Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Amerykah Pt 2: Return of the Ankh

It's been a while since I did an album review and I'm nothing close to a music guru but I know what I like. I've been anxiously anticipating the the second installment of New Amerykah since the first one was released two years ago. If you aren't familiar let me give you a briefing. New Amerykah Part 1 4th World War, to me, is strictly funk. Drawing from the legendary inspiration of Parliament Funkadelic and Jimmi Hendrix. The second installment, however, is nothing but soul. It's hard to critique something when I'm partial to the artist. Everything she's ever released is in my collection and if you're a true fan - as I am - I implore you to download or pick up a copy today!

Window Seat is the first single (released on February 5, 2010) and I've attached a link to the official video. The message is insane and the song is.... Just listen.


My favorite track so far (aside from Window Seat) is Turn Me Away (Get Munny) on which she brilliantly samples the classic Notorious BIG song "Get Money."

All I can say is this just might be the sound track for my second book. Perfect chill music. So if you were wondering if it was worth it to purchase the answer is DOUBLE YES!!!!

P.S. If you download the album you'll get the bonus track Jump Up in the Air (featuring Lil' Wayne and Bilal)

Thanks for reading.....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Visually Displeasing

So today was another rough "beauty day" to say the least. I felt okay at first. Mainly because I spent majority of the day around infants and their biggest concern is either their next diaper change, bottle, or why-in-the-world-haven't-you-picked-me-up-yet? My hair was pretty much the last thing on my mind. Then I went to church this evening and came home and most of my twists in the front had unravelled. I have pretty soft hair so this is to be expected. I mean, yeah it's been two weeks but my patience is being severely challenged. I guess it's true what they say about us living in an instant generation and society. Everything has to be right now and automatic. Process is foreign to us and this process (for lack of another word) is trying.

I love the encouragement and the connection that I feel with other people with locks (whether they're newbies or seasoned) but this first two weeks has been rough. I do not feel attractive. No matter what I do, how much make up I put on. Sunday my hair was doing what it wanted to do so I decided to put on the most frilly, girly frock I could find in my closet just to feel the way I'm used to feeling and it did nothing. Although I received many compliments I still felt awkward and untamed. It must be all over my face because yesterday, I was in Trader Joe's and a young lady in the elder stage of her journey smiled at me as she took the shopping baskets back outside. When she returned she asked me if I needed a bag and then asked, "How long have you had your locks."

I chuckled and answered, "Almost two weeks."

And she replied, "I know this is rough but you gotta go through it. I promise it's gonna pass and it's gonna be worth. But it suits you."

I smiled and asked a few questions and headed on my way. I felt good for the moment but I find myself staring at myself all the time. Excited about the end result but not thrilled about what I have to do to get there.
As I'm typing this, I'm getting a revelation and am looking at this far beyond my hair. I'm being taught some things and it's really uncomfortable but as the young lady said, "It's gonna pass and it's gonna be worth it."

I don't want to call it the ugly stage. It sounds demeaning. Almost as though I made a mistake. But what seems to be more ironically appropriate is the grooming stage.

Ironic because, I look unkempt by my standards but am being groomed for something much bigger than long locks. If I can sit through this process then.....

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Long Lock Walk

I've never been so excited and so terrified in my life. I guess now I kind of have a feel as to what my wedding day will be like. Jitters and the preoccupation with the way I look. Wanting everything to be perfect and wanting the forever journey to be RIGHT NOW. I guess you can say I've already performed a sacred union. I'm married to my hair and we've started a beautiful relationship. I mean yeah, it's only been a week but I've learned a lot about myself.

Lesson number one was my level of vanity. Yeah, I'm a tiny bit vain. But aren't we all? Don't we all struggle with acceptance, wanting to look a certain way, blend a certain. I've always been a bit of a "sore thumb" as far as personality and interests are concerned but this is my HAIR!!!!

One of the most truthful things I've heard in the past seven days is, "Wow, that takes courage." Mind you this fell from the lips of a sistah that looks like me and was born with hair curled tightly like mine but she'd just made the decision to alter its behavior. I remember being like that. I remember being natural and not being as comfortable with it as I pretended to be. Things have since changed.

I've developed an uncanny obsession with my natural hair. The way it feels. The way it responds to these starter locs (or nubs as I like to call them). I've fallen in love and I'm finally loc'ed up and free. Pun absolutely intended.

I get tickled about the fact that I've started locs around the same time that I want to settle down and meet my husband. "Who in the world wants to take Buckwheat on a date?" I asked myself on the second day that I unveiled my babies. But to my surprise, my "courage" has become captivating somehow and I've learned that any man that is disgusted with the way that I've chosen to nurture my hair isn't the father of my children. It's just that simple.

I wake up every day, more and more in love with the process. Although at first I thought I may have lost my mind, I quickly remembered everything that I've heard other loc'ed individuals profess. "The Buckwheat phase is short lived. You'll be surprised how quickly it passes."

So that's what I'm holding on to.... and I'm loving this....

I'm finally committed to who I was made to be and what I was made to look like and I'm proud of it.....

Until next time....

Love, love, love