Greetings once again, my Music Minded Maniacs!
I’ve been away from the keyboard for a long minute and I’m happy to be back!!
Here to introduce a new theme of mixes to come your way is Heal the World! I’ve been working on Vol. I for quite some time and am now ready to share it with the universe.
You probably know by now that my mixes are based on themes. The social ills that have been going on for years prior to the current state have recently intensified right before our eyes. Homelessness, police brutality, racism, suicide, loneliness, poverty, depression, street life, death, war, politics, and sexual preference, consists of most of the world’s trials, troubles, and tribulations.
The tracks I selected to represent these issues tell heartbreaking stories simultaneously with a funky beat, yet slightly uplifting. I ask you to join me for another thought-provoking ride on this mix as you listen to these poignant lyrics that may have an effect on yours or a loved one’s life.
As always, I share photos and video footage I shot at various concerts with a few artists whose music made the mix. I discuss briefly a few stand-out tracks (for me) below.
1. Intro The Sound – Mary Mary
2. Free Again – Ledisi
3. Leaving This Planet Mark – DeClive Lowe f/Sharlene Hector
4. Fallen – Carmen Rodgers
5. Crazy World – N’dambi
6. Soldier – Raheem DeVaughn
7. No One Wins A War – Raheem DeVaughn
8. If I Could – Carl Thomas
9. My Peoples – DJ Jazzy Jeff
10. The News- Anthony Hamilton
11. Soldier – Eryka Badu
12. Brotha Man- Kem
13. Can We Change We World – Maysa
14. Black Sheep – B. Slade
Mary Mary opens this mix with the Intro The Sound. I thought it was incredibly appropriate for what many of us look forward to each day—sound, as in music in addition to the subject matters previously mentioned:
The Definition of Sound
Vibrations that travel through the air
Or another media
And can be heard when they reach another person’s ear
That’s not the only Definition of Sound
There’s a sound in one’s voice that lets you know just what they feel, There’s a sound of Pain, a sound of Joy, a sound of strength, a sound of Love, a sound of Desperation, and a sound of victory
Listen to the Sound
Only true Led Heads know Ledisi’s humble beginnings and her song, Free Again as it is a cut from her first release, Soul Singer (I love this album)! How many can identify with relating to “Free Again”?
Mark De Clive-Lowe, one of my favorite producers, remixers, beatmakers, musicians, and an all-around music man, has introduced me to artists I may have otherwise taken longer to become familiar with or may not have known at all. When I heard his album Leaving This Planet, I fell in love with Sharlene Hector’s voice on the title track; it made me think about what “leaving this planet” really meant to the composer and for me as a listener. Indeed Sharlene took me on a trip with the grittiness and raw vocals she put down on this song. Between her and Ledisi, they actually do make you want to “fly away” and “leave this planet” even if it’s just for a little while to treat yourself to some well-deserved relaxation with the situations at hand and those personal.
Maysa, Kem, Carmen Rodgers and N’dambi all basically and briefly talk about homelessness and the goodness of God and prayer in their songs. They invite you to look at the situation from another perspective; suppose it were you and the tables turned… All in all God and Love are the ways these artists let you know in their lyrics that “it” is going to be alright!
Raheem DeVaughn, what can I say? This young man knows how to pen a good song as well as sing the hell out of it (whether it’s Sexxxy or socially conscious)! Maybe you think it’s overkill that I included his music three times? The content of the lyrics is relevant in all three tracks as Soldier Story speaks to the fear of death in war from a mother and son’s view because this is a way for him support his college education. The unnecessary killing in a war will put you in the mind frame of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. Ok, I gotta say this, there’s a part in this song where Raheem is counting pushups; now why does this sound so damned Sexxxy in a song like this? Oh well… Nobody Wins a War reminds me of the “We Are the World” concept, where various artists contributed their voices on this song such as Jill Scott, Ledisi, Anthony Hamilton, Chrisette Michele, and Algebra among others. DJ Jazzy Jeff’s track My Peoples, Raheem sings on and the song really hits home as our people are a resilient people when the chorus comes in and says:
My peoples stay strong as an ox
My peoples will never fail
My peoples will always remain
Remain with a story to tell
Ledisi plays SOB’s for Darryl Hill (RIP) of The BAAS Group
Mark De Clive Lowe (on piano)plays with Miguel Atwood Ferguson at Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem for the 20th Anniversary Jazz Festival, celebrating Charlie Parker, Bird with Strings
N’dambi performs at SOB’s NYC
Raheem DeVaughn plays the J & R Music World Music Concert Series
Maysa performs at BB Kings NYC
B. Slade performs at Joe’s Pub NYC