Yesterday, after working out at the gym, I played African music on my smartphone as I exited the building. A middle-aged White lady who was unknowingly behind me heard the music and said, “That’s nice music, happy music.” I had never characterized African music as happy music, though I agree that it evokes happiness.
I mentioned that the lady was White to contrast that many African Americans, and other races, are not familiar with the beauty of African music, especially West African music.
Many Latinos are unaware that Salsa music originated in Africa. Salsa is a set of Afro-Caribbean rhythms fused with jazz and other styles. The truth is that its origins have always been much debated, although as a general rule it is mentioned that it comes from a fusion that came from Africa in the Caribbean when they heard European music and wanted to mix it with their drums.
I have recently found more White people in tune with African music than my own people, in restaurants, in grocery stores, outdoor events, etc. Just last week I met a White young man who was very familiar with West African music from having worked in Africa, while in the Peace Corps.
I was born in Delhi, India while my parents were in exile, working as anti-Apartheid activists for the African National Congress. I subsequently traveled wherever my parents’ work took them. I feel I still haven’t stopped traveling.
I live and work in Johannesburg, South Africa. I’m 39 years old and particularly appreciate good literature, be it prose or verse. I share my literary musings with my most strident critic: my 12-year-old at. Read More
I have not posted lately for a reason. I have been so reflective lately on so many issues that surround us that I decided to take a break. Remember, since my writings are spirit deep, I only write when I feel the spirit.
I have also been faced with a challenge about following my passion (my Dharma) or following the money, based on what my corporate skills and expertise can attract. I decided against the latter. I refuse to chase money as most people that I know do. I am following with my perceived purpose because the freedom that it allows is priceless. I will write a post about choosing between Purpose vs. Money later.
With this post, I decided to return to music. The next few posts will be featuring some of my eclectic musical tastes. Not to worry, I will return to expressing many Life Seasons topics that I face, and that others may face. But for now, I choose to use music to bring our blog community together.
I hope that most people who read my post don’t think that I’m full of rage and anger because I’m not.
I am simply a Black man who has been through a lot of trials, and who’s well-traveled, analytical, educated, and brave enough to speak my mind. I really don’t care if my reality has a dismal aspect. It is simply what I’ve experienced in my life, good, bad, and ugly.
Though many Black people don’t speak their true minds, I do my best to encourage them to speak their minds in response to my opinions, even if they disagree with me. I won’t shun them. Sometimes they do comment on my posts. Sometimes they do so in private. Many despise me because of my views as oppose to discussing why they feel differently. That their “monkey”, not mine. I will explain “The Monkey” in a future post.
But I am only sharing with you how I managed through The Revolution that we’re currently in. …And, through the trials that you may experience.
For one, I manage through practicing daily meditation. I’ve done so for about 30 years. I have posted on meditation, as well as on prayer, which too is a long-time daily practice of mine. I do grounding as well. All these things keep me at a higher vibration in spite of expressing frustrations with the things that I’ve experienced. …The things I experienced today. …The trials in which I’ve endured.
But this post is about music. Music is a big part of my life. I see it as the background theme music of every scene and mood in my daily life. …As if my life is video content. I use music to calibrate my mood and spirit whenever it requires calibration.
This post is another mashup. The post is primarily about Jazz music.
I am sharing’s its history and variations as a way for you to become better acquainted with a major aspect of African American culture. It is a mashup because I have additional footage and photos of mural art to share and decided to create content using the images set to various styles of Jazz music. I also wanted to share poems that I wrote, as well as, poems from other poets, adding this all of this to jazz music of various tempos in a visually-enticing video.
As a result, this post is a mashup of Jazz Music, Mural Art & Poetry (by me and other poems from around the world). Not sure, but let’s see how this goes for you. Kevy
Before I go any further, I want to remind you that I am not immediately knowledgeable, off the top of my head, on all the topics on which I write.
I am inspired by life events, observations, relationships, family scenarios, web surfing, and National Public Radio (NPR) to create fresh content. In a sense, I provide a service with my posts. I perform the research, give my opinion, and provide you with references to do further research. You are always invited to respond and even share an entire post.
Though I am African American, and though I appreciate jazz music, I did not know as much about its history, variations, or health benefits until I did the research for this post. I learn something new with every post.
I grew up surrounded by jazz music in New Orleans as a child. My cousin was a DJ at a New Orleans jazz radio station WWOZ. I highly recommend that you download the app for 24 hours a day of free jazz music.
In my opinion, the city of Denver’s personality is very dynamically evolving before my eyes.
With the legalization of marijuana in 2013, the city is booming with new construction, progressive legislation, and appreciation for its natural beauty. Nearly 39% of Denver’s population is under 30 years old. The median age is 37 years!
Millennials really showed their true colors, passion, and creatively recently with the protests which are still active. They let my old ass know who’s running the future, them! The protests were filled with artists displaying their works. Additionally, there were concurrent art festivals occurring, as the protests were going on in the background. I have been changed by the art that I’ve seen. I have an energized appreciation for, but not for art in a museum. …Mural Art in the alleyways of the city.
Prior to the coronavirus, I used to visit the Denver Museum of Art regularly. Every first Saturday of the month it’s free. Many of Colorado’s museums are free periodically throughout the year. Due to the coronavirus, they are closed, without further notice.
Throughout the protest and pandemic, I have never been one to sit at home in fear, sickened by around-the-clock news. I am still not regularly watching the news and am handling today’s crucial times optimistically. I am out every day enjoying the scenes and sites of my beautiful city.
This post is dedicated to the legacy of Bob Marley. …And the one that his children are creating today.
Bob Marley’s legacy is timeless and still resonates around the world. That’s what some would refer to as a ‘baller’. He lives on, even after his death. His life-energy is stronger today than it was when he was here in flesh. He has influenced the world, even in countries that do not understand English.
That is admirable.
I aspire to leave a legacy behind for the lives that I may touch. This desire has ignited a flame to produce bodies of work in blog posts, poetry, short stories, recording, and videos. These works are for others to evaluate and perhaps become inspired by.
I leave this for others simply because, as life would have it, I am now too old to benefit from most of the wisdom that I’ve gained. As they say, ‘if I knew then, what I know now’, I would have done many things differently and better.’
I don’t just rant when I blog. Most of the time, I’m absorbed in the music. Certainly, not pop music, as you would guess. I like exotic music of all kinds.
I do quite a bit of ranting about this or that, but these are very provocative times and I justify there is a place for people like me to present fact and experienced-based arguments with passion and vigor.
I believe that there is a place in the world for Michael Moores, Van Jones, Bernies, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezes, Bill Mahers, other figures around the world, and that we may know personally who attempt to provoke discussion about history, politics, environment, religion, spirituality, health, medicine, racism, and anything controversial.
I learned a long time ago in corporate group settings, and in recent race group discussions that the outspoken person (usually me), though despised by other group members, does get the conversations going and get decisions solidified.
In groups, it is difficult to get members to contribute, but just put something out there, then they get to talking, attacking even. That’s kind of what I am doing.I provoke conversations and solidifying decisions. I like that.
But I don’t do that shizzo all the time. Come on now. Don’t play with me.
It can get very stressful ranting all the time. I need to regularly break away. I do it through fitness, reading, praying, meditating, and creating. I nearly listen to music in every setting.
I need ‘theme’ music for nearly every task or event. I have computers, earbuds, wireless speakers, automobile Bluetooth, and nearly every possible gadget (multiple brands) to include music in my day. Some I test and recommend some. My smartwatch even has Spotify and Pandora!
As I am writing this post, I am listening to music. I’m listening to Afrobeats. Not Afrobeat. There is a difference which I will explain later.
There are many reasons why I enjoy Afrobeats music. First of all, it is a new international music sensation that is taking over Africa and Europe, especially in the UK, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. It is becoming popular in the United States, as well. Many say that Drake made Afrobeats popular in the US when he collaborated with Wizkid, a top Afrobeats artist, with the songs ‘One Dance’ and ‘Come Closer’.
It gets me absorbed. It makes me dance. …jog, and workout too. It reminds me of Africa.