Much of the argument surrounding the controversy is that R. Kelly’s victims have given themselves to him willingly. But I am here today to tell you that a 14-year-old cannot consent, does not understand the consequences of following powerful men into dark places. My abuser’s only power was the power he had over me. And yet, I was utterly powerless on that bitter day to fight back, to find a will of my own. Can you imagine how much power and control a man of R. Kelly’s status and wealth must have over his victims?
Aisha Fukushima is one of the most internationally traveled artists now on the scene in the Bay behind the legendary Hip Hop independent gurus Hiero. Her blend of Hip Hop, Soul, Jazz, Spoken Word and international sounds is a deviation from the assembly line Hip Hop that is trending right now in Cali and across the country. More importantly, she is a raptivist, an activist who uses rhyming to get her message out.
I have known Iminah, the renaissance woman who works under the brand name “From Ghetto to Goddess,” for a few years, and I continue to be inspired by how she serves the Black community. Since moving back to Oakland from Atlanta where she went to college, Iminah has been involved with speaking to at-risk youth, writing and recording an album, and dancing in everything from plays and dance shows to music videos.
As we move into the next solar return, there is much to look forward to despite the stasis that seems to infect this nation with the disease of white supremacy or racial domination. OK OK, perhaps the silver lining is a bit too buried to find Osumare’s twinkle beyond any pots of gold you’ve stumbled upon recently. The knowledge that no matter how it looks, the Creator is in charge and the bad guys just look like they are always winning is what sustains us.
Tupac Shakur, a very talented rapper and actor who defined the aspirations and frustrations of a generation, was shot on Sept. 7, 1996, and died on Sept. 13. On June 16, Bobby Beats, the father of Digital Underground’s Money B and a former Black Panther, organized one of the biggest, most exciting and most meaningful Tupac birthday parties in history.
Growing up with an older brother like Sean was really a very special gift. Seven years of wisdom separated us. When I was still interested in Barbie and Ken, Sean had long been interested in music. Indeed, you could hardly escape him and his body-popping, breakdancing dance moves on the living room space any time there was company around.
Deja Bryson, the niece of Peabo Bryson, is one of the young up and coming vocal talents to emerge out of Oakland, California, hometown of some of the best to ever do it – like Tony, Toni, Tone and Ledisi. She will be performing at her debut show at Yoshi’s in Oakland on Tuesday, Jan. 5, at 8 p.m.