Saturday, December 31, 2011

Following the advice of social media guru Wade Kwon, this is my New Year's resolution:


In 2012 I resolve to live the life I want to blog about!


I hope you'll join the fun by following my life adventures here and posting your own. 


Click here to read all about my mantra for the new year, Getting Well in 2012. 
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Friday, December 30, 2011

We're just a couple of days away from bidding farewell to 2011. Before y'all go out and get crazy tomorrow night (don't call me looking for bail), play these albums in preparation for the new year.


Our girl Kimberly Jackson knows how to get on my good side. She nominates one of my favorites.






Kut Klose, Surrender (1995)


Kim said: "This CD was a fave of mine because these three ladies came from nowhere and just blew me away. With the title song "Surrender" and my fave "Get Up On It" with Keith Sweat, those songs made me wanna fall in love even though I was just 17. Other songs I fell in love with were "I Like" and "Lovely Thang.""





Also check out:
"I Like"
"Lovely Thang"
What Ever Happened to: Kut Klose


Edward reintroduces the most infamous crew in hip hop.






The Wu-Tang Clan, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)


Edd said: "In the early 90s, there were a handful of albums that turned me from casual rap fan to permanent hip hop junkie. Blame the Wu for my obsession. They blew my mind because there was absolutely nothing like them at the time (or since, really). A gang of dudes off the corner pretending to be ninjas? Sign me up. I also loved that each member of the original nine-member crew had a distinct sound. Every time ODB or Method Man or GZA took center stage, you knew exactly who it was. 36 Chambers is a classic album from a classic crew."





Also check out:
"Can It Be All So Simple"
"Da Mystery of Chessboxin"


Now, it’s your turn. Email edward@georgiamae.com, 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, December 29, 2011

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2011 was a great year for us at Georgia Mae. We saw record growth on the blog, got to know our readers better, and we were able to shed a little more light on the things we love - music, fashion and self-awareness.

But it was difficult to lose so many great artists. At one point, it seemed like I was writing obits about a shocking death every month.

Instead of mourning, let's look back at some of the great artists who are no longer with us and remember the memories and music they left behind.




Gladys Horton, lead singer of the Marvelettes



Nate Dogg



Gil Scott-Heron



Amy Winehouse



Nick Ashford




Vesta Williams




Heavy D




Dobie Gray

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

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The people have spoken, the votes have been tallied, and a winner has been chosen. Thanks to everyone who voted and let their voices be heard.

First, the runners-up:





Beyonce, 4 (read our review here)


J. Cole, Cole World: The Sideline Story (read our review here)



Kanye West and Jay-Z (The Throne), Watch the Throne (read our review here)


And now, it's my great honor and pleasure to introduce Georgia Mae's Album of the Year:





Calm down, I'm just kidding.

Here's the real winner:



Adele, 21

The decision was clear: Adele crushed the competition, winning almost half of the votes. Congrats, Adele, and thanks again for voting.

Maybe next year, Keith.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

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The weather is beginning to cool, which means y'all will be looking to warm up with a potential boo soon. Before you get cozy (and wind up catching something), check in with us first.


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


Here's today's question:


Is it OK to mix business with pleasure and date a coworker?


DC


I know how y'all love it when I blast my business over the 'Net, so settle in and get the clothesline ready for my dirty laundry.


Picture it, Norfolk, Va., 1999. Back in college, when I sold video games part time to pay for gas and the latest DMX CD, there was a girl at work who caught my eye. Cuz she was fine. The kids today would say she was "cold" or "hot" - they kinda mean the same thing. Anyway, she was feeling your boy too (of course) and we casually went out a few times, nothing too serious. But there was a problem - I was her supervisor. One day, she got an attitude about something at work (not related to me) and decided to neglect her duties. The following day, as her supervisor, I had to reprimand her. But because she saw me as "her dude" and not "her boss" I guess she thought that she could get away with snapping at me.


And if you think I took that, you must be new here.


But it's all good. We're actually still cool today but the romantic relationship was pretty much killed.


Picture it, Louisville, Ky., 2002. I was a year into my career a copy editor at a major metropolitan newspaper, editing stories to pay for student loans and the latest DMX CD (yeah, he still had albums in '02, they were just horrible), and there was a girl at work who caught my eye. Cuz she was fine. And had big hair. Anyway, she was feeling your boy too (well, eventually, but that's another story...). Even though she was a writer and I was an editor, I wasn't her supervisor and, in fact, I rarely even worked on her stories. We kept things separate. We took things slow and, over time, the relationship blossomed. Four years later we married.


Y'all know who I'm talking about.








Keep these tidbits in mind:


- Despite what you've probably heard, as long as you're not a dating a superior (or underling), I don't see a problem dating a coworker. Look, we're stuck with these folks 8 hours a day - it's only natural that we will become drawn to people. Just keep it professional - no freaking on the copy machine.


- Coworkers are probably the most nosy creatures on earth. People will look for any morsel of gossip to distract them from actually working. Therefore, there is no need to flaunt your budding relationship around the office. You don't have to pretend to be Mr. and Mrs. Smith secret agents, but keep the PDA to a minimum. It will limit the rumors and whispers.


- TAKE IT SLOW. The wifey and I didn't become an official couple until 2003, a year after we met. As you've heard me preach a million times, take the time to get to know your mate. Don't rush into disaster.


- And for the love of all that is holy, supervisors, don't date people who have to answer to you!
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Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Friday, everybody! Ready for Christmas? Here are two albums that will get you in the holiday spirit.


Well, probably not, but they're still great albums.


GM fan Amy Trang takes us back to one of my favorite musical eras.






The Foo Fighters, The Colour and the Shape (1997)


Amy said: "This is my favorite album from the Foo Fighters because it has one of my all-time favorite songs on it (“Everlong”) and so many other good ones. It has a wide range of moods from the fast-paced “Monkey Wrench” to the very slow “Walking After You.” Plus, check out the music videos from this album, they are so bizarre and so cool."





Also check out:
"Monkey Wrench"
"Walking After You"


Diane Hawkins said has just one word. Whoa!






Black Rob, Life Story (2000)


Diane said: "Robert Ross, no relation to Rick Rawwwwsssss and better known as Black Rob, was probably on drugs when wrote the hit single “Whoa” in 2000. I have heard the best material comes from people who have a little "help," so to speak. But, I must say that “Whoa” is one of the raunchiest rap songs on my iPod, so it’s appropriately named. I’m not proud of this fact and it’s not the reason I like this diddy (clever use of his former producer’s name, pun intended). I mainly listen to this song’s groove without really focusing on the dirty lyrics. I find myself simply chanting “Whoa” while safely driving and bobbing my head. I also get excited when he gives a shout out to my hometown “Chi-town” which is probably among the cleanest words I can repeat here. My recommendation: Don’t listen to the lyrics; listen to the groove. Black Rob might even shout out your city, too!"





Also check out:
"Spanish Fly"
"Jasmine"


Now, it’s your turn. Email edward@georgiamae.com, 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, December 22, 2011

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If you haven’t already, go out and cop Common’s new album. It’s a great Christmas present for the true hip-hop fan.

Too bad Common himself isn’t in the spirit of the season.

In my review of The Dreamer, The Believer, I mentioned Common’s song “Sweet,” in which Com gets his Grinch on and threatens to invicerate your favorite underachieving rappers. “Sweet” doesn’t mention names but vague threats targeting “singing rappers” caught the ear of your favorite sweetheart, Drake.

When asked if he thought that “Sweet” specifically targeted him, Drake, to his credit, manned up and said: "If Common got something to say, say it to my face." Common quickly responded – he admitted that “Sweet” targets Drake (and anyone else who has a problem with it) and that he’d have no problem sparking a rap battle with young Aubrey.

Of course, this had the Internet goin’ nutz (word to Paul Wall) in anticipation of a Drake-Common showdown.

Slow your roll, kiddies.

As I said in my review, it’s clear that “Sweet” is chastising ALL of the crappy music flooding the airwaves, not just Drowzy Drake. Aubrey, unsurprisingly, just caught feelings (I mean, have you listened to his album?) and Common is just defending his material. I’ll bet you a plate of Rick Ross hot wings (UHH) that nothing comes of this “beef.”

And that’s good news for Drake’s career. Drake DOES NOT want a problem with Common.

Oh, how easily we forget. Common is not just the guy who dates Queen Latifah in dumb basketball movies and makes happy songs with Maya Angelou - he’s the guy who slapped the activator out of Ice Cube’s jheri curl a few years ago.

And I’m talking about THIS Ice Cube, the most evil, gangsta man in America:


Image via


Not this Ice Cube.


Image via


Witness the carnage:




Common effortlessly shut down rap’s biggest threat at the time. Who is rap’s biggest thug now? Rick Rawssse and his Red Lobster raps? Playa please. Are we supposed to be intimidated by his asthmatic ad-libs (UHH)? It certainly isn’t Drake – he’s about as hard as my Downy fabric softener.


Remember that Ja Rule guy? Back in 2002, he was ALL OVER radio and the oversaturation (along with his increasing cockiness) started to wear on fans' nerves. Sound familiar, Young Money fans? When 50 Cent popped up and lyrically shoved his foot up Ja's rectum, the floodgates opened and Ja drowned in the backlash. He NEVER recovered. Drake might face a similar fate if he isn't careful.

I doubt this Common-Drake debacle goes anywhere but if it does, Drake better keep his mouth shut. Common just might Mortal Kombat his career.


Image via

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

 I decided to tackle prompts 15-19 together. Here they are: 


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?



And so here are a few of my favorite blogs, songs, books, and movies from 2011.


Blogs I Love




Danielle Hampton of Sometimes Sweet
image via Hello Giggles




Hampton's site Sometimes Sweet is a fantastic lifestyles blog that reminds me to cherish every moment of every day.  


Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess




Larson's blog A Beautiful Mess inspires me to fill my world with beauty and she recently wrote something that completely describes my own approach to life: "The older I get the more I feel like I live for goals." You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. 


Nik G. of Nik Star Was Here




I always feel like I'm hanging out with an old girlfriend when I'm reading Nik G.'s blog Nik Star Was Here, which features fashion, food, fitness and more. Check out my Q&A with her


Sarah McColl of Pink of Perfection
image via The Haystack Needle




I can always count on Sarah McColl's Pink of Perfection for inspiration or a quick pick-me-up. 


My theme song of the year!






Books I couldn't put down...








The nerdy girls always read the book before we see the movie. And speaking of movies...


My Favorite Films of 2011










What were your favorite blogs, songs, books, and movies of 2011?


Originally posted on The Writeous Babe Project
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011





Common


The Dreamer, The Believer (released December 20, 2011)


We all know that I can be a bit harsh when artists encounter creative missteps, but I think every great rapper is allowed one faux pax. Jay-Z had The Dynasty: Roc la Familia. Nas had Nastradamus. Eminem had Encore. But all those artists rebounded from those debacles with some of the best work of their careers.


Common had Universal Mind Control. He rebounds with The Dreamer, The Believer. In a BIG way.


Gone are the lazy Neptune beats and the weird obsession with getting draws, odd characteristics that made Com's last set sound like a "conscious" Diddy album. Here, Common teams with No I.D. (easily the best hip-hop producer who isn't a mainstream name) to provide a simple message - hope.


Opening track "The Dreamer" casts Common as a "hopeless hip hop romantic," with Maya Angelou adding a touch of elegance by closing out things with an inspirational poem. "Gold" paints Com as the "voice of the meek and underprivileged" and on "Raw," he salutes the ladies, proclaiming himself a "Soldier of Love, like Sade."


The motivational "Blue Sky" is really the tell-tale track of the album - an ode to rising above the mundane in an attempt to reach the stars.


Yeah, on the surface it's very easy for "Blue Sky" and the other tracks above to come off as cornball fluff but it's Com's fierce, focused wordplay that transforms those songs from pandering to poignant.


Don't believe me? "So Sweet" will change your mind. Or, more likely, beat your mind into submission: "Yeah, I rep the fresh air for you asthmatic rap addicts/Pro black magic, this is semi-automatic/Rap we won’t jam in traffic/The game need direction, I’m here to map it." His intense raps sound like DMX woke up on the wrong side of the doghouse. "So Sweet" has gotten a lot of attention for targeting lightweight music and rappers who sing like "muthaf****** Frank Sinatra." But listen closely - it's not a call for the return of gangsta rap;  it's a call for more focused, substantial music overall.


It's almost like Common is giving himself a wake-up call. Remember those insipid, oversexed songs from UMC? Thankfully, they're nowhere to be found. "Ghetto Dreams" has Common teaming with Nas to describe their dream woman, in pretty vivid detail. It's definitely not an appropriate bedtime story for the kiddies, but it's a much more focused look into what Nas.Com consider the perfect mate. "Windows" is another peek into the soul of the opposite sex, specifically Common's own daughter.


At just 12 tracks, The Dreamer, The Believer is such a tight collection that any holes you find are microscopic. The album slightly slows down on "Cloth" and "Celebrate" - they're good, just not as good as earlier songs. And I'm really starting to lose patience with John Legend. He screeches like a Minster of Music on Easter Sunday on "The Believer." Thankfully Common quickly pulls it back together when he steps behind the mic.


The last track, "Pops Belief" features the long-awaited return of Lonnie Lynn, Common's father, who often closes his son's albums with spoken word. He's been absent from the last few albums and his appearance is yet another symbol of Common's return to prominence.


At a time when so many people are dealing with personal and financial struggles and looking for hope, The Dreamer, The Believer comes at the perfect time. Even for an old hip hop curmudgeon like me, Common reminds us that hip hop's glory days aren't so far away.


My only wish is that this collection isn't overlooked in the holiday rush: it's one of the top releases of 2011. One can only hope, right?


Best tracks: "Blue Sky," "So Sweet," "Ghetto Dreams"


4.5 stars out of 5
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The good news: There is no way Lil B's album will be named Georgia Mae Album of the Year. 


The bad news: There's only one day left to vote for your favorites.


Thanks to everyone who has already voted. If you haven't already, this is your final chance.


The poll is prominently placed on the right of the blog. Please select your three favorite albums of 2011.


Voting ends Tuesday at 9 p.m. and don't forget to spread the word too - there's even a "share" button at the bottom of the poll.



Our winner will be crowned next week. Show love for you favorite albums!
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Monday, December 19, 2011

By the sound of things, 2011 was a pretty good year for music.


Over the past week, we're received dozens of your nominations for Georgia Mae's Album of the Year. Thanks for all your contributions. The list has been narrowed to the 25 top nominations and now it's time for democracy to kick in.


To the right of this post you'll find our poll. Please select your three favorite albums of 2011.


Voting ends Tuesday at 9 p.m., so don't hesitate to make your selections. Feel free to spread the word too - there's a nifty "share" button at the bottom of the poll.


Our winner will be crowned next week. Make sure your favorites are represented!
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Friday, December 16, 2011

If you've known me even for a short time and even if it's only through this blog you probably know that I love Hello Kitty despite the fact that I'm 30 years old. 


Apparently Charlize Theron would say I have issues. 


US Weekly reports that during The New York Times' Times Talk panel the 36-year-old actress said she does not understand why so many women in their 30s wear Hello Kitty gear or why people seem to be OK with this. 


"I'm pretty amazed by Hello Kitty. I see so many women in their 30s walking around in Hello Kitty sh*t and nobody is concerned for them," Theron said. "It's the one iconic teenage symbol that seems okay for women in their 30s? The world seems to not have an issue with it."
She went on to say most women are "messed up."


Funny enough, the one rule I made for myself regarding my Hello Kitty mania when I hit the big 3-0 was that I would no longer wear Hello Kitty clothing (not counting my beloved Hello Kitty bathrobe). I'd keep the Hello Kitty key chains, notebooks, and rear windshield sticker, but no more T-shirts featuring the Sanrio superstar. (Although, I don't scoff at 30-something women who do still rock HK tees.) So perhaps Theron would say I'm just a bit messed up. 


I also won't decorate my apartment with Hello Kitty paraphernalia, but that's probably just because I'm married. If I were single my kitchen would certainly have this:




But I feel that as long as I'm taking care of adult responsibilities like going to work, paying my bills on time, and cleaning my apartment and I'm emotionally mature enough to be a great wife and a trustworthy friend, I should be allowed to be a kid at heart. So I will do just that even if Charlize Theron thinks I'm stupid. 


P.S. -- Dear friends, I need a new wallet. Hint. Hint. 


What do you think about women in their 30s sporting Hello Kitty gear?
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We hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas season. Here are a few albums to listen to as you fight mall traffic.


Kim Jackson remembers a 90s classic.






Jodeci, Forever My Lady (1991)


Kim said: With such songs as the title track "Forever My Lady," Jodeci was the first group to explore the topic of doing the right thing when an unexpected pregnancy occurs. And "Stay" made every woman wanna accept his apology when he was wrong and returned.





Also check out:
"Stay"
"Come and Talk to Me"


C.J. Harris drops off one of the most creative and controversial albums ever.






Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)


C.J. said: I love the way Em puts words together and tells stories. As sick and bizarre as most of those stories were, I couldn't stop listening. "Drug Ballad" and "Kim" are two of my favorites from the album. "Stan" is a classic and probably the best song on the album. My other two favs are the "B**** Please II" and "The Kids."





Also check out:
"Drug Ballad"
"The Kids"


Now, it’s your turn. Email edward@georgiamae.com, 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, December 15, 2011



Who has two thumbs and the cover story for this week's issue of Weld for Birmingham? *Points thumbs at self* This girl! Click here to check it out.
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Andrinea Murphy : Beautiful African American Hawaiian model portrait




With January 1 around the corner many of you may be making New Year's resolutions. If you've resolved to start rocking your natural hair in 2012 you could be featured on a future episode of  MTV True Life. 


 he network is currently casting for an African-American woman who appears to be between the ages of 15 -28 and would like MTV to document her transition to natural hair. 

Those interested should send their stories along with recent photos to casting@lintonmedia.com. Clutch magazine has more details. 

What do you think of MTV's plan to feature natural hair on its True Life series? 


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I hope everyone has been keeping up with the wifey's Reverb11 series, in which she takes a positive look at her life in 2011. It's a great read and great time for reflection.


Now for something completely different.


I've spent most of my Georgia Mae career shedding light on the missteps of your favorite celebrities, but this year we saw some things that were so offensive, so ridiculous, so head-scratchingly stupid that they could only be described with two iconic words:


PLAYA PLEASE


Introducing the first Playa Please award, presented to the person who did the best job bringing out the worst in him or herself. Like Icki Garbaj's stylist, it's a designation you definitely don't want.


After hours of SMH'ing and face-palming I've come up with a winner. First, the runners-up.








Cousin Chris goes berserk. Again.






The offense: Remember that time Chris Brown went crazy? Let me clarify - remember when Breezy got in trouble and then blamed everyone but himself?  Ugh, try this: Remember back in March when C Brown was on Good Morning America, got pissed and smashed a window? My illegitimate cousin spazzes out so much that you have to spell out every detail to differentiate his terror attacks.


But it wasn't so bad: Cousin Chris causing a spectacle is like gas prices. Just when things seem stable, they go through the roof at a moment's notice. It's annoying and horrible, but you sorta get used to it (which is also similar to the voice of his ex Rihanna. Hmmmm...).  I'm gonna have to give that guy a talkin' to over Christmas dinner.


Justin Bieber's mustache


Photo via




The offense: Did you not see the picture?


But it wasn't so bad: At least he got a haircut. His hair used to look like something my aunt made in pottery class. I just wish he hadn't glued the remnants to his upper lip.




Kim Kardashian's 72 days of wedded bliss






The offense: London got the Royal Wedding, we got this. Kimmie K and her beau, that basketball dude who looks like an 11-year-old on stilts, dragged America into their lavish nuptials. And it was all good - till divorce was filed three months later. Three months! Tempestt Bledsoe's talk show lasted longer than that. America got even saltier when it was reported that the couple made $18 million off the wedding.


But it wasn't so bad: Sure, it was pretty ridiculous and I would ask for my wedding gift back (I can reuse that blender, playa), but why wasn't this expected? Don't y'all watch the show? The Kardashians are more like the Addams family than the Cosbys. I think people were more angry that they got caught up in the hype than at Kimmie K herself.


And who could stay mad at that face?




Rick Ross hospitalized, gets greasy chicken afterward






The offense: Rawssssse, somehow recognized as one of the year's premier rappers despite only talking about drugs and food, was hospitalized in October after a pair of seizures. In fact, he received care at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, mere minutes from Georgia Mae Headquarters. But the next day, Ricky Hongray was spotted at a Memphis WINGSTOP. No wonder people think black folks don't take their health seriously. I guess he needed inspiration for more of his Crunch n' Munch raps.


But it wasn't so bad: Apparently the Bawssssse merely made an appearance at a store opening, not to drown his sorrows in hot sauce. But look at that smirk on his face and those greasy lips - you can't tell me he didn't sample a nine-piece. I hope he didn't get watermelon with his chicken. Ugh.


By the way, DJ Khaled almost received a Playa Please nomination for his dazzling array of husky Walmart tracksuits.


Herman Cain: Pizza, politics and pimpin'


Courtesy TalkMediaNews via Flickr




The offense: Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain spent months running his mouth and finger pointing, until his past intervened. Cain went from front-runner for the Republican party presidential nomination to back seat of the turnip truck after about 97 women claimed he tried to kneed their dough. Mr. 9-9-69 wisely suspended his campaign.


But it wasn't so bad: As stubborn as the dude is, at least he was smart enough to know when to call it quits. Now he can resume his normal duties as political know-it-all at the family cookouts.


So, who could do something more vile and embarrassing than the luminaries mentioned above? Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the inaugural Playa Please award:

Soulja Boy disses American troops




The offense:
Days before the 10th anniversary of 9-11, this clown, whose breath probably smells like the heat when you turn it on for the first time in the winter, had the nerve to debut a song with lyrics that trashed the Armed Forces: "F**k the FBI and the army troops... fighting for what? Be your own man... I'll be flying through the clouds with green like I'm Peter Pan." He apologized after he realized that his skinny, shirtless minions wouldn't be able to help him in a fight with a bunch of angry Marines.


Why it WAS so bad:
No matter your stance on our government or the War on Terror, those troops risk their lives so guys like Soulja Boy can coon around and make millions off  their minstrel-show raps. His comments show how clueless and out of touch he really is - if you couldn't already tell from his music.


PLAYA PLEASE



Who else deserved a nomination this year?


*Special thanks to @tookasample for inspiration and @sageryu21 for his design expertise.
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