Separating Musicians From Their Ghosts

I don’t know much about XXXTentacion, aside from the very unique name he chose to bathe the social media networks with. I know what he looked like and even heard some of his songs, but now that he is gone, or transitioning to that next dimension, everyone has negative, positive, and neutral words to say.

I do not want to focus on how his life ended here, I do want to laser in on what a young girl said on the video. She said XXXTentacion’s words guided her through her darkest times(I’m paraphrasing here).

That part touched me because as judgmental as we all can be at times, this girl found a voice through his music. What she could not articulate, he did. What she experienced, he did. When she couldn’t translate her pain- he did.

That is what music does.

Music is so fluid and formless, that it brings all people together or it can cause us to scratch our scalps about the person behind the music. At the moment, the girl did not think of his reality and all the accusations hurled his way or even the solid things he’s done to allegedly hurt someone. All she knows is that his music was her language, a language that can be felt through the headphones, over the loudspeakers.

To us with slightly older ears who still remember the melody of Lauryn Hill’s music and the sweet voice of Aaliyah and the tumbling beats by Timbaland and even those into the pop era of Backstreet Boys and NSync- we cannot identify. We wonder: What the heck would anyone see in the music of today?

I admit the music of today needs a serious makeover. But as with any Next Generation, that makeover may never come. My father’s George Clinton and Sam Cooke, became our Biggie Smalls and Tupac and our Biggie Smalls and Tupac world evolved into Tekashi69 and XXXTentacion along with others, and the world just evolve with it and it can be worse and it can get better.

There are all kinds of choices of music but which speaks to you? Which speaks the language you cannot communicate?

For me, I enjoyed the lyrics of 2Pac and the beats by Missy and Timbaland but the music that spoke to my heart most was Evanescence. Snow White Queen and Weight of the World were my anthems in the mid-2000s. I enjoy her music now- Today I wrap myself in the world of Dornik, Syd the Kid, and anime vibes on YouTube all day long to accompany my cleaning and studying.

Those who have gifted us with music and that have fallen, they did what they did by being brave.

Brave enough to step into this world and risk having their souls exposed. Stripped of flesh and judged for every single sin.

Get it?

Judged for Every. Single. Sin.

Exposed.

By us imperfect people. That is what artists do. Actors/Actresses, Singers, Writers, Musicians, anyone sharing a peace of their soul, WILL be judged for it because they are seen.

Their lives are available for us to peer in, when they do dumb things and sane things.

Anyhow, that is my take on it. These words were not organized, they are straight from the soul.

Don’t judge me.

~Ericajean

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A Very Thirsty Frog-Short Fiction

 

black brown frog
Photo Credit: Egor Kamelev
 

 

Today, I introduce you to some flash fiction (I have a hard time keeping my writing slim if you know what I mean) I will try, LOL! These prompts are from Write every day: A Year of Daily Writing Prompts by J.M. Snyder.

Me.

Standing in front of the tall bar stool in the abandoned community center of 54th street. The lights are shining right on me. I am wearing my yellow rubber boots, yellow jeans and shirt-I just love anything yellow. Sun, butter, lemons. Piss is yellow too but…

My friends from high school are all looking at me, because all of my tricks work since elementary school were steller except this one. I said, “Okay everybody. Watch this!” Last night I kissed the slimy, gray frog and indeed with a bit of fart smells exploding from his little booty(do they have one?) he grew into a smoldering tanned skin, crimson-eyed honey for all of ten seconds before farting and turning into an amphibian once again. In the present, his lumpy eyes were sad yet observant as I lean forward to kiss it. AGAIN. Nothing….again. I hear ever encouraging audience: “Man this is wack! Let’s go!” The treacherous hot tears bum rushed my face before I could do anything. As my audience file out throwing up “deuces”, I kicked out my foot to knock the bar stool over, when the frog leaped from the stool and onto my face. Suddenly my bowels lost control and I broke wind. HARD. Before I knew it, I was looking up with a worm’s eye view, into the face of the handsome tanned guy and when I tried to ask him why was he so tall…I croaked. Like seriously the worst belch ever! The fly buzzing around looked tasty too, like a mini flying hamburger…

You too can try the prompt: “You’re a magician who forgets how a magic trick is supposed to work halfway through your performance.”

Thanks for reading! Consider joining the other 500+ subscribers who love to read and write creatively as well as connect with other beautiful folks like you!

Print Books Making a Huge Comeback?

Hi fellow bloggers and bookworms!

I never finished the A to Z Challenge, but that is okay.

I want to talk about how the more things change, the more they do stay the same. For instance, when I see cell phones of today versus the phone of twenty and thirty years back. The phones in the past were bigger or were mostly “flip” phones and have gotten smaller, but lately, there are Smartphones big enough to be tablets and I am confused, is it an e-book or phone? Are we getting back to bigger phones?

Well, the same thing is happening with books according to the Thrift Books press release three days ago.

The Praxis Research surveyed 1,000 readers and discovered:

  • 70% of readers prefer print to ebooks
  • 37% women prefer mystery(thought it would be romance, didn’t you?)
  • 13% people read while they commute
  • 92% of kids ages 10-17 borrow books from the library

Since February, I have gone back to reading print books. In fact, last weekend, I bought Feverborn by Karen Moning in print(I love reading her print books!). I miss the fresh smell of the ink in a newly opened book and when my phone crashed the other day, I realized if I only read on a device, I could lose everything.

So now, I have the Kindle app on my PC and balance out with print. Every now and then, I find great ebooks on Freading and I will use their app-even though it needs improvement.

Anyway, let me know if you prefer print books and why.

Have a great day!

~The Write Web

U Is For UFO Green #ColorsInPoetry #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

 

pexels-photo-235734
Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

I read somewhere lightning strikes

From the ground up

And if so, then I wonder what I was

Before I met you

Was I the ground or the strike?

The thing or the brown?

In another life I am the

Unidentified Fly Object

Of your affections

Whatever the process,

The pollination set ablaze

by your gaze

Your touch and taste

Takes me to another

World where we are

Un-touched by un-love

But once identified, once acceptance

Has blossomed-

Will I need to stop fighting?

To see myself? To see us?

-Ericajean

R is For Rich Black #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

 

silver-1584973_640
Image found on Pixabay

 

R Is For Rich Black 

I’m gonna tell you the tale of the rich black that was dug up from the earth. The soil was heavy and even though we think the soil is mush and torrid and funky

with just the right amount of pressure, it does break the casing of a seed, it can crack the pine of coffins six feet underneath and soil is earth, it is rocky and our blood tastes funny like iron

Because we are soil, but we are black also. So, the rich black remain is not the shape of pretty and it is rough- a solid form of carbon and “extremely rigid lattice” piece of work of God, this rich black a million- no… billions of years old buried in the earth’s mantle and takes a lot of heat to break through but it’s tough

“Adama” , “Damao” unbreakable yet tame, a religious icon, this rich black Used as adornment or cutting-edge tools, this tough cookie’s black runs the gamut, chiseled by storms and years of grinding-sturdy, sexy, appealing yet tame and powerful like puff haired Jesus Christs- an indomitable spirit with the four C’s: carat, cut, color and clarity. My weight is a weight in memories of a slavery I’ve never witnessed yet it anchors my bones to the world, the cut of my body been whipped into shape because there are no loans for this rich black, and my color has been deemed royal and damning all at once

Clarity: is anyone free from what they are labeled?

Diamonds

Broken free from the earth with a hard blackness, coal upon them, but they are rich, desired and hard from the center of the earth- broken free, tilled and milled not seen as truly valuable until used as an adornment. Not thought of until needed as a tool

for building the Americas

Copyright©2018 Erica Jean Smith

L Is For Liberty Blue #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z

water-blue-ocean

 

L is for Liberty Blue

The foundation of the world was founded on this

One principle, on truth, one whole philosophy

Held within you

The ultimate reality of any sentient being

 

The lamp holder of life, the true

Divine, holder of anything that is right

Freedom must be cold, calculating and

Virtuous

 

Not just a figment of the mind

And not on someone else’s time

Someone else is not God,

Someone else is not you

 

Who is supposed to take my victory and for what?

For what?

I already slid into life without a choice

I now have a voice, I now have

 

A chance at liberty- free from chains.

Shackles still remain around my mind

When I softly croon an auto-tuned vibe

About how I’m not appreciated

 

So I

scoop up Neo Soul

And Grandma’s Fried Chicken

Aunties Banana pudding

 

And Dad’s spaghetti

Tastes like freedom.

Copyright 2018© Erica Jean Smith

Photo Credit: Jaymantri

K is For Khaki and Entry Level Rat Racing #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z, #Poetry

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By now I hope you have been enjoying these verses and prose poems inspired by colors and other non-related posts. Try and join the April A to Z Challenge hashtags and links and I will be back soon 🙂

Go to school they say

Pay attention and turn in that work!

Complete that essay, dig into the specifics!

The Intro, the thesis,

Your main statements in the body

The body

Another year in college with a major

Another three and Freshmen 15 has given you more

Back and front than you’ve wanted

You can’t find the internship, you can’t find a way

To pay the rent

The rent

Must be paid and paid in some way

And then you hear the words

Over

Quali

Fied

You

Dress, from

Feet to

Thighs

In khaki pants and place

The fresh, black cap upon your

head

And smile when you’re in pain

You go to work in the rain

And weekends

Repeating “Do you want the number(insert number) combo?”

Or you put on the starch shirt

Glance at your science degree and lament

Your impending day of getting cussed out

Over bills and other matters and you wonder if

These people need an underpaid

Counselor

Copyright©2018 Erica Jean Smith