Tag Archives: Love

Still My Baby Big Girl!

5 Oct

2013-10-03 16.01.51“Ooo, look at the baby!” two women exclaimed with glee while I was in Target doing a little shopping.  I smiled of course but then immediately realized that these two women giddy over seeing a baby were actually referring to another baby, a newborn who was probably just a few weeks old.  They then said, “Oh, there’s another baby too,” referring to Quinn as though she was old news.  Though I know I have a tendency to overly analyze situations and actions, I like how this incident forced me to ponder.

Is Quinn already losing her newness? My little one just turned five months old on Thursday, October 3.  Though she is big for her age, nineteen pounds and a little over 28 inches long, she’s still new to me and has a long way to go with milestones and accomplishments. Even though it is only natural for people to dote over babies less as they get older and to dote over children even far less as they reach adolescence and then adulthood, why should we?  No doubt, I do not want my child growing up thinking the entire world revolves around her.  On the other hand, I definitely do want her to feel special and to know that she is significant and can make a significant impact on the world.

With this in mind, I do vow to not just point out any transgressions that she makes as she gets older but to be sure to recognize her accomplishments and milestones achieved regardless of how large or small they may be.  Who knew that I would already be thinking about these things well before she is a year old?   It’s interesting how one brief interaction had the ability to cause me to think about the importance of keeping the love and support going.

When is the last time you “oohed and aahhed” over something your baby did, regardless if he or she is a newborn or has children of his or her own? We all need a little doting over now and then…don’t we?

All the best,

Tanya

Profound Hip Hop Quote #38 Like It’s My Last

8 Oct

“Now, I’mma fill this glass up like it’s my last
I’mma do, do it, like it’s my last
I’mma spend this cash up like it’s my last
And I’mma make it last, like it’s my last.
” 

—“My Last” by Big Sean Featuring Chris Brown

Big Sean and Chris BrownWe’ve all heard the cliché phrase, “Live each day like it’s your last,” but what exactly does this mean?  The “gettin’ it in at the club song” “My Last” by Big Sean featuring Chris Brown focuses more on the party aspect, so the lyrics themselves are not necessarily profound. Nevertheless, the concept of celebrating each moment and coming to the realization that tomorrow or even the next moment is not promised is rather thought-provoking.

How many people have chosen to modify the old adage about today and tomorrow and say, “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?”  Every few months or so, a new film hits the theaters or a television show airs focusing on the end of the world or of human kind.  This often gets people talking about how they would choose to spend their last days.  Sometimes, a major event occurs causing people to reevaluate their life choices and the direction they are headed.  When is the last time you thought about your last day alive? Or the last time you would be able to walk, talk, see or even breathe without the assistance of an oxygen tank?

People often associate the “last” with death, but there is so much in life that we take for granted.  Of course, no one necessarily knows the how, when, what and usually not the why, but what we all know death will happen at some point.  Conversely, most people do know know nor do they expect to go blind, to lose their basic cognitive thinking skills or mobility.  If you were aware of when your “last” was, would it in any way impact how you presently conduct yourself?

Regardless if a person is religious, spiritual, believes in God or not, each moment brings us closer to our last – not necessarily just our last breath. While some people’s ideal last days involve wild parties, drinking, getting high, wild sex and whatever else fancies them, others attempt to get their affairs in order by righting their wrongs, spending time with their loved ones and just enjoying the beauty of life.  The bottom line is that most people want their last moments to be ones of happiness.

Why do people take life for granted and assume that they have time?  Why aren’t more people living each moment like it’s their last?  Who knows???  Perhaps they are.

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
To demonstrate emphasis, rather than use words that rhyme, each line ends with “My Last.”  This is a practice that is common, especially in the chorus of a song.

Profound Hip Hop Quote #37: How Native is Your Tongue?

1 Oct

Two weeks ago, I posted a blog entry on A Tribe Called Quest to celebrate their documentary coming to DVD on October 18, and it got me thinking about the collection of positive-minded, “real-talk” rappers whose voices were prominent in the 1980s and 1990s: The Native Tongues.  Even though there are a sprinkling of artists presently doing their things who are on the same vibe, during the 80s and 90s is when they actually received consistent radio play and were able to get that positive message out there. So I thought, why not dedicate a post to reflecting on some of their profound quotes.

“Buddy” is a song that represents a few of the Native Tongue members.  Check it out!

  1. Black SheepBlack Sheep, “The Choice is Yours:” “You can get with this, or you can get with that.  I think you’ll get with this, for this is where it’s at.”
  2. Jungle Brothers, “Beyond This World” “Confused, no landing, no understanding.  But I knew not to give what life was demanding.  Found a new tab, thought I’d take a grab.  Tired of brothers who feign to backstab”
  3. De La Soul, “Stakes is High:” “Man life can get all up in your ass baby you betta work it out.  Let me tell you what it’s all about.  A skin not considered equal.  A meteor has more right than my people.  Who be wastin’ time screaming who they’ve hated.  That’s why the Native Tongues have officially been re-instated.”Jungle Brothers
  4. Queen Latifah, “U.N.I.T.Y.:” “Instinct leads me to another flow; Every time I hear a brother call a girl a bitch or a ho.  Trying to make a sister feel low.  You know all of that gots to go.”
  5. Leaders of the New School, “Understanding the Inner Mind’s Eye “Word is bond and I give my, Life before my word shall fall.  Do me a favor listen up y’all.  We got to activate social;  Activity for one common cause,  Cherish your mind or you will perish.
  6. Brand NubianBrand Nubian, “Wake Up:” You see, the answer to me is black unity .  Unification to help our bad situation
  7. A Tribe Called Quest, “Oh My God:” “Listen up everybody the bottom line.  I’m a black intellect, but unrefined; with precision like a bullet, target bound, just livin like a hooker, the harlett sounds.”De La Soul
  8. Monie Love, “It’s a Shame:”  “Get back on your feet please.  I’m beggin you to check out all your own needs.
  9. Large Professor, “It’s About That Time:”   “There’s a whole lotta rappers in the world today; Some good, there’s some that gotnothing to say, Some fake, some false, some imitation, But I’m the uncut raw for your generation.
  10. Fu-Schnickens, “Ring the Alarm  ” You can tell I’m a lyrical prophet from the words spoken and broken up.  In these books and scrolls that I unfold.  The knowledge I use does make me bold.  The intelligence in my system converts itself and becomes wisdom”Monie Love

The Limitations of not only ten songs but ten artists with ten specific lines from those selected those ten songs is no easy task; there’s so many more songs I could reference.  Who’s your favorite artist from the Native Tongues?   Please feel free to share.

All the best,

Anonomz aka Tanya H. Franklin


Profound Hip Hop Quote #36: Say Somethin’

24 Sep

“uhh, but I guess things change,
it’s funny how someone else’s success brings pain,
when ya no longer involved that person has it all,
and you just stuck standing there…
” 

—“Say Somethin'” by Timabaland featuring Drake

Timbaland & DrakeWhy does success change people: not just the people who become successful but sometimes the people who are around the people who attain success?  Perhaps the more appropriate query is are these people not really changing at all and simply experiencing a metamorphosis or just evolving into who they truly are meant to be?  For instance, does money really change people, or is it magnifying negative or positive traits that a person already possesses?  Even though Timabaland’s song featuring Drake, “Say Somethin'” addresses multiple topics, the actual hook to the song is one almost anyone can identify with.

In these particular lyrics, Drake exclaims, “…I guess things change.” To guess not only establishes uncertainty, but it also gives an impression that it is not necessarily what a person wants.  Change, especially with loved ones and those we expect to be there for us when we are successful is difficult to embrace.  Usually the change is one of negativity which reigns true in the following line, “it’s funny how someone else’s success brings pain.”   Is it implausible for a person to not rejoice in another person’s happiness or success when his or her circumstances appear to be bleak?  It takes a strong and spiritually grounded individual to be able to remain supportive with authentic sincerity as he or she potentially struggles with  covertly coveting that person’s success or is envious and wondering why he or she has not reaped the same “harvest of triumph.”

As a result, some people remain involved with those who have attained success or are on their way to being “successful” in hopes that they will be rewarded, but something to remember is that person’s success is that person’s success.  Of course, no one reaches that zenith on his or her own without the help of someone or something; nevertheless, are you entitled to the status, respect and even money associated with someone else’s success just because you were there or are there?  Be supportive for the sake of being supportive, not because you want to catch the windfall associated with this person’s possible success.  Sometimes it’s imperative to evaluate who’s who and if they are there for you or what you can give them.  As painful as it may be, on occasion, you must leave the people “stuck standin’ there” when their only purpose of being affiliated with you is to feed off of your success.  There are those people who are steadily moving up the ladder of success and those left standing there, dormant and complaining about why everybody else is doing well…which one do you want to be?

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
In these particular lyrics, Drake employs a slant rhyme using assonance.  This means the vowel sound is the prominent rhyme feature.

“uhh, but I guess things change,
it’s funny how someone else’s success brings pain”

The “ge” in change and the “n” sound in pain do not rhyme, but the long vowel sound for the letter “a” does.

Profound Hip Hop Quote #35: Imagine Beats, Rhymes & Life Without A Tribe Called Quest

17 Sep

A Tribe Called QuestWhen they left their wallet in El Segundo, we empathized and went along for the ride to retrieve it. We rooted for them to be put on by Bonita Applebum. They taught us how to check the “rhime.” Interestingly, they asked repeatedly if they can kick it when of course anyone plugged into hip hop during the late 80s throughout the 90s can attest to this group’s ability to come with that butter flow in any scenario and bring that electric relaxation to take us on that long overdue award tour. If you have yet to figure out who I’m referencing, then you are missing one of the prototypes who represents authentic hip-hop.  During the summer of  2011, a documentary, by Michael Rapaport, entitled, “Beats, Rhymes & Travels: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest”  was released in select theaters.  Unfortunately, by the time I and many other interested viewers were made aware of the film, it was no longer on the big screen.  Nevertheless, all hope is not loss.  This documentary, which has received praise, will be available on DVD on October 18, 2011, approximately one month from now, and I plan on being one of the first people to obtain my copy.  A Tribe Called Quest has always been one of my favorite groups.  I love their jazzy vibe beats, the delivery of their rhymes and their topics about daily life occurrences that range from record label headaches, to date rape to just partying and having a good time.  They will always be on my top ten list of best rap groups. So,  I’d like to not only celebrate the pending release of the documentary but my love for these artists by providing a playlist of some of my favorite ATCQ songs and lyrics.

A Tribe Called Quest

  1. Check the Rhime“Rap is not pop, if you call it that then stop.”
  2. Butter: “Your whole appearance is a lie and it could never be true.  And if you really loved yourself then you would try and be you.”
  3. Award Tour: “The wackest crews try to dis, it makes me laugh. When my track record’s longer than a DC-20 aircraft. So next time that you think you want somethin’ here. Make somethin’ differ, take that garbage to St. Elsewhere.”
  4. Bonita Applebum: “Hey, being with you is a top priority. Ain’t no need to question the authority. Chairman of the board, the chief of affections. You got mine’s to swing in your direction.”A Tribe Called Quest
  5. Jazz “Stern firm and young with a laid-back tongue. The aim is to succeed and achieve at 21. Just like Ringling Brothers, I’ll daze and astound, Captivate the mass, cause the prose is profound.”
  6. Buggin Out: “I never walk the streets, think it’s all about me.  Even though deep in my heart, it really could be.  I just try my best to like go all out.  Some might even say yo shorty black you’re buggin’ out”A Tribe Called Quest
  7. Oh My God: “Listen up everybody the bottom line.  I’m a black intellect, but unrefined; with precision like a bullet, target bound, just livin like a hooker, the harlett sounds.”
  8. Lyrics to Go:  “A Tribe Called Quest we on the run for whatever. Trials and tribulations that we have to endeavor”
  9. Scenario:   “I could give a damn about a ill subliminal.  Stay away from crime cause I ain’t no CRIMINAL.  I love my young nation, groovy sensation.  No time for hibernation, only elation.”
  10. Show Business:  ” So you still wanna do the show business?  And you think that you got what it takes?  I mean you really gotta rap and be all that…And prepare yourself for the breaks

It was extremely difficult to not only limit myself to ten songs but to only include specific lines from those selected those ten songs.  What’s your favorite A Tribe Called Quest song?   Please feel free to share.  Also, if you saw or plan on seeing the documentary, share your thoughts as well.

All the best,

Anonomz aka Tanya H. Franklin


Profound Hip Hop Quote #34: I Wanna Know

10 Sep

“(I wanna know) You’ll believe and me and keep away your pride
(I wanna know) Cause I cant imagine you not by my side
(I wanna know) That you’ll share with me your hopes and all your dreams
Cause baby I love you for loving me.
” 

—“I Wanna Know” by Foreign Exchange

Foreign ExchangeWhy are most people in relationships?  Better yet, what causes people to remain in relationships for better or for worse?  Is it all about the hope for wants and needs being fulfilled by this special someone?  Even though I’ve been with my husband for quite a while, today we’ve been married for one month, and I could not be happier.  So I thought it would be a wonderful idea to explore this inquiry by analyzing a profound hip-hop quote from Foreign Exchange’s sophomore album “Leave it All Behind.”

True hip hop head are familiar with the rapper Phonte yet may be accustomed to hearing him spit tight bars and witty metaphors and similes on a tracks as a member of Little Brother, or making guest appearances on a plethora of other mainstream and underground artists, but when he teams up with Nicolay in the group Foreign Exchange, he morphs into a crooner who still has that hip-hop swag.

The actual video for the song, “I Wanna Know,” depicts Phonte having difficulties with his woman being dissatisfied with his actions, yet she does not verbally say what she “wants” from him or “wants” for him to do.  As he prepares to hit the road for a show, she gives him the infamous “silent treatment;”  nevertheless, she meets with her friends and openly discusses what the problem is and how the situation with Phonte is upsetting her.  How often do people in relationships tell their friends and family what they want and need but never actually verbalize it to the person with whom they are in a relationship?

In the chorus of the song, Phonte is tired of playing mind games and trying to figure out what his lady wants, so he takes the initiative and he clearly tells her what he wants, “(I wanna know) you’ll believe in me and keep away your pride.”   Pride: is a necessary evil and one of the seven deadly sins that causes so many rifts in relationships.  Do you let pride keep you miserable within your relationship and keep you from obtaining that happiness you once had?  Think about why you decided a few months ago, a few years ago or even a few decades ago do start a relationship with this person.  Phonte eloquently provides the reasons that represent my feelings.  My husband “believes in me and keeps away his pride.” as I do “believe in him and keep away my pride as well.”  I absolutely “can’t imagine life without him by my side.” Thus far,  we’ve both “shared our hopes and all our dreams,”  and I’m eager to see those hopes and dreams come into fruition.  Lastly, people tend to not only take their loved ones for granted but the love that they give for granted as well. When is the last time that your thanked somebody for loving you or made an effort to display your love even more as a result of the love they have given and shown to you?

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
Usually, one uses parentheses for phrases that are insignificant, and the most important information is outside of the parentheses.  In this instance, Phonte, of Foreign Exchange, actually uses the parentheses for emphasis.  Prior to each line, he sings in a somewhat falsetto tone “I wanna know.”  This creates a since or urgency as well as desperation.  These are requests that must be fulfilled to save the relationship.

Profound Hip Hop Quote #31: Do You Know How To Love?

6 Aug

“When you was just a young’un you’re looks but so precious
But now your grown up
So fly its like a blessing but you can’t have a man look at you for 5 seconds
Without you being insecure
You never credit yourself so when you got older
It’s seems like you came back 10 times over
Now you’re sitting here in this damn corner
Looking through all your thoughts and looking over your shoulder
” 

—“How to Love” by Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne

Most people, at some point in their lives, are looking for love or just want to be loved; however, when it comes to wanting to know how to love or to be taught how to love the numbers are scant.  Does knowing how to love come naturally for most, or does it take years of practice and some broken hearts along the way.  One sure-fire way to improve  “loving capabilities” with that special someone is by knowing how to love yourself.

Regardless if you love him or not as an artist, Lil Wayne, aka Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., certainly loves himself and has managed to have quite a lucrative career in the music industry thus far.  One of Lil Wayne’s most recent songs receiving airplay on the radio waves is “How to Love,” a song that has received mixed but overall favorable criticism.  Some people can do without the sing-song sound and believe it’s a flow Lil Wayne should leave behind, while others have chosen to embrace the message that comes across in the song.

The insecurity of a beautiful woman who possibly struggles with how to love herself or how to even accept love from a potential suitor and love him is a profound topic to address.  Lil wayne says,  “But you can’t have a man look at you for five seconds without you being insecure.  You never credit yourself so when you got older..” Why are some of the most beautiful women who would be considered a “blessing” so insecure?  Does it stem back to daddy/daughter issues that haven’t been dealt with? Is it not being told how “precious” they were when they were younger?

As a person who has struggled with feeling insecure, I’ve found that the more I work on loving myself the better I am at loving others.  How to love is a life-long journey, and not everybody takes the same path to get there.  Sometimes there are detours, dirt roads, expressways, etc. But if you manage to find the right pathway for you, it can be a wonderful, memorable learning experience.  Do you know how to love?  If not, what are you doing to find out?  Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
Miguel utilizes slang, which is a standard practice in most rap songs.  For example he says, “So fly it’s like a blessing…”  Of course, the standard definition of fly is soaring in the sky and defying gravity, but in this instance, he is referring to the beauty of a woman.

Profound Hip Hop Quote #30: All I Want is You!!!

30 Jul

“Cause they don’t smile
Or smell like you
No they don’t make me laugh
Or even cook like you
And they don’t photograph
Nah, they don’t sex like you
Let’s face it, I can’t replace it
That’s why all I want is you now….
” 

—“All I Want is You” by Miguel featuring J. Cole

Miguel and J Cole

Love is so abstract yet extremely powerful, and it actually all starts in the mind, not the heart.  For the past few months, I’ve been reading a book entitled, “Making a Good Brain Great,” by Daniel G. Amen, M.D., and there is a chapter that addresses how the brain works when it comes to relationships.  Initially, the sex hormones lure people in to one another, but then there is this intense attraction causing  one’s brain to release adrenaline, dopamine (which is like a high from cocaine) and serotonin.  Oftentimes, this stage does not persist with the same level of intensity as the relationship progresses which partly explains why the passion in some relationships does not last or why one (sometimes both) of the people seek out a new partner in hopes of getting back that intense high again.  So what is it that keeps couples not just together but together happily?  Oxytocin, known as the cuddle hormone, and Vasopressin are the hormones that assist with this life-long attachment.

Even though in Miguel’s song featuring J.Cole, “All I Want Is You,” the issue is that the woman he loves has chosen to leave him, not only does the heart want what it wants, but so does the brain.  No other woman can satisfy him like she can, and he cannot stop thinking about her.  Are you presently experiencing a high level of “love” hormones making you passionate about the one you are with?  It’s such a wonderful feeling to not only be in love but to feel the high that comes with being in love.  Also, according to Dr. Amen, having new experiences together and keeping the passion going is not only healthy for the relationship but for the brain as well.  People are more likely to improve their health and brain power by being in healthy and happy committed relationships with the ones they love rather than seeking out those potentially short-lived adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin highs with one night affairs or flings.  The song may be entitled, “All I Want is You,” but the love, passion and gratification that one can receive from being in a long-term committed relationship is a necessity to me.  How about you?

Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
Miguel utilizes imagery through the five senses and juxtaposes his woman to all other possible love interests to demonstrate how much he loves and wants her in his life and how she has him completely consumed.
Sense of sight and smell: “They don’t smile or smell like you”
Sense of hearing and tasting: “No they don’t make me laugh  or even cook like you”
Sense of sight: “And they don’t photograph”
Sense of touch, sight, smell, hearing, taste: “Nah, they don’t sex like you” 

Profound Hip Hop Quote #28: Ready to Self Destruct?

16 Jul

“I don’t understand the difficulty, people
Love your brother, treat him as an equal
They call us animals mmm mmm I don’t agree with them
I’ll prove them wrong, but right is what your proving them
Take heed before I lead to what I’m sayin’
Or we’ll all be on our knees, prayin’
.” 


—Stop the Violence Movement, formed by KRS One, quoted lyrics by Heavy D “Self Destruction”

Self DestructionAccording to the homicide statistics from the Philadelphia Police Department, there have been 176 homicides this year (including July 15, 2011).  (Crime Maps & Stats)
Of course, this data does not account for other violent crimes such as armed robbery, rape and aggravated assault.   Is there something about the summer or hot weather that causes people to be even more violent than in the winter?  Is it that more people are just outdoors, so they are bound to resort to violence to address issues of contention they may have.

What about when it comes to people of color?  Are some people innately more violent than others, or does the environment in which people are raised or presently residing play significant roles in how they behave?  Last year, there were 306 homicide victims, as reported on Philly.com. Interestingly,  60 of the homicides involved people who were classified as white, and 242 of the homicides involved people who were classified as black.  This means that nearly 20% of the senseless deaths were white people, and nearly 80% were black people.  I am no sociologist or statistician, but this information is alarming.  In regard to neighboring counties and townships, many of them do not have “murder maps” because homicides at the rate they are occurring in Philadelphia would be considered an anomaly in those areas.

What conclusions would you draw if you just went according to the data and did not get to really know the people involved, their plights and struggles? (Not that this in anyway justifies the actions of these violent acts)  “Self Destruction” is a classic rap song where KRS One brought together some of the most renown rappers of the late 80s and early 90s for the “Stop the Violence Movement.”  Even though some of the slang terminology utilized in the song and some of the allusions may be dated, this song sadly still reigns true today.  Most people have heard the phrase, “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.”  Heavy D uses this very same message in his lyrics, “They call us animals mmmm  mmmm I don’t agree with them. I’ll prove them wrong, but right is what you’re proving them.”  I’ve heard people refer to blacks and latinos animals.  There are even teachers who do not think twice about using such a derogatory term.  Perhaps you don’t care about what “they” think, but do you care about your family, friends, classmates, colleagues, neighbors, etc. who may eventually wind up on their knees praying and mourning the loss of a loved one?  We’re all in this together, or at least we should be.  Don’t let our people, neighborhoods, towns, cities and nations self-destruct!

Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
Heavy D chose to drop the “g” from the words “sayin” and “prayin” for dialectical and meter  purposes.

Sonnet #9: The Truth

10 Jul

Tanya Harris You are everything I want in a man.
In truth, you transcend what I imagined.
Let me satisfy you all that I can
take you on journeys you cannot fathom,
continually display what true love means
even if you may not often say it.
Reflections of you, my countenance beams;
many methods you use to convey it.
You genuinely care about how I feel.
Minds’ connected: my thoughts you complete.
To me my love you’re a wonderful thrill
I’m here to stay; I refuse to retreat.
Will still be in love beyond year ten;
married life I want with you to begin.

By 
Tanya Harris aka Anonomz
Written for and Inspired by SPF