
But it all fairness, pretty Asian muthafukas get to objectify me right back. I'll be his Snoop Dogg, 'cause I'm surely gonna pull him close, and with full respect for his manhood and power say, 'Shut up and say somethin' Asian.'
Another thought, what if Stanley Bennett Clay, the author of In Search of Pretty Young Black Men, did a sequel with Asian men? But I guess he'd better leave that one to Stanley Bennett Cho.
Yeah. Whatever. You know you wanna laugh. And don't we have much bigger fish to fry anyway?