SOTW #5 “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely”

SOTW #5 “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely”

Let me start this post by say; I simply ADORE all things Motown. And that includes any and everything that came from the short life, yet longlasting legacy, of the beautiful Tammi Terrell.

 

Known mainly for her sassy and sweet duets with Marvin Gaye, a legend in his own right, Tammi was one of Motown’s brightest stars just on the verge of breaking through… heading towards the same greatness as Diana & The Supremes, The Temps, Marvin, and many of the other highly successful acts.

Hearing all of the magic she and Marvin created when I was a young child; hearing them on the radio every morning on my way to school, I knew it would only be a matter of time before I found myself traveling back and delving into their catalogue. What I had not known as a child was that Tammi had so many songs on her own (some that were turned into now famous duets with Marvin). Her solo recordings, however, deserve just as much shine as those duets do.

From a cute rendition of “This Old Heart Of Mine” to the high spirited “What A Good Man He Is”, Ms. Terrell had a gift that she was only beginning to show the world before she left this world.

 

What I am most grateful for is whoever in the Motown camp took the time to get her into the studio with the lyrics and the astonishing instrumentation (from The Funk Brothers, I assume), and the backing vocals of who I assume are the Andantes (please correct me if you know, and if I am wrong).

Hauntingly beautiful, with vocals and strength from someone that you wouldn’t have imagined was in her late teens or early 20s (depending on the exact year the song was recorded). Depicting a woman in dire need for the love of her life to stick around, afraid to be alone, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely struck so many chords and personal feelings I didn’t even know I had the very first time I heard it.

I’ve been that afraid to be alone before (and not necessarily when dealing with a significant other), just from years of being let down and somewhat abandoned or ditched when I needed someone and their love the most.

 

There’s no other way I can explain this song, or how deeply I love and appreciate Tammi and her gift.

 

Don’t Let Me Be Lonely – Tammi Terrell

 

Take a listen, tell me what you think! And let me know what your favorite Tammi Terrell song is.

SOTW #3 “Freaknic”

SOTW #3 “Freaknic”

I think it’s safe to say that we all have our favorite freak/thot songs somewhere in our playlists, right?

And I’d definitely be lying if I said that a current song or two didn’t manage to catch and hold my attention. Yes, even as the eternal old soul I am, I enjoy a very select few of today’s hottest artists.

 

In the case of Mila J, I honestly believe that I enjoy her and her music because I kind of grew up on her. When I was a young teen, I came up during a time when the music climate was dominated heavily by the TUG camp (and all of the other poppin’ artists of the early 2000s). The TUG camp included Immature/IMx, Marques Houston when he went solo, B2K and Omarion when he went solo, TG4 (whom Sevyn Streeter was a member of), Jhene (yes, Jhene Aiko), and Dame 4 (whom Jhene’s sister Mila J was a member of before she went solo).

Quite a few of you who were young teens or young adults at that time may even remember her song “Good Looking Out” featuring Marques Houston.

In recent years, I’ve discovered she was in a group called GYRL in the 90s as well. Some of you probably know their song “Get Your Groove On” from the BAPS soundtrack. If you don’t, get into it!

Over the years, Mila has released songs, mixtapes, her debut EP/album M.I.L.A., and the heat that is 213 in 2016.

 

This week’s Song of the Week comes from her 2015 The Waiting Game mixtape; “Freaknic” , and it features one of my least favorite artists, Future.

Freaknic – Mila J feat. Future

 

If, like me, you’re not a fan of Future, I can assure that the Jodeci “Freek’n You” sample will grab you instantly! He certainly reminded me of when I saw a very drunk K-Ci and JoJo in concert and they gave what all they had left to their performance of “Freek’n You”. (That’s kind of a compliment.)

Another thing I love is that it’s unbelievably catchy and I can actually understand what Future is saying. In a current musical climate that is over-saturated with mumble rappers, singers who sing over the same beats, or make songs to keep us in feelings we wish to escape from; it’s a slightly trifling song that’s great to sing and do a couple strip teases to.

 

A style that is a complete departure from what her younger sister is known for, Mila’s music offers a bit of everything for those of us that like to turn up, get a lil’ ratchet, twerk or bop, and have a damn good time after we climb out of our feelings. Add sex appeal, and music that is sometimes just fun to listen to, Mila is an artist I highly suggest for anyone that hasn’t already stumbled across her.

 

Take a listen and tell me what you think.

Also, is Future a singer or a rapper? Fan of Mila? What are your favorite songs by her?

SOTW #2 “Givin Em What They Love”

SOTW #2 “Givin Em What They Love”

So, I am praying that I’m not the only one who foolishly slept on Janelle Monae when she first popped on to the scene. Perhaps I was (and mainly because I tend to shy away from today’s artists), but I can say happily that I am awake and here for everything that this woman does in music!

Unique, refreshing, and a clash of styles and genres that you don’t really see too many artists taking a risk on. That risk, in my opinion, not sounding like everyone else.

 

I can also admit that I am not the biggest of Prince fans, but come on… everyone knows at least two or three Prince songs. I know and LOVE quite a few; “Scandalous” being my absolute favorite Prince song.

And to have stumbled upon a collaboration between the two musical geniuses on Janelle’s Electric Lady album… I was stunned, and SHOOK to say the least. Shook in the best way possible.

I’m the type of music lover that enjoys when artists cross and mix genres, if that makes sense. R&B with hints of Rock, Hip-Hop with pinches of Soul, and so on. Lately, my thing has been artists of other genres including Rock influenced songs (or songs with what could be considered Rock instrumentals) on their albums. From Janet’s “Black Cat” to Ice Cube’s “Wicked”. It’s a sound you wouldn’t have readily expected from said artists, and it works for them in a way that I LOVE.

I lose my mind any time they come on.

 

That brings me to this week’s Song of the Week.

Givin Em What They Love – Janelle Monae feat. Prince

 

Like most of Janelle’s songs, it is one that can not be played just once. It’s one that can not be played at half volume. And it’s certainly one that can’t be played without doing some serious headbanging and lip-syncing.

It makes me wish I could sing, or at least yell and shout on key. It makes me wish I was a bad-ass guitarist, and that Prince had taught me himself. Full of energy, and I just know that if I had the chance to hear it live, with Prince, I would have gotten my ENTIRE life. All twenty-two or twenty-three (at the time) years of my life.

There’s not much I take from this song other than it being one of THE best collaborations and songs in the entire history of music. (This opinion of mine is not up for debate.) What I will say though is that I can’t thank Janelle and Prince enough for putting this song together, giving it their all, and giving me exactly what I love when it comes to the music I allow in my world and space.

Rest peacefully Prince, and I look forward to any and everything else Janelle has coming.

 

Take a listen and let me know what you think. Are you a Janelle fan? What’s your favorite song of hers? And, of course I’d love to know your ultimate Prince jam.

SOTW #1 : “I Am The Storm”

SOTW #1 : “I Am The Storm”

It was hard for me to think of exactly how I wanted to start this new blogging journey of mine. Do I dive straight in with the stories, poems, and my other works. Do I give a few details about myself to those gracious enough to pay my blog a visit? Either would have been a decent choice, however it occurred to me that more than writing, there is only one other thing that helps me jump into the goals and tasks I set for myself.

Music.

 

So many of my works are inspired by and come from the various types of music and instrumentals and vocals that I hear on a daily basis. From my all-time favorite group, New Edition, to severely underrated songstresses like Shanice Wilson and Chante Moore.

I could deliver a full list of all of the artists that have inspired me, my works, and fed my soul in ways that they probably wouldn’t even understand. From something as simple as brightening my day to healing my heart and soul in my lowest moments.

I figured, there are so many songs in my playlist, so many songs that I take so many messages and lessons from to get me through my day, and most often an entire week, I should share them. In hopes of helping others to feel the way I feel. Or, even just to share great music with others who love it just as much as I do.

 

My very first post for #MyPenWritesNice, and my very first “Song of the Week” is about and dedicated to the beautiful and extraordinarily talented Tamar Davis.

Some of you may know her from a few Tyler Perry stage productions she starred in, others may know her from The Voice, on which she was a contestant. Some others may even know her as a young protege of his Purple Highness, Prince. Be it from her days of singing alongside Prince on songs like “Beautiful, Loved, and Blessed” or captivating television audiences with a wonderful rendition of “Chain Of Fools”, Tamar has delivered a plethora of music over the years, straight from her heart to our ears. Offering comfort, healing with a few words we may not have known we needed, and stunning vocals. A style all her own, Tamar has long been one of my favorite artists, and I am excited to share a song from her sophomore album, I Am The Storm.

The title track, and the album’s opener, “I Am The Storm”.

I Am The Storm – Tamar Davis

 

To keep it short; this song is my life and personal struggle as an artist summed up in a way I only WISH I could have told myself each and every time I threw in the towel before 2016 was even underway. So often I feel like quitting and giving up, feel myself reaching my breaking point when I don’t reach my ultimate goal or something just doesn’t work out the way I plan. I took my first listen to “I Am The Storm” and fell in love instantly, with every emotion I’ve ever felt playing out from the verses to the chorus. The chorus being what I hope to feel all through 2017. I am the storm, a force to be reckoned when I realize I am much bigger than everything and everyone trying to hold me back or knock me down.

I’ve fully embraced it as one of my many, personal, empowerment anthems. A pick me up to play when an obstacle places itself in my way, something to remind myself day in and day out to keep pushing for my dreams.

 

Take a listen, tell me what you take from it and if you enjoyed it or not. I know for certain that my taste in music differs from others (as do the messages and lessons that I take from songs), but I do have a pretty good track record with passing along music that can be enjoyed by even the most critical music fans.

I’ll return next week with a brand new Song of the Week, and hopefully I’ll be just a little better at explaining what that song makes me feel.