Thursday, December 31, 2009






It's finally here! It's New Year's Eve, my favorite night of the year. 


Though we’ve been married for almost four years, my love for New Year's Eve is one thing about me hubster simply cannot understand. New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday. “Better than my birthday,” I always say. And so this day must be celebrated with dinner, dancing, drinks and good music. It must be celebrated with the drunken strangers I hug at midnight, my closest friends and my parents. In fact, every year I call my parents after midnight to wish them a happy new year, even if that means hunkering down in a disgusting public restroom so they can hear me. And one of the text messages you receive in several, “HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!” will probably be from me.


For many people Christmastime is a season full of magic and hope. Well, that’s exactly what New Year’s Eve is for me. In lieu of making New Year’s resolutions, each December I dream up adventures for the coming year. Like a child writing a list of all she hopes Santa will bring her, I’ve spent the past few weeks drafting a ridiculously long list of aspirations (99 to be exact) for 2010. I know I won’t accomplish all of these goals; I never do. But each December 31 everything within me believes that I can. Today is no different. I'm so excited for 2010 I could pop. Today and every New Year’s Eve I really feel like I can do anything. December 31 is a night of magic, a day of dreams, and that’s why it’s my favorite holiday. 
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Today we'll take a look at my Top 5 albums of the year. If you missed albums 6-10, check 'em out here.


Did your favorite make it to No. 1? If you're a Chris Brown fan, sadly, no. Actually, if you're a Chris Brown fan, you have many, many, MANY things to be sad about.


Let's go!


5. Cam'ron, Crime Pays







You know how I give you guys and gals a hard time for enjoying bottom-feeders like Hurricane Chris and Gucci Mane? Well, Cam'ron is my Gucci Mane. Except Cam has talent.


Look beyond the goofy slang and bizarre wardrobe and you'll get a glimpse of his true talent. No track better illustrates this than "My Job," 2009's working-class anthem: "I woke up late, didn't even have a shower/Lunch break? Give me a break, a d*** half an hour/all this bulls*** for 12 bucks an hour?/plug me to Chuck D, wanna Fight the Powers." Who can't relate to that?


But my favorite song of all of 2009 has to be "Get It In Ohio" - simply put, a braggadocios East Coast rap over an intimidating beat. Y'all know I like my rappers middle-aged and bitter. Now it wouldn't be a Cam'Ron album without its share of coonery (the final track is so horrendous I won't even name it here) but when Cam is focused, he's one of the best. Too bad it doesn't happen very often.


Check out: "My Job," the hilarious "Woo Hoo"


4. Clipse, Til The Casket Drops







I always do my best to judge an album on its own merits. Sadly, most people who have reviewed Til The Casket Drops haven't followed that advice. The most frequent comment I see about the Clipse's third set is "it ain't as good as their last albums." Yes, that's true, but that doesn't mean this isn't excellent in its own right.


No, "Kinda Like A Big Deal" was no "Grindin," but it was just as solid thanks to the Thornton brothers' always impeccable lyrics and a noteworthy verse from 2009's favorite punching bag, Kanye West. "I'm Good," with Pharrell and his high-pitch warbling, doesn't match "Wamp Wamp," but that didn't stop it from being my anthem this summer. I'll admit that this album was oddly glossy and upbeat compared to their previous efforts but that's OK - one can't live in the past forever.


Check out: "I'm Good," "Counseling"



3. Method Man & Redman, Blackout! 2

My review


2009 could be labeled the year of the comeback. Eminem did it, Maxwell did it, Cam'ron did it, and yes, Meth & Red pulled it off too. If they failed, no one would have been shocked - both were thought to be in the twilight of their years, with albums nearly a decade old being their main claim to fame. Oh, but they proved there was still gas in the tank. And knowing those two, probably lots of weed, too.


The sequel to 1999's critically acclaimed Blackout!, BO2 features the duo doing what they do best - weaving tales that are as intricate as they are insane. These dudes are all about having a good time. Even when they venture out of their comfort zone, like flirting with auto-tune on "Hey Zulu" or getting crunk with Bun B on "City Lights," everything clicks.


For most of 2009, this was my album of the year, before it was recently overthrown.


Check out: "A-Yo," "Father's Day"


2. Alicia Keys, The Element of Freedom







My review


The last album I purchased in 2009 wound up being one of the year's best. As I said in my review, this album was all about pain, and her pain became our pleasure. But this album is great not because hearing someone's trouble makes us feel better - no, it's the risks she takes that take this set to another level.


You'll barely recognize her vocals on "This Bed" and "Love Is Blind," but the twist gives us new insight into themes we've heard a hundred times before. "Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart" certainly doesn't sound like an A. Keys track, but she makes it her own - tough to do when she could have been easily lost in the beat. She even breaks down Jay-Z's played out "Empire State of Mind" to freshen things up.


Only a couple of missteps (that Beyonce song...ugh) kept this album from first place. That honor goes to...



1. Raekwon, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Part 2







Take everything I said about comebacks in the Method Man & Redman section and multiply that by 1,000. Even though I'm a pretty big Wu-Tang Clan fan, I had sadly written off Raekwon as a one-hit wonder. His 1995 album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, was revolutionary, and even though in later years he had a decent verse here and there, he never came close to regaining his initial success.


But then a funny thing started happening this year. Slowly Rae's songs were being leaked online and they were good. REALLY good. Anticipation built for the Cuban Linx sequel, but I remained skeptical (shocking, I know). But when the album hit, it was like the summer 1995 all over again.


Gone were Rae's stilted raps of the late 90s - he returned to form with the most complete rap album to hit the streets in a long time. Cuban Linx 2 has it all - stellar storytelling ("Fat Lady Sings"), posse cuts ("House of Flying Daggers"), razor-sharp lyrics ("Surgical Gloves") and even a heartfelt tribute to the fallen ODB ("Ason Jones"). A must for rap fans.


Check out: The entire album!
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What a difference a month makes.


Earlier this month, I told the wifey that I didn't plan on compiling an end-of-the-year music extravaganza. Why? Because outside of a handful of albums, I've found most of this year's releases to be overhyped, disappointing or, in the case of Gucci Mane, just plain stupid. I didn't want to write about a bunch of albums I barely liked.


But I guess the record execs were saving the best for last - December saw an influx of solid releases, rescuing this list from the bowels of mediocrity.


Don't get me wrong, '09 had its share of heat. But I'm hopeful for stronger albums in 2010. Maybe your hero Drake can save the day. But I'm doubtful. Cuz I'm a hater like that.


But first, let's look back at the year that was...


10. Eminem, Relapse





Eminem certainly had an eventful year - from beefing with Betty Boop and Steve Urkel to sniffing some guy's butt, Em stayed in the spotlight. And while you'll find Relapse topping most critics' list of best of albums of the year, I wasn't as impressed. Sure, it had its moments, like the sinister "3 a.m.," but Em's Triumph the Insult Dog accent - used on a ton of the songs on the set - got really old and distracting. Still, Em's razor-sharp wit and impressive metaphors ("Soon as my flow starts/I compose art like the ghost of Mozart") kept me coming back for more.


Check out: "3 a.m.," "Stay Wide Awake"


9. Robin Thicke, Sex Therapy: The Experience




 My review


Thicke has always frustrated me - his albums are good, but never quite reach "great" territory. Sex Therapy comes closest to getting over the hump.


Ahem.


Thicke's probably the best crooner of this generation - he's not as whiny as Ne-Yo and not as certainly asinine as The-Dream. Give him a steamy track like "Sex Therapy" and watch him work his magic. The album is bogged down by too many unnecessary guests, but it's certainly worthy of being put into your slow-jam rotation.


Check out: "Mona Lisa," "It's In The Mornin'"







8. Timbaland, Shock Value 2 (Deluxe Edition)







Did I miss the memo? Since when has it been cool to hate on Timbo? The atrocious reviews for Shock Value 2 call him a sellout, overrated - everything but a child of God, as the old church ladies say. Mmmmhmmm, chiiille, they sho' do.


I found the album refreshing. Yes, Tim is a horrible rapper but his creativity more than makes up for his feeble wordplay. And yes, he decided to work with obscure rock artists rather than his usual buddies. But that's what gives this album character - its unpredictability. Sometimes the album is too goofy for its own good (the Justin Timberlake and Miley Cyrus songs, for example) but I welcome the change of pace.


Any album that turns me on to Nickelback and the Fray deserves a look.


Check out: "Meet In Tha Middle," "Undertow"




7. Ghostface Killah, Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City





My review


Yet another album that received unwarranted hate. How come when Lil Wayne and company release songs saying "Call me Mr. Flintstone/I can make your bed rock" it's "hot" but when Ghost tries to play the role of cupid he gets his wings clipped? Tuning out this album simply because it has an R&B theme is doing yourself a great disservice. Ghost hops from track to track touching on maturity ("Baby"), heartbreak ("Lonely") and falling in love ("Paragraphs of Love") all while sticking to his gritty roots. This is grown folks' music, y'all.


And for those who just wanna get freaky, "Stapleton Sex" is for you. But I'm warning you - you'll need to take a shower after listening to it.


He could have kept the lowbrow club songs, but I welcome Ghostface's newfound maturity. Tell 'em about it, Ghost:


"You gotta tell the fans that you not gettin' no younger here, we gettin' older! And everybody don't sell crack no more, man. I don't sell crack, yo....I ain't movin' no bricks or none of that other s***. I ain't shoot nobody in like since the early 90's, man."


The power of love keeps Ghost from shooting people. I guess.


Check out: "Guest House," "Forever"


6. Maxwell, BLACKsummers' night





My review


I was never a huge Maxwell fan. I'd say he was, gasp, overrated. That's until I heard BLACKsummers'night. While I found a lot of his earlier work sleepy and dull, this year Maxwell left the bushy hair at home and brought the funk.


Many lamented the album's lack of sex appeal but who cares when you're jamming to a track like "Help Somebody?" Sure it's corny, but it's full of energy thanks to the percussion and brass backing up Maxwell. Those great arrangements bring life to the sultry "Bad Habits" and Prince-ish "Fistful of Tears." The album's extremely short running time was my only complaint - I hope we don't have to wait another eight years for him to resurface.


Check out: "Cold," "Bad Habits"


Join us tomorrow for the Top 5 albums of the year! Did Jay-Z make the cut? Alicia Keys? Or Rihanna?


I'll tell you right now, you gotta be crazy if you think Rihanna made it. Sorry.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Well, it's that time again for that "Slept On" artist that you may have heard of, but doesn't receive the recognition he or she deserves. This week, Ryan Leslie has the privilege of being the last artist featured for the year.  This D.C. native is a singer, rapper and producer. But he's not only a musical genius. He scored a 1600 on the SATs at age 15 and graduated from Harvard at 19. 


Leslie has produced songs for Cassie, Keri Hilson and various Bad Boy artists. He just released his second album on his own label NextSelection titled Transition. Enjoy!


-- Desiree

Progressive Soul Mondays: Opening minds and eradicating foolery, coonery, and buffoonery, one Monday at a time®










"I-R-I-N-A," Ryan Leslie


Also check out "You're Fly."








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Friday, December 25, 2009


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Thursday, December 24, 2009

I don't really like Christmas.

This may come as a surprise to those familiar with my "joy to the world" attitude and to those who know that when I say "Jesus is my homeboy" I mean it. But for quite some time the Christmas season has been one of my least favorite times of the year (second only to tax season.)

I can trace these feelings back to my childhood. When I was growing up my parents struggled financially so I knew I would never find the latest and greatest in toys, electronics and fashion waiting for me beneath our tiny tree. Fortunately, I was mature enough as a kid to recognize that my parents worked hard and did their best and I was always grateful for the gifts they gave and, most important, their love. However, this maturity was not strong enough to fight off the feelings of jealousy and inadequacy that would simmer when my friends bragged about their lavish gifts. 

By my teenage years I'd learned that Christmas should really be about family and faith and my bouts of gift envy subsided. Unfortunately, this was also around the time my parents would without fail fight about something each and every Christmas. From what neighborhood we'd drive around to look at Christmas lights to which grandmother we'd visit first they always found something to turn into the argument of the year. So once again Christmas was a day of disappointment.

Then I met my husband. 

Yes, he spoils me rotten. This year, for example, he told me I deserved 12 days of Christmas, not just one, and has been surprising me with gifts since December 14, including the latest albums by Joss Stone and Norah Jones and that Hello Kitty robe I'd been coveting. Edward has restored my love for the holiday season however, not by simply buying me stuff. (I'm not that shallow, people!)

He has expelled my down-with-Christmas attitude by helping me remember that despite the family fights and the fact that I never got those British Knights, I have many great holiday memories to outweigh the bad ones -- from listening to my dad sing The Temptations' rendition of "Silent Night" to sitting with my brother eating holiday Reese's cups until our stomachs ache (both of which I still do now).

Best of all, Edward and I are creating Christmas traditions of our own, such as listening to our special Christmas mixtape (which features tracks by artists ranging from Nat King Cole to TLC) while we decorate our apartment.   

Now that I'm living in Birmingham again I have the opportunity to enjoy this season basking in the love and traditions that I share with my family and with my husband and celebrating the birth and life of Christ and because of that tomorrow will truly be a Merry Christmas. 

Now if only someone could do something to improve tax time... 
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Many of you may be planning to catch a movie with the family on Christmas day after filling up on ham, stuffing and pie. I have yet to check out The Princess and the Frog, which presents Disney's first black princess, but I've heard rave reviews from pals who have viewed the film. 


Rose Afriyie at Feministing.com recently wrote an intriguing post on the film stating that despite being a princess tale (which typically promotes "being saved through partnership") the movie actually has several feminist qualities.  She writes:


As a feminist, I was highly skeptical when I heard about Disney's first black princess... But as ... the reviews came in from trusted peers, I decided to look past the whole princess/amphibian bit to see for myself what the first black princess was really all about.


And... I really enjoyed myself. That's because the themes of entrepreneurship and division of labor in the household were so crucial to the film it was kryptonite for any red-blooded feminist. The idea that men can and should play a role in food preparation and that women can own their own business while building viable, healthy relationships was so groundbreaking for a movie with the word "princess" in the title. For this, Disney deserves their props.




Click here to read more and if you've seen the movie already or catch it over the holiday, please share your thoughts. 

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

After weeks of voting, compiling, and one late night of sorting through all those entries, we now present to you GeorgiaMae's Top 10 Christmas songs!


Next time I try something like this, remind me to get the wife to hire an assistant.


Before we get into things, a couple of thoughts:


- I was totally shocked by the lack of votes for songs featuring the Jackson 5. There were ZERO entries for "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" and "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town." I figured they'd be all over the list, especially with Michael still on our minds and the Jacksons reality show on our TVs.


...Ugh, now I realize what hurt their votes.


- Although it didn't make the list, one reader voted for a song I had never heard before - "What You Want For Christmas" by the 69 Boyz. Yes, the dudes from the "Tootsie Roll" song. They should have named it "Santa Goes Straight to the Ghetto Part 2," especially when the girl says she wants fingernails and free rent for Christmas. This holiday gem is available for your listening pleasure via our new blog playlist. It will also feature today's winners.


Here we go!



Honorable mention - Silver Bells


- Brings back memories of elementary school Christmas programs. Don't act like y'all don't remember shaking those stupid bells.



10. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas


- Need a laugh to make your season bright? Check out the Isley Brothers' rendition of this song. I reviewed their Christmas album last year.


I didn't say it was any good, I said check it out. I'll bet you 10 Christmas cookies Ron was drunk when he recorded it. His ad-libs are embarrassing.



9. The Christmas Song


- True, this is a Christmas classic, but you wanna know what always bugged me about this song? The bland, nondescript title. It's so plain. It's like someone releasing a track called Love Song. Who would do that? Oh, wait. My bad.



8. Gee Whiz It's Christmas


- Did you know Carla Thomas also had a song called "Gee Whiz Look At His Eyes?" Why is she so obsessed with the phrase "gee whiz?' Maybe she's the obsessive type - listen closely to the lyrics of "Gee Whiz It's Christmas" and it sounds like she's stalking some poor guy. If I were him, I wouldn't go to that party that she's throwwww-wing!



7. Merry Christmas Baby


- True story - I had never even heard of this song until I met my wife. Somehow it totally evaded my childhood. But y'all certainly knew it - votes were flying in for it.



6. & 5. White Christmas/All I Want For Christmas Is You


- "All I Want For Christmas" rocketed through the list at the last minute to tie with the timeless "White Christmas." Don't let me find out Mariah Carey stuffed the ballot box. The way she stuffs herself in those dresses of hers it wouldn't surprise me.



4. O Holy Night


- 'Bout time one of those "true reason for the season" songs made an appearance on the list. But I can't get preachy when my favorite Christmas tunes are about depression and old folks gettin' freaky.Bold


3. This Christmas


- People can't get enough of Donny Hathaway's Christmas classic, and for good reason. It just puts you in a cheery holiday mood. But I prefer Patti LaBelle's rendition. No offense to Donny but when that lady screams "you better shake somebody's hand!" she could get Osama to give Dick Cheney pound.



2. Silent Night


- "Wooo-hooo-hooo-hooooooooooooooooooo!" Everyone has their favorite version, but according to the majority GeorgiaMae readers, the Temptations own this song. No argument here. This was the song that I was certain would take first place. It made a late rally for the top spot at the 11th hour but it was not meant to be, for our winner is...



1. Let It Snow


- Young readers, there was a time when Boyz II Men were 1,000 times bigger than Drake could ever hope to be (yeah, I said it). At the height of their popularity, they teamed up with Brian McKnight and crafted a modern-day classic (is 1993 still considered modern-day?). This song isn't even 20 years old, yet it has become synonymous with the holidays for young and old alike. Your holiday isn't complete without hearing this song. My one Christmas wish? I hope Nathan got a haircut - he looks like a Christmas tree in a sweater in the video.



Merry Christmas, everybody!


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Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Contributed by Karie


Dating is fun. Surprises are not. It’s important for singles to not get caught up in the excitement of possible love, the discovery of new love, and an end to dinner for one. Singles looking for that special someone should take enough time getting to know their potential mate, before diving too deep. 


Nothing is more devastating than planning to spend your life with someone only to realize you never really knew the person to whom you have committed.  There's nothing worse than having to share news of a broken heart, a fight, a breakup, a cheating mate, or in some cases, divorce. So what’s enough time?

Take enough time to see the representative leave. According to my guy friends, all fellas send their “representative.” The rep is that guy from your dreams. He’s attentive, respectful, and is prepped to tell you everything you want to hear to convince you that he's your “one.” Eventually, the dream characteristics start to fade and his true self will appear.

If the rep tells you he loves kids, watch his reaction when you offer to babysit your nephew for a couple of days. If the rep tells you he attends church, invite him to Sunday service. If the rep tells you he’s into helping others, arrange to have a date where you two volunteer at a soup kitchen. If his actions do not jibe with the rep’s sales pitch, get away fast! Take enough time to get to know your mate.





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 tracykarie@yahoo.com.
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Today's the last day to vote for your top three favorite Christmas songs. I must admit, the findings have been a bit surprising.


For those of you living under a lump of coal for the past few weeks, all you need to do is share your three top Christmas songs (with No. 1 being your absolute favorite) either by leaving them in the comments section of this post, on the wall of the Georgia Mae Facebook group page (If you're not a member, search for GeorgiaMae on My Mind) or e-mail your top three picks to javacia@georgiamae.com or edward@georgiamae.com.


We'll accept submissions until 5 p.m. CT. Join us tomorrow for the results!
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Monday, December 21, 2009






Robin Thicke


Sex Therapy: The Experience (released December 15, 2009)




I've probably mentioned this before, but I'm 80 percent sure my wife would leave me for Robin Thicke if he gave her the time of day. Ever since his first album, 2003's often-forgotten A Beautiful World, that man could do no wrong in her eyes.


That is, until she heard "Shakin' It 4 Daddy" featuring Lil Wayne's hideous mistress Nicki Minaj. For those of you who haven't had the (dis)pleasure of hearing her, lump her in the category of rappers your 11-year-old cousin says are "hot in the streets," like Gucci Mane and Lil Boosie.


Gotta agree with the wifey, it's probably the worst song he has ever made. I don't buy Thicke's albums to hear talk about how he "be on that money s***."


But don't be totally turned off. Sex Therapy: The Experience has lots to offer.


Like Alicia's Keys' latest album, Thicke experiments with a new sound - for him, it's a sound that's immersed in hip hop. Although "Shakin' It 4 Daddy" sounds like a reject Trey Songz track, most fare slightly better. Surprisingly, his trademark falsetto doesn't get lost in the thumping bass of "Elevatas." And "Meiple" features Thicke trading raps with Jay-Z of all people - and it doesn't sound too bad.


Still, I don't know about you, but I don't buy a Robin Thicke album to hear him sound like one of those kids from 106 & Park. The first single "Sex Therapy" is the man we all know and the ladies (especially the wife) all love. Same goes for the gentle "2 Luv Birds" and "Mona Lisa" - they possess that slow groove that thrust him into the spotlight.


Unfortunately, as much as I like it, "Jus Right" sounds a bit too much like his breakout hit "Lost Without U." Maybe that's why he decided to go the hip-hop route in the first place. If that's the case, I wish there were more songs like "It's In The Mornin," with Snoop Dogg. Although Snoop tries to dominate the song (he has two verses instead of the usual one that guest rappers get), Thicke's the true star once those horns start backing him up.


As good as this album is it could have been so much more. Next time, I hope Thicke leaves his rapper friends at home. But when Thicke sticks to script, he's one of the best at his craft.


Now I just have to find a way to keep this guy from stealing my wife.






Best tracks: "Sex Therapy," "2 Luv Birds," "It's In The Mornin"


4 stars out of 5
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Muhsinah, dubbed "The Golden Girl" (no relation to Blanche or Dorothy) hails from D.C. She has independently released three albums of her own, and had collaborated with a slew of artists from The Foreign Exchange to Common. Enjoy!


-- Desiree





"Construction" 


Also check out "Gogh Again" also by Muhsinah.
 
"Progressive Soul Mondays: Opening minds and eradicating foolery, coonery and buffoonery, one Monday at a time"®
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Brittany Murphy, the bubbly, free-spirited actress who appeared in such films as "Clueless" and "8 Mile," died Sunday, apparently of natural causes. She was 32. See CNN.com for more. 


Jezebel also has more on Murphy's death. 
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Friday, December 18, 2009


Alicia Keys

The Element of Freedom (released December 2009)



After listening to Alicia's newest album, I came to a very sound conclusion - she must have had some crappy boyfriends since we last heard from her on 2007's As I Am. The majority of The Element of Freedom's tracks either deal with getting over heartbreak or convincing herself (and her friends) that her new man isn't as bad as he seems.


But great albums are born from pain. Ask Mary J. Blige. And while The Element of Freedom is no My Life, it's close. Really close.

"Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart," her latest single, might have a depressing title but listen deeper and the song is more about triumph than tragedy. It's odd to hear Alicia over such a thumping bass but I love the change in direction. And speaking of strength, "That's How Strong My Love Is" seems self-explanatory, but check out Alicia's tender vocals. Any other artist would have used such powerful lyrics as an excuse to scream all over the place (coughFantasiacough) but Alicia's delicate touch only adds to the experience.


That out-of-the-box approach is what makes this album a winner. Alicia took the freedom theme to heart as she dabbles in all sorts of sounds. "Love Is My Disease" is infused with Jamacian beats, "This Bed" is right out of Prince's playbook (she even does his squealing "baay-bay!" ad-libs) and "Un-Thinkable" is straight-up old school, smoldering R&B.

Y'all know I love that.

Even her first single "Doesn't Mean Anything," which I found pretty mundane when it was first released, sounds a little better nestled in the context of the album. I can't say the same for "Put It In A Love Song," which features Beyonce and lyrically sounds like a less ghetto version of her "Video Phone" track. It's very out of place but I'm sure the kids will love it.

Her heart is in the right place on "Distance And Time," an ode to long-distance love, but it's pretty unremarkable - and that's coming from someone with lots of experience with long-distance love. And choppy lyrics and tired metaphors kinda hurt "Like The Sea."


The lack of a true standout single stops the album short of becoming a classic (her revamped version of "Empire State of Mind" could have done the trick, if Jay-Z's version wasn't already so played out). Still, Alicia has produced one of the strongest albums of her career, and likely the best R&B album of the year.

That should help cheer her up.



Best tracks: "Un-Thinkable," "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart," "That's How Strong My Love Is"




4 stars out of 5
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Ladies, as if you needed more reason to despise 50 Cent, check out his latest take on what Tiger Woods should have done to better control his harem. From mirror.co.uk:


Fear factor - you need a little fear there, a woman need to feel that maybe he's going to snap, 'So I ain't going to say that.' With Tiger there's no fear there. They be like, 'He left a message on my phone, he say he love me. He was going to leave her.' And he says, 'Hey it's Tiger baby I was trying to get my freak on a little later - if you could call me back.' D*** - he's been tried and convicted when his wife hears that."




Fellas, it's cool if you break your marriage vows. Just make sure your mistresses are too afraid of you to snitch and it's all good.


I won't even point out the obvious stupidity about instilling fear in women. But something else crossed my mind while reading this nonsense.


Although watching 50 slaughter the English language is hilarious ("They be like, 'He left a message on my phone, he say he love me") I think its sad that there's a segment of the population criticizing Tiger not for cheating on his wife, but for being stupid enough to get caught.


Most people, even Fiddy, know that intimidation is wrong. But fostering a "what they don't know won't hurt them" mentality, especially in young people, will create a generation that doesn't take accountability for their actions. Trust me on this: back in Louisville I mentored a group of young dudes, many of whom couldn't wait to grow up - not to becoming working adults, no, they couldn't wait to start juggling as many women as they can. Seriously, they told me this.


We've gotta keep our kids from thinking - and talking - like 50 and friends.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009




While at work the other day, I was reading through Billboard's Decade Awards.


And don't y'all get holier-than-thou on a brother surfing the 'Net at work. I bet 98% of the people reading this post now are on the clock.


And we love each and every one of you for it!


Anyway, my boy Timbaland was named songwriter of the decade for his contributions on 63 (!) songs that charted over the past 10 years. Many of you know I'm a big supporter of Tim. I was down with his work waaaaay back in the day when he was producing songs for Jodeci. That's back when Missy Elliott had those fingerwaves and Magoo was doing nothing. My, how times change. Except for Magoo.


Therefore, it pained me to hear that Tim is ready to hang it up. From MTV.com:


"I was done with hip-hop a long time ago. Once my generation left, I left. I do it, but there's nobody from my generation besides Jay who's doing it. I look at Lil Wayne as being from my generation. Some people are still acceptable. Kanye is acceptable from my generation.



After my last album, I know where my bread and butter is at. I know 75 percent [of the people who buy my album] are women who love Timbaland and most are the women who watch 'Desperate Housewives' and all those others.



I did this research. It's the women who watch 'Sex and the City,' 'Desperate Housewives' — all the real go-to-the-bar women like Timbaland, and mostly European women.



It lets me know that my fanbase is mostly women and they are from all cultures. So it's not a person who loves mostly hip-hop. It's a person who loves everything besides hip-hop.


So according to Timbaland, I'm a European fan of Desperate Housewives.


Tim has been crying wolf for years. Starting with Aaliyah's passing, every three or four years he'll say he's ready to retire. Then he'll make a gajillion dollars with Justin Timberlake and stick around.


One part of his tirade resonated with me, though: "I was done with hip-hop a long time ago. Once my generation left, I left."


I can relate. Many of the artists I grew up with either have vanished or have lost their luster, paving the way for a crop of young'ns that wear their little sisters' jeans, giggle through their verses, and come up with ridiculous adlibs. Brrrrrr.


It has to be hard to continue to make music when you don't even like it anymore. Maybe that's why Tim's latest album, Shock Value 2, featured hardly any hip hop.


I guess I really am a European woman, seeing that I'm the only person on Earth who liked that album.


Oh well. I would hate to see him go, but I'd rather he vanish than stick around if his heart isn't in it. But something tells me that he'll hang around just a bit longer. Like me, no matter how much hip hop sucks, you can't let it go. Tim ain't going anywhere just yet.


Call it woman's intuition.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009






Did y'all know Chris Brown's latest album, Graffiti, was released last week?


Probably not, because I doubt y'all bought it. And that's why Chris Breezy has been whining. Check this out, from this Twitter page:


im tired of this sh*t. major stores r blackballing my cd. not stockin the shelves and lying to costumers. what the f**k do i gotta do... ... yeah i said it and i aint retracting sh*t im not biting my tongue about sh*t else... the industry can kiss my a**,"


Waah, waah, waah.


According to him, his album sales have been slow because he is being blackballed by retailers. Of course, I'm sure it didn't cross his mind that maybe people just don't like him anymore.


But I don't like being the bearer of bad news.


Who am I kidding, of course I do. But he wasn't done fussing yet:


"JUST WAS AT WALMART IN Wallingford CT,844 north colony.. the didnt even have my album in the back... not on shelves, saw for myself."


Billboard.com decided to investigate for themselves. According to surveys and store visits, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and others all have the album. So there.


I spent a lot of time shopping last week and I saw plenty of copies of that coaster lying around. I wouldn't mind getting a copy to review but I'm not going to spend my hard-earned money on it, especially on the same week the Clipse's new album was released (rap fans, after reading this post go get that album immediately).


Maybe that's the problem. His sales woes might not be because the music industry is out to get him - maybe his stuff just sucks. His new single, "Crawl," gives me acid reflux. Plus, he lost most of his fan base (i.e., little girls who don't know any better) after the Rihanna fiasco. Still, "I Can Transform Ya," did pretty well and Graffiti is projected to sell 100,000 copies in its first week, which isn't horrible but is a huge dropoff from his last release.


I hate to admit it, but if he wanted to rebound from his bad press, he should have pulled an R. Kelly. That man admitted on national TV that he chases after teenagers but as long as he continues to put out catchy songs like "Number One," no one cares. For Kellz, it was just business as usual. You never heard him whining about retailers.


Chris better stop complaining about Wal-Mart if he knows what's good for him. At this rate, he's already on track to wear a blue smock and hand out smiley-face stickers to little kids at a SuperCenter near you.
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Y'all have shown us lots of love by participating in GeorgiaMae's Top Christmas Songs list. The feedback has been tremendous.


For those of you who still haven't shared your favorites, what are you waiting for? There's still plenty of time left.


Here's all you need to do - share your three top Christmas songs (with No. 1 being your absolute favorite) either by leaving them in the comments section of this post, on the wall of the Georgia Mae Facebook group page (If you're not a member, do a quick search for GeorgiaMae on My Mind) or e-mail your top three picks to javacia@georgiamae.com or edward@georgiamae.com. I'll unveil the list Dec. 23.




Don't be afraid to represent for your favorite song! If you leave it up to me, it'll wind up being a Keith Sweat Christmas.



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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Blogger James Chartrand made an announcement yesterday that had cyberspace abuzz. Yesterday James revealed he is a woman. 


James --  she's still using the pseudonym and hasn't revealed her real name --  started blogging to help support her children and herself during a rough financial time. She decided to use a male pen name so she wouldn't be associated with her business, which was struggling at the time. But after taking on this male pen name, she said, "Instantly, jobs became easier to get. There was no haggling. There were compliments, there was respect. Clients hired me quickly, and when they received their work, they liked it just as quickly. There were fewer requests for revisions — often none at all. Customer satisfaction shot through the roof. So did my pay rate."


As Jezebel editor Anna North noted in her post on the announcement, this story suggests that despite the success of BlogHer and the mommy blogger movement, the blogosphere may not be as egalitarian as some people claim. 

And that's a shame considering over 50% of bloggers are women. 


All this, however, got me to thinking about how people of color with names that are considered "ethnic" often feel the need to change their handles to succeed. A friend of mine named Alejandro once told me that after he changed his name to Al on his resumes he received phone calls from the same companies that ignored him before, even though his qualifications had not changed. He turned down those jobs and fortunately soon found a business that didn't have a probably adding an Alejandro to its staff. 


Is trading your name for a male or non-ethnic pseudonym so that you can get a job a good way to change the system from the inside or are you simply erasing your identity and failing to challenge the status quo? 



I don't have an answer, honestly. I think a valid argument could be made for both. 



North mentioned a post James wrote last year titled "Would You Become Someone Else To Achieve Your Dreams?" in which James writes, "Think about how you would react if someone told you that who you are is holding you back – and you knew they were right. This person tells you that if you were someone else, you could live your dream...If you had the chance to be someone else, would you do it? Would you take on a role that makes opportunity possible, makes life easier, and makes your dreams become reality? More importantly… who would you be?


Thoughts?
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Monday, December 14, 2009

This weekend I was featured on the website Girl-Drive.com where I gave my two cents on feminism, race and faith. 


On October 15, 2007 Emma Bee Bernstein and Nona Willis Aronowitz hit the road in a Chevy Cavalier (Hey, that's what I drive too!) to photograph and interview young women around the country in hopes of discovering what we find most important. 


The result of that road trip was the book, Girl Drive: Criss-crossing America, Redefining Feminism, which was published in October. 


Emma and Nona have kept the conversation going on their blog Girl-Drive.com, inviting young feminists, especially those from the South (a demographic they felt was underrepresented in the book) to share their thoughts on life as a young woman and the meaning of feminism. 


Check out what I had to say and feel free to add your two cents too!



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I'm sure most of you have heard of Soulquarians -- the musical collective that consists of The Roots, D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, the late, great Dilla and Bilal. 


And you probably remember Bilal's debut classic 1st Born Second, but what you probably didn't know is that Bilal had a second album, Love for Sale, that because of being heavily leaked online never saw the light of day. 


So today Progressive Soul Mondays presents two of the cuts off the album that probably would have been his second classic.


-- Desiree


"Hollywood" -- Bilal


"Make Me Over" -- Bilal


Progressive Soul Mondays: Opening minds and eradicating foolery, coonery, and buffoonery, one Monday at a time®
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Perhaps.

Check out the L.A. Times article "Frank talk with Lady GaGa" and decide for yourself.



image via


Pop music critic Ann Powers writes:

Her new songs address serious themes like women's shame about their bodies and the need for open communication in relationships; her often physically distorting costumes show that the pursuit of the feminine ideal is far from natural. Her commitment to confront the changing notion of what's "natural" puts Gaga on the same road traveled by artists she admires, such as the photographer Cindy Sherman. Her frank talk about how female artists aren't expected to write their own songs or about how young women are afraid to ask for what they need from their sexual partners inches her toward a new articulation of feminism.



Nona Willis Aronowitz, co-author of the new book Girldrive: Criss-Crossing America, Redefining Feminism had this to add on the topic:

"If you ask somebody where you see sexism in your life, all they think of is the old stuff," said Willis told the L.A. Times. "Equal pay, that's not really on their radar. Domestic violence and rape aren't necessarily in the forefront. But you ask about double standards or restrictive gender roles, they don't think of that as sexism; they think of that as the way it is. That's kind of like what Lady Gaga is talking about."
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