Sunday, July 13, 2014

RIVIERA BOUND

-->
We are like children, we’re painted on canvases
Picking up shades as we go
We start off with just so, brushed on by people we know
Watch your technique as you go


Fewer things are more beautiful than a train ride through Provence.  On this cloudy day, the sun is trying it’s best to give us a glimpse of blue skies, but the clouds are giving her a run for her money.  Vineyards on the left of you, and Mediterranean Sea on the right.  I haven’t seen the sun yet since being in France.  It rained last night during the show in that beautiful amphitheater.  I stepped in a puddle of, I don’t know what, trying to capture photos of every corridor, in hopes of getting my Game of Thrones tour on.  No one else thought of Game of Thrones.  It was magnificent however, and incredibly romantic.  Our dressing rooms were situated just over the point where you would issue the lions, or tigers, or whatever killing contraption used by the Romans for their entertainment.  Instead of a pit now lies a stage with a few apartment buildings as the back drop.  Can you imagine living there? All of that music every night?   The houses are even closer than the Greek theater’s homes – practically on top of each other.

But oh when Gregory Porter graced us with his presence.  My goodness that man has the voice of an angel.  His band was epic. So many family members from Philadelphia there with other acts. Jazz Festivals are always a homecoming.  Philadelphia, being the hub of musicians, maybe not all the way true, but damn near close.  It’s not a game in these musician-filled streets.  Philly puts out.

Once I got to the train station in Lyon and had to curse out someone in French, I knew I was really on vacation.  Don’t be mean or rude because you don’t think I speak your language.  We don’t do that in the States….mostly because we’d probably never speak to anyone if we chastised everyone with an accent.  But my accent is cute…salope….and you’re standing in the doorway so get out the gotdamn way, she says in her perfectly ghetto French.




I’m heading to Nice to meet up with a girl I met almost 20 years ago now.  My first trip to France solo.  These two big bootied sandy looking white girls rolled up on me. Their accent was as thick as their thighs.
Her: “Hello, where are you from.”
Me: “I’m from California”   - this is when my French was pretty terrible.
Her: “I am black like you.”
It was love at first sight.  Over the years I’ve sent her some of the best matching Indian hair you can get.  France was lacking on their weave options in the 90’s.  My girl was giving them Mariah Carey/ Leona Lewis so I couldn’t let her go out without a fight.  She’s from Oran….I know, where?  I never new myself.  But her mama is so fine, plenty of men would fall to be at her MILF feet.  They took me in, took me to all of their homes (Antibes, Paris, Marrakesh), took my mama in,  and have just been pretty awesome people over the years.  She now has 2 kids, her hilarious husband and she balls the fuck out.  I can’t wait to see her.

I can see a little bit of sun and blue skies peeking through. 

Step back and admire my view
Can I use the colors I choose?
Do I have some say what you use?
Can I get some green with my blues?







Thursday, July 10, 2014

Inglewood, USVI


Part 2 of my 3 week whirlwind has come to an end.  Just a few days on St. John's island, USVI, and I wondered, where do black people vacation?  Do African American's have an island that they all go to and create mediocre restaurants and fake pretend that they are down for the natives and then not allow them into certain establishments that don't pay into the infrastructure of the island?  Because we need to get on that shit if not.

St. John's has plenty of space to start our own Inglewood.  They have no good food restaurants.  We could gather the native brethren, open a spot, and start serving up hot sauce.  I don't think I even saw a bottle of hot sauce here.  All I saw was crazy gentrification of lower to middle class white folks chilling on an island that was emancipated in 1848.  Oh, and Kenny Chesney.

AND NO HOT SAUCE!
Not even a coconut water stand.
We are missing out on some prime beach space by going to Vegas every year and paying for R&B cruises, that's for sure.

But my peeps on the island have some plans.  I will brainstorm during this double connection to Lyon, France and come up with options so that all of my middle class homies have some places to bring their kids.  Blue warm water, coconuts and fish.  No more Hawaii.  No more damn Cabo.  Let's get some variety in our lives people!  We can start a cul de sac now!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Whirlwind of Rootness


video
The 4th of July was a blast.  That may be my favorite Roots project now.  All of my musician babies all growed up and all playing for every pop sensation out there.  It's great to have a music family.  I'm sure my grandfather is on some golf course in the sky laughing his ass off at the irony of how much his absentee -ness impacted my life.

Essence - however, was a crock of shit.  Over my last 10/15 years of this I guess, I've gone from Superlounges to mainstages over and over.  It's a big old pile of ratchetness in stereo.  I'll never go to Razools again...not even for fun.  But the point I was making before I thought about those tequila shooters is that Essence desperately needs a producer.  Like one who really understands the urban artist and all of their needs - particularly since every act has a band.  I swear to you I had this cutie pie UPN nigga as my talent liaison and the push and pull was ridiculous.  We got it straight, but I think his producer put him in a pretty yuck position.  It was like some Talent Producing 101 course about advances and shit....advance shmances....30 niggas was added to my set in the middle of the Dave Chappelle show, BET Experience and Philly's 4th, advancing went out the window ages ago.

However that shit went OFF....I love THE ROOTS PRESENT HIP HOP!  It's my favorite new series.  The side stage was the party.  The entourages of big boobied women was great.  Seeing Common on the stage again was special.  I miss seeing him rap....actory ass nigga.....Naughty always does there thing.  I never get tired of the Roots playing "Uptown Anthem".  Jazzy Jeff, Biz Markie - I still think we should have played the Wobble...but what do I know.  I still like YG.

But oh on the 7th day Lord!  When Sunday came....and I closed the last door to the last SUV....I truly believe the heavens rang out.  I was free.  Free to partake in some of the ratchetness good old New Orleans and the Essence festival had to offer.  So put on my too tight,  hot pink maxi dress, ate the last of my edible peanut brittle, and hit the skreets.  Mediocre brunch (never go to Royal House...ever), Razools (the height of Racheteria) on Bourbon, onto Emerils for dinner (eh....alright) and finally Harrahs casino.  That's right!  I took their money!  All of that AND I could back to bed for 11pm?  Chile...there's no stopping me.

Next up : St. John's USVI
Lyon, France
Vienne, France
Nice, France
Florence, Italy
Perugia, Italy

video



Friday, July 4, 2014

GUEST LISTS ARE HELL

From a Detroit gospel show, to an all nighter at Kid Rocks, to Dave Chappelle's Radio City Music Hall 10 year reunion of the Block Party, to the BET Experience, to Philly's 4th.....tomorrow on the parkway with an expected crowd of 750k....I declare,   I's tired.  At 12:18am I've finally finished my guest list and I have a strange suspicion that some mc who's name I won't mention is going to give me 20 names from which I am supposed to procure tickets out of my.....ass I think.

My teeth are tingling.  I don't know if it's lack of sleep or the countless cups of Irish Coffee I've consumed.

Moreover i bought a brand new Mac eyeliner only to wake up with a puffy sore eye.  How can I get pink eye from a new pencil!

But the good news is that I packed one....that's right ONE bag...one 42.5 lb bag of goodness for my 3 week excursion. My miniature Tina Tour within a few one offs.  After Essence this weekend I head off to meet my girl at her hideaway....St. Johns....then off to Lyon, France.  Have a show in Vienne, France.  Never heard of it?  Me neither.

THEN I get to spend the next 4 or 5 days in Nice/Antibes with my homegirl of about 20 years now...shit.  For some needed rest and sun on the Mediterranean.

After which I will head down to Perugia, not without a stop in Florence and the outlets, a museum, the taste of REAL pasta, a show in Perugia, ship the guys home and one more day in maybe a high falootin'  air bnb cutesy apartment so I can hit up some art museums.

After a 3 year stint on trying to "find myself" i think I have....and where I've found that I belong is on a beach, a plane, a villa, or in the middle of something hectic that desperately needs to find the solution.

Otherwise I'm bored to tears and become an internet stalker.

And that ain't good for no body.

Look out Salvatorre....here I come.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Look who's back

I tried to take a break....but...you know the old adage..."every time I try to get out, they keep pulling me back in."  It's a good think to take breaks.  You get some time to sort out all of the goofy shit on your mind...particularly girly shit.  Things you were taught by society that you had to do or SUPPOSED to be when really, you don't have to do any of that.  As one of my favorite antagonizers told me "change your script" (thanks Zo).  And so, having the incredible blessing that I cannot say came anywhere else but from God, I've had the pleasure of transitioning from the hardest craziest most ridiculous hip hop to working with every great gospel artist you can imagine.  It's pretty amazing the change in perspective when everyone around you is fixated on blessings and goodness, how world perspective can change.  My frown lines may even disappear!  It's not that the work is any less difficult or challenging...which I am happy for (being home is downright boring), it's just my soul feels better about the outcome.  It's not brain surgery.  Everything WILL indeed be okay.  I'm not too old, I haven't missed out on anything, life's a bowl of cherries.  So I dig into this tour whole heartedly and with no regrets.  Let's go!  I can do 6 weeks in my sleep!

Now....about the same peripheral jackasses I have to deal with on the road....
What I did enjoy about taking some time off was getting in touch with my kinder, gentler self. Not being angry.  Taking everything with a grain of salt.  I have been called "Princess" and "Boss" by this new travel agent I have to use...who does very little and talks very much.  Those condescending pet names men use that actually mean "bitch"?  Yeah....I can't wait to emasculate him like a good black woman should (sorry Zo. He has it coming).  Tina Fey says...fuck that...be yourself in "Bossypants" - well she sort of says that.  So, yeah...fuck that.  Tomorrow...it's on.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Women vs Pitbulls

I look at Bleu and I think...wow...she is so loyal, to a fault.  Pitts do anything their owners tell them.  It's in their nature. They will fight to the death because their owner tells them to.  They are sturdy.  They are hardworking.  They are strong. They are loving and loyal and tough and sweet and growl.

I find that "strong" women...not necessarily only independent....ones maybe with daddy issues, mommy issues, ones who haven't had the opportunity to work through their post modern nuclear families - are comparable.  We are loyal and fearless and hardworking - in fact workaholics - anything to be agreeable and do a good job.   Oh...and then we're "bitches".

I believe it's not until we are honest with ourselves and our wants and our needs -- also known as "vulnerable" -- who will trust us?  We can't even trust ourselves.  We make decisions based on thoughts not our heart.  Ideals not realism.  Where does the balance lie?  These types of women are so extreme we almost miss the person that comes into our life that actually works with us.  How can we devote time to a relationship when we are so devoted to being strong and independent.  Then we judge everything based on that. 

On top of that, we  get into a career that dictates our choices for us and forget the things that actually make our hearts sing.  What even fills us up?  Being told we're bawse ass bitches?  Working behind niggas who will always call us sisters.  I have more HOMEBOYS/BROTHERS than I can shake a stick at!  Them niggas don't ever marry our types.   they don't teach us nothing.  They fuck with mealy mouth bitches who don't say shit.  And shutting up is like kryptonite to us.

We, then  do all the despicable shit we would never want done to us - hide shit, lie , hold secrets, buy gifts -- and then have to go home and look at ourselves in the mirror.  All for a paycheck and to be a bawse.

It's funny...I've worked for men who knew without a shadow of a doubt to hire women only.  why?  Because women give a fuck and will fight to the finish and run themselves ragged and are nurturers.  So NOW I feel like we are being sold a bill of goods.

This new independence does not lead us to tolerance nor patience nor understanding about the WORK it takes to love some one unconditionally - that means understanding by the way.

And who wants to accept defeat?  Who wants to say, damn I'm just a girl after all.  I just want a family and cook and hang out.  But damn, I sure will miss flying in and out of town 3 - 4 times per month?

Now that I've moved into TV/Film...at least its a new place to go into and hunt and gather.  But the "boys club" shit?  That mentality? Fighting against that wall...is not only frustrating, it can make you shoot someone. 

oh yes...Sexism is alive and very prevalent.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

RENTAL BEDS

There are some airports that have rental beds I believe.  I'm sure there could be some sort of ramifications from this eventually, but right now I'd take them all.  I know what you're thinking...."they're called 'hotels' Tina".  But 5 hours doesn't justify 150 GBP.  I'm going to have this same problem in a week for a crazy layover in Frankfurt -- that one is 11 hours.  I love LA but traveling to Europe or Africa from LA sucks balls.  I'm drinking luke warm tea and bad cabernet after a 10 hour flight and waiting for 5 hours to take another 10 hour flight.  I had such plans upon arrival to Dubai but I think the only plan I'm going to have is a bath.  My neck hurts, my backs sore.  This shit is awful.  I'm getting cabin fever just thinking about my upcoming 10 hour flight, though I usually knock out for at least 8 of that.

On the first leg there was a screaming child.  Toddler.  There were so many baby girls just enjoying the ride and then there was this screaming little boy who needed a whoopun.  I would have gladly obliged but I was in the window seat and couldn't get out fast enough to snatch his screaming ass up. I don't know why I was mad at him.  He was simply getting away with what I wanted to do.  I bet half the people on the plane wanted to scream like that little boy. 

But Alas, my phone works.  My client's interview will take place.  Everyone's bio has been sent to the producer and the 10 hours didn't affect business.  THAT'S what's important.  That and my left hip.  Sweet Jesus.

Now to find a rental shower so I can change my drawers....at least they let you take those on the plane.

I long for the weather of the desert....Equator or bust!