Monday, November 30, 2009

At the end of each month Progressive Soul Mondays will spotlight slept-on artists. These musicians have briefly flirted with fame but have much more to offer.

First up is Kelis. She's known for being Bossy and, of course, her Milkshakes, but check out these underrated cuts.

-- Desiree

"Trilogy" -- Kelis
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

On this day of thanks I am grateful for:

- God's unconditional love
- the amazing husband God blessed me with
- the parental units, my baby bro and my BFF/cousin Tasha
- Hello Kitty, cupcakes, Mexican food, and Facebook
- Nick Saban (Roll Tide!)
- my new home in the Dirty South
- my will to live life to the fullest despite the pain of living with lupus and connective tissue disease
- this blog and the fact that I live in a country where I can freely write my thoughts and share them with others
- and of course you, for reading what I write

Your turn!
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

With Black Friday two days away, holiday shopping is kicking into full gear. Hubster asked me to compile a wish list and I've decided to post it here because, well, I didn't have anything else to blog about today, and because it might give you some ideas for the quirky chicks on your list. So here goes:

Next to Shawshank Redemption, Coming to America is my favorite movie of all time. I can recite every line and the jokes never get old. I've been coveting this Soul Glo tee for months and it's only $6.50!

I've posted this tee on the blog before, but this golden gift is worth repeating. It's around $23 at the Bust magazine Boobtique.

I'm off for Thanksgiving and I've spent much of the day in my robe -- a robe I bought my sophomore year of college. Since then I have lived in Louisville, Berkeley, and Seattle; I've acquired two degrees, started two different careers and found a husband. Yet I've never managed to buy a new robe. It won't even come completely clean in the wash anymore. Please help!

(Note to my Santa Baby: Only one left in stock so order soon. But in case they're all gone I really like this one and this one too.)
available at Barnes & Noble

Yes "Come Together" may be a coked-out song, but it's a classic nonetheless and perhaps this journal will inspire me to pen some classics of my own.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Friday night my uncle posted this on my Facebook wall:

"Oprah is movin over so that you can get yo spot. Just don't forget us little folks when u do"

Now, before you get stuck on the fact that my 40-something uncle is on Facebook, think about how monumental Sept. 9, 2011 will be. Oprah Winfrey has announced that on that day she will end her daytime network television
show so that she can concentrate on creating a cable channel.

The Boston Globe ran an intriguing story pondering whether or not "the woman who could single-handedly send more than 50 books to the top of the New York Times best-seller list - almost instantly making authors and publishers rich - will see her influence diminish or grow in the larger realm of cable TV."

But my uncle's post also made me wonder if anything of true substance will step up to the challenge of filling the huge void Oprah's departure will leave in the world of network TV.

I'd love to see a show on the Southern feminist's response to politics and pop culture with a dash of urban music. Oh wait, that sounds just like Georgia Mae. Maybe my uncle was right!

One day I'm going to get my hands on a quality camera and start posting video blogs so you'll get a taste of what The Georgia Mae Show would be like.

In the meantime, tell me what kind of talk show you'd like to see emerge on network television. 
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On the heels of an announcement by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force declaring that women should begin getting regular mammograms at age 50 rather than at 40, and that the frequency be reduced from annual to once every two years, another group of medical experts is saying women can see their gynecologists less frequently for Pap smears, too.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists announced Friday that young women can hold off until 21 before getting their first Pap smear and get them every two years through the rest of their 20s, instead of annually. (Previously, the group recommended that young women get a Pap smear three years after first having sex or age 21, whichever came earlier.)

The group also said that women 30 and older who have three consecutive normal Pap smears can be tested every three years and that after 65 or 70 women who've had three consecutive normal Pap smears and no abnormal results in 10 years can stop Pap tests altogether.

Dr. David Soper, the Chairman of ACOG's Gynecology Practice Bulletin Committee, told NPR it's "pure coincidence" that these recommendations were released just days after the new mammogram guidelines were announced. Soper says the changes have been in the works for years due to evolving scientific evidence that shows, for instance, the risks of cervical cancer developing in young women is quite low.

I hate visiting my gynecologist as much as the next woman, but all of these new guidelines have me worried. Are these recommendations really in our best interest or are doctors rationing out care? I don't know. What are you thoughts?
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Last month, I wrote about my boy DMX coming to Birmingham to get in a fight.

A professional fight, that is. X doesn't have to drive all the way down here to scuffle with someone. He'll slap a man while passing the offering basket at church.

But you should never depend on a man who howls at the moon. From TMZ:

According to docs filed Friday in Birmingham, Alabama -- Thunder Promotions wants $1,000,000 from the rapper, claiming he's a fraud and led them on ... because as soon as they refused to fix his fight, he backed out.
Heh. X should have called Vince McMahon instead. Add yet another lawsuit onto the dog pile of Earl Simmons' infractions.
But fear not fight fans. Guess who will be replacing DMX?

And as we learned here on Georgia Mae in September, Coolio doesn't need anyone to fix his fights. As long as he gets a bucket of chicken and a bottle of Patron for payment, he's good.
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Monday, November 23, 2009

This week, Progressive Soul Mondays takes you on another level with L.A.-based duo J*Davey. Consisting of Jack Davey (the girl) and Brooke D'Leau (the guy), the duo's sound can be best decribed as a mix of jazz, rock, funk, R&B, electronica, rock, and hip hop. Enjoy!

-- Desiree

"Might As Well"  -- J*Davey

"Hi Sun"  -- J*Davey
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When I was a full-time journalist I always prided myself in the fact that I had a life outside work. Sure, I was a hard worker and I was proud of the stories I produced, but I didn’t eat, drink, and breathe journalism. I did not have the obsession with news that so many of my colleagues possessed. I watched CNN every morning and browsed my favorite blogs and news websites daily, but in my car I listened to bad pop music, not NPR, and at the gym I read Glamour and Bust, not Newsweek and Time. I loved what I did, but I refused to let it define me. Or so I thought.

Now that I’m no longer a full-time reporter I’m beginning to realize how much of my identity was tied to journalism. I love teaching. Next to marriage, it’s probably the most challenging and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. And while I didn’t eat, drink, and breathe journalism, I can’t say the same about English education. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about ideas for my classes. I can honestly say that I am obsessed with being a good teacher. Nonetheless, I miss writing terribly. I miss interviewing strangers. I miss telling their stories. And, quite frankly, I miss seeing my byline!

I told Edd the other day that I don’t feel like myself. Being a journalist was such a huge part of my life, whether I realized it then or not, that now that I’m no longer a full-time reporter I’m not sure who I am.

So what’s a girl to do? Should I simply look forward to that day when I finally have this teaching thing down and that begins to become my identity or should I practice what I preached in years past and not let my career define who I am?

We all know the correct answer. This recession showed us. So many people define themselves through their careers and when they were laid off this year they were completely lost.

But how do you actually define yourself outside of what you do? I thought I had. My life is a full one. I have strong faith, great friends, a loving family and an amazing husband. I make sure I do something fun every day and I am confident that my life will keep getting better. I know these are the things that matter most in life, not seeing my name in print. But at the end of the day I am a writer. I have been since I wrote my first bad poem at age 8. And now I’m striving to add “English teacher extraordinaire” to my handle.

Furthermore, we live in a society where what you do is so important. From the time we can speak, our parents, teachers, and family friends start asking us what we want to be when we grow up. When we meet someone one of the first questions we ask is what he or she does for a living (even though in this economy chances are the person we’re meeting is unemployed). And when we introduce ourselves our career is one of the first things we mention.

So again I ask how did you live a life in which who you are isn’t defined by what you do?
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Friday, November 20, 2009

There is no way to tip-toe around this, so I'll be blunt.

I don't like the Beatles. At all.

*ducks and runs for cover*

I respect their legacy, their legions of fans and the fact that they changed the face of pop music. But I could never get into their music - it's either too corny or too incomprehensible.

And speaking of incomprehensible, you don't have to look any further than the baffling "Come Together." Blame that stupid Beatles Rock Band commercial for increasing my disdain for this song. In September I literally heard that song at least three times AN HOUR.

Kids, this is why we stress going to college. No human being should be forced to watch daytime TV and listen to that commercial 567 times a day.

But I've found that I'm in the minority in disliking "Come Together." Our esteemed Webmistress loves it and even her Drake-worshipping brother thinks it's magnificent. Of course, neither can explain exactly what the song is about.

That's where I come in. Ugh, pray for me.

For those who need a reminder, here's Michael Jackson's cover of the iconic song.

Here come old flattop, he come grooving up slowly

He got joo-joo eyeball, he one holy roller

He got hair down to his knee

Got to be a joker he just do what he please let's break this down. They're talking about some guy with a flat head; who loves to get his groove on; he has funny-looking eyeballs; he's a "holy roller," so I guess he's into church; he must be pretty hairy since it reaches his knees; and is a goofball.

I think I got it.

He's even covering up his joo-joo eyeballs so he won't look even more goofy.

He wear no shoeshine, he got toe-jam football

He got monkey finger, he shoot coca-cola

He say "I know you, you know me"

One thing I can tell you is you got to be free

Come together right now over me

Now I'm lost. I don't think Kid can shoot soda from his fingers. But from the sound of things dude needs a pedicure.

He bag production, he got walrus gumboot

He got Ono sideboard, he one spinal cracker

He got feet down below his knee

Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease

Come together right now over me

What are these people talking about? What's a walrus gumboot? Who doesn't have feet below their knees!? And why are we coming together over this dude? Did he die? It sounds like a song for a wake.

[Right! Come, oh, come, come, come.]

He roller-coaster, he got early warning

He got muddy water, he one mojo filter

He say "One and one and one is three"

Got to be good-looking cos he's so hard to see

Come together right now over me


Come together

Yeah come together

Yeah come together

Yeah come together

Yeah come together

Yeah come together

Yeah come together

Yeah oh

Come together

Yeah come together

Well, we can rest assured that the subject of the song passed kindergarten math. "He say 'One and one and one is three.'" The man was truly a scholar. But here's the funniest part of the entire song: "Got to be good-looking cos he's so hard to see." Are they saying the guy is only attractive when you're not looking at him? Beatles got jokes.

The Verdict: The best thing I can figure is that the Beatles wrote a song dissing Kid 'n Play to be played at their funerals. Man, even 50 Cent isn't that heartless.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's Lady Gaga four years ago performing at NYU under her birth name and in her bare feet. 

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Posted by in  on 8:51 PM 1 comment

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Two days ago the Associated Press reported that a government task force is now recommending that women begin getting regular mammograms at age 50 rather than at 40, and that the frequency be reduced from annual to once every two years.

Since the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPST) announced its breast cancer screening guidelines, plenty of women have been left angry and confused. I even had gal pals lamenting the news on Facebook.
And Dr. Marisa Weiss, director of Breast Radiation Oncology and director of Breast Health Outreach at Pennsylvania’s Lankenau Hospital, believes one demographic should be particularly incensed: black women.

In a NewsOne report by Ashton Lattimore, Dr. Weiss was quoted saying: “These new recommendations could have a devastating effect on African-American women.” She went on to add, “African-American women are more likely to get breast cancer than white women when they’re under age 40.” 

The U.S. Department of Health reports that Black women ages 35 to 44 have a breast cancer death rate more than twice that of white women in the same age group.

Fortunately, both the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen breast cancer advocacy foundation have issued statements saying they have reviewed the same data as the USPST and still believe women should follow the old recommendations.

I just pray doctors and insurance companies listen and not try to hinder 40-something women from getting the exams.  

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As the children's show Sesame Street celebrates its 40th anniversary this month, the website  Global Voices Online took some time to reflect on the cute, cuddly Muppet named Kami. The golden-yellow Kami is part of the South African edition of Sesame Street and is the world's first HIV-positive Muppet.

Sesame Street is seen in over 140 countries and each version addresses local issues and has different Muppets. Kami made her debut on the South African Sesame Street co-production, called Takalani Sesame, in 2002 in response to the country's HIV/AIDS problem. South Africa is believed to have the highest number of people infected with HIV in the world — an estimated 5.7 million people. Approximately 280,000 of those infected are children 14 and younger.

Kami helps educate kids about the disease and confronts issues related to being HIV-positive. In addition to the physical complications of having HIV, there's also the stigma that comes with having the disease, which makes it harder for people to receive adequate treatment and support. The name Kami is derived from the Setswana word “Kamogelo,” meaning “acceptance.”

Though she's proven to be a successful character, Kami has never appeared on the American Sesame Street and some people are outraged at the suggestion. What do you think?

Do you believe adding a character like Kami to Sesame Street or other popular shows for kids would help educate youngsters on HIV and its effects or is this topic inappropriate and too complicated for a children's show?  
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Posted by in ,  on 7:00 AM 2 comments

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

photo via

A photo of former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine is sparking controversy.

Originally published in the August 2009 issue of Runners World, the photo features the former Alaska governor in short runner's shorts. It was part of a multi-photograph slideshow that accompanied an article about Palin and her love for running. 

Palin and her supporters question why Newsweek editors would use a photo from a fitness article to promote an analysis of her role as a political figure. Palin feels the photo is sexist and has been taken out of context to ridicule her.

In a recent Facebook post Palin wrote:

The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now. If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin.

According to a report by Yahoo! News Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham hsa said the photo was simply the "most interesting image available." He continued: We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard."

I haven't had a chance to read the Newsweek article, yet so I can't judge the relevance of the photo. However, one can't help but wonder if Palin's gender played a role in the editors and artistic directors' decision to choose a photo that happened to show off Palin's legs. 

What do you think?

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People, we need to do better.

A few days ago, I accompanied the wife on a trip to K-Mart (yeah, they still exist) to pick up roughly $500 worth of hair-care products. Apparently it takes a lot of work to keep her hair from frizzing up like Florida Evans.

Anyway, while walking to the register, we passed a display full of impulse items. You know the type - small bags of chips, chewing gum, pens - things you just grab at the spur of the moment.

You'll never guess what was prominently featured on this stand:

YES. Small jars of pigs' feet! UGH!

I couldn't believe my eyes. I asked the wifey "Are those really mini jars of pigs' feet?" She replied "Welcome to Alabama, baby."

I thought you could only get pigs feet from those shady ghetto butchers who sell such delicacies as cow tongue and chitlins. I only see stuff like that once a year, when someone's aunt brings a stinky pot of that crap over for the holidays.

Who thought portable pigs' feet was a good idea? "Oh, I'll pick up some Trident and a couple of jars of vinegar-soaked globs of fat."

At the risk of losing credibility, I'll mention that I've never tried pigs' feet. Maybe I'm missing out on greatest convenience since bottled water.

But I seriously doubt it.

People, put the pig down.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Oh no! I skipped yesterday. Well, today I am thankful for my will to walk, run, and live my life in spite of chronic pain. I am not afraid of the big bad wolf!
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An advertising decision for the movie "Couples Retreat" has many accusing the marketers of the Vince Vaughn comedy of racism.

The film stars four couples including black actors Faizon Love and Kali Hawk. However, Love and Hawk were removed from the promotional poster used in the United Kingdom after the U.S. version used all four couples. A Universal spokesman has said that the altered poster aimed "to simplify the poster to actors who are most [recognizable] in international markets," but the move is still certainly questionable.

A 2007 New York Times article noted that American films with black stars typically struggle in the overseas market. Even megastars like Will Smith rank no better than twelfth when it comes to ticket sales internationally.

This all reminds me of a magazine I once worked for which had an obvious lack of diversity in its images. One day I asked the editorial and artistic directors why they'd never featured a black woman on the cover of the magazine and they simply answered, "They just don't sell the product."

Fortunately, Universal has issued a statement regretting any offense it caused, and the studio has scrapped all plans to use the modified poster in other overseas markets.

Here is the original poster with Love and Hawk:

And here is the altered version:

What do you think of the posters?
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Posted by in , ,  on 8:07 AM 1 comment

Monday, November 16, 2009

This week on Progressive Soul Mondays is Geno Young, a singer/songwriter/producer from Dallas, Texas. He produced "Time's a Wastin'" and "Orange Moon" on Erykah Badu's Mama's Gun and he also worked on N'Dambi's debut album Tunin Up & Cosignin'.  Enjoy! 

-- Desiree

Also check out "Really".
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Today I am thankful for this gorgeous weather; 75 and sunny in mid-November. I love the South!
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Today I am thankful for the time I spent hanging out with my baby bro.
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Friday, November 13, 2009

A quick bit of shameless self-promotion:

If you haven't already, be sure to snag the Oct./Nov. issue of Heart & Soul, a national health and fitness magazine for women of color. In this issue you'll find an article by yours truly on ways we can use the activities we loved as girls to help us get and stay in shape.

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Today I am thankful for my wonderful husband who helped me chaperone tonight's homecoming dance. Of course, I'm grateful for hubster every day.
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Contributed by Karie

Recently, my coworkers (mostly male) informed me that I was being dated without my permission. Huh? It doesn’t make sense! (Don’t worry…I had the same reaction.) After further explanation, my most outspoken coworker pointed out a few tell-tale signs:

1. Inquiring about and showing up for a home-cooked dinner.

2. Showing up for an entire season of HBO’s True Blood because you’re temporarily cableless—and showing up post-True Blood.

3. Requesting assistance on decorating and furniture buying, despite semi-impeccable style.

4. Requesting accompaniment on shopping trips to the grocery store, mall, etc.

Basically, these signs include any action done to spend time with me. I disagree with his theory. These are things that normal, platonic friends would do, right? So why am I the only sane person who realizes this?

If this dating without permission concept exists, I think it’s a risky and unintelligent move.

Dating requires a reciprocal interest, mixed with effort, resources, and purpose. Did someone change the rules of dating and forget to update the playbook?

About the contributor: Karie (pronounced like Marie with a “K) is a single, 20-something living in the DC Metropolitan area. Professionally, she works as a technical writer. Outside of the office, she enjoys graphic design, creative writing, reading, and tennis. Please contact her at
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Georgia Mae contributor and faithful commenter recently issued this challenge to her Facebook friends: "Every day this month until Thanksgiving, think of one thing that you are thankful for and post it as your status."

I've decided to play along and will also post my messages of gratitude here at I hope you will join me and each day tell us what you're thankful for in the comments section. Let's get started!

Today I am thankful for the free pizza I had at the Walk for Lupus Now 2010 planning meeting. (Birmingham babes, hit me up if you're interested in helping out with next year's walk.)
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Posted by in  on 10:28 PM 1 comment
It's not often that an old-school artist catches me off guard, but it certainly happened yesterday. While traveling to Krispy Kreme to feed the wifey's doughnut addiction, Tony Terry's "In the Shower" came on the radio.

The wife was so busy screaming "THAT'S MY SONGGGGGGGGGG!" that we nearly drove through the doughnut shop.

Tony had a great voice and a couple of good songs but for some reason I had nearly erased him from my memory. Obviously the wife hadn't forgotten him.

Let's reminisce on why the ladies loved Tony so much.

Tony, looking like Drake's daddy, debuted with Forever Yours back in 1987. His first single, "She's Fly", was typical cornball 80s New Jack Swing. The title track, however, was off the chain.

Foooooooooooor-ever yoursss....

That song served as inspiration for countless ghetto talent shows.

Tony re-emerged at the end of 1990 with his self-titled sophomore album, which included his biggest hit, "With You." I know y'all remember that one. Check him out singing at the Apollo. Are my eyes failing me, or is this dude really wearing chaps? Guess he's going to strip at a bachelorette party after the show.

Although I couldn't find a reliable link, I'm sure "Everlasting Love" brings back memories. Oh, and don't forget "Head Over Heels," which was pretty good, but I think I prefer Allure's "Head Over Heels." If anyone needed the "Whatever Happened to" treatment, it's those ladies.

Tony released Heart of a Man in 1994, but most of his fans had moved on. That's a shame, because "When a Man Cries" was pretty good stuff. The lyrics sorta sound like a country song - maybe that turned off his old fans.

Although I barely found any info on it, My Best dropped in the summer 2001. That album featured the song that nearly got me killed yesterday afternoon. Any Tony Terry fans remember anything about that album?

In recent years Tony moved on to gospel. Huh, who knew? He had worked with gospel artists like Yolanda Adams in the past so I guess it makes sense for him to strike out on his own. He dropped his first gospel album, Changed!, in 2006.

Should he come back?: Sadly, Tony's brand of tender-hearted R&B isn't as well-received as it was in the early 90s. At this point in his career, I think Tony's better off making music for the Lord. He's come a long way from messing around in the shower.
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Posted by in ,  on 8:42 AM 6 comments

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

image via

I'm not a huge Diddy fan. His songs have been horrible without Biggie around to carry the weight (heh heh) and he's solely to blame for me having to write "Whatever Happened to" pieces on some of my favorite 90s stars. Is Black Rob still in jail? Is Total still unemployed?

But there are a couple of things Puff does well - fashion and fragrances. I've long been a fan of the Sean Jean clothing line. Urban, yet classy. And I'm not ashamed to admit that I slap on his Unforgivable cologne when I wanna get my pimpin' real strong.

And now I hear fellow mogul 50 Cent is trying to get in the scent game.


Curtis Jackson known as 50 Cent will present his first perfume created in cooperation with Lighthouse Beauty this autumn. Name of the perfume is Power by 50 Cent, and Curtis himself participated in design....

The composition starts with accords of lemon leaves, black pepper and artemisia, a heart of dark wood, coriander and nutmeg and base notes full of patchouli, musk and oak moss.

Lemon leaves? Black pepper? Nutmeg?? Was G-Unit digging through somebody's grandma's spice cabinet?

According to People magazine, you can pick up this stew at Macy's for $50.50 for a 1.7-ounce eau de toilette to $68.50 for a two-piece gift set of eau de toilette and after shave.

For those of you who want to smell like lemon-pepper chicken, there you go.

I'm starting to think Fiddy's stretching himself too thin. Video games, vitamin water, movie deals - I guess he's running out of money-making schemes. If he really thinks he can make money by making dudes smell like leftover soul food I won't stop him. But buyer beware - don't say I didn't warn you when cats start following you home.

50 could, you know, make a decent album to make some extra cash (his new one drops today), but I guess that would be asking too much.

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Posted by in ,  on 12:45 PM 1 comment
Last night I was sitting at the computer, browsing Facebook and listening to Lady Gaga (you know, really using my time wisely) and I thought of the Oct. 28th episode of South Park and Cartman's bombass rendition of "Poker Face." I wish that was on iTunes, I thought, and then actually checked to see if it was. It wasn't. But I did find the video below. I heart the Internet. Enjoy.

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Posted by in , ,  on 12:00 PM No comments

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hey, GeorgiaMae fans, meet our newest contributor Desiree. She'll be stopping by on Mondays to introduce you to some of the best artists you've never heard.


All right folks, since I'm kinda corny and love a theme, it's time for me to start showin' off, so here goes...starting this and every Monday, I am going to start your week off by exposing you all to some musical acts that you probably don't know but should. I just feel that there is so much good music out there but it lives underground. So if you're not a certified music head like myself you probably don't know about it! So, without further ado, I present Progressive Soul Mondays! 

This week is N'Dambi, a former Erykah Badu background singer that's striking out on her own.

image via
N'Dambi -- "Deep"
N'Dambi -- "Can't Hardly Wait"

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Posted by in ,  on 7:00 AM 4 comments

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hey folks,

This week you'll notice a few changes to First, I've been wearing a lot of blue lately so I figured my blog should follow suit. Also, in an effort to clean up our home page, our posts will now have what we call in the newspaper business jumps. This means that for most posts you'll get a little teaser, the first two or three paragraphs, and then a "Read more" link which you'll need to click to read the rest of the post.

I hope you like the changes. Let us know what you think.

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Posted by in  on 9:51 PM 1 comment

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Nine months after being brutally assaulted by her then-boyfriend Chris Brown, pop star Rihanna has finally broken her silence. Last week she was interviewed on ABC's Good Morning America and 20/20 and Glamour has chosen her as one of the magazine's 2009 Women of the Year.

In her Glamour interview, which can be read at, Rihanna discusses fashion, charity work, her new album and, of course, that fateful February night.

She opened up about how humiliated she felt when a photo, reportedly of Rihanna’s injured face taken by police after Brown assaulted her, was leaked to the Internet.

"I felt completely taken advantage of. I felt like people were making it into a fun topic on the Internet, and it's my life," she said.

When asked about what message she was like to give to the young women who look up to her, Rihanna said:

"Domestic violence is a big secret. No kid goes around and lets people know their parents fight. Teenage girls can’t tell their parents that their boyfriend beat them up. You don’t dare let your neighbor know that you fight. It’s one of the things we [women] will hide, because it’s embarrassing. My story was broadcast all over the world for people to see, and they have followed every step of my recovery. The positive thing that has come out of my situation is that people can learn from that. I want to give as much insight as I can to young women, because I feel like I represent a voice that really isn’t heard. Now I can help speak for those women."

I appreciate that the interview didn't solely focus on Rihanna's abuse, but also talked Rihanna the fashion icon (her hair cut is called "The Rihanna" in salons nationwide), her charity Believe Foundation and her new album, Rih Rih says in part hip-hop, part rock 'n' roll.

"If Lil’ Wayne and Kings of Leon like my album, then I’ll feel good," she says in the interview.

What do you think of Rihanna's comeback? Can she be a good role model? What do you think of Glamour's decision to choose her to be part of its 2009 Women of the Year list?
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Posted by in , ,  on 9:34 PM 1 comment

Friday, November 6, 2009

People always give me such grief about my love of Keith Sweat. I don't understand why. He's among the top-selling male R&B artists in history (numbers don't lie), has more than a few classic songs and his tours are still racking in the cash. Yet people, including my lovely wife, call my Keith obsession "random."

You wanna know what's random? I have a friend who is equally obsessed with Case. Now THAT'S random. I remember a few years ago when this dude heard a new track on the radio and jumped with joy thinking Case was back on the scene. I broke his heart when I told him that said song was actually from Lyfe Jennings.

Let's take a look back at the man who will be forever linked with The Nutty Professor.

Case Woodard, formerly a background singer and writer, finally had a chance to shine on his own in 1996 with "Touch Me, Tease Me," from The Nutty Professor Soundtrack. Ah, the Nutty Professor, proving Tyler Perry wasn't the first black man to embarrass himself in a fat suit. "Touch Me, Tease Me" was a blessing and a curse - it was a huge debut for a new artist, but he was always overshadowed by its success.

At the time, I found it strange that a new artist could land background vocals from a proven star like Mary J. Blige. Once I found out they were dating, it made sense. No wonder he got the hookup.

Case's self-titled debut dropped a couple of months later, but the single "More To Love" got very little love.

After a bit of a break, Case bounced back in 1999 with Personal Conversation. Much like his fling with Mary J., Case got his pimpin' on with Beyonce in the video for "Happily Ever After," which culminated in their engagement. Awww. Rumors were swirling at the time that the pair were really an item but if I recall Case denied them.

Oh, how different the world would be if Beyonce married Case. Kids would be wearing S.Case tennis shoes, Personal Conversation 3 would have been released last September and President Obama would have Case on his iPod.

Man, I bet Case is pissed he didn't put a ring on it - for real.

Personal Conversation also featured "Faded Pictures," with Joe. Sadly, Case didn't date Joe.

Open Letter in 2001 featured "Missing You," Case's only #1 R&B hit. Guess which soundtrack that song was also featured on?

If Eddie Murphy is wearing a fat suit, Case ain't far behind. Seriously, I had to check to see if Case was featured on the Norbit soundtrack. I bet he was lurking around the set, though.

Tragedy struck in 2002 when Case was accidentally shot in the throat. The story behind the incident has always been a bit murky (something about a gun going off while he was moving it) but thankfully he made out OK.

If you blinked you missed Case's fourth album, The Rose Experience, which came out earlier this year. It featured the track "Lovely," which I rather enjoyed. Check it out if you haven't already.

Should he come back?: His latest album showed that Case still has something to offer, despite his accident. Maybe my boy's love of Case isn't so strange after all.

What IS strange is Case's love of dudes in fat suits.
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

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When asked in a recent interview what he thinks hip hop is missing, rap icon KRS-One answered: "More women."

He went on to say:

Not just emcees or b-girls, but women taking control of hip-hop. Let me be culturally-specific- hip-hop’s women should teach hip-hop’s men how to speak to them. Because when we learn how to speak to you, we can learn how to speak to the whole business world. It’s not just about respecting you…it is…but it’s deeper than just respecting another human being. Everytime you degrade a person, you degrade yourself, because you are standing next to that person. You can’t diss a person, and not diss yourself…I should say ’she’s a queen.’ And what does that make me? A king. So now at the end of the day, what’s missing in hip-hop? Knowledge of self, that should only come from women. I know that sounds feminist, but that’s real talk.

Struck by the f-word, the interviewer asked if men could be feminists. KRS replied:

No doubt. But they are scared. They’re cowards.

Sure, there's a chance he said this in hopes of getting more women to buy his new, controversial bible-formatted text, The Gospel of Hip Hop: The First Instrument, but I have a feeling KRS meant what he said. I just hope the rest of the hip hop world will listen.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009


In Love & War (released November 3, 2009)

If you're a longtime GeorgiaMae reader, you know three things about me:

1. I think Keith Sweat should be running our country.

2. I hate Snuggies.

3. I love Amerie.

My relationship with Amerie is strictly platonic, by the way. But how can you not love the girl? Her three albums - 2002's All I Have, 2005's Touch and 2007's Because I Love It - are all absolutely tremendous. Despite a very strong catalogue and successful singles (I still wanna know why "1 Thing" did not make her a household name) she has constantly been overshadowed the Sasha Fierces and Rih-Rihs of the industry.

Now that she has made the switch from Columbia Records to Def Jam, I guess In Love & War is her latest attempt to grasp superstardom. Sadly, that's the biggest problem with the album.

Amerie has always bucked trends, which is why it hurt me to hear the gimmicky "Heard 'Em All." It's what's all wrong with many of today's singles - reaching the masses by yelling over a noisy beat. Don't ask me why she felt the need to channel Shabba Ranks with a fake Jamaican accent on the track. And just to make SURE this song makes it to the radio, the "Heard 'Em All Remix" features Lil Wayne prattling on about how he wants to get with every girl in the world. Where have we heard that before?

Remember what I said about reaching the masses? "Swag Back," roughly the 3,000th "swag" song to be released this year, sounds like a ghetto Jordin Sparks song with its played out hand claps and lame lyrics. And speaking of ghetto, the only thing interesting about "More Than Love" with Fabolous is the hilarious fight that breaks out mid-song.

If it seems like I'm being tough on A it's only because we're harsher on those we love. There are certainly bright spots - "Why R U" is vintage Amerie. It's full of energy and sounds totally unique - you'll be running red lights if you listen to it in while driving. It's one of my favorite songs of the year.

I mentioned "Pretty Brown" in a post last week and it's a little easier to swallow on repeat listens. Thankfully, the album really picks up during the last few tracks, including the slow burner "The Flowers" and "Dear John," a break-up letter that makes me wonder if it's directed at her former record label.

As with Jadakiss and a couple of other artists this year, Amerie's switch in creative direction could ostracize her loyal fans in her search for a new audience. I hope it works out for her. Meanwhile, I'll just reminisces about the love we had.

Best tracks: "Why R U," "The Flowers," "Pretty Brown"

3.5 stars out of 5
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

There's plenty going on in the media world these days and if I ever finish grading the mountain of essays on my dining room table I will actually sit down and write some thoughtful posts about the latest happenings. Until then, here's a roundup:

YMY gets props
Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, a book which includes an essay by yours truly, made Publisher's Weekly Top 100 Books of 2009. Yay us!
C-Breezy's Comeback?
Vibe magazine, which folded in June, will soon be resurrected by a group of new editors and owners. Their celeb pick for the first cover? Chris Brown. Click here to read more.

Sex and the Simpsons
The ladies at wrote about Playboy's announcement that Marge Simpson will grace the cover of this month's issue of the magazine. Chloe Angyal wrote: "Given its long-standing tradition of printing photos of women whose bodies look like cartoonish exaggerations of the female form, it was only a matter of time before Playboy gave up on human women altogether, and started putting actual cartoons in the centerfold."

image via

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Some of you may have noticed that a couple of months ago the name I had listed under "Our Crew" and on my Facebook page changed from Javacia N. Harris to Javacia Harris Bowser. Though this change may be a small one, it actually marked a great turning point in my life as a devoted wife and dedicated feminist.

Like most young feminists I really struggled with the decision of whether or not to take my husband's name when we married three years ago. When I was younger I had always planned on hyphenating Harris and my future husband's surname. But I later decided that with a first name like Javacia I didn't need to make my handle any more complicated.

Then I got engaged in 2006 and had to make up my mind, for real. Being a feminist, the fact that women are expected to change their names, but men are not, makes my blood boil, obviously, but my struggle was more personal than political. I not only worried that a new name would make me feel like less of myself, but as a journalist I feared it would hurt my professional life as well. My byline was Javacia N. Harris and I wanted to keep it that way.

Most of my friends, especially those with Y-chromosomes, didn't make the situation any easier. They told me I would be emasculating my husband if I didn't take his name and that if we're not going to share the same last name there's no point in even getting married. One guy told me he'd call me by my husband's last name whether I changed it or not and another even tried to bring race into the matter by saying: "Black men can't have anything in this world. They should at least be able to have their women." Thanks for comparing me to 40 acres and mule, pal.

In the midst of this madness my husband was calm and cool. He told me he'd be honored if I took his name, but that the decision was all mine.

In the end I cheated. I took my husband's last name legally, but continued to use my maiden name professionally. So I got to keep my pretty byline. But having two names proved to be difficult. I thought about changing my name back to Javacia Harris, but the hurt in my husband's eyes at that suggestion was too much to bear. So I decided to change my name again. I simply did what most women do nowadays and took my maiden name as my middle name, something I initially resisted because most of my close family members refer to me as Nicole or Niki.

I know changing my name to Javacia Harris Bowser and using it as my social and professional name is no revolutionary act, but for me it is an act that is symbolic of just how much marriage has revolutionized my life.

During my first year of marriage I was so consumed with making sure I didn't lose my identity I almost lost my husband in the process. I pushed him away and held so fiercely to my independence that we couldn't be true partners. But my husband had the patience of a tree and inspired me to be just as understanding to his needs. Eventually, I came around. My husband, a man of unshakable faith, also motivated me to deepening my relationship with God. I have never felt as close to God and such peace about my spirituality as I do now.

In the Bible, God will sometimes change a person's name to symbolize a change of heart. In a way, I feel that's what has happened here. I no longer feel the need to keep my family life in a box. I now know that my love for my husband is not a threat to my love for myself. Wife is a part of my identity that I can cherish and that can make me a better person. Having the name Javacia Harris Bowser will be a constant reminder that Javacia Harris -- the independent, ambitious feminist -- and Javacia Bowser -- the loving, supportive wife -- can peacefully co-exist.
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