~*2Deep*~

Posts Tagged ‘beat’

Lyrically Speaking: India Arie~Talk to Her

In Lyrically Speaking on 7 February 2011 at 12:16 am

        Sitting peacefully in my office, supposedly being productive when Pandora hits me with the gift of Neo-Soul‘s Past; India Arie‘s Talk to Her. I could have jumped up and belted this entire song out loud in my office without caring what anyone thought of me. Yes, this song spoke to my soul and I was prepared to be escorted out of the building by Federal Police. This was truly worth it. I immediately searched for the mp3 on the internet and placed it on repeat. I have a feeling that this CD will be played when I get home and immediately placed on my mp3 player.

        Why the excitement? Well… its India Arie! I can remember how I was first introduced to her and I became hooked and have bought every CD since. Not the iTunes….no, the CD!! I just have faith that every time I buy an India Arie project I will be able to listen to it from start to finish without complaint and that faith is bigger than a mustard seed. And I have to tell you, I have NEVER been disappointed. EVERY project is my favorite. SO much so, I had to stay away from her when she came to Busboys and Poets in DC because I didn’t want to hug her and get arrested like a crazed groupie. I was more than that… I was a supporter. Yes, ever since the day my little hippie friend Erin and her dark brown hair and glasses told me to listen to Brown Skin, I was hooked. Of course I wanted to know what a little white girl knew about Brown Skin, but she told me that her friend in Atlanta heard her and she wondered if I knew. Well… I didn’t and I felt excited that she had told me.

        The very first time that I heard this song I pictured that India Arie was a teacher in a class and the students were all teen black males & females. This song would be the lesson of the day. Essence and Vibe magazines would be the text books on every desk. Lyrics to the song would be written on the board, college lecture style. It would be a modern-day Lean on Me. Yes, I can picture it….or something like it. What if…..

        The video would start off with India Arie walking down a row of desks placing the last of the “text books” on the individual desk  in preparation for the arrival of the students back from lunch and/or recess. While singing she places the last book and then walks to write the topic “Talk to Her” on the chalkboard. A disagreement between a boy and his girlfriend comes into the shot and India walks over to the window.

Chorus:

When you talk to her talk to her
Like you want somebody to talk to you mama
Don’t get smart with her have a heart to heart with her
Just like you would with your daughter
Cause everything you do or say
You gotta live with it everyday
She’s somebody’s baby
She’s somebody’s sista
She’s somebody’s mama

        When she gets to the window and raises the window up even higher and sticks her head outside. The girlfriend storms away crying and India grabs the arm of the boy and sings the first verse to him.

Verse 1
Now when you got to her speak truthfully
Be honest as you can be, from your heart
You’re in a situation, where ya losing patience
Take your time and look her in the eye
When you just can’t find the words you want
And it’s hard to reach the point
Where you both can understand
Don’t just tell the truth
But,Tell the whole truth
It’ll make a better man outta you

        She gently touches his face and closes the window. Then in the background you see girls jumping rope and they become the background singers for this part. The guy apologizes and they make up.  The Bell rings and everyone heads into the school towards the end of the chorus.

Chorus:

When you talk to her, talk to her
Like you want somebody to talk to your mama
Don’t get smart with her have a heart to heart
With her just like you would with your daughter
Cause everything you do or say
You gotta live with it everyday
She’s somebody’s baby
She’s somebody’s sista
She’s somebody’s mama

        Scene switches to India Arie walking down the school halls. Girls wearing short skirts can be seen with guys whistling and attempting to pull up their dresses. India jumps in to correct the situation….. Words are spoken to both the boys and the girls to prove her point.

Verse 2:

It doesn’t matter if she’s wearin
A mini skirt or a business suit
Whether she’s 25 or 99
Treat her the way your mama taught you to
She could be the Queen of Sheba
She could be a school teacher
Home maker or a lawyer
I think it’s good for your Karma
If when ya talk to her…

        Female teachers open class doors to join in ask the chorus is being sung. They usher the students into the classrooms leaving India in the halls by herself.

Chorus:

When you talk to her, talk to her
Like you want somebody to talk to your mama
Don’t get smart with her have a heart to heart
With her just like you would with your daughter
Cause everything you do or say
You gotta live with it everyday
She’s somebody’s baby
She’s somebody’s sista
She’s somebody’s mama

        India can be seen walking past a boys’ and girl’s restroom and them comes to a stop underneath a clock with hands that are speeding up the time of day and to suggest that times are changing.  She continues to walk towards the auditorium.

Verse 3
Now let’s keep it real
Nothing in this world could ever exist
Without it’s opposite
There has to be a sun and moon
A man and a woman
And that’s just the way it is
Humanity’s lop sided
And everyone’s fightin’
How do we restore the peace
Mother earth is hurtin’
And everyone is searchin’
For the feminine energy

        The doors of the auditorium open to the students being adult men and women. India goes and takes her place standing in her place as a teacher, much like that scene in Lean On Me where the teachers stood in the isle. She has an envelope in hand.

Chorus:

When you talk to her talk to her
Like you want somebody else to talk to your mama (Watch your mouth, yeah yeah)
Don’t get smart with her have a heart to heart
With her just like you would with your daughter
Cause everything you do or say
You gotta live with it everyday
She’s somebody’s baby
She’s somebody’s sista
She’s somebody’s mama

        The camera would pan over the “students” matching each line of the Vamp. A brother stands up to fight when a guy says something to his sister, you see usual teen behavior at an assembly; paper throwing, joking, etc.

Vamp

When you talk to her talk to her
Like you want somebody to talk to your mama
Just like you fight for your sister
If you knew that somebody dissed her
How you gonna care for your daughter
Turn around and talk bad about her mama
Same way you listen to your auntie
Never interrupt while she speaks
Make your words sweet like candy
As if you were talking to your granny yeah

        The male principal is on stage speaking as he looks up and locks eyes with India. He smiles, continues the speech to the “students”. This would even be an amazing time to have cameos from the Lean On Me cast…lol

If you really love her then (say so)
If you really need her then (say so)
Love the way she thinks (say so)
You love the way she speaks (say so)
When you need some good conversation (say so)
Say so (say so)
If you want her in your life (say so)
You want her to be your wife (say so)
Tell her she’s your best friend (say so) (alright)
You’ll be there to the end (alright)(say so)

        Camera pans in on India looking at the envelope in her hand which is suggested to have been a resignation letter and she tears it in half.  Principal dismisses the students and seen goes to everyone filing out of the auditorium and leaving the school building. One of the other female teachers playfully hits her as she walks to the curb.

If you’re thinking about leaving (say so)
If you wonder where she’s going (say so)
If you need to breathe with her (say so)
You just want to be with her (say so)
If you love her hair (say so)
If you want her there (say so)
Tell me if you really want her (say so)
You wanna slap her down (say so)
Say so…
(You better not hit no woman, you done bumped yo’ head)
If you feel like loving (say so)
If you wanna feel the hugging (say so)

        A car pulls up and in the driver seat is a man who she leans in and kisses on the cheek and the car pulls off.

        Yeh…. that’s exactly how I pictured it. But who am I…. just a borderline obsessed fan.. and I mean that in the MOST respectful, “no restraining order needed” kind of way. I think that India, in all of her beauty, both vocally and physically would make my vision so beautiful. But she needs no help in that department. I pray she is as strong and direct and humble as I perceive her to be. I see God in her….And that is all that I have to say about that. Enjoy!

P.S.~ Check out my other post called 200 Men Said…. Oedipus’ Words. It is apart of my 200 Men Said…. series where I asked the men if they’ve ever said something to a woman that they wouldn’t want anyone to say to their mother. The answers will surprise you.

Sincerely,

~*My Mother’s Daughter*

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Writer’s Block: D.O.C Honored by Katie Russo

In Writer's Block on 23 November 2010 at 11:44 am

      

        One of my mottos is that “The best compliment that you could ever give truth is a mirror” and I think I now have a tangible source of evidence to prove exactly what I meant by that. Someone thought that one of my poems touched them in such a manner that they would write a “reply” poem for the other demographic that was not captured in my original poem. It is powerful, it is humbling, and it is beautiful. It puts a different spin on what my poem was created for, it makes me understand my original poem better, and it makes me feel as if I have to work harder to make the reality of my words available for the lips of those who feel as if they cant speak those words on their own. My eyes are open now…. as well as my ears, and I am able to receive hope better because of this “reply” poem.

        Domestic Violence is a topic that is very close to my heart. Someone very close to me was/is in the midst of it and no matter what you try to do….it is their battle. It is a lesson of letting go and waiting. One of the most painful things is to be helpless and hopeless and pray that they will come to their own self-worth and respect before it is too late. So a few years ago, when I got the news of this abusive situation, I vented to a then friend and the topic for the poem came to life. She said that if a guy ever beat her he would be DOA before anyone could ever revive him at the hospital. I joked and said that he would be D.O.C….. and the poem was born. Here is my poem D.O.C.

“D.O.C”

(by 2Deep)

Your honor
In the case of The State vs. 2Deep The Poetess
I,
The justified assailant
Would like to plead the newly instated charge of Premeditated Self-Defense

Because as a child,

I made up my mind that no man was ever going to lay his hands on me

So after several chick flicks

And watching self-defense workout tapes to Dixie Chicks’ “Earl’s Gotta Die”

I deemed myself fully equipped to handle any man who THOUGHT that he was bold enough to threaten my self-preservation

So I present to you, Exhibit A

I present to you…

His Death Certificate

Yes, sir

That is correct

D.O.C. stands for Dead on Contact

Because he was letting me know of his impending suicide

Through traditional methods of homicide

The moment that his person violently met with my person

So that time of death you see stated there, Your Honor,

Is the moment in which his hand actually touched me

Because the moments following that,

Which actually lead to his last breath,

Were merely inconsequential

Now I present to you Exhibit B

This the map with the exact longitude and latitude

Give or take a stomp or two

Of where his sorry ass now resides

I told his mother,

“Don’t thank me for saving you on funeral costs

Just fix the heel on my boot,

patch up the hole in my floor

And get every female in your family’s tubes tied

So that no one else

Will ever have to suffer from another sorry excuse of an XY chromosome every again.”

And, Your Honor,

I know that this looks like murder

But I promise you it was self-defense

Premeditated?

Yes!

But only because I know my self-worth

But self-defense never the less

And if he were alive today

He, too, would tell you that he didn’t think I could defend myself so well

So I think that my punishment should be to get in a relationship with another sorry ass bastard

Because I will not waste tax payer dollars by filing police reports

Nor will I waste precious emergency room pace

Because you see, I live by a 2-Hit-Die Rule

You hit me

You hit the floor

You die

I am unselfish in this matter, Your Honor

Because there are women out there who need me

And if they can’t have me

They at least need to have my self-esteem

Because there’s not a creation created on this Earth bad enough to put his hands on me

EXCEPT for the devil

And even he’s smart enough to send dumbasses like this to do his dirty work

And we see how that turned out

So I guess that now’s the time for me to admit

That, yes, Sleep & I are having an affair on the side

Therefore, I will not stay up late at nights nursing bruises while he gets to sleep soundly

Nor will I try to figure out what it is that I did or did not do today that caused him to lay his hands on me

So no, Your Honor

I will not apologize for him thinking of me as a victim & me rising as a victor

But I am sorry that his damn daddy didn’t teach him who not to put his fucking hands on

SO, Your Honor, much like that motherfucker who misjudged me

I rest!

 

         For years people have laughed at the “2-Hit-Die Rule” while others have thanked me for bringing life to the topic in such a comedic manner. Either way, people have enjoyed it. I think it spreads a message. And several times I look out into the audience and I see the women nodding and agreeing with me aloud, but I also see one or two women who are either glancing at their men or are very  non-responsive to the poem. I always wondered why that is but never put much thought into it. That was my fault…. my shortcoming to not explore.

        But when one door closes, another door opens. My window of opportunity came in the form of an amazing poet; Katie Russo. Katie is an amazing teacher, journalist, poet and an overall amazing person. I met her a year ago at one of my poetry shows that I host and she has been a beacon of light amongst the darker side of this business. She asked about slam and wanted to find out the inner workers. She emailed me requesting information, wanted to know more spots where she could hear other poets, and she yearned to soak up as much information that I was willing to provide her. She wanted to study it and perfect her craft, and I honestly respected every aspect of her work ethic, so it would be no surprise that I would continue to respect her efforts in honoring my poem, D.O.C.

        Last night she was my featured artist at the open mic I hosted. I was so excited!!!! She revealed to me that she had a reply poem for the other side of my poem. She asked me to introduce her set by doing D.O.C. so that the crowd could see both sides of the spectrum, and I obliged. It was my honor to do so. And as she reaches the mic she begins to perform her poem, Conviction:

Conviction-

(by Katherine Russo)

 

You say it with such conviction,

your syllables drip with perfect diction,

You say you’ll never let a man put you in that position,

and I begin to blush

sink back into the green cushion booth

wooden table,

pen to paper,

ashamed to write this truth,

that I do wish that I could be like you.

 

I know what I used to see when I looked at me;

a palatable acoustic youth.

So unaware that well paid white guys could be abusive too.

 

I never knew when I saw his blue eyes

heard his jokes,

listened to him talk about my red hair

and offer me a smoke

that his fists were capable of anything other than

boxing,

his favorite hobby.

I thought the only time I’d see him swing

was in pursuit of muscled body;

I was mistaken.

Clenched fists didn’t just exist hunched over a computer

data computing

disgusting to me how I thought I was worth muting

because abuse didn’t look like him

and it certainly didn’t look like me

and these bruises that I have are the result of too much free

I said too much,

he drank too much,

someone hit someone but I’m the only one bruised because,

well,

I hit like a girl.

 

And girls like me are above things like these

so silently I ignored what’s so painfully obvious to see;

that I spent too many nights adorning bourbon soaked bruises in afternoons meant to be mornings

that I refused to see every road sign,

 flashing light telling me to run from this place id come to be,

 because I let someone take over all my common sense

and then devour me.

 

But then I remembered,

there was a time when I spoke with like conviction

my syllables steeped in perfect diction

I said I’d never let a man put me in that position,

and now in what feels like twisted fiction I have come to speak the truth;

until I met him,

turned into her

I was; Just. Like. You.

 

        Silence! She had performed the crowd into a trance. All I could do was nod my head and say, “Wow”. Even her boyfriend, who was supposed to record the performance, had forgotten to even turn the camera on. She was amazing. I had to confess that I think she out-wrote me! Her style, cadence and ability to draw a picturesque emotion is unbelievable.

        She mentioned how my somewhat mentoring her int his poetry field has helped her “write to speak” skills and her “write to read” skills as well. I am honored… but I think …no, I KNOW, she had the skills all along…I just may have given her an avenue to express them to where people could hear them. I take no other credit than giving her a stage….she is naturally skilled.

        I am humbled, that she would write a reply piece to my poem. Yet, I am also sadden that I never thought about the women who have YET to capture the courage that drips from my poem. I’m glad someone was able to do so. But i think that this poem speaks to more than just abuse…there is more here. I think there is a huge part of this poem that speaks to the judgmental person who screams they would never do something and then by twist of fate are forced to do exactly what they said they would never do. Here lies the truth that we all hide, cover with MAC and blame on self-propelled kitchen cabinets and loose stair railings. It makes you face your own issues and remember a time when you thought you were strong and long for the days when you can be again.

        One of the strongest lines, to me, is “disgusting to me how I thought I was worth muting”; it screamed at me. As much as I talk…trust me I talk a lot. There are times when I feel like I should be hushed just because someone else said I should be or made attempts to hush me. Long story… but just know that it spoke to me. And I thank her for shaking that part of my conscience awake from its denial.

        So between this poem and another poem by a good friend of mine…. I was in tears and deep thought last night. It was an amazing night of poetry and I was glad that I had an opportunity to witness it all, to be int he presence of such amazing company and to be honored by such an amazing poet. There is more wonderful things coming from Katie Russo…..I bet my pension on that. I am just blessed to be in her presence and to watch her work, to trust me with pieces of her journey and to have her give feedback of my work. I am inspired to write today because of her…..and that takes a lot of magic. She has the magic to make me put pen to paper and create in honor of her inspiration. Google her!!! Like Kom Plex says, she’s “googleable” lol.

Sincerely,

~*My Mother’s Daughter*~

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