My top 5 songs for dealing with (or wallowing in) heartbreak

Here they are, not necessarily in this order:

1. “I Can’t Make You Love Me” – Bonnie Raitt

2. “King of Sorrow” – Sade (I’m crying everyone’s tears/And there inside our private war/I died the night before) Need I say more?

3. “Bruised But Not Broken” – Joss Stone (Doesn’t the title say it all?)

4. “I Told You So” – Randy Travis

5. “I Believe” – Stevie Wonder (In my version I just replace “with you” and “this time” with “next time” and it becomes a pretty hopeful song… or maybe I just love Wevie Stunder so much it doesn’t matter ;)

Well, those are my top 5. You guys have any other suggestions? I could use them right about now.

Best TV theme song ever!

I don’t know how many of y’all would remember this theme song… Shoot, I doubt most of you even remember the show, but Damon Wayans had a TV show about 10 years ago called “Damon” and he was a detective… Yeah. I’m sure it didn’t even last an entire season. But it had the best theme song ever for a TV show ever. And every now and then it pops into my head… I was trying to get my boy to remember it but he didn’t… So I dug and dug and found it online.

So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the theme song to “Damon” as voiced by the lovely and talented Ms. Erykah Badu:

LISTEN: “Damon” theme song

And yes, in case there’s any confusion… the lyrics to that song were: It’s Damon’s show. It’s not your show. It’s Damon’s show.

HA! Now get up off the floor. Damn I love the Internet.

I love you John McBride…

for sending me this… This is better than USA for Africa

Things I want to make sure you saw:

  • Jerome Brown getting his official boogie on.
  • The ‘sound engineer’ with the Aaron Neville cut off shirt
  • Luis Zendejas’ rap at the 1:03 mark. It’s the best verse ever spit on wax — he is the undisputed G.O.A.T.
  • Randall Cunningham’s Flava-Flav “yeah boy-eee” at the 1:16 mark
  • The ‘cabbage patch’ dance break at the 1:25 mark during Reggie White’s verse:

Reggie White, Defensive End
Hit quarterbacks like they committed a sin
Like a good minister when I’m thru
I help them up and say God bless you

This is way too hilarious!

R.I.P. to Jerome Brown and Reggie White. Legends. Truly.

Roasting chestnuts with my baby a.k.a. Happy Birthday Jesus

I don’t like new Christmas songs.

You know what I mean? Christmas songs that were created for the sole purpose of pushing the artist’s latest Christmas CD. I don’t know, I guess I’m a Christmas carol purist. Oh Holy Night. The First Noel. O Come All Ye Faithful… That’s more my speed. I don’t wanna hear what “you and your baby” did by the fire on Christmas Eve. Sorry.

I get that there are only a limited number of Christmas classics and that hearing every artist do the same songs could get tired quick. But think about it… Have you ever bought a Christmas CD where the artist sang original songs that you enjoyed?…

Well, have you?

I’m just saying, you at least gotta mix it up. Mariah Carey’s “Merry Christmas” is — if I’m not mistaken — the best-selling Christmas album of all time.

Mariah Carey aka my dad's imaginary girlfriend

My dad has bumped that CD every year from Thanksgiving Day thru New Years since 1994. Promise. (BTW, if you’ve seen the act lately, that bit I do about Mariah Carey and my dad’s funeral is COMPLETELY true ;) I can’t recall if there are any original Christmas songs on this album — but I do know that if there are, she had enough sense to bury them deep between “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Joy to the World.” And I’m not saying that all Christmas songs need to come straight out of a church hymnal. There are plenty of secular songs that I think we can all agree are a part of The Christmas tradition. And yes I’m aware of how “secular songs” being part of the Christmas tradition sounds… Probably wasn’t the best choice of words, but you know what I mean. “The Christmas Song” is not a religious song but it’s probably the most famous one. And even the most devout, anti-Christmas-commercialism Christians tap their feet when they hear Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas.”

That song can make you feel good in the middle of July.

I’m just saying I heard an awful “Christmas” song on the radio a few minutes ago. And I don’t know who sings it, but when I find out, I’ll be sending him a very opinionated note!

Happy almost birthday, Jesus!

What does your iPod say about you?: Great love songs

OK, so I thought we’d give this another try! The first go-round was fun but I thought maybe this would be an easier entry to comment on. I’m a sucker for a great love song. Lyrics in any music are always my main focus, and this morning I was listening to the “Superfaves” playlist on my iPod and I thought it’d be cool to share some of my all-time favorite love songs with y’all, and see if you guys out there on the had any great love songs on your iPod that you’d like to share with the rest of us. Some of the greatest music I’ve ever come across has been the result of someone else’s recommendation.

So here are a few of mine… in no particular order (except that #1 is my favorite of all time):

Nothing Can Change This Love — Sam Cooke
Feels Like Home — Chantal Kreviazuk
Can’t Get Over You — Maze
The Way You Look Tonight — Frank Sinatra
Orange Moon — Erykah Badu
Heaven Must Be Like This — Ohio Players
Make Me Whole — Amel Larrieux
Just Call My Name — Alyson Williams
He Loves Me — Jill Scott
So Amazing — Luther Vandross
I Believe (When I Fall in Love it Will be Forever) & Golden Lady — Stevie Wonder
It’s Been You — Anita Baker
Never Felt This Way — Brian McKnight

What’s on your list?

Which came first, the chicken or the ‘X’?


Oh Eldra… Could that really be you in both of these photos? Say it ain’t so.

El DeBarge, the love of my life from like 1985 thru 1997, has been arrested yet again on drug possession charges. He’s been in trouble a lot in recent years, and I’m really hoping he can get it together and make a comeback! Hahaha… I am so kidding. Although a few years ago when he was performing at this little lounge in DC, me and a couple of my girls were super geeked to go out to see him. But we only wanted to hear the old stuff. His stuff was classic, Rhythm of the Nite, I Like it, You Wear It Well, All This Love… El DeBarge (and DeBarge as a whole) is one of those artists you don’t want to hear anything new from, because if it’s not fantastic it could taint their near-perfect discography. I feel the same way about Frankie Beverly and Maze. Just keep touring with the hits — put out another greatest hits album with the songs arranged in a different order and I’ll buy it. Just don’t go back into the studio!!!

El was clearly hopped up when we saw him… but he sounded damn good. It’s so sad to see your favorite artists go thru tough times, but then you remember they’re just normal people. Everyone has an addict relative that can’t get their stuff together. My friend Herbie does a joke about how we need to stop being outraged when athletes commit crimes and recognize that criminals sometimes have other skills. (I’m paraphrasing here… but it goes something like…) “We need to stop saying ‘I can’t believe that basketball player assaulted that woman’ and start saying ‘Wow, that rapist has a great jumpshot.'”

And it’s so true. We don’t know how long he’s been at this. I’m sure he didn’t start getting high the first night he was arrested… Perhaps we shouldn’t look at El DeBarge (or any other artist in his situation) as a singer with a substance abuse problem. Maybe we should look at him as a drug addict with a nice falsetto.

I hope you get some help, El! We miss you  man.

What you talkin’ bout, iPod?

They say you can tell a lot about a person by the kind of music they listen to. So we here at You’re Welcome, thought it’d be cool to start a new feature called, “What does your iPod say about you?” No pressure, (ahem, ahem), but it’ll only be fun if you participate ;) I thought it’d be cool to list all the artists that fall under a particular letter of the alphabet on my iPod and see what you think they say about me. And then you can send the artists on your playlists, and I can tell you what they say about you. For instance, if you listen to only rap music, your iPod might be saying that you are a 14-year old white kid. See how that works? This is probably gonna fall flat, but it won’t be the first time … or the last ;)

So OK, here goes… Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you my “S’s” along with a little color commentary to jump things off: Continue reading →

Anatomy of a Hip-Hop Classic: LL Cool J — “I’m Bad”

I think I’m gonna need backup…


So after my club experience a few weeks ago, I’ve been thinking a lot about the hip-hop I grew up on… in the good ol’ days ;) LL Cool J’s Bigger and Deffer is one of the first rap ‘cassette tapes’ I ever bought. This album came out in 1987, so I was just a baby — in 4th or 5th grade. I remember that I used to play it really low so my parents wouldn’t hear all the cuss words. I still know every word to, I think, every song on that album… Now that I look back I sooooo shouldn’t have been listening to this album at that age, but whatevs ;) I learned a lot by listening to that record. Here are some of my favorite tracks from B.A.D. Pls. pardon me if I get any of these lyrics wrong. I’m doing this off the dome w/o the help of Google.

The Bristol Hotel — I knew a fat girl / She wore an orange skirt / You give her 20 dollars and you could do work / She takes food stamps and travelers checks because her hair and her face and her life’s a wreck… (I think this is how I learned about prostitution).

I Need Love — When I’m alone in my room / Sometimes I stare at the wall / And in the back of my mind / I hear my conscience call / Telling me I need a girl / Who’s as sweet as a dove / For the first time in my life / I see I need love (The king of all sappy hip-hop love songs; this is when I first fell in love with one, Mr. James Todd Smith)

Kanday — I met this new girl / With big juicy lips / And nice round hips / I mean her body’s a trip… (This is how I learned what it takes to keep a man … and that I wasn’t willing to put in that much work ;)

But my favorite song (and I’m sure it was yours too ;) off this album was “I’m Bad.” You can say that the lyrics to the above tracks were cheesy or raunchy, but the lyrics to I’m Bad were just H.A.R.D… In 1987, son???? Hard.

I was listening to this track on repeat for like half an hour this morning and wow… Dude’s brag is sooo huge, but you kinda have to love a guy who loves himself that much. I used to write hip-hop album reviews for Dig around the site archives and you’ll find a few with my name on ’em… I wish I could have reviewed Bigger and Deffer when it first came out. These would have been some of the lines I pulled from “I’m Bad”:

Got concrete rhymes / Been rapping for ten years / And even when I’m bragging I’m being sincere

Not bitter or mad just provin’ I’m bad / You want a hit give me a hour plus a pen and a pad

My vocals exact / Like rack and pinion in a Jag

I eliminate punks / Cut ’em up in chunks / You were souped you heard me / And your ego shrunk / I’m devastating / I’m so good it’s a shame / Cause I eat rappers like a cannibal / They call me insane

I was just remarking to a buddy that no matter how many smooth commercial R&B/Hip-Hop tracks LL puts on a CD, he always has at least one banger that reminds us of the good old days. Plus his beef tracks about Ice-T’s perm, Kool Moe Dee’s Star Trek shades, and Canibus … threw a wrench or in a couple cases put an actual end to other rappers’ careers.

However I would be remiss if I didn’t point out some of the less-than-stellar lyrics in this track, such as: Continue reading →