Wednesday, May 31, 2006

on the jungle floor: a review

while those who ushered in the so-called neo-soul movement during the mid- and late 1990s continue to be missing in action (maxwell, d'angelo), or are sporadic and/or mercurial in their public appearances and creative output (d'angelo [again], erykah badu, lauryn hill), people with an affinity for r&b/soul/black music etc. are resigned to sift through a crop of neatly packaged, young, black singer-songwriter/musicians who leave many uttering, "i know there must be something better than this." the carefully crafted and monitored images of the predictable and musically unadventurous john legend and alicia keys, the gritty "ghetto and blues" of fantasia and lyfe jennings, and the work of those riding on the coattails of their neo-soul foremothers and fathers (musiq, jill scott, et. al.) with their easily codifiable personas, and terribly inconsistent work--which often sound like first drafts of spoken word "poems" and black history month speeches and essays--hardly satisfy the appetite of soul music aficionados with a desire for something pithy and lasting.

there's a gem or two, of course. as the aforementioned continue to reap the benefits of the hype that fluffs their musical shortcomings, van hunt is steadily amassing an impressive body of work that should continue to garner the praises of critics and music lovers everywhere. though a definite exit from his debut (2004's van hunt), hunt's second album in as many years is highly impressive, and will--like its predecessor--more than likely be one of the best albums of the year most folk won't hear, despite the fact that hunt is very closely linked to american idol judge, randy jackson.

though his oeuvre only features two full-length albums and an appearance or two on a few movie soundtracks, hunt's no newcomer. he sports a respectable resume. hunt co-wrote "hopeless" with dionne farris (who was, arguably, before her time), and the record "mean sleep," which appeared on the debut album of a different world star-turned lenny kravitz protege, cree summer; along with nikka costa, hunt does a great cover of the latter on jungle. if one recalls anything from those two tracks, it's their refreshing lyrical content. with jungle, hunt continues to evolve as a songwriter, picking up where he left off on his debut. lyrically, the man is gifted. and his maturation is evident on this latest effort. with pithy reflections such as, "words are the changes that we take/was it better left unexplained?" on the melancholy "daredevil," the alliterative, "her winter coat and sexy tokes on camel smokes" on "being a girl," and his eloquent pledge to be faithful to an absent lover on the provocative and hypnotically sexy "priest or police," make hunt's peers look silly in their attempts at clever songwriting, their efforts coming off as asininely presumptuous in comparison.

though many of the influences may be the same (sly, jimi, prince, et. al.), hunt is no member of some third wave neo-soul cohort. if anything, on the jungle floor further solidifies his individuality, his distance from others. as a whole, this album exhibits hunt's confidence. he is, perhaps, less self-aware. with no sophomore jinx to conquer (hunt's debut barely cracked the top 40 upon its release), hunt takes leaps and adventures his more famous counterparts are too scared, or not talented enough to make. though not flawless, what results is a fierce compilation of songs that defy convention and genre; jungle entices and satisfies parts of our palate we forgot existed.

personal picks: "hot stage lights"; "being a girl"; "priest or police"

cop: van hunt (2004); on the jungle floor (2006)
website: van hunt

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Thursday, May 25, 2006

khulami phases

or, a bildungsroman for black girls e'rywhere
open letter #8

dear ms. hill,

in the autumn of 1998, i scraped up eighteen bucks to buy your first solo album. i walked from earhart hall to a little music shop at purdue west. i ran back to that closet officially known as a dorm room, tore open your cd, and put it in my stereo. the miseducation... remained in heavy rotation for the next nine months. after that, i started my own crusade of sorts. yours was the first album i sort of forced folk to listen to. i'm not really into persuading people, but somehow i convinced my dad to rent a car for me in his name, and let me drive the seven hours from west lafayette to cleveland just to see the first leg of your tour. during the late summer of 1999, i sat for hours listening to the radio, hoping to get through to get a pair of free tickets, because neither shonda nor i had enough dough to buy passes for your indinanapolis show. i won. almost got kicked out of that ampitheater for seat-hopping just to get closer to the stage. endured the humidity of an indiana august. yes... with that first spin, i implicitly and explicitly pledged to fuck with you no matter what.

and then...your self-imposed exile.

at first, i didn't get it. oh, i speculated with the best of them. where'd you go? why? lamented the three chords that seemingly characterized each song of your unplugged 2.0 album. blamed it on a marley. whatever. at the same time i "defended" you. no one could say a bad thing about the artist formerly known as l. boogie in my presence. yeah (comma) yo. i was on one.

and then...a sunday night in september 2004.

i hadn't seen you perform live in five years. i was so excited; nervous that you'd cancel at the last minute. i didn't care what you sang/rapped, just as long as you did it. i don't believe artists are beholden to their audience. it's unfair for you to be bound to old material if you are no longer in that space. i know the "ex factor" days have come and gone. i just wanted to see you. we waited, and then you walked on stage... sang one of the sweetest, most honest songs i've ever heard:
if they only owned love, shown love, grown love, like this before
if they only knew love, true love, to love, like this before
if they only gave love, saved love, brave love, like this before
if they only called love, love love, called love, like this before
your voice, like your eyes, seemed tenuous, tender, slightly melancholy. though you looked at and responded to the audience, you seemingly weren't there for us. no more was the 20 piece band with two djs. just you, and a couple musicians there to back you up. you weren't putting on a show. and though i'm sure many of the folks in the audience left disappointed that l. boogie wasn't entirely in the building, i must say that i was just really appreciative for your time.

see, i've glanced at the "post-exile" articles. i try my best to empathize, though i completely understand that your experience is totally out of my realm of imagination. i think i comprehend. circa 1998 you seemed to have this aura of accessibility, availability. what a toll that must have taken on a young black woman in her mid-twenties. we are taught from such a young age to be caretakers, to think of others' needs before our own. to sacrifice. we're guilted into not taking care of ourselves. and then it's too late. one need only to stand at a bus stop on the southside of chicago to see how the years, the decades, the generations of giving to and living for others has manifested on our bodies. we look tired, worn, in search of a rest unattainable through peaceful slumber.

i see the exile, the distance, the requirement that we/they call you ms. hill as necessary for you to save your own life. and i can dig that. you make music, maybe we buy your album. but essentially, you owe us nothing. i mean that earnestly. your art, your music is just a manifestation of you trying to be authentic at all times. and i can dig that. i'm just so glad that you came along when you did, and that you've refused to be anything other than who you are. you're a model for trying to live living. the struggle isn't in keeping it real, it is keeping it real. and maybe if others "knew love, true love, to love" like this before, they/we would understand you, ourselves, the world a bit better. either way, thanx.

happy birthday.

other joints:
open letter #1
open letter #2
open letter #3
open letter #4
open letter #5
open letter #6
open letter #7

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


fort weezy got a skyline for dat ass.
people can't, unhappily, invent their mooring posts, their lovers and their friends, anymore than they can invent their parents. life gives these and also takes them away and the great difficulty is to say Yes to life. --james baldwin, giovanni's room.
"she grew up in an indiana town, had a good lookin' mama..."

for most of my life, i've wanted to be from somewhere else. somewhere famous. some place exciting, exotic. a town that didn't require you to name the state because everyone knows where it is, or has at least heard of it. shit, i've always wanted to be from somewhere acknowledged by a hip hop emcee. i have endlessly desired to have some sort of discernable accent. but i was reared in no such place. i'm from randommidwesterntown, usa. a place--like tons of other cities of its kind in the middle of the country--still trying to find its bearings after the auto industry and other factories changed their tune. that is, essentially, the shell of my town. with the exception of a couple sports heroes and the world's first hippie, there's not a whole lot of folk who know about fort weezy. i suppose i could proffer that it's the second largest city in indiana, but one recognizes how insignificant such information is when you wonder: what's the second largest city in iowa? (cedar rapids) or even california? (san diego. followed by san jose. san fran is a distant fourth. no, i didn't need wikipedia.) not a lot of people are into seconds.

despite the fact that i live relatively close to home, i don't go there often. saying that it's because my mother and stepdad moved to cleveland really doesn't explain my absence. nor can i rationalize that my "lifestyle" precludes me from feeling comfortable in that space. you've seen the pictures. this shit was inevitable. i don't change my behavior when i'm around certain fam. besides, if i have ever felt anything consistently in my life, it's feeling like a fish out of water. liquor license or not, i've never fit in. and though i didn't grow up in my father's house, i do know most of the family. they are not strangers to me. granted, i don't have the phone numbers 95% of them niggas (we ain't got much to say anyway), but i could and would recognize a cousin in the mall. essentially, i have no viable excuse.

all that being said, i went home saturday. yep. left the city of wind and headed to the hoosier state, a land where john (cougar) mellancamp rules, the amish dwell, folks are still mad that the general moved to texas, and gas is less than 3 bux a gallon. strangely, as i drove out of northwest indiana--which might as well be northeast illinois--heading east on state road 30, much of the nervousness and fatigue i'd been feeling for the last week or so started to dissipate. right there in the car with nothing but the radio--i prefer to listen to the radio on road trips--and my thoughts, i started to reclaim my chi.

"but she grew up tall and she grew up right with them indiana boys on an indiana night..."

as much as i lament the fact that a lot of shit never changes in weezy, i think i really appreciated that same shit this weekend. i needed something familiar to orient myself, a mooring. my father, for example, will only spend the night out of town twice a year--in may and in october when he goes to las vegas. he has the same friends; he tells the same stories; he asks the same questions. (i was wondering: "so you cut your hair again?" is a euphemistic inquiry, a code phrase for "are you gay?" right?) though i've been known to abhor and negatively judge the banality that i thought/think characterized/characterizes my father's life, i was extremely grateful for such familiarity this weekend. my world is shifting; i'm changing my stroke, and it's difficult. seasons change mad things rearrange, but it all stays the same like the love doctor strange. yes, some shit does stay the same. so i was glad to see my father this weekend. he is who he is, and he does the best he can. i ran into a ton of people who have known me in the past-- my sister, my brother (who i had neither seen nor talked to in six months), the first drug dealer i ever knew, (shit,) the nigga my mama shoulda married, my boy andre. i was surrounded by folks who have known me in all of my incarnations. folks who, though they may not know or understand the life i live now, still support and encourage me in any way they can. and i dig that. i need that.

in a word full of variables and wild cards, sometimes you just need a constant.

"i feel summer creeping in and i'm tired of this town again..."

so as i drove back to the chi, for the first time in a while i felt motiviated, inspired, satisfied, lucid. i see the shifts that i need to make. i know what, who, and where i need to focus. i didn't choose my moorings, but i need them nonetheless. one can say a lot about the middle west and the folk who inhabit the space: we're clannish, boring, meat and potatoes, etc. but there's value in making it plain, simple, clear. and i (re)cognized that this weekend. for all of his faults and shortcomings, my father has been there for me in every way he knows how, as has every other person i left back in fort wayne.

it's not glamorous, but it's home. i've no stories of grandeur and exciting treasure hunts, but i have a tale to tell. a narrative that begins not in some far-off exotic place, or under a sky pierced with ridiculously tall buildings, or near the beach of a vast ocean. my story starts somewhere in media res. and i'm committed to (re)telling epic, to constantly and consistently reminding myself of home no matter where i am. (maybe it's my lorain, ohio? total stretch. but i had to go there, had to take a shot.)

besides, it's not serendipitous that i often comfort myself by singing the "johnny appleseed prayer." only in the midwest do i find such grace.

the rain ain't gone, but i can still see clear.

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Monday, May 22, 2006

on second thought...

shit i prolly shouldn't have said to my therapist.

me: ...but whatever. she's fuckin' crazy.

therapist: *tilts head from left to right*

me: i suppose i shouldn't make jokes about insanity in here.


(the tuesday after mother's day)
me: in light of our last conversation, i decided not to send my mom a mother's day card....i gave her your number instead.

therapist: *stares blankly*

me: i'm kidding.


me: nah. i think it'll be okay if we pause for a week.

therapist: are you sure?

me: yeah.

therapist: well, i have another therapist covering for me just in case.

me: i'll try my best not to call you from the top of this building threatening to end it all.


*i smile*


perhaps i should work on my couch time etiquette. just a thought.

it's hard being this damn charming.

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Thursday, May 18, 2006

abdicating the blogstar search of the artist formerly known as summer m.

maybe this'll all go away in the morning.

"today i played it safe, cards are in my favor..."

a couple months ago, nahmix kept it so holyfield with me: "you're like the kanye west of blogging," she said. damn. that hurt. she went on. something like, it makes her so mad to read my blog sometimes. another jab, "you're full of shit." fuck. i'm on the ropes. i can't disagree; i've no rebut. "you know what really made me like your blog?" (what's this? she's gone from opponent to my trainer in the corner? massaging my sore muscles? rubbing salve on that cut just above my ego? encouraging me to keep fighting in the sixty seconds between rounds?) she went on, "the entry where you wrote about losing your bookbag. i felt your pain, then. you'd captured it in your writing." it's as if she just put my mouthpiece back in, grabbed the stool from under me, and pushed me back into the middle of the ring. my legs tremble under the pressure of my weight, and the boxing gloves have made my arms much too heavy to lift. i realize the opponent in front of me ain't the mad rapper at all. (jeez. times like this i realize how my actual/literal weak vision makes so much damn figurative sense.) fuck.

they say you can tell what racial/ethnic/class group is at the bottom of the societal ladder by watching boxing. think about that shit. now tie that shit to what i just said. the dots connect, if you think about that shit a bit more... listen, i know i could've come up with a better, less cliche metaphor. but it's 230 in the morning, and i can't sleep. work with me.

"gotta get over, before the sun comes up..."

just a few minutes ago i was in bed, not sleeping. insomnia has returned. just couldn't turn my mind off--there's a lot in it, on it. so i got up and turned on my comp, hoping a fellow non-sleeper, or at least somebody in a totally different time zone, was also awake. nothing. checked myspace. changed my gmail chat status message. hmpf. technology does not conjure up an insurmountable desire for slumber. i need lizz wright to make a cd of lullabies. better yet, i wanna hold an inamorata as she reads me bedtime stories. something to alleviate the trouble in my mind.

"i search for answers often, paid the price for many..."

somewhere along the way, i lost my chi again. i'm nervous, shaky, nauseous, weak; i can't eat, and i obviously don't sleep. flu-like symptoms, yes. but it's all psychosomatic. i'm much too introverted to list the things that bother me. even if i wanted to share, there's no one to talk with. (note to self: establish and remain in consistent contact with supportive people.) so i am agitated and sleepless...cranky, unbearable, isolated. and i live such a life that my hibernation goes unnoticed. surely, i am the only one paying attention to me long enough to notice such shifts. this all comes together, i swear...

nahmix speaks truth. i am full of shit. for quite some time, the content of this blog has not been affiliated with the rubric under which it was initially conceived. i've created more than my own doppelganger. i've created a monster, a spectacle. what's so interesting about nahmix's choice for favorite fecundmellow entry is that it was the one where i killed fecundmellow in its nascent stage. though i later resurrected her, i claimed then that the theft of my bookbag compelled me to relate to writing differently. as a result, i didn't think i could write a blog anymore. when i came back, however, fecundmellow allowed a space for me to become reacquainted with writing. i created the character summer m. not to exorcise/embrace some latent, narcissistic, egotistical demons (ok, maybe a little), but to see how far i could stretch a persona, a character loosely based on the kid. yet somewhere, something got out of hand, out of balance, and it became less about the writer/writing, and more about the reaction of an assumed audience. in the process, i got lost.

"today might be the day, i put it in the pocket..."

i am full of shit. before i started this entry, i sat at this desk queasy, full of angst, and mentally confronting all that has changed in recent memory. i've felt this way before, but for a moment i can't remember how i got through. then the inner voice says: writing, you idiot.

an example: i kind of despise poetry, but i adore haiku. i write really bad haiku. i enjoy it. there is something alluring about having only seventeen syllables. such masochism attracts me. you have to be pithy, and choose your words wisely. you must stretch and expand your vocabulary. you have to manipulate the meaning of words. whatever you say, you have to do it in three lines. i don't write it to impress other people, as my efforts are generally much less than impressive. i write haiku because i enjoy attempting to be disciplined in that way. (there's a lesson for me in here...)

i don't write because i think i'm good at it, or because i believe some sort of brilliance will become apparent through my words. (i think quite the opposite, in fact.) i write to work out problems, to answer my laundry list of "what-ifs?". i write because i never really learned how to express myself through talking. i write because i let her get away. i write because it is the only thing i've never totally given up.

nahmix is right. as i violently slide into my berkeley moment**, still trying to find my footing and hoping to recover before it's too late, i realize the attraction of two paragraphs about a chick lamenting the ganking of her shit. then, i could give a fuck about an audience. shit, i didn't have one. now, i consider the idea that the sporadic blogging, the seeming self-destruction, the figurative middle-finger to an audience of people i barely know is perhaps a subconscious effort to reclaim this webspace.

in sports, they call this gut check time.

fatigued than a muhfuckuh, i just knocked out my doppelganger. i formally abdicate my self-proclaimed blogstar status. from now on, if i choose to blog, i will write what i want when i want. and i will write about whatever it is i choose to write. rumors, open letters, et. al. will appear if and when i see fit. i'm no longer interested in eliciting reaction from virtual strangers. i'm doing this shit for the love of it, for the fuck of it. if i lose what's left of my audience, it's cool. right now i'm only interest in moving the crowd of me. if you're checking for me, it's all good. if you're not, that's fine, too. i can only control where i stand. and i'm good.

i want to write of stolen bookbags again

be easy.

sun shine in the morning, in the morning
make love in the morning, in the morning
pray to god in the morning, in the morning
get on in the morning, in the morning...

(despite feeling isolated and alone, i know that all the homies are in my corner: milf, young jeezy, nahmix, saf, rrrr, deshi, sweet, greg, keish, shon. yuh. i see y'all as friends interested in honesty, in not holding back, in sharing what you think and feel no matter how "highly evolved" the thought/feeling, and in steadfastly supporting me as i become/do me. i'll match your work. thanx for that.)

**berkeley moment: a phrase describing one's personal rock bottom.

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Monday, May 15, 2006

start a rumor monday redux: the remix...

celebration of the 2nd annual 'yo' mama''

i originally posted this the monday after mother's day 2005. i think it's still (slightly) timely/timeless. it didn't get much love last year. maybe it'll get a little more in the oh-six.

washington, d.c.: with a wide margin of victory, the congressional black caucus voted in a special session to officially mark the monday after mother's day 'yo' mama's day...'. as stated in the press release published this morning in black newspapers throughout the nation, 'yo' mama's day...' is intended to celebrate and embrace the african american tradition of snapping, also known as joning, cracking, and playing the dozens.' democrats also believe that by participating in 'yo' mama's day...', they may be able to recover some of the backbone they lost in last 2004's 'presidential election'.

tennessee congressman harold ford, jr., who announced the news, is quite happy that black congresspeople were able to stop their highly talked about in-fighting and pass an edict. 'i'm very pleased that we were able to get such a measure passed, and so quickly,' he said. 'by the way, barack obama's mama is so white, he got elected senator.'

though washington insiders thought that the white house would oppose such a declaration, it seems that 'president' bush is all for this latest official holiday. he ended his monday morning press conference with, 'condoleezza rice's mother is so ugly, i had to put her on the terrorist do not watch list.' (uh, yeah.)

no word yet as to whether or not hallmark will produce a line of cards to commemorate the day. hallmark subcompany mahogony has already come up with several card ideas. it will be part of the drinking gourd line.

original rumor: 9 may 2005

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


or, letting go of latifah
open letter #7

dearest queen,

this is difficult for me to write. though i've a proclivity for the written word, i've never composed a break up letter until now. but i fear i must. it's [dramatic pause] imperative, the right thing to do. on one level, i'd like to say we're different people now; that we've grown apart; that it's me, not you. all of the things people say when they're trying to a explain to a lover why it must end, why they both must just move on to other people, places, spaces. if this were a movie, i could imagine several perfectly plausible songs that slowly swell into the extra-diegetic background: "i will always love you," "voyage to atlantis". oh, there are many. yet at this juncture candid reality is very necessary,"more necessary than violence on the amistad" if you will. so, let me just be frank:

i just cain't fuck withchu no mo'.

call me a renigger (read: reneger), i don't give a damn. but, dana, you've put a homegyrl in a fucked up position. surely many will say i shoulda given it up, turned it loose longlong time ago. i mean, i ain't see taxi, but i saw beauty shop. if i were a camel, that shit would've broken that bridge called my back. but on (some of) the realest shit i've said this year: you broke my heart.

let's recount our love affair, shall we?

what's it been, queen? nearly seventeen years i imagine. the summer of 1989. my stepbrother's aunt was our babysitter, and fortunately for me, she fucked with yo! mtv raps and rap city. i think i first saw your "dance for me video" on the latter show. you wore a muhfuckin' crown (comma) yo, and that shit was dy-lan. you looked regal (duh), dignified, and i had never seen anyone like you. more hypnotized than biggie could ever make me, at a mere nine years old, i was singing "ooooh ladies first, ladies first," with no real grasp of how powerful such a mantra was/is.

between you and lana, i knew i could love h.e.r., because i thought she was made for me. to continue with this popularmusiclyric-ridden post, i thought i was made to love her and she me. i had no idea you were an alternative, counter narrative; took for granted that you were a woman in a boy's game. until, of course, i got older and i wrote you thank you notes. as i got grown (rhyme got strong, mind got blown), and came to grips with the idea that hip hop, as tricia rose so aptly put it, "is the musical equivalent to chitterlings," i recognized just how puissantly (oooh, sexy) powerful you (all) were.

as hip hop (or rap or whatever) married (or shacked up with or knocked up or whatever) r&b, i watched the new jacks (or whoever), saw the game shift, peeped how the music got copped (or co-opted into the superstructure or whatever), and observed that for such actions to occur, material like yours (is that kente cloth?) had to be discarded and/or (further) marginalized to make (even more) room for violence, misogyny and tons of other forms of "artistic" (self-) hatred. because hell, that shit sells. that's tough.

so if the game changes, if the high skool kids can jump straight into the league, how does a veteran player like you remain relevent? i suppose you observe then follow suit. rappers-turned-actors? ok. i was with you. it's no golden girls, but thanx to oxygen (did i just admit to watching the oprah channel?), i'm pretty sure i've seen every episode of living single. whenever tnt airs it, i seem to catch set it off (to have never kissed/fucked with a woman, you play a lady lover really well, btw.), and, believe it or not, though i can't remember the movie for the life of me, i fucked with living out loud. saw it at least five times. i even have the soundtrack.

but then you produce your first movie and we get... bringing down the house? that's even tougher. i didn't go to the theatre to see it; i risked life and limb and rented it from a blockbuster where i know i have at least 25 bux in late fees. (congrats on that naacp image award, btw.) did you seriously play someone named aunt shaneequa? can you please explain that whole "moniker/my nigga" joke in beauty shop? now don't get me wrong, i love to see black people onscreen. coonery would be easier to resist if it weren't so damn entertaining. i know you don't think i spent $9.25 on akeelah and the bee because i thought that shit was gonna be a great portrayal of black folk. i paid 10 dollars to see some stereotypical nig shit; it's fodder for my cinema commentary enjoyed by moviegoers within earshot. but i digress. my point? i never anticipated such things from the queen. granted, if we've learned anything from madonna, it's that reinvention is imperative to stay afloat. but how are we reinventing ourselves? are we simply recycling old images? crowns for weave ponytails? look, y'all, aunt jemima can rap!!

jay-z said i can't knock the hustle. i say i can. well, maybe not. one could argue, for instance, that the late 80s/early 90s latifah was an act. the crown? simply an afrocentric headpiece, perhaps. songs like "ladies first"? merely the women's department of the native tongues. who was i, who am i to infuse meaning into such performance? please don't misunderstand. i am forever grateful for the timeliness of your arrival onto the hip hop scene. i just assumed that it meant as much to you as it did to me. perhaps it's like getting to know your parent once you've become an adult. you can lament coming to terms with the fact maybe pops wasn't a superhero after all, or maybe you can accept him as a human being and move from there. i'm trying to do the latter with you, but admittedly it's been really hard.

so listen, i ain't mad because i think you fell off once you hit the mainstream. and i couldn't care less about whether you confirm or deny your alleged rainbow coalition membership. personally, i have no stake in you coming out; if folks don't wanna come out, that's their business. it's not even about how (un)real you keep it. so when i think about why we gotta break up, it's not because i think you lied to me by pretending to be someone you weren't at the beginning of our relationship. do you, homie. this is all me. i made you the metonym for some moment in time i'd romanticized and was trying my hardest to hold onto. like, iono, some seaweed you grab for in an effort to not be swept away by the tide. for me, you were the personfication of the last part of a movement i might be able to call my own. (not that i'm interested in ownership...) and for a minute i thought this move of yours was simply indicative of my own mantra that nothing is sacred. not only do i realize how true that is, but i was taken aback by the thought that maybe you weren't sacred in the first place. so i won't knock the hustle. instead i'll just say it's over. we have to break up.

and, no. we can't be friends.

be easy,
summer m., h.e.r. ex-lover

the above mentioned love note to latifah:
i used to love h.e.r.: more reflections on hip hop

other open letters:
open letter #1
open letter #2
open letter #3
open letter #4
open letter #5
open letter #6

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Monday, May 08, 2006

start a rumor monday: summer m. the lost weeks

the (long awaited?) interview

in what seemed like the most chappellian move since, well, dave chappelle, several weeks ago, blogstar summer m. apparently walked away from her blog at the zenith of its popularity. in what seemed like less time than it took britney to get knocked again, summer m. went from providing the public with the most thought-provoking and humorous diatribes on popular culture to leaving sporadic and occasionally non-sensical posts to fecundmellow.

last week, summer m. hit 'em with da hee with a killa rumor on rabbits and racism. at the time, she offered no explanation as to where she'd been for the last 5 weeks. finally, fecundmellow was able to track down its author and have a bit of a chat. here's the interview:

fecundmellow: bitch, are you crazy?
summer m.: no, i ain't crazy. i'm definitely stressed out, but i'm not crazy.

fecundmellow: there have been a lot of rumors circulating about where you've been and what you've been up to. are you willing to answer questions about those things?
summer m.: absolutely.

fecundmellow: ok. first, did you really have a child with harold gibson?
summer m: are you fucking serious? you've seen me. if anything, harold would be pregnant with my baby. in fact, that nigga told me he wanted to have my baby and shit. now most folks would find that problematic and troubling, but i just told that cat to take a number. you know how many cyber panty droppers i got trying to be on my squad right now? and this disappearing acts shit got 'em lined up like i'm passing out free fried chicken.

fecundmellow: are you in a romantic relationship?
summer m.: please stop reading my myspace profile as some sort of factual document.

fecundmellow: and the south africa rumor?
summer m.: is it me, or does it seem like nelson mandela is always wearing the same shirt?

fecundmellow: another rumor we heard was that you'd gone to seattle on a spiritual pilgrimage. alleged eyewitnesses claim to have seen you doing yoga in a yurt?
summer m.: [slightly irascible] i ain't never been in a yurt or done no yoga!!! where'd you hear that? them niggas is lyin' on me.

fecundmellow: so you were in seattle?
summer m.: i've visited the specific northwest before.

fecundmellow: this leads me to my next question. rumor has it that despite an alleged moment of honesty in a previous blog entry you have the hots for phoenix?
summer m.: the hots? where did you learn to talk? phoenix has moved on. at least, that's what the police told me when they served me with a restraining order. [brief, slightly melancholy pause] I LOVE YOU BABY!!!!

fecundmellow: were you doing your schoolwork?
summer m.: *laughs uncontrollably.*

fecundmellow: and you weren't kidnapped by oprah or kanye west?
summer m.: briefly. but they realized no one would pay a ransom for me.

fecundmellow: well, where the fuck have you been?
summer m.: in your sister's bed?

fecundmellow: i'ma fuck you up.
summer m.: am i being threatened by my own doppelganger?

fecundmellow: you keep fucking with me, and you'll be seeing a physical therapist, too.
summer m.: speaking of, do you think i should bring this whole interview thing up in my next session?

fecundmellow: will you just tell the people what you've been doing?

summer m.: recording my album.

fecundmellow: you've recorded an album?
summer m.: no, not really.

fecundmellow: will you at least be honest with the people?
summer m.: i'd actually prefer to hear what the people have to say about my absence. i'm a woman of the people. besides, their lies are much more entertaining. i say we open this up a little, make the rumor more democratic, you know?

fecundmellow: this is the biggest waste of webspace ever known to human kind.
summer m.: even more of a waste than well i'll be damned to hell.

fecundmellow: one can only pray for such things to actually happen.
summer m.: i heard that.

on the real, happy burfday (go shawty) to harold and phoenix.

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

Monday, May 01, 2006

start a rumor monday: and the plot thickens...

rabbits still stewing over discrimination.

just two weeks after the celebration of easter, bunnies united for garnering social success, or bugss has released the findings of what they've called "the easter study." over five years, researchers observed and documented "discriminatory practices" in shopping malls throughout the united states. according to bugss' findings, non-white rabbits have rarely, if ever, been employed by shopping malls during the easter season; while white rabbits have received 99.9% of the highly sought after and coveted position of shopping mall easter bunny.

"for the past five years we have sent non-white rabbits with impeccable resumes to more than 75 shopping centers throughout the united states," p. cottontail, president and ceo of bugss said during a press conference early this morning. "we also sent white rabbits with less stellar credentials to interview at these same malls. on every occasion but one, the white rabbits were chosen over their better qualified, darker counterparts. the statistics don't lie. this is blatant discrimination that has gone unnoticed for way too long. it is time for these bastions of american capitalism to wake up and address their unfair practices. we believe our lawsuit will aid in arousing these sleeping giants."

the litigious dispute, which even names mall building giants such as the rouse company and simon, does more than just shout discrimination. the suit is accompanied by a 200-page document where researchers have chronicled the "perpetual disrespect of of the rabbit." part of the text reads:
from cartoons to folk tales, the rabbit has been continuously negatively represented in the media. it is as if the rabbit has been dealt a bad hand by a cheating dealer. despite the presence of characters such as rabbit in the winnie the pooh stories, bunnies have been perpetually portrayed as slick talking, hubristically arrogant, baby making machines with a penchant for con artistry and trickery. these images have been tattooed upon the american psyche. as a result, rabbits have been discriminated against and disrespected in numerous societal institutions. the easter bunny industry is no exception.
though the mall industry has yet to formally acknowledge or respond to the allegations, buggs and others are very confident. "we will win," says bunny foo foo, founder and president of the feminist bunny trail industries, who has joined bugss in their lawsuit. "the discrimination is so blatant, no one can continue to ignore it. change will soon come." along with several grass roots organizations, the naacp and the rev. jesse jackson's rainbow/PUSH coalition can be counted as bugss supporters.

a march is expected.

the secret society of tortoises intends to protest the protest.

other easter disses:
jesus as groundhog

language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison