Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Regarding The Song Whose Title I Won’t Post In This Blog Title

Hey, minna-san...
I know-- it's been like literally a year since I last posted. I have to admit it's because I just kind of fell off. I had no net for a minute, and then I was just still trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the design of the site and everything. Plus touring and making re-release plans for "P.R.O.W.L.", raising my clowder...it's been a lot. So I apologise.

This is long, so getcher popcorn ready, GNOtaku.



I wrote a note on Facebook awhile back about one of the songs on "P.R.O.W.L." that I got into a row with one of my team about; a title I cannot really mention here due to issues brought on by a narcissistic entity. Someone took it upon themselves to trademark a phrase that I had been using for years because they were butthurt that 0 Fxcks Given has been my policy for dealing with them for nearly the past ten years. That, and a party thrown last year after freaking Newark Comic Con. Petty revenge-- usual modus operandi for them, I suppose, to throw a monkey wrench in my plans per the norm. Stop "the bomb from becoming".
Another one I had to make. It happens.

Get over it, Veruca. The bomb is still becoming. The bomb is ALWAYS becoming.




...but I digress. That's the abridged version of the backstory.

The argument was that I was “too talented” to just "write responses" to the aforementioned person, and I needed to start writing hits, which, in their opinion, I was good at doing. As if writing responses to them is all I ever do--like that's my whole catalogue.

Which, whether or not they want to accept it, the song I’m referring to above (which I also cannot post here) is decidedly not.

In 2011, after Y E A R S of taking shxt and abuse from her camp and fanbase--up to and including death threats to myself and some GNOtaku--I finally decided to tell my side of things in the way I knew to express myself best--I fxcking rhymed the shxt out of it.




I argued, “No-- this ^^^ was the response to her.” Like, six fxcking years ago...

I argued that they were gonna think what they wanted, no matter what I said, since they had it in their head that E V E R Y T H I N G I bloody do is a response to her--much like she does, come to that. I said I can’t worry about other people think on what I do, or how it looks to the neighbours. Did too much of that in Past-Life (pre-GATA); ain’t nobody got time for that shxt now.

I will admit, now that I think about it (and I actually have said this out loud before), that I have a lot to purge about the stuff that is still happening, the stuff I haven’t addressed, the stuff the babymomma was doing, the shxt they did to both of us together that I feel I truly need to get rid of. IDGAFF if they hear it, cuz it’s not for them.

It’s for me. To cleanse me. My own form of therapy. Not everything has to be a diss track or a response.

But, again, just to be clear--and for those in the rafters not tryna hear me:

THE SONG THAT I MENTION BUT AM NOT POSTING IS NOT ABOUT OR A RESPONSE FOR THAT PERSON.


The argument got so heated--with supposed examples to back it up on their end (of which they admitted they had no source but themselves)--that I eventually had to abruptly end the conversation. I was frustrated beyond frustrated. WTF. Why is this even an issue?

I even asked them if they REALLY listened to the lyrics of the song. I mean...they should have done, for good reason, because this individual is in my camp. I’m guessing no...because if they had, they wouldn’t have fixed their face to say this to me, and argue me down about it.

It occurred to me that I should prolly just break down the lyrics.

Here I present the lyrics, broken down, to the song. I should probably do this on Genius someday.




I came out swinging fighting for every single breath
(I was born with a condition that caused me to be born prematurely. I had to fight said condition to stay alive.)

Prolly keep on fighting till I lay down for my death
(Said because that seems to be my lot in life since my birth. I’ve had to fight many battles just to exist. I’m still fxcking fighting them and I imagine I will have to until I’m gone.)

They don’t make ‘em like me no more prolly never did
Dime a doz nah cuz you can see I’m not a typ

–ical chyck I’m a new brew for yer palate
(Well, that’s self-explanatory. I have always been different. The mold was broken, I’m not a dime a dozen, etc. I’m not what people expect when you say “hip-hop artist”. Or, “from Newark”, for that matter. “New brew”--different from what folx are used to. Tea metaphor.)

Hitting like Mjolnir or a cartoon mallet
(I might knock you for a loop like Thor’s hammer or one of those Looney Tunes Acme mallets, because you might not know what to make of me.)

That ain’t all folx (another Looney Tunes reference) I’m just getting gwan
I’m here to educate you on the vida of the nyan
(NYANVIDA--”nyan life”. My philosophy as such: The importance of being yourself and being brave enough to stand and roar your truth.)

Blackest cat on the block blackest sheep in the flock
No place in my race wouldn’t fit in a box
(I didn’t belong anywhere. Still don’t quite belong anywhere: “blackest sheep”. And people had trouble putting me in a niche, so I was always labeled “white”. So eff them--”blackest cat”.)

So I had no choice but to follow my voice
Rocking the box the new style bring the noise
(I decided to just be me, and rhyme what I rhyme, about what I choose, what was true for me, not for everyone else. I reference some of my  influences by their lyrics: Run-DMC, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy.)

I took the red pill evolved to black cat
Heralded my change and the clones don’t accept that
(“The Matrix” reference, meaning that I chose to follow truth [the red pill] and embraced who I am fully and [the name change on all fronts, until I also did it legally] and there was and still is a tonne of opposition because I had the clitoral fortitude to do this for me, and we all know people hate what they don’t get, and are mad that they don’t have the nuts to do the same [a “glitch in their matrix”]. I evolved to Gata Negrra/ThaGataNegrra. Simply saying it aloud, writing it down repeatedly, that was the signal for the evolution. I was my own herald [“it happens when they change something”].)

Capitalise yeh I did it-- spay me never
You tore me down I pulled myself together
(Partly references the fact that I capitalise it [and had been capitalising it for years] for emphasis [GATA] and that I took me and ran with it. References being shat on for doing this, for shedding my Past-Life energy, for knowing that I am resilient. I didn’t stay broken.)

T-h-a G-a-t-a … N-e-g-r-r-a
T-r-u-e O-r-i-g-i-n-a-l G-a-t-a
Whatcha say whatcha say…
T-h-a G-a-t-a… N-e-g-r-r-a
T-r-u-e O-r-i-g-i-n-a-l G-a-t-a
All day all day
(Literally spelling it out for you. Affirming that this is me “all day”.)

There was a time when they thought Dei sold out
So I evolved transformed and rolled out
I bumped her off so there wouldn’t be no doubt
I wasn’t soft I was letting my bold out
(This is about Past-Lifer. I had a different name, the nickname for which was Dei [dee], and once I had been liberated of my place in my former tribe and went out on my own musically, there was criticism on several fronts that I had “gone soft” and “become a dance diva”. “You’re not supposed to be doing this type of shxt,” they said. That last came from a source that I trusted at the time; they may have lied about everything else, but on this they were spot on.

So, I “killed” her. I began again. I remember actually saying: “I’m gonna have to kill this bxtch” out loud. So I evolved--loudly. Or, more accurately: continued to evolve more loudly; the evolution was already happening before I realised it. The bomb was already becoming.
 You know where “transform and roll out” comes from.)

All I ever did was land on my feet
And the powers that be pointed that out to me
They said “Daughter go be ‘xactly who you meant to be
You are duality and adaptability
(This is referencing a dream/vision I had about Bast and Sekhmet. They were the ones who encouraged me to go full-on and reinvent myself. Also, cats land on their feet--more points to my resilience. Duality, meaning I’m both dark and light, sweet/tart, you get the idea. And adaptability speaks for itself.)

“Sun moon stars go and craft those bars
Break your chains show the world those scars
You earned them from a hard-won battle well-fought
Honour us honour you honour them with what you brought”
(Short version of O/our conversation in the vision. “Don’t be ashamed of all the scars you earned from your fight. Show them. Free yourself. Embrace yourself and all your flaws. By doing so, you honour Us, and in turn, yourself” and you, GNOtaku, by proxy, because it would be dishonourable to you for me to be phony. Kind of like that “freedom is power” speech in Catwoman, except for real.)

So I’m coming at you from my temple cell in the booth
Some nyan cuz it’s cute I nyan cuz it’s truth
You see me see me rock my nekomimi mimi while
Some do it for looks I do it cuz life and style
(I’m telling you this on record, in the recording booth, my room in my sanctuary; my habitat. Some say “nyan” [Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound a cat makes] because it’s cute/kawaii, but it’s a badge of honour for me as a cat grrrl [not that it’s not kawaii; it’s just not the main why]. I wear the ears/am a catgrrrl [nekomimi] while I do this because it’s part of who I am, not some fashion statement.)

T-h-a G-a-t-a … N-e-g-r-r-a
T-r-u-e O-r-i-g-i-n-a-l G-a-t-a
Whatcha say whatcha say…
T-h-a G-a-t-a… N-e-g-r-r-a
T-r-u-e O-r-i-g-i-n-a-l G-a-t-a

I am living breathing cognitive dissonance
(Weird, yes, I know. Cognitive dissonance is “the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.” I said this because I am a lot of things that conflict with each other, and because people are always mixed in response to what I do [“hip-hop isn’t my thing but I like your music!”].)

Brix prowling straight sui generis
(“Sui generis” is “of his, her, its, or their own kind; unique”. “Brix prowling”--going around Newark...”Brick City”.)

Tragic beautiful abysmal princess
 (places I shopped, LOL)
DiosaAniManga serving cat grrrl realness
(“Anime/Manga Cat Goddyss”. Was actually labeled that by someone. “Serving catgrrrl realness”...showing you as much of my meowness as is allowed. “Serving realness” is a drag term. What can I say--I grew up around drag queens.)

This be the source my origin tale
Condensed to make sense on a much shorter scale
(Basically, what it sez: the short version of how I came to be who I am.)

I’m betting you expected me to go off the rails
Another one you’d love to call a grand epic fail
(My haters, going all the way back to kittenhood, always pray to their petty gods for me to fail, but I haven’t gone anywhere. They expected me to commit suicide, to not do my music, to fade away quietly. These are things that haven’t happened.)

My evolution wasn’t televised so
Folx think I’m that chyck from long time ago
(People who knew me in Past-Life think I am the same person I was then. I’m not. Very few of them had a front-row seat to me changing [“wasn’t televised”] so they are running off old information. Is a reference to Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”.)
(I love how in the most recent "Black Panther" trailer they use that piece.)

Nine lives close scrapes unscathed bring hate
Reinvent new paint same core same strength
(It is said that cats have nine lives. Beginning to wonder if that’s true considering the fact that I should be dead a few times over. I’ve had some close calls, but got out mostly intact. Because of this, the haters hate me--I haven’t gone away, as I’ve already pointed out. I may have reinvented myself, but don’t worry--I am still the best parts of me, the parts you liked.)

I’m the original and the improvement
Brand upgrades with every thought every movement
(Self-explanatory. I’ve been called a trendsetter, there are people who have done “me” verbatim [but without realness] or followed my example, and because I continue to get better all the time, I am the improvement of myself. I’m constantly upgrading to a better me.)

You thought you knew but you had no idea
And I ain’t done it’s just the tip of the spear
(A nod to MTV’s “Diary” which usually ended its intros with “you think you know, but you have no idea”. Means that people only know what they’ve heard, but not my story until now. I’m not done, you haven’t seen anything yet--I said “spear” because “iceberg” doesn’t rhyme, LOL.)

T-h-a G-a-t-a … N-e-g-r-r-a
T-r-u-e O-r-i-g-i-n-a-l G-a-t-a
Whatcha say whatcha say…
T-h-a G-a-t-a… N-e-g-r-r-a
T-r-u-e O-r-i-g-i-n-a-l G-a-t-a
All day all day

That’s...pretty much it. If you read this far, arigato. I appreciate it. I hope it gave you a bit more insight into the lyrics, and in turn, who I am and what I was really saying.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Haven't Blogged in Awhile.

Apologies, minna-san.

I've really been busy, and I also haven't really had much to say. If you're with me so far, you know the following:

--I finished my second album
--I've been gigging steadily, and even headlined one gig
--I did end up playing Newark Pride after all (thank you, guys)
--We added another dancer to the ranks



Other than that, I've just been going along. It's been hard but it's been worth it, and I've nearly achieved this year's goals.

It's in that spirit that I'm going to share a Facebook post I did, because I'm sure there's other indie acts who are feeling the same way I am.

I am not bitter this time, I promise. I'm just making a declaration to and a request of the Universe.

Declaration to the Universe:
I know You are rewarding me for taking risks.
I also know You are testing me, as well, to see if I still want this.
If it isn't obvious enough to You by now that I CAN and AM doing this because I want to, I don't know what more I can show or tell You.

I humbly submit the following:

I've gigged with a 101 degree fever and the bloody flu.
I've gigged in a literal hurricane (Irene, to be specific. FACTS).
I've gigged with no sound equipment.
I've gigged with no audience.
I've gigged for no pay.
I've gigged at walks, marathons, and animal benefits in the cold.
I've gigged at places where they absolutely hated me...and gained respect and fans anyway.
I've gigged with damned near no voice. 
I've gigged totally depressed, like "fxck EVERYONE" depressed.
I've gigged when a loved one has died.
I've been humiliated, scorned, and harassed.
I've even endured threats of bodily harm.
I've sacrificed things I shouldn't have had to for this.
I've taken more hits than I can count.
I've lost friends and family because I believe in what I do.

There is not a day spent where I'm not scouring for things to further my brand. No day where I haven't suggested to my reps what cons were going on and worked with them to think and go bigger.
There is no day where I'm not setting goals for myself.
There is no day where I'm not scratching and climbing.
There is no day that I'm not fighting for distinction in the wake of shapeshifting imihaters, and still forcing my head high.
And there is no day that I am not proud to do what I do.



These are facts.

I may not have full-on cosplays from scratch, I may not "look the part", I may not fit anywhere but with a small niche of geeks. There are people who may not get me, or care what I have to offer for one reason or another. But, Universe, I have not stopped.

I've been moving forward, even with those who would see me fail throwing all sorts of things in my path. Even with those who mean well inadvertently throwing things in my path because it's not as important to them as it is to me.

Does that not tell You, then, that I want this?

When it comes time for the grades, please mark me with "pass", and mark me present for every day whilst You're at it.
I'm ready.
Lemme graduate.











Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Been Way Too Long...

Yes, I know.
Haven't really had much to say, I'm afraid...not sure I have much to say now, LOL. Most of my venting I get out on other social media, so I may be spent.

My time as of late has been spent recharging, fighting the system, taking care of my clowder, and recording my album. Since my last post (back in November?! Daaaayum), I think my extended family has had to bury more members, I've had an anniversary, I've gained another immediate member for the clowder, and I've managed to get several bookings at several anime- or manga- or comic-related events (or, to be more accurate, my management has). Much of this has been blocked by the proverbial "haters" (not to mention the really weird subtle stalking and outright harassment), who can partake in a vessel of phallic objects. I even hear tell they'd like to continue the Confusion Campaign by attempting to infiltrate the circuit in my immediate area. Why they want to do that when they have perfectly good opportunities in their area is beyond me, but who knows what goes on in the apparently miserable realm of Off-The-Map. "Here there be monsters," indeed.

Just look at them all.




Anyhoo.

It's been really good to work with my brother, PoppaRazi, again. I think he and I have a good rapport once we figure out WTF we're doing, and fall into a groove. Oddly enough, the years he spent in GA, he didn't create much, and neither did I, but once we were back in each other's spaces, we did a lot better. It took me a minute to get going, and I ended up doing a lot of writing before I had to record--sometimes on the same day. Along the way, I was told I helped some people to get inspired again, to love what they do as far as being recording artists and finding their muses again. If that's all I've accomplished with making this bloody album, that's actually satisfactory.

Ohhh...yessss.


One thing I've discovered whilst getting ready to record and doing some shows along the way, is that some people still aren't ready to accept me. Hasn't stopped me yet, but it can be disheartening at times; I'm human. I take the advice of people who are close enough to me to care but not sycophantic and can be honest. They seem to think that it's just the people who are used to things being a certain way that are the problem. That's mainly why I chose anime/manga/comic events, because nekomimi don't even get a side eye there. Unfortunately, in some of these cases, the fact that I'm not full-on Japanese seems to be an issue. Another issue is that people hear "hip-hop" and immediately think the worst. And I suspect that my perceived sexuality was an issue at at least one LGBTQ event, and that might have carried over into my chances for the one coming up. You would think that my sexuality would be the last thing an LGBTQ event would be concerned about, but I'm guessing it's based on the perception I gave, having had been pregnant at the time. (Still bi when I'm pregnant and with a man, guys! Ya shoulda asked!)



I mean, really.



It don't matter. Nah worry we.

Other people around us are finding that gaining access to stuff in the Brick City area is like some Ark-of-the-Covenant guarded secret--it's not just me who feels this way. So, the solution is simple: kick down more doors. Either way, we're getting our messages out there and having fun at the same time. Not gonna do any of us any good to kvetch about it--we have to be proactive. Pave our own paths. That's what innovators do. If we fail, we just do it again, after finding out what didn't work the first time.

You fall...you recover, you get back up, you keep going. Nurse your injuries if you have to, but srsly--get. Up.

Like she's about to do. Just without an Agent chasing you.












Monday, November 2, 2015

Zodiacal Reassurances! I Just Felt like Making This…

I have a lot of fun reading these memes that get around about traits of the zodiac. Some of the ones I find for mine are accurate; I find some satisfaction in going “YES! That is SO ME!!” for some reason. Anyhow, I tend to also find that some of the traits can be a bit harsh; each sign has its “higher” and “lower” traits. I don’t know about yawl, but I hate being put in the “harsh critic” box all the time, and I know for damned certain I am NOT a neat freak. I wish I was sometimes (LOL), but it is what it is. Maybe it’s because I’m born so close to Leo, I dunno. 

But there are some standout “lower” traits that certain signs are famous for, and they may also cause rifts with friends sometimes.

At any rate, I got a sudden brainwave and decided I would create a list and perhaps a meme of my own to reassure people who might strongly exhibit the famous traits so much that they are a part of them, if that makes any sense.
Ready? Here goes nada:

Aries: You DO know you don’t have to be right ALL THE DAMNED TIME, right? It’s okay to be wrong. Nobody is going to flog you for being wrong. You will not be less of a person for being wrong. Go ahead and explore the possibility that --yes—you are wrong. And if you are entrenched in “I’M RIGHT, GAHDAMMIT!” it is also okay to open your mind and see another’s POV. Try it sometime. You might be surprised.

Taurus: It’s okay to yield to other opinions! It’s also okay to feel other feelings, and go against your own programming! Being stubborn and difficult for the sake of it isn’t going to help you to grow, Ferdinand. Stop it.

Gemini: It’s okay to stick to one decision or thing. It’s also okay to simplify things and not make them more complicated than they need to be. It’s okay to not know everything. And you don’t need to manipulate someone into doing something. Try ASKING THEM.

Cancer: It’s perfectly fine to come out of your shell once in awhile. Not everything outside your bubble is going to hurt you. One failure doesn’t mean you have to drop the whole thang, just try again. And on a side note: moodiness is okay. Just learn to be mindful of them, and flow like the water sign you are.

Leo: Hey. Telenovela star. It’s okay to not have drama in your life. It’s great to be alone with your own thoughts. It’s also okay to feel shame and humility. On that note, it doesn’t have to always be about you. Let someone else have the spotlight/take the lead for a change, and have a break.

Virgo: Oh, for heaven’s sake…you don’t need to have everything perpetually perfect! It’s fine to let the bathroom mirror be spotty, your hair to be a bit mussed, your curtains to have a wrinkle or fifteen. If you screw up, it’s fine! Just learn from it and remember not to do it next time. The world isn’t going to end. And stop being so damned hard on yourself.

Libra: I’m not sure if anyone said this to you, but you don’t have to manipulate people into doing what you want either, and you don’t have to embellish the truth or downplay bad stuff to be accepted—or if you want to actually have friends. It’s also perfectly fine, Scales, to weigh a decision, but you need to commit to it once you make one. And for corn’s sake, COMMIT TO MAKING ONE. You can only pro-and-con shxt but so much. If you’re wrong, you’re wrong… that’s how life is. And guess what? It’s also okay to commit. Stand up, dammit.

Scorpio: It’s okay to trust SOMEBODY, Bruce Wayne. I know you like your secrets, but it’s not so bad to let someone in that you trust and share a few with them. It’s okay to feel your jelly, just don’t spread it, lest you contaminate your relationships with it. And please… allow yourself to breathe a little easier and knock that resentful chip off your shoulder. Stop brooding in your Batcave. Talk to whomever it is that did you wrong…don’t just throw shade at them forever. Don’t you use those eyes on me. It won’t work.

Sagittarius: Stop. Fronting. Stop hiding behind that cocky veneer. It is okay for the world to see who you really are. You pride yourself on realness, but I bet nobody knows that real Archer. It’s also okay to be tactful. Tact does not equal sugarcoating; it equals politeness and not getting cut off due to your careless comments. Ease up. Think before you speak, man.

Capricorn: It’s okay. I mean, there’s more to that, but I feel I need to say simply: “It’s okay.” Why? Because it is…or it will be. The glass has something in it—it’s not half-empty. And it’s okay to not worry about the bills 24-7, Scrooge McDuck. They will get paid when you pay them. It’s okay to get out of your own way and just not look down on the rest of the world. Nobody’s perfect.

Aquarius: You know…you don’t always have to be contrary for the sake of being contrary. It’s okay to go along with something for once. It’s also a good thing to tone down the aloofness and mysterious airs with those who love you, because…they love you. It’s also okay to show these people you love them back. We know you have feelings. You ain’t fooling nobody.

Pisces: We love your sensitivity. We really do. Just know that it’s okay to not take every act of criticism as a deeply personal attack. Also, it’s okay to follow through on stuff you started—even revisit old stuff you started but never finished and DO THAT SHXT. And, it would do the world a great favour if you just chill out with that temperamental streak, Mr. Banner. Put the green guy away.




Saturday, October 3, 2015

Saying Goodbye Again; My Inner Superhero


This week has been a really trying one for meows truly.


Two years ago, on October 3rd, my maternal aunt, Caroline, died of cancer. Last week, I buried my other maternal aunt, Constance…who also succumbed to cancer—uterine this time. I’ve never had to help plan a funeral before, and needless to say it was emotionally trying. It was also exhausting in that we had to see that her affairs were in order; thankfully, her legal affairs and whatnot were (unlike with my other aunt), but cancelling subscriptions, alerting people, and all the other arrangements can indeed take a toll. Dealing with the harsh reality that someone who helped mold you in your early years more than you realised is no longer here…that’s a bit much. And, every death in my immediate family makes me brood on my own mortality, but this hit home even more so due to my abnormal-cells scare.

 Also… this leaves my mother, the baby of four children, as the last of her siblings. That, for some reason, breaks my heart. My mother and I haven’t always had the easiest relationship, but I cannot bear that she is the only one left. I have resolved to be there for her more than I have been henceforth. So that is why I’ve barely left my mother’s side for the last few days.

I wrote my aunt’s obituary, and as I was doing that, I remembered all sorts of things that we’d done together when I was a Gatita. She passed along to me the love of musicals, crafting, baking, and got me interested in knitting, sewing, and crocheting. She taught me to appreciate gardening, lavender, and tulips—so much so I insisted on having the latter in her floral arrangements.

I realised that, even though we’d stopped being close in my tweenage years (that is a weird phenomenon in the Closson family; do not ask me why), I really missed those times, and I really missed my Aunt Sissy. I also resolved that I would again take up sewing and knitting, and I would buy tulips every year in her honour. I will also teach my Grrl Cub all about “The Sound of Music” and “The King and I”, which shouldn’t be hard, since she loves singing and dancing.

Even in her last days, she joked… it seemed that she’d begun displaying this wry sense of humour I hadn’t seen in a very long time, telling me that if I was gonna sit and visit her at the nursing home, I was gonna have to deal with “this ugly noise”—she was in considerable pain despite the meds, and moaned a fair bit. She asked me to hold her hand and gently ribbed me about “not rubbing it enough”. From what I understand, all she really wanted at night was for someone to hold her hand whilst she fell asleep. I wish I had been there to do it that one last time.





Okay, now that I have feels all over my feet…I’m gonna add some more.

The last week has also been spent clearing out my aunt’s apartment. I mean, it was a lot of stuff, but not a lot of heavy furniture, thank goodness. We cleared out books, clothes, all sorts of stuff. We finally finished yesterday.

On our way to her apartment, I was riding in the car with my mother, my boyfriend, Peace, and my cousin, Robert. We got to the section of Avon Avenue and Springfield Avenue at the Newark/Irvington border, and Peace spotted a little girl crying and told us, “Whoa—there’s a little girl on the corner by herself crying, and nobody’s around her!” I look around and see the little girl and my heart died. She was hysterical. My mother stopped the car and Peace and Robert got out to get a better look.

 “Oh, my God—her mother’s on the ground!” I was already fumbling with my seat belt and on my way out of the car before I got it off good, praying that this woman hadn’t been shot to death on some street corner in front of her child. My mother was going to turn the car around but I didn’t want to wait.

So, we all ran over there, and it was lucky Peace and Robert even saw the mom because the weeds were so thick between the curb and the sidewalk that you couldn’t see her at first glance. We didn’t want to move the mom, as she was facedown on the pavement and I was horrified something really awful had happened to her. I looked at the little girl and thought of my own daughter, and of myself when I was small, and I said to her, “Will you come to me?” She nodded, and came to me so I could pick her up.

 I asked her what happened, and she said, “My mami fell.” I told her I was sorry to hear that. I asked her name; she told me, and I told her mine. She told me how old she was—just three. She wasn’t able to tell her address, so I just told her that everything was going to be okay, and that we’d get help for her mother.

Peace, meanwhile, had called 911, and Robert was trying to keep the mother, who had begun stirring, from getting up. I talked to her, too. I asked, “Ma’am? Are you okay?” She didn’t answer, but looked at me blankly. She couldn’t talk, it seemed. So I told her we were getting help and not to move, but she seemed intent on trying to sit up after awhile, and there was no stopping her. So Robert tried propping her up so she wouldn’t fall again.

A Newark bluecoat came down the avenue in his black-and-white, so my mother and I flagged him down and started telling him about what we’d seen, and he called it in to Irvington Police. He’d told us he saw her standing by a nearby fence earlier with her daughter. He said he was glad he drove back through, and that we saw the little girl.

The mother seemed to come around slowly, and asked where her daughter was. I said, “I’ve got her; don’t worry. She’s safe.” The mother said, “Thank you.” I told her: “No worries—I have a daughter too.”

Soon after that, an ambulance or three arrived—the first being the small type. Irvington Police had also arrived, and a lady officer came over, and we all explained what we’d seen and heard, and made sure the mother was safely in the ambulance. The officer asked the EMTs about the little girl, and they seemed at a loss. I said to the girl, “Do you want to go with the nice officer, so she can take you to your mami?” The poor girl looked me in the eye and shook her head.

“I want to stay with you,” she said.



OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGG I GAGGED

I almost fell apart right in front of her, bouncing her on my hip. I didn’t know what the hell to do then! It took some coaxing, but we got her to go with the officer, and I asked my mother to give her a stuffed toy from the back of her car. We did, and we said goodbye, and left my card with the officer, asking her to give it to the mother in case she wanted to call or anything.

And THEN I cried, hee.

I really hope the mom was okay. We were really scared for her and her daughter—Peace and I, for sure, cuz we’re too damned sensitive to stuff like this. But my cousin said he thought maybe the mom had a seizure; he remembered what it was like when our grandfather had them and how his mannerisms were when he’d come out of it. I’m still hoping that the mom will call, if but to tell us how she’s doing. That’s all I’m really worried about. We’re still worried as I write this. I can only pray she and her sweet little girl are both fine.

Monday, August 3, 2015

It Is What It Is


It might seem odd for me that I'm blogging again so soon but I guess I'm feeling a certain type of way. It may come off as bitter, but I'm just being real, and face it--life ain't always sweet sometimes. This is just me taking inventory and sharing it with you.

This is written in the spirit of honesty and disclosing events in my life...owning up to the fact that everything is not okay in my world, and that I would be less than authentic if I didn't share this with you, GNOtaku (and the haters, as well).



I've been reflecting lately on the fact that even though I'm supposed to have this great team of people behind me, I am actually alone and on my own.

I think I said once before, back when we were still being distributed by another company, how it felt like everyone had distanced themselves from the GATA City project except me, and that I supposed it was my turn. And I guess I distanced myself a bit, too, out of protest, even though it was the only material I had to perform. 

Now that we are no longer being distributed by that company, I put a fair amount of enthusiasm again into promoting the project...and, again, it seems like I'm the only one who cares to do so.

My resources are limited, admittedly. I am single-handedly running the hardcore administrative duties, promotion/marketing, social media. I have someone who goes through my mail and someone who manages me. But for the most part, it's all me.

With the exception of one of the CEOs reposting what I post to people who couldn't care less (or maybe they could; wrong audience), I'm the only one who seems to care what happens enough to do the "legwork", so to speak, anymore.

A total of four credited writers (including myself) and two guests are on the album, names and all, and yet, I'm the only one posting any of its achievements, or promoting my shows, or anything like that. I'm the one taking classes, and trying to figure out everything.

A pretty big performance is coming up in my life, and I can't even get full support for that without balking or strings or indifference. In fact, the last time I had support from anyone of the writing team as far as the performances go was years ago. The most important person on my team/The Label's team who was able to do something and didn't feel like they were "too old" to do it moved away to get his life. You would think he'd still help via social media--and he did in the beginning--but he lost interest, threw me under the bus in certain cases, and I'm pretty much left on my own on the promoting front as far as the "legwork". I'm guessing it was because his friends didn't appreciate the the work he put into it and put it down because they thought it was a bullshxt project cuz it wasn't full of curses and gangsta-isms, blatant typical-female-rapper-style sexuality, and other shxt I don't do.



Now, there are certain things that I am being mistrusted to handle since, I guess, the new business model and the way the independent music industry now works is not working for The Label, and, as I pointed out before, resources from them are limited. Certain vital things that are the lifeblood of getting new fans. I can try to stay positive all I want, but the fact still remains that a potential fan--someone who doesn't know me from Adam's housecat-- will more than likely balk at paying full price for music, and that is going to hurt me in the long term. Not even established musicians are making money off music sales! To choose short-term profit over potential future money is possible career suicide. Oh, sure, The Label might make its investment back, but I will have lost more long-term customers. I mean, even drug dealers give free samples.



The reason why they don't know me is that proper promo never happened, the timing of proper promo never happened. Nothing was structured, GATA City didn't even have a proper video until a year after it was released. It should have been a year before its release at the most. They expected that the album would sell on its own because the music was good, with very little advertising, and just on the strength of me doing shows. Every idea and well-researched suggestion I put forth regarding its promotion and handling was initially shot down, with me being told I needed to "focus on the show and making good music" when that day in the industry--that way of handling things-- had passed. Then, a year later, suddenly my ideas made sense...but still met with much skepticism. I'm still going through this struggle now. The rules are different, yet they still want to play by the old rulebook...and my hands are tied.


Me.


I did and still do all I can to put my name out there myself, but it's not enough, and what I do manage to get accomplished is tainted by someone else glomming onto what achievements I do make by using constant confusion, lies, sabotage, and subterfuge. Yay.



Yay.


So, along with this and the unfortunate infiltration of aforementioned glomming demonic forces on something that was super important to me, the future is looking uncertain. Here I am-- again-- being forced by too many people to hide my light under a bushel. It's just perfect that one of these people happens to be the infiltrator and even more perfect that they are being helped along by the very people who said they wouldn't allow it to happen. The team who are supposed to support me don't care and don't understand how important the event is to me, and NOBODY seems to understand how a person who was and is still coming for my life--literally--is a huge detriment to my success there. (Sidebar: if you ever need to get a restraining order on someone and you think even once about dissolving it-- DON'T. You will indeed regret it eventually.)

How much do you want to bet that if something huge and good and groundbreaking does eventually come of the GATA City project, suddenly everyone will give a shxt about the cause, including but not limited to the other writers on the project? Then it will be theirs, too, and not just mine. It will be "our" victory, "our" baby. Then, people will want to claim it and me, say they always believed in me, they "knew me when", maybe even go as far as to say they taught me all I know and other BS. Never mind I've been working on pushing this one project for four years alone amidst life struggles and deaths and my health and everything.




I'm on my own out here. I'm doing all I can to help others so I can, in turn, help myself, and in turn, help them, but I. Am. Mostly. On. My. Own.

Yawl can sit there and pay lip service to "I got your back" and "You're not alone in this" and "It will get better" and whatever...but the fact still remains that...OnMyOwn. Like Patti LaBelle.



It is what it is.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Albums That Got Me Through Some Shxt...

Let's face it-- we all have that go-to song or album that helps us through some really tough times when we need it. Music has always been the balm to soothe my wounds, or uplift me, or comfort me when there was nobody else to do that. My taste in music has always been all over the place, so I have several albums that have never failed to put me right in the vortex when shxt got real.

Like when you saw this...you know shxt was about to get real!


I compiled this list using the criteria of albums that I never skipped through if I could help it, and that I played during times in my life (mostly Past-Life) that I clung to as if they were life preservers...because that's pretty much what they were.
Sharing time:

 
"Blink-182" from...well, duh.
This album marked a different level of sound for this band, and it's one of the few albums I own, period, that I don't skip through (although I have to be in the mood to listen to "Feelin' It", they played that damned song so much). IDKY, but it just spoke to me. The songs "Violence" and "Down" and its interlude really shook up some chakras for me. And I loved the 80s vibe of "Always". Barker's drumming on  "Stockholm Syndrome" is fxcking epic.
And Robert Smith...that is all. I don't even have to say anything else.





"In Utero" by Nirvana
OMG...just, OMG. I wore this thing OUT when I got my hands on a copy. Favourite songs in particular are "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle" (for some reason I love the part where the bridge comes and it's this tambourine in the background), "Serve The Servants", "Very Ape" and "Dumb".
Of course I love "Heart Shaped Box". That goes without saying.



"Unplugged in New York"--Nirvana
When I learned that basically Kurt was high off his damned rocker when this was recorded, I actually couldn't help but be impressed, TBH. This thing is damned-near perfect. My fave off this is "The Man Who Sold The World", easily.



"I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got"--Sinead O'Connor
This is another one that I wore completely out. This woman's voice would get inside me and just somehow make everything okay. Favourites from this were "Feel So Different", "The Emperor's New Clothes", "Three Babies", "I Am Stretched On Your Grave" (that familiar hip-hop beat!), "You Cause As Much Sorrow", and "The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance".



"Use Your Illusion II"--Guns N' Roses
I played this shxt waaaayyy too much. I still get gooseflesh when I hear "Don't Cry (Alt. Version)" and "Civil War". And "Locomotive (Complicity)"...horee shxt. Just put that particular one on as loud as you can and let that beat the crap out of you for awhile, then let it wipe all of that away when the song switches up and gets all trippy on you. The ending of that track is hypnotic. In fact, 'scuse me a second whilst I put that on to finish this blog...

One sec...I'll be right witcha.

Okay, where was I...



"August And Everything After"--Counting Crows
I don't know what it was about Adam Duritz's songwriting (or his vocals on this effort, come to that) that helped me though a VERY difficult time in my life, but whatever it was...it did. Faves from this: "Round Here", "Omaha", "Rain King", "Anna Begins". Le sigh.



"Time's Up"--Living Colour
HOW THE HELL DID PEOPLE SLEEP ON THIS ALBUM?! I didn't. You couldn't tell me shxt about the title track. It was so visceral, and spoke to me so hard I actually was doing the African dance choreography I was learning at the time to it, LOL. People act like "Cult Of Personality" is the only Living Colour song, EVER--in fact, when they came here last year to Newark, they very wisely saved that song for last! Can't even be mad at them.
Faves for me off this were the title track, "Pride", "Someone Like You", and the first single, "Type"...which is so excellent.

There it is...the albums that helped me through some shxt. I hope you enjoyed these as much as I did...and still do.