Tag Archives: June

They Come In Threes

Carl Rhem

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It wasn’t until I was around 8 or 9 that I learned that my brother’s father was not my biological father. My father had sent a card to my mother along with a picture, asking how the kids were and just wondering how we all were doing. I think my feelings about that at first was a little bit angry because I had been lied to, or something that important was hidden from me. It didn’t help that the years following he was not easy to contact. We never really knew where he was. The saying “Papa was a rolling stone” truly applied to him. By the time I hit my teens I remember him reaching out by mail again around my birthday. It was weird because he had sent a map of where I was located, indicating that he knew exactly where I was. However, by then I was not very interested in getting to know him. I had developed a nonchalant attitude to the fact that I had no father in my life. My brother’s father had lost my interest as well due to broken promises.

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We moved back to Philly when I was 15 and that’s when I finally got to meet him. The encounter was…I don’t know how to describe it. I was happy, a little excited, disappointed and weirded out all in one. First thing he did was hug me and kiss me on the lips. I was taken aback by that because here it is, I don’t know you and I’m 15 not a baby. He gave me all these things that I felt like were pass downs because I was his daughter. A guitar, artifacts, and a computer. We talked for awhile about our interest trying to build a connection, and then he told me that he would come see me the next day and take me out somewhere. He never came and he disappeared again.

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As I got older I realized (as much as I tried to deny it) that a part of the way I acted, the decisions that I made, all stemmed from me not having a strong and consistent father figure in my live. There were a few people that did what they could for the season that they were in my life, and I thank them for it, but it’s not the same. A friend of mine said to me when I was a teenager “You know you’re like that (fast) because you’re searching for love in men that you never got from your father.” I hated that saying and I wanted to believe with every part of my being that that wasn’t true. I wanted to believe that me not having a father had no affect on me. Well reality hit me. I’ll never forget one day my mother took me to see a dance recital called “Dance with My Father”. By now I was grown with a daughter of my own. As I watched the fathers swirl their daughters around pick them up and coddle them, I sunk down in my seat with tears rolling down my face. My mother, me, and my daughter all had missing fathers in our lives. It broke my heart and hurt me to the core. I silently cried the entire show. (I still have the DVD to the show, I refuse to watch it)

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When I was pregnant with my son, my mother had searched and got in touch with my father and gave me his information. This was two years ago, and my father was now in his 70’s living in a senior living apartment home. We talked frequently building a relationship, which also connected me with siblings I never knew I had. He apologized for not being in my life and I forgave him. I just wanted to move forward. He tried to tell me his life story almost every time we talked on the phone. I received pictures of him and my mother, family members, and pictures of him over the years. I quickly learned through our conversation that my father was adventurous, BLUNT, a handy man, a photographer, loved the water especially since he loved to fish, loved weed and alcohol, a free thinker, was an avid drug user back in the day, and looooooved women. Oh, and he hated needles. I appreciated his honesty with me, but I wasn’t happy about some of his stories and some of the things he sent me. I was disappointed in the fact that I never really had an idea of what type of man my father was nor envisioned him any certain way, and now that I knew who he was it wasn’t satisfying. We had a little disagreement, and by the time I had my son I was so occupied with him that I didn’t speak to my father as frequently as before. I realized that it was for the better that he wasn’t in my life when I was growing up. He said to me often that he did some things in his past that were bad and that he was a bad man. I continued to tell him that I loved him after every phone call.

October of last year my brother that I had grown close to, Carl Jr., called me and asked had I been in touch with our dad. Said he had been trying to reach him for the past couple days and wasn’t getting an answer. I tried calling and didn’t get an answer either. My mother called me shortly with the news that my father had been in the morgue for over a week. No one knew. The story goes that he died sitting on his couch in his apartment watching tv, alone. When they found him the tv was still on. I sat on the edge of my bed and cried so hard. The weeks prior he had sent me these homemade DVDs that he had made during some of his travels. Every time he called he asked me had I watched them, and my answer was always no. I felt guilty. I had planned on visiting Philly that fall/winter, but my funds just wouldn’t allow it, so I promised him that I would visit in the summer for my birthday. Now it was too late. The first and last time I saw my father I was 15. My brother Carl was beside himself, especially being that he was the closest to him than any of his other kids. Seeing him struggle with funeral arrangements, I found some cheap flights, took off work for bereavement, and flew to Philly for a week.

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I’ve Always Been A Cry Baby

It was crazy to me that here it is, my father never really did anything for me. At least not since I was an infant. And here I was helping clean his apartment and planning his funeral. It saddened me that this man sat in the morgue for over a week and no one knew. As a human being I still felt compassion for the situation. It was a weird feeling that my father’s death is what brought my siblings and I together to meet for the first time. Halfway thru the week that I was in Philly, and halfway thru many donations from my friends and family to help pay for my father’s funeral, my brother Carl Jr. drops a bomb on me about my father’s checkered past. His experiences as well as others. I reflected on my father’s words to me during one of our conversations, “I was a bad man”. The information that I received was not only heartbreaking but the timing that I received it was just all wrong. A part of me was a bit angry at my brother for telling me this during this time. I couldn’t help but to think if I knew what I know now before I took that flight, would I still have come? Would I still have cleaned out his apartment? Would I still have asked for money for his funeral? How would the people that donated feel if they knew this information? Then I thought about the worst thing that I’ve ever done in my life and the secrets that I hold. I thought about if it were me lying in the morgue for over a week, would I have wanted someone to have enough compassion for me to take care of my body and give me a proper burial. So, I pushed aside my feelings about the information and continued with the process of burying my father. The last day that I was there I was able to get in touch with Medicaid, they paid for his cremation, and I refunded the $900 that I had raised back to everyone. The funeral wasn’t until after I left, and my mother went in place of me, which was very big of her considering.

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When I got back home before I finished unpacking, I sat down and watched the homemade videos my father sent me. My daughter came in the room and hugged me while I cried some more. Like many others I’ll never know what it’s like to have a father. No matter what type of man he was, I can’t deny the fact that his blood runs through my veins. I didn’t hear too many bad things from my mother about him growing up and I thank her as well for offering her support given the circumstances. She was his ex-wife, she was abused, and she paid for his urn and held his flag during his military service. All I can say is Rest in Peace dad and I wish things would’ve been different.

George Gary

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When I think of George the lyrics play in my head “Diamond in the back, sun roof top, diggin the scene with a gangsta lean woo hoooo”. He always rode with his arm hangin out the window, bobbin his head to the old skool. Honestly, whatever old skool music I know, I know it because of him cause that’s all we listened to whenever we rode around.

George and my mother got together when I was around 7 years old and were together up until I was in middle school. He was the closest thing to a father figure that I ever had. I remember his house being our home away from home. Well they were engaged. We went over to his house every weekend and I was always excited cause I had my own room with a tv in it, he had cable and we didn’t, like really all the good stuff was at George’s house lol. He treated my brother and I like his own and we were a family. He took care of us. Even though it didn’t work out between the two of them (for reasons that’s none of my business) I know they loved each other and he taught my mother a lot. I remember her being annoyed because everywhere we went somebody knew George and he had to stop and talk to them for damn near an hour. We could never go any where and come RIGHT back home. Every time we got in the car it was literally a trip, nothing quick about it. I can still picture him drippin in jewelry, waves in his head, and smelling like Joop cologne. I remember being fascinated by all the things he had.

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In George’s Backyard

He was a good man. Even after him and my mother split, he still took me to school every morning and sometimes picked me up. Even after that ended I knew that if I ever needed anything I could call him. He lived down the street from us so he continued to drive by, honk the horn, and wave at us whenever he saw us outside. It was comforting to know that he still cared and was looking out for us.

Time went by, I grew up, moved away, and lost contact. When I first heard about George having health issues a couple years ago, I made sure to visit him while he was in a rehabilitation center recovering. I wanted him to know that I still cared even though I wasn’t in touch. Every now and then I would ask my mom how he was doing whenever he ran across my mind. On March 9th his niece messaged me on Facebook to let me know that he had passed. Of course I was very sad but it wasn’t until I attended the funeral and saw him that it weighed heavy on me. When I heard all the other stories from other people and just thinking about how he was good to us, I just broke down in tears. George was the best example of a man that I have to date. He worked hard and was a provider. He was stern but yet kind at the same time. I’ll always be grateful to him for that. Rest In Peace Georgy Porgy. P. S. He gave my mom the nickname BoBo which to this day I still have no idea where that came from.

Carl Jr.

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I’m still not over this. A day after attending George’s funeral, March 20th, I learned that my big brother Carl Jr. had passed away. I got up that morning, still with a heavy heart, scrolling Facebook and saw my brother’s picture posted with a caption that read “Rest In Peace”. It felt like my heart stopped. I thought to myself this can’t be true! NO!!!

The day that I met Carl Jr. he cried and he hugged me so tight. I’ll never forget that hug. From day one when we first spoke he always seemed so excited to have a little sister. Always genuinely concerned with how I was doing, how my kids were doing, and what was going on in my life. I never felt so close and connected to someone I only met a couple times in my life.

I know that Carl Jr. took our fathers passing very hard and a couple times he also pulled disappearing acts. Unfortunately, Dec 31st was the last time I had spoken to him. I had been angry with him at the time over a promise that he had made and didn’t fulfill. Even though I was over it soon after, I didn’t reach out to him and vice versa. I think he thought that maybe I was still angry with him, but I really wasn’t. By now I had planned on moving to Philly in the summer and planned on spending a lot of time with him when I got there. When I learned about how he passed I became angry. The selfish side of me felt like he left me behind and that he wasn’t thinking about how many people loved him. The selfish side of me felt like every time I get close to something, it’s taken away from me. That anger isn’t there anymore but I’m still very hurt behind it. I never thought I could miss someone so much that I hadn’t even spent a lot of time with. The memory of the last time I saw him still lingers in my mind. He hugged me so tight and said, “I don’t want to let you go”. I love you and really miss you Carl Jr. and I hope you know it. Rest in Peace.

Dallas Unplugged Concert @ House Of Blues/Dallas, TX

Man I had a busy weekend but I’m still hype over the Dallas Unplugged show I went to Friday night. It was so live and I was so happy to be back on the concert scene after being gone for a while. The artists, the band, the background singers, and the DJ all did a phenomenal job and represented Dallas to the fullest. This concert was actually supposed to go down earlier this year but do to the bad weather it had to be rescheduled. I’m so glad they didn’t cancel it all together. The performers were Kirk Thurmond and The Millennials, Diva Sol, Judgemental and The Jury, and last but not least Alsace Carcione. I had the pleasure of meeting Alsace and Diva Sol previously when they opened up for Luke James at the House of Blues and I’ve been a fan ever since. I was super excited to see them shine again at their own show.

The concert was set to start at 8:30 and I was supposed to be there early to meet and connect with people but time just wasn’t on my side. I didn’t get there until 9:00, which was just in time to see Kirk Thurmond and The Millennials performing their song “You Ought To Know”. Never mind that there wasn’t many people there yet because these people still rocked the show as if they were at a crowded stadium. They offered up feel good music that was definitely pleasing to my ears. The music seemed to be a mix between pop and soul and I could hear the Stevie Wonder influence as well. They were playin the mess out the guitar and one of the background singers was definitely feeling it lol. Their set included other songs “Dancing Like You Do” and “Chasing You” which I like too. I’ll continue to support and follow this group on their journey. They actually have a show coming up soon at Josey Records in Dallas on June 27th so if you are free I suggest you go check them out. You won’t be disappointed.

There was a brief break and by now more people started pouring in just before Diva Sol with Soulful Soundz took the stage. I’ve actually seen her perform twice before Friday. The last time I saw her perform was at Mario’s show at Fame Bar and Grill and she killed it then and she killed it Friday too. The band and background singers were amazing and just made the performance even more complete. She performed one of my fav’s “Quality Time” and I got to hear a new song that I hadn’t heard before called “Beautiful Liar”. That joint was nice too. If you like Jill Scott and Lala Hathaway you’ll enjoy Diva Sol’s music, it is neo soul/rnb music that will have you bobbin your head and snappin your fingers. I like how she remixed them a little during the show too. I will say she got the party jumpin. Her song “Quiet Screams” always makes me wanna make a late night phone call lol. The lighting was perfect and I was right up on the stage so my pics came out better this time around. Although there were a couple of camera guys that kept getting in my way I managed to get some good footage.

Next up was Judgemental and The Jury. I let my boyfriend watch their video for their song “Bang Bang” before we went to the concert and he was really feelin them. Their sound is definitely southern and Texan. Reminds me of Bun B and Pimp C. While rappin about life’s struggles and politics this group is bringin the real to hip hop and I think it’s about time we had more people representing Texas in the rap game. Especially Dallas, Texas.  During their performance this older woman stumbled onto me and was like “Oh excuse me baby, BUT THAT’S MY SON ON THE DRUMS RIGHT THERE YAAASSSSS!” and literally spit all on the side of my face (of course on accident). I was like ooookay and just wiped my face on my shoulder lol. Anywho I look forward to hearing more from this group, they were good.

Now for the lady of the night the talented Alsace Carcione…words cannot express how proud I am of this one here. The progress that she has made and the growth I’ve witnessed in what seems like such a short time is just amazing. She really put on a show! The intimacy and how she connected with the audience proved why the support was so real for her. She hustles so hard like her song “Been Grindin” and I can’t wait for the day when I see her on the big screen. Her emotional performance of “Have Mercy” had everybody in the audience damn near in tears when she was discussing her mother and her fight with cancer. She pushed through the song and I’m sure her mother is very proud. The way she was able to take us from hardcore lyrics and beats to emotional neo soul to bouncin party vibes shows how versatile she is as an artist. She performed most of her songs off her latest album Cryptic Conundrum including “Hazy Thoughts” (my fav), “Come Too Far”, and her latest powerful single “Black America” which is so relevant to what’s been going on lately in society and in the news. The crowd showed so much love and me and my party thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Overall this show was off the chain and if you weren’t there you missed out. There were minimal technical difficulties which probably went unnoticed by the crowd and everybody did a great job. There really isn’t anything bad I can say about the night. A girl did try to push up on me in front of my boyfriend which tripped us out but it didn’t ruin the night. We laughed about it later. Well check out the links, photos, and videos below and don’t forget to like comment and share. 🙂

Links

https://www.facebook.com/KirkThurmond

https://twitter.com/kirkthurmond

https://instagram.com/kirkthurmond/

https://divasol.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/bookdivasol

https://instagram.com/divasol1/

https://www.facebook.com/RealityMusicEntertainment?fref=nf

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOCp6Fmdsc0sD9Yh-7vFbkg

https://www.facebook.com/TheAlsace

https://twitter.com/thealsace

https://instagram.com/thealsace/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvwBbqPtwIryaLp5UzsZKeg

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Tamar Braxton @ The House Of Blues In Dallas/Love And War Tour

YAAAASSSSS HUNTY TAMAR DID THAT!.. Ok let me calm down and get into it.
First of all I called myself getting there an hour early at 7:30 to miss the long line and to hopefully get a really close view of the stage. Umm NO! The Tamartians (the name of her fans) was not playing! The line was already down the street when I got there but at least I wasn’t too far behind. Once I got inside I made my way to the stage where K104 DJ’s Aye Bay Bay and DJ Star entertained the crowd with a mix of old school and new school music. DJ Aye Bay Bay was a fool and had me crackin up but the other DJ was doin that 30 second snippet bull that gets on my nerves. Every time I started dancing and getting into a song he switched it. DJ’s STOP DOING THIS! It’s annoying as hell!
 
The show was supposed to start at 8:30 but Tamar came out around 8:50 which isn’t bad at all. Honey once she did everybody on the floor moved even closer to the stage and this lady and her wig in front of me was messing up my view. During the whole show I had to maneuver around her so I could see. She started out the show with her song “She Did That”. The speakers were waaaay too loud at first. I barely could hear her. The rest of the show I could hear her and she sounded good live as expected.  She didn’t have background doo whop pop chicks like she likes to call them lol but she had some dancers, and the men were fiiiiine. I think they were the same dancers she picked out on her show Tamar And Vince. She danced her ass off poppin it and droppin it to the floor. She danced so hard that the 37 year old had to have “several seats”, as she would like to say, during the show. She kept it real with her fans and let us know she was tired lol. All throughout the show she gave us plenty of DIVA with the hair flips, pose for the cameras, 3 different wardrobes, and gay lingo. She semi preached and told stories to her fans at the beginning of her songs about finding the right man, keeping that man, and when to let a no good man go. She was speaking nothing but truth and I gained another level of respect for her after that. My favorite song off the album is “Pieces” and when she sang it she did good but she didn’t kill it like I wanted her too. I think she was a little out of breath but it was ok. At some point during the show I heard someone yell “OMG VINCE!” and I turned around to see him passing through the crowd right behind me. I was like Oh Hey Vince. Iif you don’t know who Vincent Herbet is, google him. Ok so back to the show, did I say how fiiiine her dancers were lol. During one of her wardrobe changes the two male dancers came out and danced shirtless for the crowd. I mean they were dancing so good I was lookin for some dollar bills to throw. The girls were going crazy. Someone behind me yelled “you know they gay right?!” I turned around and turned up my lip. UGH who gives a damn if they were gay or not they was workin it and they were FINE! LOL.
 
 
 
She closed the show by bringing four fans up to the stage with her to sing her #1 platinum selling single “Love And War”. I will say I enjoyed the show but I don’t EVER want to have standing tickets again. Almost three hours of standing and dancing, no thank you. I felt sorry for the girls tryin to be cute in high heels. On the way to my car one girl took her shoes off and left them there on the sidewalk. I think she sang all of her songs off the album, I don’t remember her singing “The One” but I could be wrong. Depending on how much I like her next album I wouldn’t mind seeing her again. I will say if you are not a fan of her personality this was not a show you would have wanted to go to. She brought every bit of sass like she has on her shows right along with her so I wouldn’t suggest going to her concert just because you like her music . Tongue pops and all. I’m not gonna lie when I initially saw some clips of her live performances and outfits on Instagram prior to going to her show, it did remind me of Beyonce. But she made sure you knew the difference between the two. I never once thought of Beyonce during the show. After the show was over Vince came by with security a second time, this time literally right in front of me. So close that his elbow rubbed up against my boob lol. Anywho she sang her ass off, I was entertained, and I gotmylife.com  🙂 *In my Tamar voice* YEAH BABY! Peep some clips from The Braxton Family Values and some of the songs sang below…

P.S. I promise I’ll get a better camera soon



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Donell Jones @Medusa In Dallas TX

 

This particular show I ain’t gonna lie, I was not in the mood to go to. I had been doing homework and writing papers and just wanted to chill at the house. But I don’t like wasting money, not even a lil bit so I put my big girl panties on and dragged myself to the show.  I was thinkin if I didn’t go I’d be kicking myself for it later on. The tickets were $25 which was not much but still. I didn’t make it a point to rush to get there after my experience at the Jon b show with him not showin up until 12. I met my homegirl in the parking lot and we headed on into the venue around 10:30. Medusa is a club that has changed names and owners to my knowledge at least 3 times. It used to have a younger crowd full of teens and 20 year olds. The last time I was there when it was another name I had a not so pleasant experience so I did frown a little when I learned Donell Jones was performing here.
 
Once we got into the club….UGH! Okay this place really needs to get a better system going and figure out a better way to handle checking tickets. We stood there for about 15 minutes along with several other people frustrated as hell at how slow and seemingly unorganized they were. Next thing we know while we’re still standing there waiting on these people to get it together, we here “WELCOME TO THE STAGE DONELL JONES!!!” I gave my homegirl the look like are you serious??? Lesson learned you never know when an artist is gonna be early or late. They finally let us in while he was still singing his first song. The crowd was full of grown folks. Some were VERY GROWN and obviously on that brown liquor lol. The interior of the club hadn’t changed much mainly just the audience. The style of the club was more grown and sexy but the setup was the same basically. I got me a drink and we headed closer to the crowd in front of the stage.
 
Donell Jones was giving so much sexy and swag (even though I hate to use that word) and gave really good stage presence.  The black suit, hat, and dimples just did it for me. WHEW! MM MM MM! He looked very in shape, like he lost weight since the last time I saw him. The first two songs I didn’t recognize and it was hard to even hear what he was saying because the music was so loud. It was also hard not to notice the very young looking DJ behind him on stage. My friend and I assumed it may have been his son. The rest of songs I could hear him well and he sounded just as good as he does on the record. He hit the high notes good and even though he worked the stage very well he didn’t seem out of breath. At one point I looked around and realized we were surrounded by couples slow dancing with each other. I felt some type of way but had to shake it off. His DJ seemed a little inexperience, which I’m not surprised because of how young he looked but he did ok. There was this one awkward moment where I’m not sure if he messed up or if Donell Jones just decided on his own to play another song.  During one song some lady threw her panties on the stage and he was like I’m not sure if my wife will like this but don’t tell her I took them lol. He sang a total of about 11 or 12 songs including “You Know That I Love You”, “Love Like This”, “Where I Wanna Be”, and ended with a snippet of “You Know” off his latest 2013 album titled Forever. He also sang “U Know What’s Up” and I thought he was gonna say something like RIP Left Eye since she did do the remix with him but he didn’t. I’ll list all the songs he sang at the bottom like usual.
 
 
 

The show closed around 11:45 so he was up there for about an hour. While we were headed back to the parking lot a group of people behind us were complaining. One guy in particular was yelling and cursing saying he wanted his money back and that Donell Jones hardly sang. And he kept saying he had the crowd sing the songs for him and the music was too loud. Well I don’t know where he was standing but the music was only too loud to me in the beginning. And yes he did engage the crowd and had them sing a couple of times, but not during the whole show. I feel like I got my money’s worth. I mean I didn’t go to club and dance, I went only for the show. I wouldn’t mind seeing him again. I’m glad I got up and went. Check the links below :-)…

U Know What’s Up

Where I Wanna Be

Shorty Got Her Eyes On Me

You Know That I Love You

Knocks Me Off My Feet

This Luv

Love Like This

My Apology

You Know

The full 2013 Album Forever Below

Forever Album

UPDATE: I later linked up with the DJ that worked this show and he told me he lip synced the whole show. AIN’T THAT ABOUT A….

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