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Thirteen Thursday Thoughts

“To making it count…”

Movies

Just as I finished digesting the news of Whitney Houston’s toxicology reports, TriStar released the trailer for Sparkle (1), starring Whitney Houston, Mike Epps, Derek Luke, Cee-Lo (2) (more on him later), and Jordin Sparks. I realize that this is a remake, but I’m really excited about it, and I have high hopes for it. I’m going to see it, if for no other reason than to see Whitney and hear her angelic voice one more time. 

Music

I finally got to see The Hunger Games, and I loved it! It wasn’t as good as the book, but what movie is ever as good as the book that precedes it? I felt that the movie did it justice, and I’m excited to start reading Catching Fire. Since I’m on the topic, Lenny Kravitz (2) as Cinna just might have been my favorite character outside of Katniss. I loved Rue, too. I won’t spoil the plot for those who have yet to read the book or see the movie, but I will say that he added a serenity to the movie, and he nailed his role. I’m glad to see that Helen, I mean Roxie Roker (3) passed some acting skills down to her son. Movin’ on up…here’s a list of my 5 favorite Lenny Kravitz songs.

  1. “Little Girl’s Eyes” (duh…)
  2. “Fly Away”
  3. “Again”
  4. “I Belong to You”
  5. “I’ll Be Waiting”

Kanye West (4) made the news again this week for his song, “Theraflu”, where he admits to falling in love with Kim Kardashian, throws his respect for Wiz Khalifa, and well…here:

“And I’ll admit, I fell in love with Kim, ’round the same time she had fell in love with him, well, that’s cool, baby girl, do ya thing, lucky I ain’t have Jay drop him from the team,”

I think Kanye is disturbed in all honesty. I’ve thought something was off ever since 808’s & Heartbreak. His “Runaway” video was the icing on the cake for me (even though I loved it). Fellow Threader, Terry the Trainer, eloquently nails my sentiments with this gem:

“Kanye’s new song reminds me of how badly I do NOT. WANT. FAME. Ever. Falling in love with Kim K while she falls in love with the dude she marries on your watch, just to dump him two months later, and leave you feeling empty…Now one ex is with an inferior rap guy (Wiz) and another ex is over you, overpaid, and thanks to your own big mouth, over-publicized as you openly admit defeat to an NBA guy who is as famous as he has recently become…Because of your ex. At a certain point, you are so celebrated, you just chase what (and who) is celebrated. You forget what you once were and what type of company you once pursued. I feel sorry for that in a way at the same time. You CAN’T be normal anymore.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. “The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul” (5) found her way into my “Thirteen Thoughts”…again. By now, you’ve probably seen, heard, or heard about the now infamous Burger King commercial that has her looking like Catwoman on a table singing about crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, an assortment of cheeses, and ranch dressing. I suppose her days of drama, real love, goin’ down, and breaking through are over. utpipeline gave us a classic post yesterday, so I’ll just leave this subject with that. *walks away* *looks back* *shakes head* *continues walking* Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary… *sigh*

Cee-Lo (6) is quickly becoming another all-star on my Thoughts, but I’m not happy with him at the moment. A few weeks ago, Cee-Lo performed the unedited version of his hit single, “F*** You” at a fundraiser for President Obama, which was hosted by Tyler Perry (6) (more on him in a second). Dammit, Cee-Lo, you can’t do that!!! My people, my people…while I’m sure this is a popular sentiment directed at several of Obama’s opponents, it will certainly not help get the President reelected. *slightly head-bops*

Radio Show

Thread Radio is off and rolling now, and we’ll keep it chugging next as we talk about Tyler Perry (7). He has been the subject of several debates over on the Thread, so we figured we’d bring it to the public. So many people love him; so many people hate him. Is he good for black entertainment or is he bad for it? However, you feel, be sure to tune in Monday night at 10 Central at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/threadradio. Here are our first and second shows in case you missed them.

Sports

The Masters started today, and Tiger Woods (8) seems to be an early favorite. Timeout. You mean to tell me that it only took one win after 2 years for people to hop back on Tiger’s bandwagon? That’s it? I’ve watched so many “experts” and “analysts” say that they believe he’ll end up with the green jacket on Sunday. Color me skeptical. Oh, congratulations to Baylor for winning the title in women’s basketball! I got my wish of getting to see Skylar and Brittney Griner (9) square off, but I knew Baylor would prevail. Griner is simply unstoppable. I suppose Baylor Law School (10) was too excited about the win, and pushed some of the wrong buttons. Congratulations to the new class…I suppose.

YouTube

YouTube has done what it always does and provided some great entertainment for people this week.Here’s the 5-year-old comedian who calls out lazy parents (11)

On a Personal Note

I’m not Catholic, but I am a Christian, and I’ve been taking part in a fast in observance of Lent (12). I usually give up all liquids except water, which is also a tribute to my grandmother as she used to do the same thing. I also gave up fast food. Let me just say that this was probably the most challenging fast to get through. It’s not over until Easter, but goodness. I’ve been the awkward guy at the social outing at a bar who asks for water far too many times this past several weeks. All for good reason, but I’m glad it’s almost over. To God be the glory. Finally, it’s been a tough few days for me as tragedy (13) struck entirely too close to home. This guy that I grew up with and went to church with murdered his mother, who also went to church with me. There really isn’t much I can say because it’s such a tragic and heart-wrenching situation, but my thoughts and prayers are with the immediately family and close friends. I wish there was something we could’ve done. We knew the young man was on the wrong path. Maybe we didn’t pray hard enough. Maybe we didn’t reach out to him enough. Maybe we didn’t keep him close enough to us. I don’t know, but my heart is heavy. Let’s take care of each other.

-23

 

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Whitney Houston Loved The Lord: Gospel Remixes to Her Contemporary Collection

“I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”

-Psalm 104:33:

 “The sudden death of legendary singer Whitney Houston has left the music industry in a state of shock. Although her passing came far too soon, the most-awarded female entertainer of our times has left an inspiring legacy, particularly in the Christian world.

Whitney’s roots, early influences, and musical training overflowed with faith-filled melody. Gospel singer Cissy Houston was her mother and first music teacher. Other singers in the family included her godmother Aretha Franklin and cousins Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick, all of whom shared gospel music as a fundamental component of their artistry.

An 11-year-old Whitney first sang in public as a performer in the choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J. It did not take long for the little girl with the big voice to be featured in church services. Whitney’s first solo performance in the church was “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah.” She later told Jet magazine that the hymn is “a song that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

During her extraordinary career, Whitney won two Emmys, six Grammys, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards. She experienced worldwide sales of more than 170 million albums, singles, and videos.

With regard to the Christian world, Whitney’s most significant contribution took place in the mid-1990s at the height of her career. In 1996, the soundtrack of “The Preachers Wife” would ultimately go on to become the largest-selling gospel album of all time, with 6 million copies in worldwide sales. Two of the tunes from the album became hit singles, “I Believe in You and Me” and “Step by Step.”

At a Hollywood nightclub two days prior to her passing, Whitney would give what would end up being her last performance. It is fitting, given the inspiration she provided to all, that Whitney’s last song before leaving this earthly stage would be the gospel classic, “Yes Jesus Loves Me.” (Footnote)”

–          Except from http://www.newsmax.com/Hirsen/Houston-Gospel-Grammy-Cissy/2012/02/13/id/429232

Despite her obvious faults, Whitney Houston is greatly admired for her faith. When she used her talents to sing directly to the God, it was heavenly.

 

I have wondered what Whitney could have done if she went “all the way gospel”. And by that, I don’t mean to say her mainstream career was in vain, but I wonder how many more songs she could have created that could have brought others closer to Christ. But then again, I have to tame my imagination and realize that perhaps she did more in that realm than I realize.

Whitney’s voice was indeed God given. And her passion for the Lord radiated in her music, even in songs that were considered contemporary. Being a traditional gospel enthusiast, I really do enjoy when even contemporary artists do gospel songs and albums. Shoutout to Mariah and Christina. Yes, there are plenty of talented gospel singers out now. But we’re past the Golden Age of Gospel. Most talents these days may be raised gospel, but when they enter the music industry, they likely go pop/adult contemporary.

Since Whitney’s death, I’ve been compelled to think of many of her songs as gospel songs. Not a new concept, I know. Many love songs are a simple translation away from being gospel. Some of my other favorite examples of contemporary songs being applied to as gospel songs is Musiq Soulchild’s Love  and even, The Temptation’s Ain’t Too Proud to Beg. Sister Act I and II were full of them.

God’s so good, that just referencing him in a song can even convert a song that initially was talking about Other People’s Privates (“You down with G.O.D.!”)

As you read through these lyrical re-arrangements and listen to the original song, just be aware that it will take a degree of open-mindedness to disregard what may seem corny or awkward, as well as some musical savvy to follow along. Some songs were easier to translate to gospel than others. Feel free to comment your suggestions the gospel re-arrangements.  Enjoy and be blessed!

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Posted by on April 2, 2012 in Music

 

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Thirteen Thursday Thoughts

Another round of scatter-shooting, shall we?

Trayvon Martin

I suppose I’ll start off with a topic I didn’t give enough insight to last week, and that is this Trayvon Martin (1) situation. Through traditional and social media, more and more information has been shed on this tragedy, and it has honestly taken a lot out of me. As a male, it hits me hard because Trayvon could’ve been my brother, cousin, or nephew. As a black male, Trayvon represents the fact that we haven’t made as much progress as we’d like to think we have. As an American, Trayvon represents something our country is so afraid to confront when it comes to race. I’ve taken part in the #MillionHoodies movement (2) on Facebook and Twitter by posting a picture of myself in a black hoodie holding Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea. It was a bit of a social experiment in and of itself because my black friends and followers retweeted my picture, commented on, and liked it. Meanwhile, none of my white friends did. This is not merely a racial issue. It is an American issue, and while I’m happy that I’ve seen so many non-black people speak up and speak out against George Zimmerman and the Sanford Police Department’s total botchery of the investigation, it saddens me that by and large black people are the one’s taking up this issue. This is merely an observation. Maybe it’s just my friends, who don’t want to get caught up in it. Maybe they’re afraid that they’ll get chastised for asking questions. Maybe there is a disconnect. Maybe they’re ignorant to the many forces in play. I honestly don’t know. Maybe I’m just tired of bearing the burden of educating and bringing awareness to people who don’t look like me.

Sports

March Madness (3) has lived up to its billing. On Saturday, I watched my brackets go to ruins. Missouri and Duke both let me down. There were upsets galore, and once Missouri lost, I didn’t have much need to sit around and watch the rest of these teams beat my dead horse. We’ll see if I even watch as much action this weekend as I did last weekend.  With March in mind, I’m already sick of Tim Tebow (4). As if he didn’t get enough coverage this past season, I have to hear about this guy more in the off-season? Now he gets traded to The Big Apple? *sigh* We’ve seen what Linsanity did to that city; I’m scared of Tebowmania. On the other hand, Peyton Manning (5) made an interesting decision to pick Denver over some other possible suitors.  I’m in no position to make his decisions for him, but I would’ve picked San Francisco. There is more talent there, a better climate, and a better chance to get to a Super Bowl.  Once again, that’s just my opinion. I wish him the best of luck, though. I don’t think anyone could write a better book on how to stay relevant in the off-season than what the NFL is currently doing. The Super Bowl was almost 2 months ago, and the NFL has managed to stay in the news. Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow, the Combine, Pro Days, Draft prognosticating, and Bountygate. I get that most of those are a staple of most off-seasons, but this year just seems different. At least it’s not another labor standoff like last year. Roger Goodell (6) dropped the hammer down on the Saints…hard. Like I said a few weeks ago, the bounty system that Gregg Williams instituted with his defense didn’t really bother me since that culture is instilled in players at a young age. I definitely wasn’t expecting Goodell to suspend Sean Payton, fine the team a half million dollars, strip theme of draft picks, and suspend Williams indefinitely, though. It seems harsh, but I don’t think there will ever be another bounty program. Lesson learned.

Random Stuff

Yahoo! released a list of the 10 Richest Colleges in America (7), and it sparked a few interesting debates. I took issue with the fact that Texas is the richest public school, and third richest overall behind Harvard and Yale, respectively. The numbers seem a bit misleading since the numbers used are The University of Texas System’s number and not UT as an individual institution. It still bothers me that tuition has reached record highs, and yet some schools are rich. I realize this is a complicated issue that isn’t black and white, but it doesn’t sit well with me. It’s definitely not something to brag about.

The LA Coroner released Whitney Houston’s (8) cause of death. Her death was an accident, but several drugs were found in her system. Marijuana, Xanax, cocaine, and Benadryl were all named in her toxicology report. *sigh* I figured her death was drug related, but it hurts to read it officially.

Entertainment/Television

I wrote about Snooki from Jersey Shore a few weeks ago, but now her fellow cast member, The Situation (9), is in the news. Allegedly, he has been getting treatment for a problem he has with prescription drugs…or alcohol. Who knows? Color me shocked. As much debauchery as we’ve seen from the cast, I’m surprised there aren’t more of them with some kind of issue. I’m throwing no shade and no judgment their way, but nothing that I hear about that cast  will surprise me. VH1 has another provocative show in the chamber. They’ve graduated from the NBA and are now entering Hollywood. I’ve expressed my sentiments concerning all these damn wife shows, but the train seems to be picking up steam. Hollywood Exes (10) is the next stop. This show will feature the ex-wives of Eddie Murphy, Jose Canseco, Will Smith, Prince, and R. Kelly. I have to admit, they found some heavy hitters. This will get messy.

I’ve never been an ardent viewer of The Voice (11) or Dancing with the Stars (12), but I found myself watching both of them on Monday. I’m a huge Cee-Lo fan, but his pick of Erin over The Shields Brothers really threw me off. Ugh. In my humble opinion, Erin completely butchered Tina Turner’s classic. I thought she sounded awful. The Shields Brothers added a nice twist to it, though. Was I listening to something different? We’ll see if I keep watching if I have to listen to Ms. Martin again. Meanwhile, Gladys Knight and Urkel Jaleel White blew me away with their dancing skills. I shouldn’t have been surprised, though. The Empress of Soul looked amazing by the way. Y’all want to come with me on a trip down Memory Lane, compliments of Family Matters and A Different World? Of course you do.  

Finally, the ThreadBlog Radio Show (13) is premiering this Monday at 11pm EST/10pm Central. The King’s Law, utpipeline, and myself will be revisiting a popular and controversial blog post from a while back. “Is There a Difference Between Making Love and Having Sex?” Tune into http://www.blogtalkradio.com/threadradio Monday night and join us. If you can’t tune in, we’ll post the episode here on the ThreadBlog.

-23

 

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