Music Monday: An Ultimate Love Song For You

Atlanta, GA native, Jamie Grace

Atlanta, GA native, Jamie Grace

Lately I’ve been consumed with all things pertaining to love. I’ve even convinced myself to believe that Spring is really the cuffing season of the year (sorry, Winter). Love is in the air, and everyone is basking in it, so it seems. This month’s music discovery fits the scenario wonderfully.

When I listened to “To Love You Back” by Jamie Grace the first couple of times, I cried like a baby. Meditating on the lyrics, I reflected on how God loves me despite my imperfections, my sins, and how I don’t have to feel guilty when I focus on His undying love for me. Then I started thinking of how wonderful it is to have someone to love me in the same capacity; that was when the tears really started to overflow.

Jamie sings about the kind of love I believe we all long for deep down. A love from someone who has a selfless heart. wpid-phpthumb-1.jpegWouldn’t that be the greatest thing of all much like the commandment itself? I strongly believe that this kind of love (agape love) is the love God intended for us to have in our significant relationships but only so many fail to reach.

There’s nothing more I can say but only to suggest for you to take a listen to the lyrics and imagine having such a love where your significant other loves you just as God loves you. You’ll likely not want anything short of it again.

(Either the day of or the night of our wedding, I don’t care. This song will be played.)

*k*

Jamie Grace – To Love You Back (Official Lyrics Video)

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Crush Groovin’: Erykah Badu

wpid-a599a9f7f1c0e554b7c33b84beb61892.jpg

She was born under water with three dollars and six dimes. Not sure what that means? Don’t feel so stupid. Hardly anyone understood it then when they first heard the lyric in On and On.

I don’t think I need to introduce this month’s girl crush. I’ll just let you scroll down the page for pictures of this musical goddess:

ebadu

eb

erykah

Mmmhmmm. Miss Erykah Badu. Or you can simply call her Badu. Better yet, just call her a music goddess because that is what she is. Baduizm, Mama’s Gun, Worldwide Underground, New Amerykah . . . all of her studio albums are solid masterpieces designed to take you into the gifted mind of their creator. Aside from her music and distinct sound, I suppose it’s her eccentricities that land her a spot on my list. Hard to believe why she was able to capture the hearts of men like Andre 3000, Common, The D.O.C., and Jay Electronica, isn’t it? Not really, no. But what is this pull she has on men? Aish, I wish I knew.

Whatever Badu voodoo she’s releasing into the atmosphere, she needs to keep it up so she can continue churning out good music in a world full of studio created “singers.” I am all the way here for it.

*k*

Take an acid trip . . . without the acid.

Jump Up in the Air (and Stay There) featuring Lil’ Wayne and Bilal:

photo credits:
Okay player
Erykah Badu Official Myspace Page
Blow the Scene

Crush Groovin’: Sabi

I’m not too late, am I? Yaaaay, I’m not late!

Wow. I feel like I haven’t posted anything since last year! I’m currently in the process of redesigning Skinny Girl in a Curvy World, complete with photos and new blog entries pertaining to more than just music and girl crushes. Hopefully, I can kick it off really soon! Nevertheless, it’s the last day of January, which means I can’t miss posting about my girl crush of the month.

Now introducing . . .

sabi4

If you don’t know who this beauty is, you’re about to now. Her name is Sabi (real name Jenice Dena Portlock), and I think she is hawt! If she wasn’t she wouldn’t be anywhere near my list. Maybe you know her from Cobra Starships’s fun song (one wtdtaof my favorite dance tunes, just to let you know); maybe you don’t. But that’s how I know her, and that one song led me to others she released on her own and more collaborations she has done with other artists like Britney Spears, Tyga, and Diplo, to name a few.

By the way, is it me or does the Inglewood, California-born vixen resemble August’s girl crush? Either way, she’s a beauty in her own right. I wish her all the best in finding her place in the overpopulated world of music. But I’d rather her not become a mainstream puppet. (Nevermind what I want. Those are just my selfish feels talking.)

Hit the play button here and below to see why she’s the pick for January’s crush groovin’. Any chick who can rock this deserves to be on the list, don’t you agree?

sabi5
*k*

“Champagne” (This is one of those songs that always makes me want to kick it with my girls and dance the night away.)

I Am Not My Hair . . . Am I?

Long hair don’t care . . . until someone assumes it’s not yours.

Natural Hair

This week sometime, I was talking to a male friend of mine who is from and lives in Korea. We had our general conversation: the typical “Hey, how are you? How’s work going?,” and as usual, talk about our cultural differences. Somewhere in between banal and “respect of customs” talk, he gave me a compliment about my curly, wavy hair. It went something like this:

Him: Where did you get that hair? Looks nice!
Me: That’s my hair! All of it! *laughs*
Him: Oh, really?
Me: Yessss. O_O
Him: I don’t know if it’s true or not.
Me: O_O Then I will show you someday.
Him: But I heard black people can’t have long hair.
Me: That’s not true.
Him: And I saw some Beyonce’s pic.
Me: O_-
Him: She doesn’t have hair but fake hair, haha.
Me: *laughs*

Yes, that conversation did happen. I further explained to him that black women were capable of growing their hair to long lengths like women from other ethnicities. I also made sure he understood that caucasian women (or whatever PC name my white sisters prefer to be called) were guilty of wearing extensions just as much as black women were.

Was I offended by his inaccurate assumption about my hair not being real? Not. At. All. I understand that because of the homogeneous society where he is from and where he lives, he hasn’t had much exposure to women who look like me. The only exposure he has is to what he sees on television and in the media (i.e., Beyonce, which leads me to another topic I’m not quite ready to dive into just yet but will eventually ).

Actress, Viola Davis

Actress, Viola Davis


Had it come from someone else, it would’ve sounded like a backhanded compliment. I was able to accept the compliment for what it was and not pop off at him for saying something that otherwise could have been offensive had I’d chosen to be offended. But as we continued to talk about other things, one thing nagged me a bit: why do we–black women–feel the need to add hair to our beautiful tresses?

I haven’t worn any in a while, but people know me for wearing wigs and phony ponytails. Fake hair is fake hair, regardless. I don’t need to wear any, but I like the convenience of changing my hairstyles and color whenever I feel that the outfit I’m wearing requires for me to. And when I’m ready to go back to my own head full of hair, I can on any day. But why do we prefer to wear longer hair past our shoulders down to our waistlines?

Janelle Monáe

Singer, Janelle Monáe

I desperately wanted to sing praises of the black woman to my Korean friend–to expound on so many things that the Beyonce’s, Gabriel Union’s , Zoe Saldana’s, Lauryn Hill’s, Alicia Keys’, Halle Berry’s, and Tyra Banks’ do not portray. (Seriously, those are all of the women he finds attractive.) I wanted to tell him that as black women, we have the most versatile hair that can do things when we want it to and when we don’t want it to.
Yaya DaCosta

Model/Actress, Yaya DaCosta

(Humidity and rain will NEVER be our hair’s ally.) I couldn’t go into detail about it all, though. After all, night for me is day for him and he was working. I did, however, tell him that “long hair is thought to be better, so blacks add more hair.” (Note: Because of the language barrier between us, we often have to talk in a way for us to understand each other.) After I said it, I cringed a little. I couldn’t help but to ponder the why question. Why is long hair considered to be more beautiful? Furthermore, why do we as women believe such B. S.? Why can’t we love the hair we have without adding to it, be it weaves or chemicals? Has society screwed our mindset that much? My goodness!

I wear my hair in its natural state, meaning no chemicals and definitely no weaves. Of course it’s high-maintenance, believe it or not, but I do love it even if it has a mind of its own and doesn’t always obey what I command it to do.

Cindy Blackman

Drummer, Cindy Blackman


One other thing: I’m happy to know that other men from other racial backgrounds are taking notice of how beautiful our crowns are.

. . . I just wish we would believe it more for ourselves. And not become so easily offended when people express a curious interest about our unique hair.

*k*

Crush Groovin’: Chrisette Michele

This one is fairly new . . .

She so purrty!

She so purrty!

I remember when this tatted-up angel released her first single a couple of years ago. The problem is, I don’t recall the name of the debut song. Shame, I know.

About around the time when she released Epiphany, her second album, I started taking notice of her artistry. Epiphany (I’m Leaving) was the song that managed to grab my attention. But it wasn’t until Better, her current album, when I actually saw her as a force to be reckoned with in the universe of R&B and neo-soul divas.

A friend of mine was generous enough to take me to see Chrisette Michele perform here in Birmingham for my birthday months ago. I was extremely tired and wanted to rest up because it was exactly the day after my sister’s wedding (which I’m just now reverting back to a sense of normalcy from that time); of course, I couldn’t resist the offer. Thankfully my friend made sure I didn’t miss out on seeing the intimate performance or else I wouldn’t have witnessed the beautiful spirit that emits from this paragon of [equally] outer and inner beauty. Her voice is soothing to the soul. Her gentle spirit is conspicuous in her interactions with fans. She’s also found love in one of the baddest, hottest guitarist of today and it shows not only in her expressions but also in her creativity.

I like your style!

I like your style!

Chrisette Michele: my most recent girl crush. Not only is she gorgeous, but she’s spiritually wise, too. Just the kind of woman I admire.

*k*

A Couple of Forevers featuring her beau as the male lead:


photo credits:
http://www.thisisrnb.com
http://www.ddotomen.com

Crush Groovin’: Aaliyah

aaliyah-aaliyahAugust 25, 2001: the day the R&B music world lost the young Aaliyah Dana Haughton. Rather than recalling where I was, what I was doing, and how her passing affected me 12 years ago, I’d like to focus on remembering her beauty and music.

Aaliyah
Aaliyah is the third woman I’ve ever had a girl crush on. (Cindy Herron of EnVogue and Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins were the first two respectively in case you were wondering. If not, then disregard those names because I’m supposed to be talking about Aaliyah, right?)aaliyah-haughton I specifically remember when I first saw her on television. The station? BET. The song? Back and Forth. And I’ve liked the woman ever since. But it wasn’t until the release of the One in a Million LP album that I was completely sold on being one of her supporters.

aaliyahShe was attractive, could dance (wasn’t she smooth?), and pioneered the shift in what R&B music sounded like in the late 90s thanks to the help of Timbaland and Missy Elliott et. al.

Till this day, I still miss everything about her. I miss seeing the tiny woman on my television. And I don’t care what anyone says: no matter how much the likes of Chris Brown and Drake try to incorporate her voice into their music and revive her with those ridiculous holograms, it will never be the same as having her presence in the world again.

aaliyahhaughtonThe music industry lost a special talent–a talent that was evolving and adhexpanding beyond music. But thankfully her fans and supporters can continue to keep her spirit alive through song, videos, interviews, and even her movies. (Curse Hollywood for not letting her kiss Jet Li, though! That was way off topic, I know.)

Rest in peace, “Baby Girl.” Gone but far, far from forgotten . . . .

aaliyah1

*k*

The making of We Need A Resolution :

Crush Groovin’: Tracee Ellis Ross

I wish I could get my hair to look this great.

I wish I could get my hair to look this great.

Move over, ladies! Tracee Ellis Ross is joining you as the girl crush of July!

What more could I possibly say that the pictures on this page cannot convey? Yes, she is the daughter of one of the greatest [supreme] divas the world of music has ever been blessed to hear. I have to highlight that fact, but T.E.R. has secured her own spot as one of the most beautiful divas the world of entertainment has been blessed to have.

I honestly don’t know one, single person who does not find this woman attractive. What is it about Tracee Ellis Ross that men and women tend to crush on? Is it her penetrating eyes? Is it her near perfect skin? Is it her curly tresses that so gracefully fall from her crown? Her humorous personality? Or is it that voluptuous rump that gets to follow her everywhere she goes? How about it’s a combination of all of the above? Tracee is sexy for so many reasons that could fill this entire page, but for the sake of keeping it short and sweet, I will say this much: Bu Thiam is one lucky brother to have this arm candy:

Unaltered, natural beauty.

Unaltered, natural beauty.


So, why is T.E.R. considered as one of my girl crushes? Look at the woman. Just look at her!
Then again, this photo says more, yes.

Then again, this photo says more, yes.


TER is too dope. Nuff said.

TER is too dope. Nuff said.

And really, is it necessary for me to explain why she’s even on my list? There’s something about her character that seems ingenuous unlike so many celebrities who are blessed with physical features most women would covet to have. I believe with Miss Tracee Ellis Ross, what you see is what you get. My goodness, she just comes off as one of those people you want to become b.f.f.’s with! (I personally would love to raid her wardobe and jewelry armoire. She even has that tricky, lazy eye thing going on like I do whenever I smile for a flashing camera. That’s reason enough why she and I should be friends! I’m joking . . . sort of.)

Tracee Ellis Ross has a bright spirit that captures people’s attention (clearly, she got it from her mama)–the type of woman who could be seen wearing a pair of Air Jordans one day, Christian Louboutins the next. Now, that’s my kind of girl crush.

She doesn't even need makeup! Flawless, honty! Flaw-less!

She doesn’t even need makeup! Flawless, honty! Flaw-less!

*k*

Kindred Spirits and Divine Connections: The kind of friendships sent from above

I’m in a glass case of emotion!!!!

Friendships are such a wonderful gift! Every time we step away from our front door and out into the unpredictable world, we enter into possibilities to meet new people and establish connections with them. Maybe that person is the new neighbor whom you haven’t had an encounter with yet. Or maybe you’ve been neighbors for awhile, but neither of you has ever introduced yourselves to one another. If you have a job and you work in a setting where you have co-workers, that setting stands as a prospect to get to know someone; the same pertains to your classmates if you are a student. If you’re like me, you may meet people through mutual friends. I could incessantly name all of the ways we meet others in our daily lives. The point is, when we connect with someone, we really don’t know how that person will affect us down the road of association.

Recently, I helped celebrate a good friend’s grand business venture which resulted in her having to relocate to another state, and while I am rejoicing with her about this new chapter in her and her husband’s life, I am finding that I am not handling it so well. I don’t speak Yiddish, but sending her off, wishing her good fortune left me a little verklempt. After I received word about her leaving the city that I love, it left me thinking a lot about the bonds we form with other people, who we choose to cherish, and how those bonds positively or negatively impress upon our spirits.

I call my friend my kindred spirit. We call each other Virgo sisters. The way we clicked when we first met was in all honesty cosmic, for lack of better words. I’m an introvert, so sometimes it is difficult for me to converse with others until I’m comfortable with being around them. My friend and I only hung out a couple of times after the first time we met. Regardless, our level of interaction seemed like we had been best friends or at least had known each other for years. We had not; however, after only knowing her for ten months, I consider her to be one of the few whom I can call a good friend. For me, that is a rarity.

Pictured here with my friend, Cherie (left), on the night of her "Good Luck" party. We even accidentally wore the same colors!"

Pictured here with my friend, Cherie (left), on the night of her “Good Luck” party. We even accidentally wore the same colors!”

I had no idea that she would leave such a positive impression on me when I met her. As a woman, I admire her for her beauty–for her sense of humor. I admire her for her tenacity. I admire her for being a successful entrepreneur (one who’s humble at that). I won’t even begin to talk about the genuine adoration that is so visibly evident between her and her husband; it is truly something to behold.

I never thought to let her know about the impression she has made on me. That is, until she emailed me about her leaving the city. Right then I took the time in my reply to let her know that I would forever cherish our friendship no matter how often we hung out or talked to each other in the past. I just hate that it took for her to tell me that she was leaving for me to let her know that. This post only serves as an extension of my appreciation for the positive energy she exudes and for her demonstrating sophistication. Like I told her, I am grateful for having crossed paths with her.

People come, people go; it’s true. Some people will vibe well with us; others won’t. It is left up to us to sift through the gems worth keeping–to nurture the friendships worth holding on to. Don’t wait until adieu or worse. It may not always mean to make a phone call every single day, week, or month. In some friendships between two, they can go without speaking to each other for periods of time and pick up where they left off as if they had never missed a beat. Where I think we tend to miss the beat is in our understanding of the connection and the way others silently motivate us through their lifestyle. If we ever grasp that understanding, then we should express to that friend that has impacted us so greatly how much we appreciate them for just being them. It is one of the most elevating things we could do for another. As the saying goes, you reap what you sow. And who wouldn’t want to be told “Thank you for just being you” in return?
*k*

“No love, no friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever.” –Francois Muriac

Cherie Fields is the operator and manager of Iron Tribe Fitness (located in Huntersville, NC). If you're near the area or know of anyone who is interested in improving their lives,

Cherie Fields is the operator and manager of Iron Tribe Fitness (located in Huntersville, NC). Find out “why she tribes” and join The NC Tribe family for a different approach to a physically-fit lifestyle.

(*shameless plug* Visit Iron Tribe’s Huntersville, NC Facebook page here. *end shameless plug*)

Crush Groovin’: Esperanza Spalding

ESPERANZA EXTRAVAGANZA!

simply gorgeous

simply gorgeous

Massive hair. Soothing voice. Upright bass. My girl crush.
I’d heard of her long ago from a musician friend of mine, but I’d never listened to any of her music. Until one night, back in 2011 during one of my late evenings when I was hungry for new music to listen to, I decided to discover her music on YouTube.esperanza-spaulding-at-oscars Instantly I fell in love and have been in love with her art ever since. The bonus? She is a bass player! (I’ve always had a sore spot for vocalists who were also musicians.)

I had the pleasure in seeing her perform live last month at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Esperanza-Spalding-2012-Oscar-Hairstyle-19The performance easily goes down as one of the best concerts I’d ever been to in my life. If only that night could have lasted for more than 2 hours!

Esperanza Spalding: Beautiful soul, phenomenal artist.

Yeah, girl. That's what talent sounds like.

Yeah, girl. That’s what talent sounds like.