Monday, May 30, 2011

My 3rd favorite song of the moment - Tia
(Before you even ask, Brkn Rbtz's Tonight and The Wanting are currently my number 1 and 2 favorite songs respectively.)

I like Lupe Fiasco. He doesn't conform and that's always refreshing. And he just flat out makes good music. I've been a fan for a while. I listened to Kick, Push until I was sick of it. A song about a brother on a please. 

I've never quite understood "black" radio's hesitation in embracing Lupe. He's not calling females out of their names. He raps about engaging community. And he's NOT wack. How is that Wacka can get played 19 times a day, while rapping about nothing edifying (and doing it poorly I might add) yet Lupe almost gives up on his career entirely partly because he's getting shown no love by radio or his label? I guess that's another conversation for another time. 

I know this song came out last October, but I still love it. And hearing it on the radio the other day (a pop radio station...insert heavy sigh here) has made me put it on repeat for at least the rest of the week. Take a listen below. I dare you to not let this song make you happy. 

Throwback Joint of the Day - Tia

*sigh* Mc Serch....What can I say? You followed through and maintained. ""Cuz my girl ain't my girl no more, now she got a ring." You made some of the best hip-hop in history. You just make me smile. So when this video came on MTV Jams I knew it had to be my throwback for the day. 


So...Urban Outfitters steals - Tia

I'm a huge fan of the underdog. As a self professed geek, I've never really considered myself particularly cool. I was popular enough in high school mostly because I pretty much befriended anyone. But the people who I usually found most endearing were the folks that fell into the "sub-group" category of popularity. They were my fellow math/science/Star Wars geeks. We were kindred spirits who may not have hung out together, but still were able to acknowledge each other's eccentricities. 

As I got older, I went through a phase of shunning the cool kids. Nashville is teeming with the hipster, club, "too cool for school anything" crowd. And for a while, I made a point of not going where they were or doing what they did. It was mostly out of disdain for their pretension. I guess I still just preferred the geeky underdog. So while I do now have friends who look like they fell out of a Williamsburg brownstone, the people I heart the most are probably a little nerdy (not faux hipster nerdy, real "I read graphic novels" nerdy) like me. 

And since the nerdy often fall into the underdog category, I often find myself championing the underdog. I like it when the little guy wins. So when a Goliath comes in and tries to bogart its way onto the scene, I'm not okay with just standing by and letting it happen. 

Meet Stevie. She's a jewelry designer based out of Chicago who did something that a lot of us would be too scared to do. She quit her 9-5 to pursue her passion of making jewelry. One of the main staples of her line, and one of the biggest income generators, are her  "The World/United States of Love" necklaces. Formed in the shape of states of the US and countries around the world, the necklaces with a heart cut of the middle are among the top sellers for this independent artist. So you can image after literally putting her heart into her designs how crushing it must have been when she found out that Urban Outfitters had stolen her designs. 

Urban Outfitters

Stevie's line

Here's a link to Stevie's blog with a screen capture of Urban's Page and more on the story. 

I don't know a lot about fashion but I would assume there is a bit a theft across the board. I assume it's just the nature of the industry. I'm not saying it's right, but I'm not sure how it would be avoided. But this seems to be grand larceny. I mean, UO stole the design, the name and some of Stevie's copy. That's pretty brazen. And apparently, this isn't the first time. I guess if you do something often enough you become okay with it, regardless of how morally incorrect it may be. 

From what I've gathered, the backlash against UO was swift and intense. The Twitterverse picked up the story and even Miley Cyrus was tweeting about it. With a million followers, that's a big deal. Urban, of course, denied the allegations, but has since pulled the necklaces from their site. (That seems a bit suspicious, no?)

Thanks to all of the publicity, Stevie has seen a huge spike in orders and people are not only vowing to spread the word about her jewelry but also to boycott Urban Outfitters for their shady business practices. While I've only shopped at UO a handful of times and find their sister brands Anthropologie and Free People to be nothing more than over priced hippy clothes (Sorry Toya), this story has made me think twice about ever shopping with them again. I'm sure they won't miss my paltry monetary contributions. But if the outrage that sprung up for this one independent jewelry designer remains, UO Inc. may see a hit in their bottom line. And maybe that's what they need. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to place an order for an "I heart England" necklace. My anglophilia demands it. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

"Until We Meet Again"- Oprah Winfrey Ends The Oprah Winfrey Show after 25 Years

I still can’t write about this.  In fact, I may have to return to this subject later. I just don't know when and I don't want the week to end before I mention that this week marked the end of the Oprah Winfrey Show.

I don’t know why I am so emotional really. I mean I have some idea but I am not entirely sure how to word it and being as though I am a writer, that should tell you that I am a little beside myself.

My emotionalism is not about the Oprah Winfrey Show ending. It’s sincerely due to me understanding what Oprah has represented to me: a woman not much different from us who has done such extraordinary things,that if you put her statistics on paper, she was not “supposed” to do. There is something about Oprah Winfrey that when I see her I say to myself "she is really just one of us."  I mean she really truly is a bonafide BGLU (I just read this interview with her and Gayle and can I tell you some parts sound identical to Tia and me? Scary)! She's faced criticism, difficulties and disappointments that I can see myself and a number of my friends having to face if we lived our lives publicly. Oprah is no different from the fabulous women that I am honored to surround myself with in my life.  I am proud to be living in her lifetime because seeing her and not just reading about her leaves me no excuse to not press forward with my own dreams. It leaves me no excuse to not allow myself to dream in the first place. I think that’s been missing from my life lately.

Oprah left us all a mandate on May 25, 2011 and if you have not seen the show or read the transcript (you can read it here), I highly, HIGHLY encourage you to do so. I got wind of what she was saying via Twitter because I was at my office and couldn’t watch the show. The quotes people were tweeting kept piercing my heart because of the stage I am in right now in my life. It’s been a rough week for me. I can’t explain this turning point but something has shifted. Every single word Oprah said during her last show hit me so hard not because it was her saying it or because it was her last show. It hit me hard because it was truth:

"Each one of you has your own platform. You can help somebody, you can listen, you can forgive... My greatest wish for all of you ... is that you carry whatever you are supposed to be doing and don't waste any more time."

Don't waste




Monday, May 23, 2011

You Should Know: Brkn Rbtz - Tia

One hundred thirteen. That's the number of times I've listened to Brkn Rbtz's "Tonight" since I added the song...THREE DAYS AGO. 

If you've taken the time to flip through radio stations lately (and God bless you for even trying to keep radio alive) you've probably been hard pressed to find a station that doesn't sound like all of the other stations. Apparently we've been reduced to 3, maybe 4 radio formats and they're all controlled by Lady Gaga and Bieber's record labels. Trying to find something that didn't sound like the last something that sounded a lot like the previous something has of late become an exercise in futility. So the minute an artist or album comes along that we emphatically KNOW we haven't heard before we latch on to it and hold on for dear life. (Adele's 21 is approaching the 2 million mark...Just saying.) 

I am convinced that a good harmony and/or melody and well written lyrics will instantly garner fans. Brkn Rbtz have both, which is why everyone that we've introduced them to have become instant fans. I am no exception. 

Toya sent me the video for "Tonight" with a note saying, "These are Brian McKnight's kids. Their harmonies tell on them real bad." I pushed play and was a fan before the chorus. Maybe it was the R&B voices over the rock beat. Maybe it was the ridiculously good harmonies. Whatever it was, Brkn Rbtz had me at the first "Tonight."

Melding genres isn't easy. If not done correctly artists run the risk of too heavily favoring one sound over the other and the end result is a schizophrenic mess. Brkn Rbtz perfectly execute rock sounding anthems with R&B flavor that defies you not to put one finger in the air, close your eyes and sing out every word at the top of you lungs. 

I must confess, I haven't been able to listen to anything more than "Tonight", "The Wanting" and "Militia". My love of "Tonight" has been unmatched by anything in recent memory. The key change and straight up SANGIN' at the end of "The Wanting" will take you ALL the way in. And if "Militia" doesn't make you want to rise up against some sort of establishment nothing else will. But I fully intend on listening to the rest of their songs...eventually. I just need to stop playing "Tonight"...on repeat...while I do everything. 

You can listen to and download their songs on their Facebook page. And if you're fortunate enough to live in LA (Man, I miss the west coast!) they're playing at Amplyfi on Melrose, June 4. 

I guarantee Brkn Rbtz is your new favorite band everything. If you can watch this and not love them then you need to see the wizard about a heart. 
All Or Nothing- Toya
(Are O-Town REALLY getting back together? I thought I heard something about that.  I mean...I guess?  And if they go on tour can they bring BBMak with them? "Ghost of You and Me" is my JAM).

My name is Toya,
I write for BGLU,
And I am a walking contradiction who is currently obsessed with red matte lipstick.

Specifically MAC’s Ruby Woo thanks to June Ambrose.

 But back to the contradiction part.

I want to do absolutely everything and absolutely nothing

At the exact same time.

For some reason this desire to write full time and to be on tv telling stories of creative people and how they have braved the forces of hard knocks, resistance and that small inner voice that lies to us telling us that we will never be anything, will not stop bothering me.

And then….

I get asked to be on camera for a TV pilot that I was part of the production team for recently and I get an attitude because I only wanted to stay behind the scenes (I did it but I pouted for a good five minutes before Tia told me to suck it up and get downstairs to get makeup).

Again a walking contradiction.

I want to sell everything in a yard sale, travel to India, live off of fruits and vegetables, live like a peasant and finally learn to meditate.  For hours. 

I also want to sit front row at NYC’s Fashion Week next year,

Do you see what I am trying to say?

I want to do EVERYTHING and sometimes doing everything includes doing absolutely nothing.

I want to become an organized person of habit, consistency and routine but the thought of doing the same thing everyday causes instant panic.

I want an incredible marriage but I don’t want to have to do anything to get it. I don't mean I don’t want to get married and then not work on my marriage.  I mean that right this second I know how it feels to want to be incredibly close to someone and yet the idea of letting them into your personal space causes dry heaving.

The only explanation for being such a contradiction is that I recognize that I only have one life to live.  One.  And I can’t live it like a one woman play who can change into different characters between acts.  I can’t flip the pages in the book back like a Choose Your Own Adventure story where you realize that you should’ve gone with your gut and picked the second less familiar option than the first familiar one.  It doesn’t work like that.  True you can often go back to the fork in the road but no one restarts the clock.

I want don’t want to move out of Nashville but never in my life have I so desired to leave.

I love working in the music industry and am on the cusp of doing so many things that I have always wanted to do and yet I would drop it all if Globetrekker called and wanted me to be their new host.  I just don’t want to have to choose…

Because I want to do it all.
This right here?

BAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAAAAAA *WHEEZE* HAAAAAA!!!!!! Thank you Melanie the Wise Pixie for this Monday happiness.

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)- Toya
(Michael Stipe was doing his good rappin' in this song by REM.  Why didn't THIS song get a remix?) 

All this joking about the end of the world today has got me thinking about what it is that I really believe and my journey as someone who follows/loves/is constantly in awe of Jesus Christ.  I hope that this whole Judgment Day on May 21 foolishness does not have people everywhere thinking that this is a fair display of the Christian faith (By the way this is what my pastor back home in New Jersey has to say about it.  Doesn't he look like John Travolta? I love him!).  Much like the Westboro Baptist Church, what they are spittin' goes completely against what the bible says concerning Christ's return. Even JESUS said He won't know so you are going to tell me that some number crunching false prophet has one up on Jesus? I think not. 

I remember when I first heard about the Rapture.  I was about 7 years old. I grew up in a Christian home where gospel music was played on the regular, especially during housecleaning which is why I get the itch to listen to The Winans while doing housework.  There was this live album that my mom used to play by Milton Brunson & The Thompson Community Singers.  The first song that would come on was "It's Gonna Rain".  This song literally scared the hell out of me.

Those sopranos? The build up of this song?!?!? I was seven and was thinking "What one earth is this song talking about?"  It was scarier than Vincent Price at the end of "Thriller"!  I asked my mother and she began to share with me about Jesus coming back for those that have accepted Him and want to be with Him forever.  She told me that if that was the desire of my heart to pray and I would be with Him.  It was then that I prayed to receive my fire insurance.  Oh yes, I don't know too many church kids that didn't stay up reading Revelations one night or saw A Thief in the Night during youth group that did not want their Get Out of Hell Free card immediately thereafter.  And while I believe the entire bible to be true, a relationship with God (or anyone for that matter)  that is based on fear is not the easiest to stay in.

You couldn't stop me from witnessing to people about Jesus coming back as a kid.  I was doing it at the mall, I was at school, I was even at church.  I became a little fire and brimstone evangelist.  My favorite target market? Smokers.  Oh I just knew that people that smoked were going to hell.  How could they do that to their bodies knowingly?  They MUST be lost!  I would walk up on people in the mall (yes this was that long ago that people could smoke in public malls) and tell them that Jesus loved them, didn't want them to smoke but did want them to be with Him when it was time to go.  My mom had to come get me on numerous occasions.  I was always to willing to talk to strangers and many times she would fear for my safety.  I'm sure my zeal was only tolerated because I was 7, I was small, cute and meant well.  

However as I got older my relationship with God started to change.  I went away to college and didn't do a lot of the things like drinking and being promiscuous that some of my friends did because of my upbringing.  While I am grateful for my upbringing  that taught me to not commit the "big sins", I was missing a huge part of the puzzle.  There was little stuff in my life that God wanted to deal with; my insecurities, my self loathing, my clinical depression, my lack of self esteem.  I was missing the love aspect of why I was taught that Christ came in the first place.  Around the time I was making the decision to drop out of college due to these issues that I was struggling with, I remember being home for the weekend at my hometown church.  My pastor was talking to those that were wanting to accept Jesus as their savior and I got to thinking.  I was 19 years old and I had to ask myself did I really believe any of this at all.  Was I a Christian because I was brought up this way or was this really really me?  The decision I made was this: Jesus right now I choose you.  Now show me what that looks like.  I choose you now but I need to see how to walk this out for myself.  That opened a whole new world for me.    It went from something I felt I had to do to something that in my heart I was pursuing to know for real.  At times I have found that some things I was brought up to believe were not at all true.There have been times that I have been so angry with God about things that have happened since then.  I had a friend who was murdered and it made me think of The Matrix.  I chose the red pill. I couldn't go back. And I was pissed that there were things that God allowed to happen.  This above anything else is how I know that God is real.  You can't be that mad at someone that does not exist.

Every time I see people go to the altar at church to invite Jesus to be the Lord of their lives I pray that they realize what they are getting into.  I liken it to marriage even though I am not married.  You can't possibly know on the front end all that comes with it from the good times to the hard times.  There is indeed a honeymoon period where you so love that person and everything they do just seems awesome. But then things don't go your way and you wonder what you signed up for.  It doesn't make the person you promised your life to any less real.  This is why I wonder about people that say there is no God but they are so angry! I don't believe in aliens but I don't have a whole marketing campaign about it. I just can't be bothered so I'm not.  Why be so angry about something that you are convinced doesn't exist?

It's been a long road that has been full of questions.  I don't regret either of my decisions: the one at seven to assure that I would be with Jesus whenever He comes back or the one I made later in life to actually get to know and love Him based on a need that has nothing to do with fear. Out of all the loves that I have pursued, it's only Jesus' love that pursues me back.  I don't always get it but this song by Paramore reminds me that my walk with the Lord is worth the mystery.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Things I Neglected to Blog about This Week Because I Was Fed Up with The Internets (No Typo) - Toya

These past two weeks, have been full of…I’ll say… bullshishery… on The Internets (I know it’s internet. I like the phrase “The Internets” much like I enjoy saying “The Twitter”). Now I know there has been a lot in the media in general but being as though I avoid the news like the plague for the most part, I get a lot of my headline news via Twitter and Facebook. Hey I never claimed to be a realist. This past Monday I was all cued up to wish my #1 girl crush of all time Janet Jackson a happy birthday when news broke out that on Psychology Today’s website, one of their bloggers claimed to have objective scientific proof that black women were less attractive than everyone on the entire planet. I am not going to go into how I feel like it has been open season on black women as of late. Tia and I have already decided to do a vlog about that so stay tuned. But because I stayed on Twitter and the web all day long reading and tweeting about it for two days, nothing else got my attention. Between that, the Common fiasco, and people hating on Obama for NO good reason, I have really had it. Here are some of the things I failed to blog about lately due to two days of being in a haze because I was pissed off to the highest point of pisstivity:

1. As aforementioned, Monday marked Janet Jackson’s birthday. No star has been more influential in my life than Janet Jackson has. One day soon I hope to write about how her Velvet Rope album literally changed my life in college. The only reason I don’t have her new book is because I cannot justify not finishing the three books I have been in the process of reading for quite some time but I will soon. She’s a hero of mine and she just keeps getting better and better. Here are my five current favorite Janet Jackson songs:

   1. “Runaway”- Ooooooh I love this song. I love her delivery on this song; I love the chorus, the sentiment, all of it. This is my fave right now. The rest of these will not be listed in any sort of order.
   2. “Can’t Be Good”- Written by my boyfriend in my head Ne-Yo.
   3. “I Get So Lonely”- Am I the only woman that wants to recreate the choreography to this in the privacy of her own bedroom when she gets married? Moving on...
   4. “Pleasure Principle” – “You might think I’m crazy but I’m serious. It’s better you know now.” I feel like I have to say this about myself from time to time.
   5. “Rock Wit U”- This song makes me want to go in a corner of a dimly lit club and dance my little heart out with my eyes closed. The problem with that is I have done that only to find that when I open my eyes there is a guy flailing about in front me doing the white man’s overbite dance.

True story.

2. In more birthday news, Blockheads either publicly or privately celebrated Jordan Knight’s birthday. I can’t believe it’s been at least fifteen years since I have picked up a Bop magazine and I still seemed to manage to remember that around the 15th (which is my mother’s birthday) there are a few New Kid’s birthdays. Now if you'be been reading this blog long enough you know I have a theory: Jordan Knight does not age.

I have seen him in person up close a few times and I promise you, it’s mind boggling. He’s not the youngest and yet he looks like the youngest. El Debarge told me that “black don’t crack”. Now no disrespect to their mother, but perhaps umm…the Debarge family and the Knight family need to have a "conversation"…on Maury…if you know what I’m trying to say. 

The features? The falsetto? I'm just sayin'!

3. If you haven’t seen Jumping the Broom yet, please do so. It’s a good film that I enjoyed very much. And you know what else I enjoyed very much?

Yes Lord. Gary Dourdan all day AND tomorrow.  I know he's aged a bit since Janet's "Again" video but haven't we all?  Give me a brotha with some laugh lines, something.   I can't with the babies anymore.

I really hope we get more romantic comedies on the screen featuring African Americans in the near future. I won’t get into the whole Tyler Perry controversy that so many people seem to have an opinion on but I will say this: you will be hard pressed to find a movie where a black woman gets married in any other films other than his as of late. He didn’t win the lottery to get his films done. He worked his butt off. It’s really easy to sit back and criticize when... see, I was going to start. Next!

4. "Harpo, who dis woman?"

5. I swear every time I see this picture of Don Lemon I want to start singing like Jeffrey Osborne.  "and you woo woo woo, and you woooooo woo woo wooooo, should be mine, all mine..."

Howvever, Don Lemmon of CNN recently came out of the closet.  Can I say that I am at least 0-9 when it comes to thinking that my crushes in TV AND in real life are straight? I’m not even lying. I need someone to teach a class for the gaydar impaired because I am struggling. Living in Nashville you are almost safe to say that a guy is heteroflexible (yeah, I’m adding that word to my Word dictionary when I spell check this) until proven straight. I’m not saying that is a fair assumption I’m just saying my average is terrible.

6. Let’s end this on a high note though with someone we all know is heterosexual, almost to a fault…

You’re welcome.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

All you have to do is wait - Tia

Things you should know: 
1. I like Common. I don't LOOOOOVVVEEE Common the way Toya does, but I do like him and appreciate his music. His face is fun too. 
2. I can't respect Fox News. I have tried to look at them impartially. However, it seems no one over there understands what fair-minded objective reporting really means, so I don't deal with them anymore. 
3. When I saw this a couple of days ago all I could think was, "I can't wait for someone to upload this and I officially love Jon Stewart."

Anyway, all you have to do is be patient. Fox News will inevitably piss you off. And then someone will come right behind them and prove that they're a joke and a bunch of hypocrites. So the next time Fox News does something that makes you furious, just be patient. Some savvy Fox hater will prove them to be the ridiculously hypocritical nuts that they are, the rest of us will get a good laugh (and if you're like me a good point and laugh) and then we'll move on and wait for the next offense.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

In This Week's Bullshishery News: Faux News (Fox News) and the Ridiculous Right Peg Common as a Vile Cop Killer- Toya

I swear to you, Common is the very last rapper I would ever think would be involved in a highly publicized heated controversy like this one. Seriously, I would've pegged Young MC first.

This week, there was some brouhaha (one of my favorite words) raised over the fact that Common (or as I like to call him My Boyfriend in My Mind Lonnie Love) was invited by the First Lady to perform for a poetry event at the White House. A report on Fox News accused Common, the artist behind "The Light", "The People", and "Come Close" a vile rapper.  The reasoning being that on Def Poetry ages ago Common recited a very politically charged poetry piece that included "threats to shoot police and at least one passage calling for the "burn[ing]" of then-President George W. Bush."  The fact that they called Common controversial for doing so shows that they know very little about him at all.  Now in the Twitterverse, I saw that Sarah Palin even chimed in and let me confess something: I know I don't know Sarah Palin.  I know this. But I will confess that there is no one on this planet that annoys me more than she does.  I have many reasons for my disgust; one being how do you get to quit your job and then become an expert on how someone else should be doing theirs?  I really can't deal with her and because of that, I decided to protect my situation and not even read what she had to say about Common.  It's just better that way.

I will say that this whole situation has reminded me that film is forever.  I'm not saying that Common should have any regrets but I think we would all do well to consider what we express publicly because we never know what doors may be open to us in the future. I think part of the reason why this whole ordeal has been baffling to his fans is because we have witnessed his progression as an artist over the years; years since his performance on Def Poetry Jam. Common now is different than Common then.  Which leads me to wonder who dug that clip up anyway and why?  I'm sure hearing that a rapper had been invited to the White House raised a few eyebrows and led someone to try and find something distasteful. They must have really been looking for something.

Common did indeed participate in the White House event and from what I gather all went well but not before Twitter got a hold of it.  The hashtag #RappersWho Are ScarierThanCommon started to take off and I must say my favorite came from The Roots drummer and personal friend of Common's ?uestlove:

@ : The cat from Paula Abdul's Opposites Attract video

Of course BGLU had to get in on this. I live for a good (A GOOD) Twitter topic.  Here were my tweets:

@BGLUBlog Skee-Lo. A man with a short complex can be very very dangerous. We know this to be true.

@BGLUBlog Ini Kamozie. "Murderah!"

Joey Lawrence. Anyone remember him rapping in "Nothing My Love Can Fix"? HARD. CORE.

@BGLUBlog Kriss Kross. You'd be angry too if you had to go through all that hassle just to use the bathroom.

And for the diehard old school New Kids on the Block fans...

@BGLUBlog Joey Joe. He is nimble and he is quick (Only the real Blockheads will catch that).
I really hope this whole thing blows over soon. In my perfect world, Obama won't even address this but will later interrupt Sarah Palin's reality show declaring that he has once again been busy handling more important matters for our country. You know, like how he Debo'ed Donald Trump's The Celebrity Apprentice to announce that Osama Bin Laden had been found and murdered? Oh wait, Sarah Palin's reality show was cancelled wasn't it? Shame.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

BGLU Approved: New Music by Denitia Odigie "Lover"

I STAN for Denitia Odigie's voice. STAN I say!  The first time I heard this song I was absolutely hooked.  If you ever get a chance to catch her live, you will be too. For tour dates, check out -Toya

Sunday, May 8, 2011

God Loves Lady Gaga - Tia

Lady Gaga gets on each and every last one of my nerves. I have a low tolerance for people who are extra. And she is THE MOST extra. I mean, I swear she gets up in the morning and thinks, "What can I do to be THE MOST today?" For example.  

But I give credit where credit is due. She CAN actually sing. Granted, you have to close your eyes so as not to be distracted by her hijinks and shenanigans. And from what I've heard she actually writes her own songs. I'm always impressed by songwriting ability. You'd think as a blogger for the better part of a decade that I could easily pen a song. Wrong. I know toddlers who make up better songs than I can write. But singing and songwriting ability aside, she's not my forte. And frankly, she tires me out and scares me a bit. 

However, regardless of my personal feelings toward her, she is a child of God. She is created in his image. 
Genesis 1:27 - So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them. 

And since I call myself an ambassador of Christ by being a follower of his teachings, I am called to love her and every other "extra" person on this Earth. 
Galatians 5:14 - For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Gaga was recently in Nashville and the "God hates F****" people showed up. I can not begin to tell you how truly grieved I was when I found out. I don't like it when one persons tries to speak for all black women (looking at you Ms. 8 Reasons to Date a White Man.) And I most certainly don't like it when one person or a small group of people try to speak for all Christians. These folks claim to be followers of Jesus Christ yet they spew the most hate-filled rhetoric I've ever heard in my entire life. The very nature of what they say and do goes against everything that Christ taught and who he was. If memory serves there were no caveats on Jesus' teachings. He did not say, "Love you neighbor if..." I don't remember reading, "My command is this: Love each other as long as...." And I certainly don't recall John 3:16 reading, "For God so loved the straight, Western Christians of the world that he gave his only son."

Christ made it plain, we are to love God and love people. So I'm unclear how telling people that God hates them qualifies as love. 1 Corinthians 13 makes it very clear what love is supposed to be. 

I'm also unclear on what these people hope to accomplish with their hateful signs and attitudes. I'm sorry, but if someone hated me because of something I did, I would be more than a little inclined to avoid that person at all costs. I wouldn't want to change to be liked by them. So why would anyone want to worship a God who hates them or hates other people?

I don't want this post to turn into a debate about sexual orientation or the Illuminati or anything else. (Just so we're clear, I don't care about the Illuminati. Don't email me links about them. Don't preach to me about being vigilant. If they exist...FINE. But I'm more concerned about Jesus and being aware and mindful of things that I CAN change. And in my book some secret society in the dark does not fall into that category.) This is a post about a small yet very vocal minority who are doing a disservice to the name of Jesus Christ. And even if you don't profess Christianity, there are people in this world who are denigrating what love truly is and that should not sit well with anyone regardless of religious beliefs. 

I don't have to like what you do to love you. I can quite literally be diametrically opposed to what you stand for but I'm still called to love you. And love does not mean I have to co-sign on all that you do. And slinging hate at someone while hiding under the blanket of "I'm just telling the truth" is not love either. 
Ephesians 4:15 - Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ

Love has to win. We can not stand idly by and let the hateful people of this world continue to make things worse. I personally refuse to sit back and do nothing anymore. Going forward I will walk in as much love as I can humanly muster. My prayer is that God will use me to extend his love to every person that I see. And because I don't live in a Disney movie, I know that this will not always be an easy task. I'm almost positive that some of the people who will comment on this post will test my resolve to love the second I hit "publish." But I have to believe that I can make my little corner of the world a little better by looking beyond the exterior, the extraness and everything else that can grate every single, solitary nerve and simply loving. And I challenge you to do the same. I promise you there are no shortage of opportunities to love on people in big and small ways. 

I hope Gaga comes back through these parts. I plan to have signs made that say, "God loves Gaga" and "God loves You." I need the voice of love to be louder than the voice of hate even if it is just on a small street corner in a country music town. 

1 John 2:9-10 - Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light

1 John 3:18 - Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth

1 John 4:8 - Whoever does not love does not know God, because GOD IS LOVE. 

1 Corinthians 13:13 - And now these three remain: Faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Can We Talk?: Jumping the Broom Opens This Weekend

Hey everyone, this is Toya.  I cannot stress the importance of going to see Jumping the Broom this weekend, opening weekend.  Much like when you support an artist the week of a new release, going to see a movie on opening weekend is like voting.  You are saying that you want to see more of these types of movies made.  Not just these movies, but you are also saying that you want to see more actors of color in movies as well.  Tia and I are planning to get a gang of girls together and we hope that you will consider doing the same.

I've seen some reviews and let's be honest here:  So many times I have read poor reviews of movies that I have absolutely loved.  For instance I remember reading bad reviews about Brown Sugar.  I don't doubt that these reviews were from critics who just don't get it.  So take it upon yourselves this weekend to let your voice be heard and go support this movie this weekend.  Be sure to come back and let BGLU know what you thought about it too.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Oooooooh snaaaaaaaaap!"- Hillary Rodham Clinton

I’m not really into politics. Part of the reason being is that so many people think they are experts when it comes to government when the truth is none of us really have any idea of what is TRULY going on. I think the fact that this whole Bin Laden Do or Die operation snuck up on us(and him) like WHAT?! proves just that. I won’t get into any right or wrong, is our country safer now type discussions. What I will say is this: the fact that President Obama interrupted Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice only to wait an hour before giving a five minute speech which could’ve been entitled “Hi Haters” made my entire week. Now that’s gangsta.

And because something is wrong with us, here is what we like to imagine he’s rocking in The Oval Office right now:

1. “Who Shot Ya”- Biggie ( I mentioned this on Twitter. The visual I have of him doing The Bankhead Bounce to this has me holding my stomach).
2. “Look at Me Now”- Chris Brown featuring Busta Rhymes and Lil’ Wayne
3. “Aint Never Scared”- Bone Crusher
4. “Kick In the Door”- Biggie
5. “Killing in the Name ”- Rage Against the Machine
6. "All I Do is Win"- DJ Khaled feat. Ludacris, Rick Ross, Snoop Dogg & T-Pain
7. "Deuces"- Chris Brown
8. "Swagga Like Us"- T.I., Jay Z, Kanye West, and Lil' Wayne

If you care to take a light hearted approach to this very serious situation with us, what songs do you think POTUS has been celebrating to for his “Mission Accomplished”?- Toya