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Many of my post may be filled with typos, ignorant statements, untruths, bad English, & anything else that may make me appear to be uneducated. Please note: all of these things combined make my Blog the perfect one, because you know I have issues & I am not ashamed. With this said; enjoy, fuck mistakes & read between the lines!

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Archive for the 'Music' Category

Her Smoking Gun

Author: Tafari, Thursday, December 13th, 2012 at 8:24 PM Mindspill

"It go Halle Berry or hallelujah Pick your poison tell me what you do Everybody gon' respect the shooter But the one in front of the gun lives forever And I been hustlin' all day, this a way, that a way Through canals and alleyways, just to say Money trees is the perfect place for shade and that's just how I feel"
Money Trees ~ Kendrick Lamar

Music From The Diaspora: Just A Band

Author: Tafari, Monday, August 20th, 2012 at 11:30 AM
This remix of "Have You Seen Her" by Just A Band has been musical crack to me for the last week or so. I cannot stop listening and have had it on auto play & non-spot repeat. So soulful, so beautiful, so black. Cop a download here....

Irresistible Bitch

Author: Tafari, Thursday, April 26th, 2012 at 10:13 PM Mindspill

My last piece from my watercolors class... While I learned a lot in this class, it was not the cake walk that I thought it was going to be but at least I have some new skills and new activity that is quite relaxing. Inspired by Prince: Irresistible Bitch.... POW!

Groove Is In The Heart

Author: Tafari, Sunday, February 5th, 2012 at 2:46 PM
This is one reason why I love NYC... I mean, where else in the world can you assemble a mass amount of people for the purpose of song, dance & soul??? And to be fair, Everbody knows..... that I came up with the idea for a Flash Mob last Wednesday:
"I'm calling for all of my fellow Americans to join in a flash mob Soul Train Line to celebrate Black History Month & the life of Don Cornelius... Meet me on MLK Blvd." ~ Tafari Stevenson-Howard

Slices Feature: Osunlade

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Everybody knows that I LOVE house music & everything that it stands for! One of my favorite house artists without a doubt is Osunlade! If you read my 2011 wrap up then you know that seeing him in Chicago last summer was all that & more. This video interview offers a nice window into Osunlade's world! Kinda tripped out to know that he lives in Greece. That was unexpected. I was further amused by saying that he was planning on releasing his music at a much slower pace because after Pyrography was released last year, he said in an interview that he was done all together. So, I guess this is some good news here!

70’s Inspiration

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 at 10:51 PM
If this song doesn't make you happy, dance, or do a disco spin then you have some issues in your head!

A Black Man’s Theme Song

Author: Tafari, Saturday, December 31st, 2011 at 3:17 PM
When the movie "Shaft" was released in 1971, the entire world learned how important it was for a Black man to have a theme song.... Typically, I have about 3 to 4 theme songs going at one time but this year, 2011, I have had only 1 theme song. My 2011 theme song? "No Way" by Osunlade from his Pyrography album. The 1st time I heard it, I knew that it was mine. It speaks to me, my life, and several situations.  When it comes on, I do my little dance in my head. No lie, when I was in NYC back in Sept, I listened to it like 50-11 times while walking around doing my pimp switch. Hilarious I know but I was doing my thing & working my thing. Shit!

Was it a Dream: Me and the Devil

Author: Tafari, Thursday, December 15th, 2011 at 12:31 AM Mindspill

Many, many years ago, I had a dream where I was visited by the Devil. He came to me while I was half asleep & he sat in my  bedroom chair offering me an opportunity. From that dream or nightmare, I woke up screaming. My then wife asked me what was going on & at that time I was afraid to explain that the Devil was in the room with us talking to me. Then, before I realized that it was a dream questioned my faith and why the Jesus that I then believed in did not come to help me and escape from this being. For a long time this dream was a reality and I shared the story with a select few.  One good friend told me that it was impossible that the devil visited me and that Jesus covered me. I simply did not believe that and after a period of time, I abandoned pretty much all of my beliefs in Christianity and other religious sects. Of course, abandoning belief in the devil was included in my religion purge. But….. Driving home tonight after an evening with friends, I was stopped by this light & was reminded of the devil. Maybe (s)he exists, maybe (s)he doesn’t but for a moment at this cross road, I had a flash back of that one night when I had that dream or nightmare. Whatever you want to call it.
“Early this mornin', when you knocked upon my door Early this mornin', ooh, when you knocked upon my door And I said, "Hello, Satan, I believe it's time to go" Me and the devil, was walkin' side by side Me and the devil, ooh, was walkin' side by side And I'm goin' to beat my woman, until I get satisfied She say you don't see why, that you will dog me 'round (spoken: Now, babe, you know you ain't doin' me right, don'cha) She say you don't see why, ooh, that you will dog me 'round It must-a be that old evil spirit, so deep down in the ground You may bury my body, down by the highway side (spoken: Baby, I don't care where you bury my body when I'm dead and gone) You may bury my body, ooh, down by the highway side So my old evil spirit, can catch a Greyhound bus and ride”
Me and the Devil ~ Robert Johnson

Then I Hit My Dougie

Author: Tafari, Sunday, November 20th, 2011 at 4:37 PM Mindspill

Last Friday, I photographed The Parade Company’s “Hob Nobble Gobble” black tie event. The event always has a host of local & national celebrities that guest have the chance to interact with up close & personal. I’m not usually one who is star struck but this time around, I kind of was because Doug E Fresh was one of the celebrities this year. Mindspill

When I saw the celeb line up, I got excited & hoped that he would perform. I believe at the time I saw the line up, it was unknown if he would perform. When he arrived at Ford Field, fans young & old were excited to see him. Everyone was taking about the Dougie. It was fun to watch and listen. Once the entertainment for the evening started, the crowd was surprised with Doug E Fresh rocking the stage. He was hype. Super hype. Between snapshots, I hit my Dougie while maintaining my professional image. I think…. Mindspill

Funny thing is, Doug E Fresh was not even the headline act but he totally stole the show & offered energy that was not matched for the rest of the evening. I mean, how do you follow up to a hip-hop legend? Well, you don’t. I did have a chance to kick it with him for a bit & I had to let him know that his song “Summertime” is WAY better than Will Smith’s “Summertime.” He just laughed…. I wonder if there was a mini beef behind that? I’m just saying!

Coming to Detroit: Fela

Author: Tafari, Monday, September 5th, 2011 at 12:03 PM Mindspill

I LOVE Fela Kuti...... His music, his remaining influence on afro-rhythms and his legacy. -------------------------------- Fela (the musical) is coming to Detroit's Music Hall this winter and the promoters are grinding hard to get the word out with literature, commercials & art exhibits. I'm excited about seeing it again without the NYC price tag. It's a GREAT show...

On Stage: Rachelle Ferrell

Author: Tafari, Monday, August 22nd, 2011 at 7:21 PM Mindspill

One of the VERY 1st CDs that I EVERY purchased was Rachelle Ferrell’s self titled album “Rachelle Ferrell” back in 1992. I purchased the album because I fell in love with her voice on “No Rhyme, No Reason” by George Duke, where she was on background vocals. I was infatuated. The “Rachelle Ferrell” album didn't leave my CD changer for at least a year because it had everything that I needed musically. Many Many Many years later when she released “Individuality,” that CD too never left my changer. Rochelle’s voice is just simply ridiculous and so very easy to love. Mindspill

When I saw her in concert in Detroit after the release of “Individuality” I was shocked to see how contorted her face became while she performed. It was CRAZY. But then, I thought about how Al Jarreau makes these same crazy faces. They both have powerful voices so I guess it all makes sense. Fast forward to this weekend and her performance at the 29th African World Festival downtown Detroit…. Mindspill

Come hell or high water, I was going to see Rachelle Sunday evening. Neither hell nor high water came but I was there to capture Rachelle in all of her glory. She gave a stupendous show that rocked the crowd. It was almost spiritual in a way. Emotional. Powerful. Moving. Mindspill

The show was already AWESOME, then Rachelle announced that Anita Baker was in the audience. The crowd erupted with thunderous applause & screaming. Erry-body in Detroit loves Anita Baker. To the audience’s surprise, Anita later joined Rachelle on stage for a song that I believe will be on Rachelle’s yet to be released album. There was no mention when the album would be released, however she she did share that she is partnering with Ledisi, Rahsaan Patterson, Lalah Hathaway & other friends. Mindspill

Being able to witness this amazing talent was everything that made my weekend over the top. Being able to photography one of my favorite vocalists is another notch in my belt. Getting it all done with an 85mm f/1.4 Nikkor lens, priceless! To see more outtakes from the performance, visit here.

A Long Time vs The New Dance Show

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 at 8:26 PM
I found out Mayer Hawthorne’s latest single, “A Long Time” yesterday while visiting Soulbounce, where the fuss was about the video. The video is a compilation of clips from the ghetto-famed Detroit dance show, “The New Dance Show.” As a teen, I used to watch the “New Dance Show” on channel 62 all the time just to laugh at the dancers and their moves. I’m not sure that anyone took the show serious but we all know about it, watched it, had friends that appeared on it etc. Mayer making “The New Dance Show” the back-drop of “A Long Time” is way beyond funny but once you stop gazing at the seizure like dancing and listen to the song, you will find that the song is uniquely about Detroit just like “The New Dance Show.” Mayer’s is talking about Henry Ford and his automation of car production, the migration of Americans to Detroit for work. He is also talking about Berry Gordy & Motown Records, while giving a shout out to Hitsville USA. Everyone knows that Motown put Detroit on the map for entertainment greatness. Further, Mayer is addressing that Detroit is no longer what it was way back when but strides are being made to make it better and we all know that’s gonna take a long time. So, I have to admit that before last night, I never heard of Mayer Hawthorne but I’m now a fan. After digging a little deeper into his older music, I’m loving his bubbly yet laid back 70’s soul with a pinch of fuckiness sound. He is totally putting a great spin on the term blue eyed soul.