To celebrate the 15th anniversary of Jay Z’s The Black Album, Big Ghost Ltd. has revisited the monumental project to add some fresh perspective. Ol’ Volcano Hands himself says that the remixes aimed to create a version of the album “where A-List celebrity producers played no part…n it was no politics involved nahmean. No hype or pitches to the artist from whoever whoever… Just the feel of that early 00s shit when the R.O.C. had established itself as the pinnacle n the heartbeat of the culture n the greatest rapper of all time pump faked his retirement”. If that sounds like a winning formula, that’s cos it is, as Ghost manages to pull off a successful venture into what maybe considered hallowed turf. Cuts on the album come from Giallo Point and DJ Grouch. You can stream The Black Album Revisited below, with downloads available via Bandcamp.
This is a re-post from an old blog from Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Word was out in Muskegon, MI about my daughter and a woman approached my mother about a Cancer Awareness Benefit concert that a local church does every year. This year they choose two families to recognize and mine was one of them. The concert was on Friday and I have been a ball of emotion since then. Here is the letter that I sent to the church as a thank you —-
The Cancer Benefit Concert on Friday, October 14, 2011 at Queen Esther Baptist church was an amazing and spirit lifting event.
The choirs were great, the musicians were wonderful and the praise dancing was the best I had ever seen.
But the words and spirit in which they came moved me and stayed with me. So much so that I was on the verge of tears all weekend.
When Naiima was diagnosed with a tumor and then panhypopituitarism (which is loss of pituitary/endocrine function) and then later cancer, all of my family, friends and friends of friends began praying. People spoke about and prayed for a miracle. I was comforted by that and it gave me some peace. I mostly prayed to get through and accept what God placed in our path.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10
I knew that I had to be present. By that I mean, that I had to focus on what was going on right now.
So at the doctor’s appointments and hospital stays, I had to know what all the words meant. I didn’t want doctors speaking to me and I not understand what they were saying or not understand the implications of what they were saying or not saying. Sometimes I would whip out my laptop while the doctor was speaking or bring out my pen and paper and look up or write down what they were saying. I knew that I had to be able to explain to people what was going on and answer question after question.
I also had to know and understand for myself and my child what was going on. I knew that my daughter had given a lot of her concern over to me. She sometimes seemed unaffected by it all. When the doctors asked her questions, she would turn and look at me. I know that she was affected underneath it all, but she wore a brave face. So in turn, I wore a brave face. I wore that brave face for her but also for my mother and my grandmother and my friends.
Because while everyone outwardly dealt with the shock of it all and the fear it entailed, I knew that as my daughter’s caregiver, I could not. I knew that I had to absolutely present and I also knew that God was present with me.
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” Psalm 27:13-14
I never questioned – why my daughter? I never asked why. Years ago, I read the book of Job and it took me years to come to terms with the book. But it was solidified during this experience. I saw all of those children on that same floor, a lot who were worse off than my daughter. I remember telling her that and saying to her don’t ever ask or think “why me?” because why not you? She had brain cancer but she had the best brain cancer to have. So I knew that why’s and woe-is-me’s are not helpful..especially when you are trying to be present..be focused on the moment..the here and now with God. That is what I also knew. I knew that God was with me through it all and we would be ok.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
I didn’t realize until Friday though that I had not released all of those emotions that I was holding in and so slowly I have begun to release them. I know that that will be good for me and my family.
“He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake” Psalms 23:3
I am not a public speaker at all, so I could not verbalize these things at the concert. I would like to thank the Women Helping Women of the Queen Esther Church for being the vehicle for release those emotions and to realize how blessed we are and more importantly, that we are not alone.
We appreciate the generous gifts and are so thankful to have been a part of something so meaningful!
Mother of Naiima Dixon, cancer survivor
Seems like Aretha Franklin has been playing in the background all of my life. I remember her records on at my Big Momma’s house when I was a little girl. Whenever I really went through anything hard, I would play her singing Bridge Over Troubled Water and allow myself to just cry.
During my drives from Ft. Meade, MD to Muskegon, MI, I would play her greatest hits album and sing at the top of my lungs.
She has a song that fits every situation and there is nobody that can sing and move me like she can.
I honor and appreciate her. May she Rest In Peace. #arethafranklin #queenofsoul
I wrote this poem for a class (Women’s Lives Into Literature) last year about my mom. Today is her birthday, so I thought I should share. I hope you enjoy it.
It is no wonder
That the first God that we see
Is often our mothers.
We come into the world
Solely dependent upon them.
If she is a good one,
We feel loved.
If she is a bad one,
We crave love.
As we get older,
She is no longer
She is often wrong.
We are often at odds.
I don’t know when
I began to despise
My own mother
We were so close
We grew up together.
But we grew apart.
Always at odds.
I don’t recall the moment
That we stopped fighting.
But we did.
One day, I looked up and we were friends
My mother and I –
I was very surprised.
When my daughter had brain surgery,
And began having seizures
In the hospital,
I was there alone.
I sent a text to my mother
To tell her.
I would swear that only fifteen minutes had passed
Although that’s not possible
She was 45 minutes away.
But it was like
She had a super power that day.
When she walked through that hospital door.
Just to be with me
To be a support
And we sat on the couch in the room
My mother and I –
My daughter sedated,
The room quiet
My heart thankful
That this woman
Gave me her strength
And that I could receive it
And as a result
Tenisia Davis – August 2017
repost from my facebook page.
I have another blog too 🙂
I once saw a quote from a meme on Instagram before that said to “trust your struggle”. And I filed that in the motivation section of my mental Rolodex.
The past few months have been yet another lesson of adjustment for me where I am repeatedly reminded to Trust My Journey. I left my previous job and became a contractor thinking that I would make good money and could concentrate on writing my “great novel” only to discover that I wasn’t making enough and I really didn’t enjoy what I was doing. So I had to scramble around trying to figure out a new plan. All the while, also dealing with life as a wife and mother and full time graduate student in this new city (2 years and still new to me).
I spend a lot of time being a resource and helping other people but when it comes…
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As the weather is changing and the sun is shining less, it’s more important than ever to find effective ways to pick yourself up. Summer is gone. It’s getting cold outside. The days are shorter and darker.
I’m one of those people who love fall (not winter). The colors outside are beautiful. You get to wear sweaters! There’s Halloween and pumpkins and then thanksgiving with family. It’s also the perfect weather for indoor reading and reflecting.
I once saw a meme that expresses that fall gives a visual example of how to let things go. That stuck with me. If there are some things in your life that you need to let go of, now is the perfect time to do it.
I think of a feel good bank. I try to stay in tune with my feel good account and keep a nice balance. If you need a little pick me up, there are small things that you can do that go a long way –
- Listen to an inspirational song – I have an inspirational playlist because good music soothes the soul
- Read inspirational/motivational quotes – I keep a quote library
- Keep your “pick me up people” on speed dial – it’s good to always have a person or two that you can call who will give you that laugh or pep talk that you need
- Limit your time on social media – sometimes you need to step away from all of the negative stimulus that comes from social media. That’s ok. Take a break
- Smile! – when you offer a smile to someone, you usually get one in return. It feels good. So does hugs!
- Go and see a trained mental health professional- sometimes you need a person who’s been trained and has resources to help you with whatever is ailing you. Don’t avoid it! Find help!
Lastly, if you have people you love, there are times when they just make you smile and feel good (I know there are times when they don’t) and it’s good to pull from your memories of those times. How did that make you feel? I know when one of my kids tell me thank you or I love you out of the blue, it makes me feel good.
On Saturday’s, I get up early in the morning to take my son to violin lessons. On the way there, we listen to the Myths and Legends podcast because he enjoys it. Afterwards, we usually stop and get a mocha for me and a hot chocolate for him. Although I hate getting up early on Saturday, I love that he and I can share that little time together alone. And that always gives me a few feel good points for my feel good bank.
A few weeks ago my family had a discussion about our goals after dinner. So I grabbed a pad and pen and we each made a list of our goals for 2017.
I’m not going to restate them here, but while enjoying my cup of coffee at the same table today, I was reflecting on them. I remember being very impressed with my son because his goals were so simple but were things that I have been speaking to him about.
That let’s me know that he listens and it’s a reminder of the importance of being intentional – in parenting for sure- but also as I go about my day.
Im often thinking of my cart before my horse. I’m often planning in my dreams and not focusing on the day to day nuts and bolts…the steps to get to the places that I want to be.
Dont get me wrong, I have accomplished quite a bit and I’m moving in the direction that I want.
But every year, I reflect on things in preparation for the new year. I’m always thankful for my blessings, my family and friendships. But, the older I get, I find that my desires and end of the year thoughts and plans are eerily similar to previous years. While that reassures me that I’m on the right track and that I’m in tune to my passion, it is a reminder that I have let a few years go by still doing the building and planning in my head while not always building those things in reality.
I don’t have any New Years resolutions. I do have a few new short term goals. I want my family to write our goals down every year, or every six months.
And more than ever, I want to check some things off my list.
So an old friend sent me NPR’s Guide to 2016’s Great Books.
I started looking at the list and got so excited!! If you are thinking of buying me a gift, please peruse this list. My birthday is coming up 🙂
Check out the Book List
I’ve already started compiling my list of books to read over the next few months. I plan to start writing book reviews too. So look out for that. I have a few on the blog already.
So last night, I dreamt a whole novel. Each scene played out vividly. Ask me if I wrote it down?
So here I am at work trying to go through my dream and write down what I can. It was a good story. I use to do that with poems during my most prolific writing period. I could be driving from work and a whole poem would sprout in my head. By the time that I got to my destination, I would have worked out all of the kinks.
Admittedly, that prolific writing period was a long time ago. But thanks to school and Nanowrimo, I feel like whatever was there is still there. If that makes sense.
As for Nanowrimo, I got in almost 9,000 words. Way short of 50,000. Now, that doesn’t count all of the papers and stories that I wrote in my two classes. I was very distracted in the month of November. It was my first time trying Nanowrimo (I’m committed to trying again next year) and I’m proud of myself for trying. I don’t even want to continue what I wrote for it, but I do plan to keep the characters, research and story arc. I want to do something with it.
I have learned to keep writing. When I was in boot camp for the Navy, I had to jump off of a diving board. I had never done it before and I was scared. Beyond scared. But I didn’t want to go home. So I jumped. I kept telling myself that I could do it. And the whole time that I floated/swam I kept telling myself that I could do it.
I’m going to use that to push myself and continue on toward my goal of finishing my novel by the end of 2017.
I can do it.
I can do it.
I can do it.