Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lauryn Hill's Reponse to Not Paying Her Taxes

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    Lauryn Hill is accusing the recording industry of black listing and sabotaging artists, as well as using the media to attack and bully people into submission. She suggests they have even gone as far as keeping and getting artists addicted to substances all in an attempt to maintain control of these individuals.  According to Lauryn Hill, while she wanted to write about pop culture destroying and manipulating the youth, "the powers that be" prevented her progress and were only interested in music that promoted their own marketing plans and "politics."  

   In conclusion, Lauryn claims to have rebelled and for that reason she was forced into hiding.  While these are serious claims and Lauryn Hill seems to edge one step closer to "coo-coo for cocoa puffs" every day, it's not the first time such accusations have been made against Sony(Hill's record label).  Both Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey have made similar claims of sabotage in the past.  But if all of this is true, why would you want to "come back?" 
See Lauryn Hill's statements in her own words below:

For the past several years, I have remained what others would consider underground. I did this in order to build a community of people, like-minded in their desire for freedom and the right to pursue their goals and lives without being manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex with a completely different agenda. Having put the lives and needs of other people before my own for multiple years, and having made hundreds of millions of dollars for certain institutions, under complex and sometimes severe circumstances, I began to require growth and more equitable treatment, but was met with resistance. I entered into my craft full of optimism (which I still possess), but immediately saw the suppressive force with which the system attempts to maintain it’s control over a given paradigm. I’ve seen people promote addiction, use sabotage, black listing, media bullying and any other coercion technique they could, to prevent artists from knowing their true value, or exercising their full power. These devices of control, no matter how well intentioned (or not), can have a devastating outcome on the lives of people, especially creative types who must grow and exist within a certain environment and according to a certain pace, in order to live and create optimally.

I kept my life relatively simple, even after huge successes, but it became increasingly obvious that certain indulgences and privileges were expected to come at the expense of my free soul, free mind, and therefore my health and integrity. So I left a more mainstream and public life, in order to wean both myself, and my family, away from a lifestyle that required distortion and compromise as a means for maintaining it. During this critical healing time, there were very few people accessible to me who had not already been seduced or affected by this machine, and therefore who could be trusted to not try and influence or coerce me back into a dynamic of compromise. Individual growth was expected to take place unnaturally, or stagnated outright, subject to marketing and politics. Addressing critical issues like pop culture cannibalism or its manipulation of the young at the expense of everything, was frowned upon and discouraged by limiting funding, or denying it outright. When one has a prolific creative output like I did/do, and is then forced to stop, the effects can be dangerous both emotionally and psychologically, both for the artist and those in need of that resource. It was critically important that I find a suitable pathway within which to exist, without being distorted or economically strong-armed.

During this period of crisis, much was said about me, both slanted and inaccurate, by those who had become dependent on my creative force, yet unwilling to fully acknowledge the importance of my contribution, nor compensate me equitably for it. This was done in an effort to smear my public image, in order to directly affect my ability to earn independently of this system. It took a long time to locate and nurture a community of people strong enough to resist the incredibly unhealthy tide, and more importantly see through it. If I had not been able to make contact with, and establish this community, my life, safety and freedom, would have been directly affected as well as the lives, safety and freedom of my family. Failure to create a non toxic, non exploitative environment was not an option. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Whitney Houston's Cause of Death Analyzed Leaches and Lies?

Let's face it, the phrase "Say no to drugs" has been drilled into the minds of each and every one of us ad nauseam.  To reduce the lessons one should learn from the untimely passing of the greatest voice of our time, down to something as cliche as the "dangers of drugs" is a waste.  I'm sure Whitney Houston was well aware of the "dangers of drugs."  After all, she had two older brothers already deep into the throngs of addiction well before she allowed it to take over her life.  However, circumstances resulted in her choosing that path regardless.  So, rather than focusing on the obvious, I'd like to attempt to dive into the deeper and perhaps, more significant lessons.

At this juncture, it would be easy to rehash Houston's obvious misstep in marrying "bad boy" Bobby Brown, however that story too, has already been told.  Granted, Brown has launched his version of a publicity tour in an attempt to erase and rewrite history, but at the end of the day, his rap sheet has been far too publicized for far too long to expect the public to forget the years of insanity he has displayed over the past two decades.  From peeing in police cars to domestic violence, that story has been written and sold over and over again.  More importantly, Houston had divorced Brown 6 years ago.  That chapter of her life was gone and discarded.   However, once Brown was gone, who remained?

Accompanying Whitney Houston the weekend of her passing were several individuals:

Gary Houston: older brother to Whitney Houston

Patricia Houston: Gary's wife who served as Whitney's manager

Ray Watson: Patricia's brother who served as Whitney's  bodyguard

"Aunt" Mary: Patricia's aunt who served as Whitney's assistant

Raffles Van Exel: Patricia's assistant

Her sister-in-law and manager shared during a sit-down with Oprah Winfrey, that she didn't believe drugs played a part in Houston's death.  While the initial investigative report stated that no illegal drugs were found in the hotel room, the last and final report stated that there were drug paraphernalia and a "white substance" in the bathroom where Houston was discovered.  Patricia was there on the scene when Whitney passed, so how could she have not been aware of the drug remnants found all throughout the bathroom?  The most likely explanation? Patricia Houston lied.  Suffice it to say that there was at least one dishonest person in the fold.

To be continued...

The Best TV Theme Songs Besides Fresh Prince of Bel-Air!

10 Awesome TV Theme Songs in Random Order:

Ahh, the memories.  We'd watch this in elementary school and all the kids would sing along.  Well, except me.  I sang it quietly in my heart.

Vanessa had the best dance, right? Right?  Of course I'm right!  The Huxtable's came with many different theme songs, but I think season 6 is the most memorable.

Duck Tales! A Woo Ooo!  As far as cartoon theme songs go, this one is near the top!

4) M.A.S.H.  
Ok, so I never actually watched this show.  But somebody in our house did, because I fell in love with the theme song!

It makes me wanna fart!! Ok, I'm showing my (im)maturity. 

6) TAXI 
It's one of those tv theme songs that just makes everybody feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  We have no idea why.

I once owned a pair of multi-colored punky, brewster sneakers. 

Nothing says "Good Times" like temporary layoffs and easy credit rip-offs!  Ain't we lucky we got 'em?

It's so smooth and so 80s, and so worthy of being on a list of the best TV theme songs!

Well... it's quite inspirational, and well, I like it.  Who's blog is it?  Who's the boss?

Is The NBA Rigged?

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Eight points?  EIGHT?  Last year, when Lebron James scored 8 points in game 4 of the 2011 NBA finals (Miami Heat vs Dallas Mavericks), all I could do was shake my head.  Eight points?  Really?  The more I watched James' disappearing act, the more I started to question if I was watching a heated competition between the best basketball players on the planet or a well orchestrated television drama series.  It made me start to wonder if the NBA was rigged or fixed.

When Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls star player, went down with a torn ACL, I found myself once again doubting the reality of the NBA.  Rose goes down and within 20 seconds, without having any clue as to whether Rose was suffering from a torn ACL or a charlie horse, the announcer exclaims "Oohh my goodness", as if he was bleeding profusely or losing consciousness.  As this goes on, the other announcer emphasizes how devastating it is to see Rose holding his knee "late in a game that's already been decided."  The announcers trade remarks back and forth such as, "why was he in the game?" and "oh my!"  Like anyone else, I too hoped Rose was okay, however I couldn't help but notice that the announcers seemed to be urging me towards much more concern than that which I naturally felt inclined to feel.

The announcers continued on to state that there was "some give" on his knee, and that it "went in."  Quite frankly, I can see no such thing.  They then go on to predict the future and the effect that his injury will have on the remainder of the Eastern Conference Finals.

See the video here(real or rigged?):

Fast forward to the 2012 NBA finals, and I'm left wondering if it simply wasn't a song and dance put on for drama and entertainment purposes.  I'm wondering if last year was simply Lebron "paying his dues", and the seemingly, never-ending media ridicule, was nothing more than his initiation or hazing as you may call it.  Perhaps, in the world of sports entertainment, it was already known that in 2012, the red carpet would be rolled out for "King James" to take the thrown and finally be crowned as a champion.

Rigged or real, either way you slice it, the Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder to, once again, become NBA champions.  Lebron James finally has his ring and the "big three" have accomplished, at least part 1, of their mission.  I suppose all of the Lebron haters will have to let go of the "ring" jokes and stick to the "traveling" and "hairline" jabs.