Archive | May, 2011

Profound Hip Hop Quote #21: Philly Stand Up! Ten Songs Giving Philly Love

28 May

When it comes to rap music, New York is one of the first places that people reference; however, there are so many places nationally and internationally who have made major contributions to hip hop music and culture.  As a Philly home-grown resident, I’ve been discussing profound hip hop quotes specifically from Philly rap artists for the past two months.  What better way to end the month than to highlight some of the best songs representing Philly.   Here’s a playlist for all of those who can’t get enough of Philly!

  1. Philadelphia Love“Philly, Philly” by Eve featuring Beanie Sigel“We from P-H-I-L-A period, PA period, Eve they hearing it.  Believe they fearing it…”
  2. “Philly’s Finest” by Beanie Sigel: “P-H-I-L-L-Y  Why should we tell y’all why?  Where why and how we ride?  P-H-I-L-L-Y.”
  3. “Summertime” by Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince: “Back in Philly we be out in the park.  A place called the plateau is where everybody go.”
  4. “I Run Philly” by Cassidy: “Cause I ain’t from the city of suckas.  Philly is the city with plenty of gun bustas.”
  5. “North Side” by Tuff Crew Northside! Northside! Where I’m From!
  6. “Ms. Philadelphia” by Musiq Soulchild: “Ms. P.H.I.L.L.Y. let’s try to do this.  I hope that I’m not asking too much. But can I get a little hometown love?”
  7. “Illy Filly Funk” by Da Youngstas: “I’m comin’ with the illy filly funk.  Like Billy the Kid I’m buckin’ down punks.Liberty Bell
  8. “Game Theory” by The Roots featuring Malik B.:  “Yeah, where I’ma start it at, look I’ma part of that.  Downtown Philly where it’s realer than a heart attack”
  9. “Uknowhowwedu” by Bahamdia:   “Landscapin mentally shapin’ lookin at my gucci it’s about that time.  Represent my peoples on the ill-a-del side.”
  10. “Exhibit C” by Jay Electronica:  ” I was on Cecil B, Broad Street, Master, North Philly, South Philly, 23rd, Tasker.

I got to tell you, there’s a plethora of songs about New York, but locating Philly songs was far more difficult than I thought it would be.  Regardless, I still got love for my home town.  If you know of any more, please feel free to share.  Philly stand up!

All the best,

Anonomz aka Tanya Harris


Profound Hip Hop Quote #20: Homage to Philly Edition

21 May

“Now while you grittin your teeth
Frustration baby you gotta breathe
Take a lot more than you to get rid of me
You see I do what they can’t do, I just do me.”

—Eve, featuring Gwen Stefani “Let Me Blow Ya Mind”

Click here to view the video!!

EveAlas, this is the eighth profound hip hop quote specifically paying homage to Philly with one more to go.  There’s so many to name, but you know I’ve got to include another female artist who has made herself known in the early 2000s and still reigns today, Eve, full name, Eve Jihan Jeffers.

Eve is one of the most influential female rappers or rappers from Philly, period, to see national and international success.  Actually, she deserves to be lauded for expanding her rap career into television, film and even fashion.

In “Let Me Blow Ya Mind,” Eve commands respect from all competitors, haters and listeners while declaring an all-out women’s empowerment movement with the help of Gwen Stefani.  What makes her lyrics profound is, as she put it, “I just do me.”  She’s not concerned with pleasing or appeasing others and  is simply doing what she sees fit, not what others may expect.

Do you allow others to dictate your success or lack of success for that matter?  Of course, emulation is sometimes a necessity to do well in life, but emulating greatness and surpassing it is totally different than simply copying someone else.  Do you feel as confident in your ability as Eve is in hers to be unyielding in the face of doubters and competitors?

Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
Whether it be intentional or on a subconscious level, words are not arbitrarily selected in poetry or music.  In these specific lyrics by Eve, she utilizes repetition as a technique to show emphasis.  For instance, the pronoun “you” is present in each line for a total of four times, and she incorporates the pronoun “me” just two times in the last two lines.  From this observation, one could deduce that this song is more so about addressing the competition and letting them know what she will tolerate rather than her justifying who “she” is and why she does what she does.

Mission Accomplished! Acting on my dreams…

14 May

“You should be an actor!” is what family, friends and even some of my students tell me.  I used to act when I was younger and loved being on stage, so I have been exploring my theatrical abilities by taking a college level acting class during the spring 2011 semester. Considering that I am an English professor at the college where I was taking the course, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Interestingly, it was a great experience!

Signing up for an acting class was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while.  I’ve learned so much and have truly enjoyed every moment.  I’ve performed a monologue from “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show,” written a drama analysis on “The Cherry Orchard,” performed a radio story, which I plan on posting as a podcast in the near future  and ended the course with the ultimate challenge for me.

My professor assigned me and my classmate a scene from John Patrick Shanley’s play, “Women of Manhattan.”  Bille, played by Lisa Claypoole, is a native New Yorker, and Rhonda Louise, played by me (Tanya Harris), is from the Deep South.  The setting is a Billie’s apartment and an evening without men. They are both “slightly” inebriated as they tackle friendship and relationship issues. I’ve never been drunk let alone had alcohol before, so this was a major undertaking for me.  My character also has no filter when in comes to how she feels, so she uses some profane language, which is absolutely out of character for me.  I had a lot of fun with this role and am saddened that the semester has ended.  Nevertheless, I am looking forward to taking a future acting classes and developing my skills.  There’s something invigorating about acting and being on the stage; time to set a new goal!  I wonder what it should be?  Got any ideas?


Please check out my scene performance on Youtube.  Keep in mind that my scene partner and I are both novices, so please be gentle with us yet provide constructive criticism.  Thanks

Best regards,

Tanya  aka Anonomz

Profound Hip Hop Quote #19: Homage to Philly Edition

14 May

“My aura is psychedelic flow non-prehistoric metamorphic boric like
acid no hat tricks a classic so park that ass like Jurassic and check
the matrix completed like 7 (seven) to overshadow the triple 6 (six)
complimenting zig-a-zicks with wisdom like the 5 percenters when doing
mathematics flips scripts like acrobatics intrinsic in rapping.”

—Bahamadia, “Wordplay”

Click here to hear the song!!

BahamadiaThis is the seventh profound hip hop quote specifically paying homage to Philly, and I feel extremely guilty because I have yet to acknowledge some of the female artists who have and are doing their thing to put Philly on the map.   There’s no denying that the “rap game” is male dominated, but there are many women who reign supreme when it comes to lyrical ability, and Bahamadia, aka Antonia Reed, is definitely one of them.

Even though Bahamadia may not have seen the same level of success as some of her counterparts, she has been revered locally, nationally and internationally as a lyrical wordsmith.   Though her voice is monotone, there’s something melodic and soothing about her flow, and her wittiness and lyrical finesse was what initially made me a fan when I first heard her in the 90s.

Rap plus Bahamadia automatically equals profoundness.   These specific lyrics from wordplay are representative of her mastery of language. Most rappers back then and even now do not possess such prowess or the deftness to deliver as she does.   One line alone could devour all challengers; “No hat tricks a classic so park that ass like Jurassic.”

When is the last time you heard a female or any artist deliver such crafty wordplay and require you to possess a certain level of expansive knowledge to be able to decipher his or her content?  Much respect is due to Bahamadia; thanks for representing Philly to the fullest!

Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
If you haven’t figured it out, Bahamadia’s “Wordplay” has a deluge of well-crafted literary elements.  It encompasses similes, metaphors, hyperboles, allusion, assonance, consonance, slant rhymes, etc.  For example, “No hat tricks a classic so park that ass like Jurassic,”  contains a simile “park that ass like Jurassic,” an allusion because it would be necessary to be familiar with  Jurassic Park” in order to get the cleverness of the line and consonance and assonance simultaneously as she uses the “s” sound and “a” sound for emphasis and to improve the flow of the rhyme.

“Momma Said Knock You Out:” Ten Songs Celebrating Moms

7 May

Every so often, a musician decides to write a song celebrating his or her mom, and I would like to provide a top ten list of my favorite “mom” inspired rap and R & B songs to acknowledge my mother, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends and any mothers with whom I have come in contact.  Here’s a playlist just for you!

  1. “Dear Mama (You Are Appreciated)” by Tupac Shakur“There are no words that can express how I feel.  You never kept a secret, always stayed real.  And I appreciate, how you raised me. And all the extra love that you gave me.”
  2. “All That I Got is You” by Ghostface Killah: “All that I got is you, and I’m so thankful I made it through.”
  3. “A Song for Mama” by Boyz II Men“Mama, Mama you know I love you.  Mama, Mama you’re the queen of my heart. Your love is like tears from the stars.  Mama I just want you to know lovin’ you is like food to my soul.  Yes it is, yes it is, oh, yes it is, yes it is, yes it is oh”
  4. “Super Hero” by Raheem DeVaughn: “Some think that super heroes climb buildings and fly through the sky.  Well I beg to differ.  Mama you’re the reason why.  Some may think a role model strikes a home run or a touch dow, but mama’s always been a soldier back then and right now.”
  5. “This Woman’s Work” by Maxwell Pray God you can cope. I stand outside this woman’s work, This woman’s world. Ooh, it’s hard on the man,  Now his part is over.  Now starts the craft of the father.
  6. “Momma Loves Me” by Jay Z: “Momma loved me, pop left me. Grandma dressed me, plus she fed me banana puddin, what’s in the hood then.”
  7. “Hey Mama” by Kanye West: “(Hey Mama), I wanna scream so loud for you, cuz I’m so proud of you. Let me tell you what I’m about to do, (Hey Mama). I know I act a fool but, I promise you I’m goin back to school. I appreciate what you allowed for me. I just want you to be proud of me (Hey Mama).
  8. “Momma Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J:  “I’m gonna knock you out (HUUUH!!!)
    Mama said knock you out (HUUUH!!!)”
  9. “I Love My Momma” by Snoop Dogg:   “The first one to hold me. The first one to scold me. You never cease to teach me. And always try to reach me. Took me to school the first day. Taught me how to kneel, down and pray. You learned me how to count from one to ten. And never forget, where I’ve been Momma..
  10. “Sweet Sadie” by R. Kelly:  I Love you mama. I just can’t forget how you gave me love oh no If there’s a Heaven up above I know she’s teaching angels how to love. It’s a mean world
    Without ya.  And I surely miss you much mother. And now that your gone I’m gonna carry on

Happy mother’s day to you.  Please enjoy this R & B and rap mother’s day playlist, and feel free to share your favorite song celebrating mothers with me.

All the best,

Anonomz aka Tanya Harris


Profound Hip Hop Quote #18: Homage to Philly Edition

7 May

“Tell you one lesson I learned
If you want to be something in life
You ain’t gonna get it unless
You give a little bit of sacrifice
Ooohh, sometimes before you smile you got to cry
You need a heart that’s filled with music
If you use it you can fly
If you want to be high.”

—The Roots featuring Nelly Furtado, “Sacrifice”

Click here to watch the video!!

The RootsIt’s the start of a new month, and there are still so many talented Philly rap artists who have made an impact on this culture and on me who I did not get to mention in April.  So I’ve decided to extend my homage to Philly rappers through the month of May.  When I think of one of the most talented rap groups to date who encompasses the complete package of lyrical ability, originality, style, and stage presence, I think of “The Legendary Roots Crew.”  These guys not only put Philly on the map but also put the United States on the map for producing some of the most innovative, talented artists.  I was in high school when I was first exposed to The Roots, and I ran their first full-length album, “Do You Want More,” into the ground.  What initially captivated me about The Roots was their sound; who ever heard of a rap group with a band who did more than just sample?  It was unlike anything I had ever heard before and is more than likely the reason for their longevity in the music industry today.

What is it that makes this specific song so profound?  Well, before I get into that, I must say that The Roots have an arsenal of profound lyrics, and I could potentially do a month dedicated to them.  Nevertheless, I selected this particular song, “Sacrifice” and the chorus of the song as profound because Black Thought (featuring Nelly Furtado) is doing much more than “spitting a few lines;” he’s evoking listeners to think by presenting us with words to live by.

We all want better lives for ourselves, but at what cost are we willing to pay or how much are we willing to endure to attain those dreams and goals?  Many people have a sense of entitlement and don’t want to work for anything.  Some people give up easily if there are a few barriers in their way.  Most people have heard the old adage,  “The best things in life are worth fighting for,” but Black Thought takes it a step further in acknowledging that sometimes we all most cry before we can smile.

Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
The Roots’ lead rap artist, Black Thought, is an exceptional lyricist and often employs many of the different literary elements found in some of the most well written poems of our time.  In this in particular chorus, he uses a lot of figurative language, which is the opposite of literal.  This means that what is being presented is either not plausible or possible or even exaggerated. What does it mean to have “A heart that’s filled with music?”  Think about the causes and effects associated with music and how many genres exist.  Music can be in accordance with your mood, or it can assist in changing your mood.  As you make sacrifices, shuffle to the appropriate music (literally and figuratively) to see you through, and eventually you will be able to fly high with a smile on your face.

Sonnet #7: Hooked

1 May

Tanya Harris aka AnonomzYour resplendent nature leaves me enthralled
out of the ordinary one might say.
Came to me without a trawl
Unfaltering love for you every day.
Warm-hearted, chivalrous and caring too,
call me your committed doting lover.
You continually make our love feel new
promise me we’ll always have each other.
Boundless: my devotion towards us growing
can’t imagine tiring of your face
all of you, absolutely engrossing
There’s not one moment with you I’d erase.
Thinking about you leaves me elated.
Hope that you are just as captivated.
By

Tanya Harris aka Anonomz
Written for and Inspired by SPF