Food For Thought

 

“All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind”

Kahlil Gibran

A seemingly simple, yet somewhat complex concept: Everything you say should feed whoever you’re saying it to. Similarly, you should be fed by the words that are given to you. Don’t be naive enough to think that words, depending on their origin, are irrelevant or powerless. And don’t think for a second that people aren’t paying attention to the words that are coming out of your mouth.

You can tell a lot about a person by the type of conversation they create and entertain. When you invite yourself (or accept an invitation) to the table, you have to deal with the meal that’s served. Once you realize that what you’re consuming is unhealthy, you have to make a decision to leave or continue to eat. If you choose to stay, you can’t blame the chef or the host if you get sick. The corrosion or cleansing that occurs is merely a consequence of your choice.

In music, the same rules apply. When you’re looking to be fed, where do you go? What “restaurants” are you patronizing? If you’re an artist, what is your mind cooking up for the people? I think that’s where most people, patron or proprietor, get it wrong. Most people just look to be entertained. Looking for snacks and junk food to devour. In reality, they should be looking to savor some sustenance.

Here’s some food for thought…get a plate!

 

Bilal – “All For Love”

“I’ve played the fool before. Stared at the sun till it burned out my eye sight. Blind, but a man must move on. No time for regrets. Who lives in rehearse?”

 

Mos Def – “Priority”

“Top priority. Peace before everything. God before anything. Love before anything. Real before everything. Home before any place. Truth before anything…”


 

The Roots – “Atonement”

“…taking the city with a grain a salt/with it tasting foul, chase it down with the latest malt liquor…”


 

Lupe Fiasco – “Hurt Me Soul”

“…laser-guided targeting, oil for food bartering, terrorist organization harboring…bulimic vomiting, Catholic priest fondling, preemptive bombing and Osama and Obama ‘nem, they breaking in my car again…all the world’s ills, sitting on chrome 24 inch wheels…”


 

Outkast – “Babylon”

“…but let me hold it down, cause they shut you down when you speak from your heart. Now that’s hard. Cause while we ranting and raving bout gats…n*gga they made them gats! They got some sh!t that’ll blow out our back…from where they stay at.”

 

John Legend & The Roots – “Shine”

“It’s so dark, but I see sparks…they can’t eat if we don’t feed them. Can’t read if we don’t teach them.”

 

So, I just put my ingredients in the pot. Now it’s your turn. What are some of your favorite songs to feed on when your soul is hungry?

REAL music LIVES forever



In case you missed the message of the title, what’s real never dies.  As of late, there have been quite a few songs in the rotation that were created by some of the most talented artist that God has called home.  I’m sure that I am not the only one, but there are several songs that I can think of, (both past and present) that I will enjoy as if its my first time hearing them until the day I perish.  As of late, Mr.Luther Vandross’s compositions have changed the way I view love, life, and living.  When you here Luther sing, you hear some of the most incredible vocals in the history of sound.  The lyrics were loving and heart-felt, and his live performances were flawless.  Although, he is gone, Luther’s voice will be heard forever. 

“If This World Were Mine” ft Cheryl Lynn

This is my personal favorite and will quite possibly be the  first song that my wife and I play at our wedding reception.

“If Only for One Night”

“Here and Now”

Yet another “first dance” candidate.  If the wedding vows weren’t enough, Luther provides some nice reinforcement with this one…

“Take You Out”

Definitely for the mature and sexy.  Even Hov had to loop this one.

“A House is not a Home”

Luther, we miss you but thisaintthat.com will have your back 4EVER!!!

Foreign Exchange

If you haven’t noticed by now, we love music. All music. For me, personally, it’s all about the connection. How it connects me to certain emotions, places, and people. Reconnects me to moments of my past. It’s no secret – music has power. As a native of Chicago, I can travel anywhere in the world through music and connect with the locals. For at least 3 minutes, I can view the world through the eyes of a complete stranger. I can become an international student by just pressing play. And before you know it, you discover all types of commonalities. Establish a real closeness with a region of the map that y0u otherwise would’ve been completely oblivious too.

Musically, there’s no way to ignore the impact that America has had on world. But it’s also very easy to become ethnocentric or bias when it comes to opening up to outside influences. The international contribution on the art form is mountainous. Historically, there doesn’t even seem like there’s a beginning to it all. Music has seen and touched every inch of the Earth. It has healed wounds and brought peace to nations in total unrest. Through music, audiences have taught themselves new languages. Right now, I want to take you all on a journey with me. An international journey. Let’s see the world through music!

Note: I’m intentionally keeping fairly recent. There are too many great examples of international greatness to cover it all. Never the less, I hope you enjoy!

Asa – Jailer

(Born in Paris — raised in Nigeria)

 

Colin Munroe – Will I Stay

(Ontario)

 

Corinne Bailey Rae

(England)

 

Damian Marley (Kingston, Jamaica), K’naan (Somalia), and Nas – Africa Must Wake Up

 

Jessica Cornish – Big White Room

(England)

 

The Foreign Exchange – Eyes to the Sky

(Nicolay, the producer, is from the Netherlands)

 

Slick Rick – Mona Lisa

(London)

 

The Script – The Man Who Can’t Be Moved

(Ireland)

 

Jamie Cullum – Frontin’

(England)

 

Adele – Melt My Heart to Stone

(London)

 

Hope you enjoyed this (maybe not so) quick voyage. Let me know what you think.

And I’m out!


Hills and Valleys

 

Timeless [taym lis]: referring or restricted to no particular time

 

There are few things in life that are worthy of the timeless title. Let’s be clear – there’s a number of things that people may consider classic. And that’s almost (in my opinion) just as great of a position to be in. But there is a difference. Some things can be classic for a specific era or place in time. What my father would’ve considered classic in his heyday might have very well been. But in the year 2010, that same “classic” is quite possibly outdated, overlooked, or just uncool.

So what is timeless, you ask? In the world of fashion, there may be that one pair of Nikes that will never go out of style or lose their value. In certain neighborhoods in my hometown, box Chevys and Buicks get tagged timeless. On any dancefloor in America, at any given time, you can catch somebody break out into a timeless rendition of the Robot. But if we’re talking about one of my favorite subjects – music – timeless can be found pretty much everywhere. From the timeless voice of Billie Holiday and Marvin Gaye to the timeless playing of Thelonious Monk and B.B. King.

In an effort to make it more plain and/or current, albums like Erykah’s Mama’s Gun and the Mos Def-Talib Kweli Black Star collaboration are timeless. Whenever the current brand of music gets unbearable, I can count on those albums to make me feel better about the art form. But today I want to spotlight one artist in particular. An artist that has stood the test of time. An artist that, regardless of past or current (in)activity has remained relevant and very visible on most Top 10 lists. Regardless of genre or gender, one of the best artists of our lifetime – Lauryn Hill.

With only one official solo album, 12 year old The Mis-Education of Lauryn Hill, she has managed to keep a solidified seat at the table with the all-time greats. There isn’t a single solitary song off that album that you can’t play today and not get excited as if it were your first time hearing it. Vocally better than the majority of the singers getting heavy rotation nowadays and lyrically superior to {insert your favorite rapper’s name here}. I know…you might read this and say “Wow, he’s putting a lot on it”. And you may be right (even though you’re wrong). But the truth of the matter is, whenever music hits that decline and reaches it’s valley…Lauryn Hill remains high atop the mundane. Standing comfortably on the mounds of artists and albums that have perished with time.

Partake…pay attention…and partake again

 

Guarding the Gates

 

The World is a Hustle

 

Mystery of Iniquity

 

Zealots w/The Fugees – (she said “and even after all my logic and my theory, I add a motherf*cker so you ignant n!ggas hear me”)

 

The Mis-Education of Lauryn Hill

 

Tell Him

 

Final Hour