Black Girls Behaving Badly: Marie Holmes...?

I don't think folks are considering the Marie Holmes situation from all angles.  Yes, it's true she walked off with $88 million from the lottery.  It's true she's bailed her boyfriend out of jail four times now, paying out a total of $21 million.  And while one commenter stated that for the first time in her life she needed to see a dick pic (to know what $21 million-dick looks like), I think folks are being a little harsh here.

Keep in mind what started her man's legal troubles: he got busted with 8,000 bags of heroin.  Not grams, bags.  Now - *sniff* - when your man is dealing drugs on that level, you can't just tell the authorities, "Oh...well...I didn't know."   Whether you knew or not is irrelevant because no white judge and jury are going to believe that shit.


Black Girl Music: Ladybug Mecca

Yeah, I'm thick like dat
I stack like dat
I'm down like dat
I'm black like dat

~ Ladybug Mecca, from "The Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)"
I'll admit, I was still a preteen when they dropped the immortal track "Rebirth of Slick," but some of y'all know what I mean when I talk about the late 1980s and early 1990s being a magical, mystical time in rap/hip hop.  Artists back then were not only writing deep, defiant, imaginative lyrics, but a lot were experimenting with various art forms to create transcendent music.

So it's no wonder that when Digable Planets reunited (for the second time) for a show on December 30, 2015, they did so to a sold-out crowd comprising some clearly devoted 1,400 fans.  And I'm not surprised that Ms. Ladybug Mecca got the loudest love when she hopped on the mic.


Black Girl Music: Chaley Rose

I'm somewhat patiently waiting for "Swirl Girl Icon" Chaley Rose to drop an album and go on tour, y'all - for real.  She was my main reason for even bothering with Nashville (roommate's a fan), where she was treated much like Joss Carter, Bonnie Bennett, Ashley on Revenge, Lacey Porter, Abbie Mills...you get the gist.

Chaley Rose has this sweet, soulful voice which makes me feel.  Understand that most of the folks singing on Nashville are not great singers.  They're okay, primarily because of auto-tune (which, let's face it, can only do so much).  In fact, I noticed that all the great singers tend to be either guest or recurring characters, so it's no wonder she's no longer on the show. As the character Zoey Dalton, she brought such an evocative layer to the music.


Black Girl Music: Kat Graham

Here's the thing about Kat Graham.

When I saw her on The Vampire Diaries, that was my first real introduction to her.  And as with many fans of Graham's, what I saw on that show really framed my perception of her.  I've spent years wondering what the hell this woman is still doing on that show, and when I started this music series, I suddenly remembered in the back of my mind that in addition to acting and modeling, Graham dances and makes music.

On TVD, Kat Graham is the afterthought, the sidekick, the token.  In music, Kat Graham is front and center, a flawless, fierce force of nature.  She's been a back-up dancer for Bow Wow, Missy Elliot, and Pharrell.  She's collaborated with Babyface and Benny Boom.  Yet despite writing, recording, and performing songs professionally for almost fourteen years now, her music career remains one of the industry's best kept secrets...but that's sort of the running theme here, isn't it?

I was shocked at all her singles, EPs, remix albums - and even a full-length album - just casually chillin' on Amazon.  I didn't know she'd racked up a collection like that.  Like one of her commenters pondered on YouTube, how is she not selling out stadiums???

Graham's artistry is surprisingly broad and diverse, as are her vocal range and fashion tastes.  So while I understand that she's probably sticking with The Vampire Diaries strictly to pay the bills, she shouldn't have to, and I'm convinced now more than ever that the CW is just un-fucking-worthy.


Black Girl Music: Rich White Ladies

I love, love, love the Rich White Ladies.

I first learned of them when I was reading about cameos in Silento's "Whip/Nae Nae".  I remember seeing their name and going, "Huh?"  It's a perfectly snarky name for the fun, chic duo, which comprises rapper Tokyo Diiva and chanteuse Scotty Rebel (LOVE their names!!!!).

Rich White Ladies' artistry blends hip hop, pop, and electronica with irreverent lyrics about living like, well, rich white ladies.  I love this duo because they look like they're having such a blast making girly music and fun videos, all the while wearing whatever the hell they want. They haven't dropped a full-length album yet (it's in progress), but they've already done a tour and performed in Russia.


Black Girl Music: Mickey Guyton

I actually grew up listening to country music, but I was never a big fan of the "scene".  What can I say; it wasn't particularly friendly towards Black folks, despite owing its roots to blues, Negro Spirituals, and oh yeah, the friggin' banjo.

But anyways...Mickey Guyton is a 32-year-old Texan whose crooning will make you stop whatever you're doing, evening breathing.  Though she hasn't dropped a full-length album yet, Guyton performed for the President in 2011, her song "It's No Mistake" made its way to The Right Kind of Wrong's soundtrack in 2013, and she had her Grand Ole Opry debut back in January of this year.

Needless to say, I already own both of her EPs: Mickey Guyton is a 4-track EP currently priced at $5.16 on Amazon.  Unbreakable is the 4-track acoustic EP currently priced at $3.99, and is the one I happen to prefer.  The humble, stripped-down tracks allow Guyton's voice to really shine. Remember when I talked about voices which make me feel? When girlfriend belts out a song...you can tell she's been through it.


Black Girl Music: Tiffany Evans

 (Formerly known as our Music Sisters series, Black Girl Music will focus on, well, Black female artists.)

Let's talk Tiffany Evans.

But before we do, I've been doing this weird thing lately where I pay for actual music with actual money from my paycheck.  I do this so I know whom I'm supporting, and my money generally goes to artists of color because let's be honest: we make the best music.  Also, because POC artists aren't seen as cash cows and potential record-breakers (read: a major priority), their albums tend to be shorter (so less "filler songs") and thus reasonably affordable.

After all, I'm one of those Black women with an advanced education and a full-time job.  If I'm gonna spend my dough on music, it might as well be on music by a sistah.