summer soundtrack: ladies edition

The Stuyvesants are still high on the playlist, but I’ve added a lot of goodies since that post. These are just a few of my new [and renewed] favorite ladies that define summer with their pure, earthy, funky and uplifting sounds. To me, they transcend the Sunday house cleaning party, the backyard BBQ, transits to the plantation and creative time.

I hope you take a moment to listen to something different that you’re not likely to hear on the radio-not in the US anyway. [You can thank me later]:

  • Abra is just so cool and weird. Listening to her is like enjoying an ice cream cone riding along the scenic coastal highway with the top down on a late summer evening. In 1994. [The breakdown at 4:19 always takes me.]

  • Laura Mvula not only has a magical singing voice, but she also uses it to spread awareness of injustices in the workplace. And this video is just my favorite thing right now. I should have been in it.

  • You already know how much I love Alex Isley. She released a lovely album in December and all of her music stays in heavy rotation. It’s timeless.
  • Ngaiire is my most recent discovery. I don’t even remember how I stumbled upon her, but it was meant to be. She has some really funky tunes that make cleaning the bathroom a breeze.
  • Like Abra, Nao‘s sound gives me strong 90s vibes. And I love the 90s. A lot. She is definitely my current favorite; I just can’t get enough. Her EPs are hot hot fire and her new album dropped Friday! [Bad Blood is my still my number one, if you were curious.]
  • Irma has a youthful, worldly feel. I think anyone, depending on the occasion, can get down to her songs. It’s great getting-ready-for-the-day music.
  • Lastly, Eryn Allen Kane is the hypothetical result of Mariah Carey, Tamia and Andra Day mixing their vocals into a tiny test tube. She has a bold, soulful sound with just the right amount of softness.

In a time where I’m usually turning up my nose to some bullshit whenever I turn on the radio, these talented ladies remind me that good music is still out there.

Who’s on your playlist?

Black Art Matters: Pierre Jean-Louis


Artist Pierre Jean-Louis creates the universe in Black women’s hair. His work has been all over social media [I only have an ig account, but dang!] and various web + pop culture sites. I thought I’d share for those who haven’t yet let their eyes be blessed.

all works by Pierre Jean-Louis


destiny owosu

“they are afraid a woman can be

this free.

this soft.

this strong.

this color. “

-ijeoma umebinyuo

[photo: destiny owosu]

week 30 || 2016


I spied this chart on my instagram feed and thought I’d share because I like that it’s all-encompassing,  yet super simple. My favorite points are win win resolutions and asking, not expecting. Healthy relationships blossom from mutual respect. Too often our ego and pride get in the way when all we need is a conversation, active listening ears and a little humility to make things right in the world again.

Read + apply. Then read again. These simple actions can change e v e r y t h i n g.

Why do we make things so complicated?

I Am Searching for Something I Will Never Find [a reblog]

I am searching for something I will never find; a love so pure and ethereal of some kind. Lost in a dream world of fantasy and books; tired of love based on money and looks. Earthy passion has no place for me. Too scared I’ll get up with an STD. Only lust and sex are […]

via I Am Searching For Something I Will Never Find — shelbycourtland

Bearded Dapper Gents: Changing the Narrative and Perception of Black Men [a reblog]

Have you ever googled images for “Successful black men”? What did you find?

2016-07-04-1467669459-2225931-image.jpg(Photo Credit: Ron Specs )

Disheartened by his findings, NYC blogger and photographer, George Myrie spearheaded a movement. He organized a group of thriving, talented brothers from Brooklyn, Queens, Harlem and Jersey to create imagery that displays well dressed, successful black men in various parts of the city, to quell the negative stereotypes that depict black men as menacing, lazy, or uneducated. With this, the “Bearded Dapper Gents” (BDG) was born.

2016-07-04-1467669625-1231363-image.jpg (Photo Credit: Collis Torrington)

While they have built a collection of images that are nothing less than awe inspiring, make no mistake, they are far more than just a group of handsome, bearded faces.
In addition to changing the narrative and the visual of urban black men, these brothers are also impacting change in their communities by not only mentoring young black men but also grooming them from the inside out.
BDG has launched their initiative, “A Brother’s Duty.” What is a brother’s duty? “A brother’s duty is to lift one up when he falls down, catch him when he stumbles, and give advice when needed.” In collaboration with “Pens of Power”, “Foster Care Unplugged”, and “100 suits for 100” men, BDG plans to change the lives of our youth one suit at a time.
Myrie explains, “We want to outfit young men with tailored suits because many have never experienced how it feels to wear one. A man’s outward appearance can change his whole perception and views on life and give him the confidence he needs to succeed.”


2016-07-04-1467669937-9175172-image.jpg (Photo Credit: Collis Torrington)

Want to meet these handsome fellas? Come out to their charity event “The Rebirth of Cool” in NYC on July 30, 2016. (INFO HERE)

Charity events, mentoring, and appearances are just the beginning. Stay tuned for all that these Bearded Dapper Gents have in store and donate to the cause HERE .

**100% of all proceeds will go toward dressing young lads for success**

written by Mocha Carter – writer, singer, NYC event planner, & medical student for Huffington Post

It’s imperative that we see ourselves  in a positive light, especially when media continues to perpetuate the negative stereotypes of the criminal, effeminate, self-loathing, woman-hating lazy lowlife Black male. And it doesn’t mean just putting on slacks and a button up, but taking pride in how we present ourselves-showing the younger generations how it’s done. So THANK YOU, brothers; we need more of you doing your part to alter our image for the better.

For more of this visual goodness and overall feel goods, stalk these kings like I do via ig: @beardeddappergents #beardeddappergents