Refining Tunes/Tools.

Letting go of the pacifiers and tools we have developed to survive is a daily challenge.  How does one move forward when the very things that once propelled you through  your darkest moments are now hindering you?    images-1

Music is a big part of my self care practices. I have songs for everything.This summer I deleted most of the gospel music from my music library.  When I get really emo and home sick, missing my mother in particular, I fiend for my gospel hits. My mother put me on to Fred Hammond and my old soul gravitated towards Shirley Cesar and Betty Griffin Keller when I was teenager.  I think I love gospel music for the same reasons I love rap music, it is fantasy, myths, truths,  and reflections of the black experience wrapped in the drama and creativity that happens when Africans make music.  I think some call it soul. They both  weave stories of our lives with a boldness that   speaks to the core of what it means to be human. images

On the flip side I can only listen to but so much of both gospel and rap music because with those reflections come the legacy of violence, trauma , self hate, and all the other isms that color our experience as Africans in Amerikkka.  The music I’ve used to get through in the past can perpetuate the same things I’m working daily to unlearn and resist.

imagesMy use of gospel music as a coping mechanism and false sense of security was blocking my ability to develop sustainable tools for dealing with reality.  The tools that are instrumental to this thing called liberation. Its difficult to take the meat and leave the bones in any situation. There are still many songs both rap and gospel that I will use as tools of survival and inspiration but every now and than you gotta  clean house and reduce some harm.

Its a difficult tightrope I walk every time I click through my iPod.  Music is powerful it can indoctrinate you with your oppressors propaganda while showering you with the strength needed to step back from the myths again and again.


Re: Remembering Good Bye to Ralph, Dancing Hello to a Brown Elephant

What if we collaborated? What if I brought a salacious love of music, poetry, words, and ideas and you brought dance, words, and ideas and we create art? …not just for money not just for fame but just to be, to express, the lonely invisible constantly disrespected queer, the unspoken African within. whose voice pumps through our veins constantly compelling us to speak in a language we don’t quite understand. What if we collaborate in order to free ourselves and contribute to the culture. To live our own evolution towards the revolution in speaking our truth creatively? More importantly what if we seek liberation through the combination of our creativity elevating towards the space where our complex realities are voiced? I’m asking can we have a conversation together through each other, in front of others to birth art?

writing about writing

Sometimes I write about art and writing to get the creative juices flowing. Often I’m penning a pep talk to myself  and before I know it, my rambling is an ok piece on its on.


Why because I am alive

Art is always happening

Songs inspired by pain

Painting with a love muse

you keep fighting  cause there’s a fight

And the sidelines are boring and irresponsible…

If they exist at all

We’re all in this together

Whether we like it or not


You must write

Everyday you soak in life

write it out on a page

Let the paper swallow your sorry

Let the ink splatter your joy across the page

Who cares if they get it

Who knows who will ever read it

Its for my sanity

It must be said

Holding it all in is slow gentle death

Like stomach cancer

I want to die but must live

I will write our way to freedom


When you’re an artist art doesn’t necessarily fall out of you

Easier than any other person

When you’re an artist

Art is a song you can’t turn off

It cries out to you begging pleading demanding

To be sung through you

Its up to you to decide to listen

To practice

to pursue

to risk


To remain an open vessel through which it manifests

Again and again

Whether your listening or not the music is always playing

Poetry is in the air

Lyrics are always flowing

dive in

dirtyartboi -2013