Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bud & flower
photo by Matt Ryall

All month long I was looking forward to receiving my first Reverb11 prompt in my e-mail inbox on Dec. 1. Then last night I learned that wasn't going to happen. Gwen Bell, one of the Reverb creators, sent a message to all of us reverbers saying she wouldn't be hosting #Reverb11 this year. The party was over. And I was heartbroken, but only for a few seconds. 

In her email Gwen Bell encouraged us to start Reverb11 projects of our own and so I decided to do just that. 

For those of you wondering what the heck is a Reverb, let me explain. It started last year as Reverb10. We participating bloggers received a prompt each day in December that encouraged us to reflect on the past year and manifest great things for the year to come. 

So I spent some time today coming up with 31 prompts. If you're a blogger I hope you will join me, answer these questions for yourself (one each day or perhaps just a few over the course of the month if you prefer) and post your reflections on your blog and then copy a link to your post in the comments section of my posts (which will be over at my other blog The Writeous Babe Project) so I can read what you have to say. And be sure to tweet your posts too using the hashtag #reverb11. 

Happy reverbing!

1. Where did 2011 begin? 
2. What three words capture 2011? What three words describe how you feel about 2012?  
3. When were you most grateful?
4. When did you struggle? 
5. What lessons did you learn this year? 
6. What goals for 2011 did you accomplish? 
7. What goals for the year did you fail to meet?
8. Looking back on this year, what would you do differently?
9. How did you have fun this year? 
10. Where did you visit?
11. How did you celebrate and take care of your body this year? 
12. What or whom did you let go of this year? Why? 
13. Write about a time this year when you gave up. 
14. Write about a time this year when you persevered. 
15. Which blogs did you enjoy most this year?
16. Oprah asks you to write an article on your favorite things of 2011. What are they? 
17. What were your favorite songs of the year? 
18. What books did you read?
19. What movies did you see?
20. How did you build community this year? 
21. What new friendships blossomed in your life this year? 
22. Who did you miss?
23. Who do you want to attract into your life in 2012? 
24. What things added beauty to your life this year? 
25. How did you add beauty to the lives of others? 
26. What are 12 things your life doesn't need in 2012? How will you eliminate them?
27. What are 12 things you want to add to your life in 2012?
28. What new strengths did you discover about yourself this year? 
29. How did your spirituality transform this year? 
30. Write a letter to your future self. 
31. Where do you hope to be on Jan 1, 2013?
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Good lord. Look at that photo. The Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Love is truly blind. And deaf. And dumb.

Anyway, who needs advice?

Send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here's today's question:
If you were once cool with a guy/lady and you don't talk to them like that anymore is it cool to contact them without coming across as desperate?


Hmmm, well, we're talking about two different issues here:

a) You want to resume a friendship with your ex

b) You want to restart a relationship with your ex

The first scenario is probably the least stressful. If your ex is cool with starting a mutual friendship, I doubt you have to worry about coming across as desperate. Unless the relationship ended with a metric ton of drama (word to Rick Rawssse),  I see no problem in embarking on a friendship. And if your intentions are pure (you're not just trying to start the friendship to "spy" on your ex), you don't have to worry about being seen as desperate.

But things get sticky if you're trying to rekindle the relationship flame. In order to not come off as a desperate psycho looking to burrow your way back into the life of someone you let go for no reason (sorry, I flashed back to some of my weirdo ex-women...) you'll have to ease into things. Now, I know when it comes to relationships, the last thing y'all wanna hear is the word "slow," but the faster and more aggressive you seem, the more desperate you will appear. Starting things fresh at a measured pace will alleviate any lingering pressure and could help you move past whatever killed the relationship in the first place.

By the way, if you know your ex has moved on to another relationship, I strongly advice that you do NOT reach out to him or her, even if you just want to be friends. Just let things be. If you don't, you're likely to come off looking like a homewrecker.

Too soon? You ever try sleeping with a broken heart?
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

I know I said I was done with award shows till 2012, but it's the season of giving. The wifey and I finished putting up the Christmas decorations just in time for the 40th Soul Train awards. It gave me something to do while I spent two hours wiping glitter off my body. It's like I spent the night at a strip club.

1. The show opened with Morris Day and The Time, but why were they only called "The Original 7even." No one said their names, like they were Lord Voldemort or something.

2. Anyone else notice Morris Day suddenly run off the stage? Maybe he spotted his creditors in the audience.

3. Did you have high hopes for Masters of the Mix season two? I hope not. Any show that premiers at midnight on a Saturday is doomed.

4. Speaking of that, did I really hear that Amber Rose is dropping an album? This can't be life.

5. Uh oh, did anyone else notice that my girl Marsha Ambrosius found some of that weight she lost? Don't hate - she was probably the best performer on the show.

6. Who named Freddie Jackson, Kenny Lattimore and my biggest fan Dave Hollister honorary Pips? That honor should have gone to Keith Sweat, Johnny Gill, and, uh, a Keith Sweat clone.

7. Why was Tamar Braxton dressed like Princess Toadstool?

8. Why wouldn't they show a closeup of Natalie Cole? Don't tell me she's back on that nose candy.

9. Did you notice how classy and poised Gladys Knight was during the acceptance of her award? If you expect Rihanna or Icky Garbaj to be that insightful in 20 years you're in for a disappointment.

10. I wonder if my grandma noticed that Cee-Lo Green borrowed her nightgown for his performance of  "Fool For You?" Speaking of that song, I'm not a fan of the remix that features Melanie Fiona. I love her voice but it's a bit too flawless. That track begs for a scratchy, screechy church choir lady to do the honors.

11. Jill Scott wins Best Female R&B Artist? Marsha wuz robbed.

12. Shout out to the three people who stood up during Lloyd's performance. He appreciates it. Me, though? I was asleep.

13. I'm a huge Miguel fan, but dude looked like a Piranha Plant from Mario Bros. tonight. And why did he sound uncharacteristically horrible?

14. Poor Mindless Behavior - why didn't someone tell them they got their dates wrong? 106 & Park comes on TOMORROW - we'll see you then. Well, I won't.

15. Conversation at Georgia Mae headquarters:

Wifey: Isn't AJ the son of Nick Ashford?

Me: WHO?

Wifey: You know, of Ashford and Simpson?

Me: I know who that is, who is AJ?

Wifey: From 106 & Park.

Me: Ashford and Simpson were on 106 & Park? In which millennium?

Wifey: No, AJ!

Me: HUH?

Georgia Mae Headquarters - home of the confused and misinformed.

16. The Heavy D tribute was great fun - a reunited Goodie Mob, Naughty by Nature, Big Daddy Kane, Kurtis Blow. Could you have asked for a better lineup?

17. Judging by his outfit, do you think Anthony Hamilton has been conducting trains in his spare time?

18. KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEF! My boy Keith Sweat was in the house to present the award for Best R&B Male Artist.  Don't you think he should have taken the trophy and ran? My boy @All_About_Be suggested I pull a Kanye and rush the stage:

"Imma let you finish Cee Lo, but Keith Sweat had the greatest album of all time!!!!"

Yeah, I can see that happening.

19. Forget skinny jeans, Robin Thicke was wearing skinny slacks. Is that what's hot in the streets?

20. Did you notice how annoyed Earth Wind and Fire looked at the start of their tribute? Thankfully Lalah Hathaway, Joe, Robin Thicke and Eric Benet stepped in to save things. Eric Benet is such a horrible human being that I forgot he can sing.

Well, I've certainly seen worse award shows. It wasn't a bad way to spend two hours on a Sunday night. Needed more Keith, though.
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Friday, November 25, 2011

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Whether you're at work, at home, or fighting the mall crowds, here are some songs to get you through the day.

Ashantiblu is cool like that:

Digable Planets, Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space) (1993)

Ashantiblu nominated this album, specifically the classic single "Rebirth of Slick," saying: "It reminds of me of the long bus ride(s) to high school - it always helped me escape to another world."

Also check out:
"Nickel Bags"
"Where I'm From"

Javacia revisits Robin Thicke:

Thicke, A Beautiful World (2003)

Jai said: Last week Georgia Mae reader Kimberly Jackson shared her love for Robin Thicke's album The Evolution of Robin Thicke, the album that would eventually earn him the commercial success he'd sought for years. But my favorite Thicke CD is (and probably always will be) his debut album A Beautiful World, which most people don't even know about. It was released back when he was only going by the name Thicke and he looked like a grungy Jesus (see the video below). A Beautiful World is so soulful and unique that I can't believe it didn't climb the charts. Luckily the world wised up and gave Thicke the love he deserved by his second release.  

Thicke - When I Get You Alone by universalmusicbelgique

Also check out:
"The Stupid Things"
"Brand New Jones"

Now, it’s your turn. Email, hit us up on Twitter @etbowser or @writeousbabe, or stop by the comments section and share your Flashback Friday album.  Leave a couple of sentences describing what makes it so great. We’ll feature your album on the blog.
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, Babes!

I'm one of those people who make gratitude lists on a fairly regular basis, but I felt it was essential to write and post one today. So here goes...

super cute photo found here

The big beautiful blogosphere. Blogging has become one of my favorite things in life. Seriously. And I love reading other women's blogs just as much as (if not more than) I enjoy creating my own. Sites like A Beautiful MessNik Star Was HereSometimes Sweet, and Pink of Perfection must be visited daily and they always give me the inspiration I need. 

Hubs. I'll be honest, I've been having a very rough time the past few months. It's sad that whenever I mention this to a close friend or when an acquaintance makes a comment about all the white hairs I have sprouting from my head there's an assumption that my man is stressing me out, that there's trouble on the home front. That couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, some days I feel like my marriage is the only thing I'm getting right. My husband has been the rock that is getting me through these tough times. I am so thankful to be married to my very best friend and I feel blessed to share my life with someone who always has my back. 

My small group. Despite the fact that I've been a mess this fall, I have still managed to lead a small group for my church. Each Monday night a group of 8 young women and I get together at my apartment for a bible study that's meant to help us get more out of our relationships with God, our friends and family, and even ourselves. I've watched these girls grow closer to God and form genuine friendships and I'm amazed. God really can use us to create something beautiful even when we're broken. 

Here are a few girls from Black Girls Run-Birmingham and I 
volunteering at the Ruben Studdard Half-Marathon

My running group. There was a time when I couldn't run for 60 seconds. Now I'm training for a half-marathon. And it's all thanks to my running group, Black Girls Run - Birmingham. Those women have been such an inspiration and running has become something I love as much as blogging. Can you believe that?!

The bad times. One of the greatest lessons I've learned during my 30 years on this third rock from the sun is that we should be grateful for the bad times. Not only do they make the good times even sweeter, but they teach us things about ourselves and oftentimes in retrospect we realize that something wonderful came from that trial or ordeal. In fact, I just wrote a little tongue-in-cheek piece about this for the latest issue of Weld. (To check it out click here and scroll down to the entry titled For the real-life demolition derby.) 

The little things: Pinterest, cupcakes, my haute chocalate nail polish, my favorite blazer, fresh flowers, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl...

My family. I have two parents who shower me with love, a little brother (who's now a grown man and bigger than I) who makes me laugh and encourages me to chase my dreams, and a cousin who's like the sister I never had and gets all my little quirks. And I am so grateful that I'm going to get to spend this day with all of them, while stuffing myself with delicious food.

What are you thankful for today? 

*Crossposted at The Writeous Babe Project
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Posted by in  on 7:54 AM 3 comments

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and Christmas is around the corner - which means it's time for some of you turkeys to begin your seasonal relationships in an attempt to stuff your Christmas stockings. Oh, I know the deal. I'm not new to the game, I'm true to the game.

I also still use slang from 1995.

 Send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

If you're coming off a bad relationship, is it immature to delete that person from your Facebook page?

Dying to Delete

One of these days, I should really write a blog on Facebook etiquette. Some of the points I'd maybe include:

- Do not use a picture of your cleavage from your profile pic, especially if I can't tell if they're breasts or a plumber's butt.

- If you're gonna take a picture using your bathroom mirror (y'all know there is a self-timer on the camera, right?) at least get the toilet and shower curtain out of the shot. And are women required by law to stick their butts out in these shots?

- For you Facebook preachers who love to talk about how "God don't like ugly" and how He'll "strike down your enemies," at least get your scriptures right. There is no such thing as Matthew 33/40, and if so, Matthew really needs to keep an eye on his blood pressure.

- If you're holding up 6 $1 bills, in your profile pic, sorry, you ain't ballin'.

- No one is hating on you, your baby, your family or your cooking. I am, however, hating on that toilet in the background of your profile picture.

And that's just the foolishness I see on my Facebook timeline RIGHT NOW.

I'm not sure when we decided it was required to allow any and everyone access to our Facebook information. Facebook is essentially a public journal but it's only accessible to who we want to see it. Looking at your blurry cookout photos is a privilege, not a right. And if the relationship is over, they don't really have a right to see your profile.

If you just ended a bad relationship, why would you want him/her to see your personal info? If that person isn't good enough to date, I doubt they're worthy of knowing what you had for breakfast.

Did this person break your trust? Are you dealing with a potential psycho stalker? Was the culprit way too clingy? If so, they don't need to know your every move and should be deleted.

Now, if the breakup was amicable, I see no problem with remaining Facebook buddies - as long as it doesn't result in passive aggressive dissing: "So happy to be single, SEXY and FREE!!!!! LOL!!!! #freeatlast" Playa, please.

Rubbing your freedom in the face of your ex is definitely immature. But keeping your private life safe from weirdos is just smart.

Now, if we just learned to be smarter using Facebook:

We need to do better.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

image via Clutch

While many people dread turning 30, early this year I was counting down the days to this monumental birthday. I was busy planning a weekend long celebration and even created a vision board representing all the things I wanted to accomplish during this glorious decade.

My birthday came, I had a great time celebrating, and I got to work on all those dreams. 

Then something happened.

A few months ago I got hit with the "Oh no, I'm 30!" blues. Read my latest article for Clutch magazine to find out what sent me into this funk and how I pulled myself out. 

*Originally posted on The Writeous Babe Project.
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Posted by in ,  on 6:00 AM 3 comments

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mary J Blige

My Life II ... The Journey Continues (Act 1) (released November 21, 2011)

A few weeks ago, I had a debate with one of my followers regarding the legacy of Lupe Fiasco.

Yeah, it was a slow day on Twitter.

Anyway, I told dude that Lupe lost his luster after that lackluster Lasers (say that five times fast!). The guy said it wasn't fair to overlook years of stellar work just because of one speed bump.

My feelings for Mary J. Blige are very similar to Lupe. Without question, Mary is one of the premier voices in music and one of the few R&B artists from the 90s to be almost unanimously exalted as legendary. Mary's first three albums were absolutely phenomenal - if Georgia Mae was around back then, all three likely would have received my coveted 5 star rating. But by the turn of the century, Mary's content became very hit (2005's The Breakthrough) or miss (2009's Stronger With Each Tear). With every mediocre release, Mary's star slowly dimmed in my eyes.

My Life II has been touted as a throwback to Mary's most acclaimed album, 1994's My Life. Usually, I hate "sequel" albums - they seem more like a marketing ploy than a true return to an earlier work. But to my surprise, My Life II successfully conjures up memories of a bygone era while remaining fresh and current.

The first single, "25/8," might have the goofiest lyrics of the year - Mary loves her man so much she needs an extra hour and day to express it. I need 13 months/367 days to pick apart all that's wrong with that title. But I can't hate on the song itself. It's upbeat and much more assessable than some of the tracks on Beyonce's 4 and is definitely a call back Mary's '90s sound.

The first half of the album shares the energetic pace of "25/8." "Next Level" is perfect for the steppers, with Busta Rhymes bringing his usual excitement. That man could make a funeral entertaining. "Feel Inside" borrows the beat from what sounds like Wu-Tang Clan's "Triumph" (sorry, my, ahem, advanced copy didn't come with liner notes...) to provide yet another head-nodder for old heads like me.

The album's biggest surprise is Mary's remake of Chaka Khan's "Ain't Nobody." Now before you crazed Chaka fans scream "blasphemy," you'll be happy to know that Mary does the track justice. It certainly doesn't surpass the original but it's a respectable trip down memory lane.

And speaking of the sad old days, about halfway through the album Mary's smile quickly turns upside down and we get reintroduced to the persona that made Mary famous - The Woman Fed Up. And it's no surprise that this is when Mary shines.

Over "No Condition's" tribal drums, Mary admits to "waving the white flag," as she's ready to step out on her man. Of course one song later, she's crooning with Drake about putting up with "Mr. Wrong" and asking "Why" she's always on the drama carousel, with Rick Ross adding hunger to her heartbreak. They're typical Mary themes that longtime fans will love, but with a fresh sound that will catch the ear of the young'ns.

The best of this crop is easily "Love A Woman," a duet with Beyonce which serves as a tutorial for men on how to please their women. It sounds like it was lifted from Mary's '97 Share My World album, back when she was in her prime.

Before you brothers shake your head at Mary for making men look like the bad guys, check out "Empty Prayers" and "Need Someone." Mary's pleading vocals on the former sound more defeated than angry, while the later offers words of advice for women in destructive relationships. Instead of incessant man-bashing, Mary reminds listeners to take control of their love lives instead of pointing fingers. It brings everything back full-circle - she teaches the listener that those same happy feelings from earlier in the album will only manifest if you love yourself as much as your man.

Yes, My Life II definitely brings Mary back full-circle. Sure there are a few lulls (the inspirational but dull "The Living Proof," the so-so "Midnight Drive") and she's certainly faced artistic speed bumps in the past but this album is a reminder that Queen of Hip-Hop Soul still reigns.

Sorry I doubted you, Mary. Your star continues to shine.

Best tracks: "25/8," "Love A Woman," "Mr. Wrong"

4 stars out of 5
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Friday, November 18, 2011

It's Friday, and one step closer to Thanksgiving next week. Yes, we're already thinking about food.

She's back! Kimberly Jackson drops off another morsel:

Robin Thicke, The Evolution of Robin Thicke (2006)

Kim said: "The CD is so amazing because he carried the tradition of Blue-eyed Soul from the Hall and Oates in the 80s. With songs like "Lost Without You" and "Can You Believe" you couldn't help but fall in love with Robin Thicke.

Also check out:
"Lost Without You"
"I Need Love"

Edward has another classic on deck:

Fugees, The Score (1996)

Edd said: How have we gone this long without bringing up one of rap's greatest albums? I revisited this a few days ago and I too had forgotten just how great this is. Yeah, we fondly remember Lauryn Hill's star-making performance on "Killing Me Softly" but we tend to forget how ecletic, socially conscious and downright funny this album is. Three very diverse rhyming styles condensed into one hit package - few albums can compare to it.

Also check out:
"Family Business"
"Killing Me Softly"

Now, it’s your turn. Email, hit us up on Twitter @etbowser or @writeousbabe, or stop by the comments section and share your Flashback Friday album.  Leave a couple of sentences describing what makes it so great. We’ll feature your album on    the blog.
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wisdom from Family Matters. You can learn a thing or two from Steve Urkel:

Steve Urkel: Laura, this is a... a really special moment and... well, I think we should celebrate it by... getting married.
Laura: No.
Steve Urkel: Engaged?
Laura: No.
Steve Urkel: Going steady?
Laura: No.
Steve Urkel: A date?
Laura: No.
Steve Urkel: A kiss?
Laura: No.
Steve Urkel: A handshake?
Laura: No.
Steve Urkel: I'll see ya tomorrow?
Laura: Yeah.
Steve Urkel: I'll take it.

Now there's a man who isn't hard to please.

Want me to weigh in on your love life? Hit me up.

Send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here's today's question:

Is it OK to date your friends' ex?

Journey with me back to 1996, when my favorite rappers were still alive, and your favorite rappers were in diapers. Coincidentally, those rappers are using that same baby talk in their pitiful music today. But I digress.

Back in '96, one of my closest friends broke up with his then-girlfriend, whom I also had a friendly relationship with. Immediately after getting dumped, ol' girl tried to move on to the next best thing - moi. I immediately hesitated.

Don't get me wrong, this girl was pretty attractive and was really cool, but it just didn't seem right to pick up where my boy left off.

And no, I'm not talking about the ridiculous "sloppy seconds" label that we're so quick to throw around. By definition, unless you've NEVER been in a prior relationship, everyone is someone's sloppy seconds. Some of y'all are nasty nineteenths and mushy millionths. But sometimes, there are lingering feelings that remain attached to old relationships. Even though I was pretty sure my boy was over her, I didn't want to add any additional strain.

Now I truthfully had no intention of dating this girl, however I still asked my boy if he would be OK if I did start a relationship with her. I just wanted to clear the air, so if word got back around that me and his ex were talking nothing looked shady. He was fine with me dating her, but again, I wasn't. I wondered, "Is he really over her, or is he giving me his approval just to be a good friend?" My friendship was much more important than the risk.

If you're attempting to date your friend's ex immediately after they broke up, you'd better think again. That's a surefire way to cause drama. But if a significant amount of time has passed (I'm talking six months to a year) and your friend has moved on, then perhaps you can explore the possibility - but only if your friend gives you the OK.

Now sure, you don't need anyone's approval - if you're an adult you can date whomever you want. But remember, your friendship could be at risk. Is it really worth damaging for a new boo? It's up to you.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I am quick to scoff at you Twi-hards (a.k.a. Twilighters) and I frequently make fun of Potterheads, but I have a confession: I am counting down the days to The Hunger Games movie (only 127 more to go). And I got chills when I watched the recently released trailer (below).

But my blood started boiling when I read some of the comments from people who couldn't believe that two of the main characters are *gasp* black! (Drop by Nerdgasm Noire Network to check out some examples of reactions.)

Some of you may think this is no reason to be upset. It's natural for fans to want the cast to reflect their vision of the characters. And I'll be honest, I was shocked that Cinna, who will be played by Lenny Kravitz, and Rue, who will be played by Amandla Stenberg, were black too. But instead of being appalled I was excited. 

Then I asked myself why was I surprised especially considering that in the book Rue is described as having "dark brown skin and eyes." Why? Because, quite frankly, as a minority I never expect to be represented in something that's not marketed as being for "people of color." The fact that I still feel this way in 2011 makes me sad and the fact that it seems like some people think we coloreds need to stay out of their Hunger Games pisses me off.

Even though Rue is described as African-American and this has been confirmed by director Garry Ross and author Suzanne Collins, fans insist that she must be white because, as Nerdgasm Noire Network blogger states, "White people are considered the norm in society; the default person." And sometimes I worry this will never change. 

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Naturalista Nine is an occasional Q&A feature of nine questions (hence the name) with natural hair beauties around the country (and even around the world). Today, let's get to know Kini Slaughter. 

1. Tell us about yourself. 
I live in Atlanta, Georgia.  I'm a businesswoman starting my own natural hair apparel line.  For now, I can be found on Facebook

2. How is the natural hair community where you live?
I live in Atlanta so this might as well be the "Natural Hair capitol" with all the monthly events we have and host on a yearly basis.

3. What do you love most about being natural?
I love the flexibility I have with being natural.  I enjoy the plethora of hair styling options I have and the healthy ingredients I'm putting in and on my body and hair.  I also love the overall supportive community of naturals.

4. When and why did you make the decision to go natural?
I've been natural for 10 years.  But unfortunately, I didn't know what to do with my hair for eight of those. So in September 2009, I big chopped because of heat damage and discovered that I had coils for the first time.  I wanted to start over and actually learn how to properly care for my hair. 

5. How would you describe your hair type?
I would describe my hair as having 3 textures.  It's mainly coily 4a, but there is a little bit of 3c in the crown and some 4b in the middle section.   

6. What’s your hair care regimen and what are some of your favorite hair care products right now?
My hair regimen changes slightly as I learn more.  But I'm a big fan of using Ayurvedic herbs.  I like mixing things occasionally to create my own.  This winter I'll be wearing a lot of protective styles.  But I usually pre-poo my hair with honey/agave, V05 conditioner, and good oils like jojoba or castor oil, then wash my hair every 7-10 days and detangle and deep condition overnight.  Then I rinse with cold water, and section my hair to air dry.  I twist when my hair is almost dry to get the maximum elongation, but the dampness helps with definition.  If I'm wearing a wash and go, then I'll apply a jelly product to my hair while it's soaking wet.  About every 6 weeks, I'll do an ayurvedic treatment with the powders or a Rhassoul treatment with oils right before I deep condition.  I just purchased a hooded dryer, so I will be incorporating roller sets into my regimen every once in a while, because I like to avoid a lot of heat. 

7. What hairstyle do you love rocking most?
A fresh wash 'n' go is my favorite style to rock because I love my texture! But since it is starting to get longer, I'm moving toward doing more chunky twist-outs.

8. Why do you think natural hair has become increasingly popular lately and do you think this is just a fad?
I think natural hair has become more popular due in part to media like Chris Rock's movie, Good Hair.  Mainly, I think people started living a healthier lifestyle and started incorporating that same philosophy to their hair.  Some people realize the great diversity that comes from wearing your hair natural. With the state of the economy, many people went natural to save some money or for the convenience of being able to care for it themselves.  For some women it may be a fad, but my thinking has completely changed about my hair. Being natural is my way of life.  

9. What encouragement or advice would you offer to new naturalists who are having a hard time and having second thoughts?
To new naturals, I would say that you must do your research.  Too many avenues of good research exists, unlike years ago when I first went natural.  Find reliable websites, such as and, and knowledgeable bloggers and Youtube gurus.  Many of them have reviewed products and their blogs and videos explain many vital techniques, ingredient information and important tips that all naturals can benefit from.  Your hair may be similar to another, but if you don't do the research for yourself, you will inevitably be frustrated.  It's that simple; no one can do that part for you.  Find natural hair events and natural hair salons that will help to educate and encourage you.  If none exist, start one! 

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Monday, November 14, 2011


Take Care (to be released November 15, 2011)

This might be the most pointless review in Georgia Mae history. I don't care what I say about your favorite rapper Drake's sophomore album, you're gonna love it unconditionally. I don't know if I respect that blind devotion or if I'm depressed by it.

Drake's stature in the music industry has grown since his overrated 2010 debut (as you can see from his album cover above, he's now going on dinner dates with Da Illuminatiz) but his music hasn't changed much at all. He's still splitting his time between braggadocios raps and moody R&B songs. The big difference here is he tends to rap with a bit more ferocity than he did on Thank Me Later. He's on a mission to prove he's just not a mush-mouthed balladeer in a Bill Cosby sweater.

To that end, "Lord Knows" might be the best Drake track I've ever heard. Backed by an epic Just Blaze beat (sounding like something circa 2001 from Jay-Z's Blueprint) ol' Aubrey goes on a lyrical tirade, blasting critics (like me) who have written him off. Of course, Rick Ross, who never turns down a hot beat or a hot meal, appears to add fuel to the fire. Color me impressed.

Drake also goes HAM (sandwich - sorry Rozay) on "Under Ground Kings." Even though he swipes some tired punchlines from Lil Wayne, Drake drops plenty of witty lines that will definitely be stolen soon enough. Just remember, this is where you'll first hear the phrase "That was back in the days, Acura days."

"Lord Knows" and "Under Ground Kings" are miles ahead of anything on Drake's last album. But sadly, or predictably, if you're as pessimistic as me, a lot of Take Care is pretty uneven. Sometimes Drake's guest stars really provide a needed boost: The Weeknd's vocals on "Crew Love" and Andre 3000's contribution to "The Real Her" push those tracks out of "average" territory and help make 'em bangers. And Kendrick Lamar's scene-stealing verse on the "Buried Alive" interlude is the best of the entire album.

Other times, those guests fall pretty short. Nicki Minaj has thankfully cut down on her cartoon antics but she still adds nothing to "Make Me Proud" (so you can bet that's the next single). And your girl Rihanna contributes her usual brand of ruin to the title track. I'm gonna start calling her roadkill because her vocals are always  FLAT AND DEAD. Why do you people like that woman!?

But the wifey will get mad if I place blame solely with the ladies. "Marvin's Room" and "Doing It Wrong" are typical boring, sleepy Drizzy Drake tracks, whining about how hard it is to be rich and in love. Playa, give me a break. They aren't offensive, but my mind starts to wander about two minutes in. Drowzy's current single "Headlines" is pretty pedestrian too. It's like a Porsche revving its engines in a garage - it sounds nice but it's going nowhere. And what was he thinking with "Practice?" Only Drake could turn "Back That Thang Up" into a boring karaoke ballad.

At nearly 20 tracks, Take Care is way too bloated. Ho-hum songs like "HYFR" and "We'll be Fine" should have stayed on mixtapes. But I can't discredit everything - the good stuff is REALLY good, some of the finest of young Aubrey's career and help to break up the album's dead spots. For every eye-rolling, mushy lullaby like "Shot For Me," there's a "Cameras/Good Ones Go" that borrows sensuality from an old Jon B track without blatantly pandering to the ladies. The album almost inexplicably succeeds in spite of its flaws.

Take Care is far from perfect, but it's definitely worth checking out. Not that you needed my two cents - y'all were going to love it regardless.

Best tracks: "Lord Knows," "Under Ground Kings," "Crew Love"

4 stars out of 5
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Posted by in ,  on 7:00 AM 1 comment

Friday, November 11, 2011

Aggressive rhyme spitter JayVine has generated some strong buzz along with Georgia Mae favorite K. Sparks. This time, JayVine gets to bask in the spotlight. The soulful "Cry No More" is a tale of inspiration - JayVine forges ahead to face his troubles on his own. JayVine is his own man and "Cry No More" is a perfect track to kick off his solo career.

Download "Cry No More" here. Follow JayVine on Twitter @JAYVINE

Looking to share your music with the masses? Send a track with a short description about yourself to or hit me up on Twitter @etbowser. If we like what we hear we'll feature you in an upcoming post.
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Posted by in ,  on 7:32 AM 1 comment
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