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PERFORMERS (A-H)

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The fine and talented Ginuwine! Although, I have to be honest, when I saw his first music video (I can’t remember the name of the song, all I remember he was dancing in the rain (or some thing like that)), I said to myself, he’s going to be a huge success! But, after that first video, I quickly realized that Ginuwine, was not really genuine at all. 😅😅 You see, although I thought he was a great singer, and a very talented dancer, a significant number of his music videos looked too much like he was trying too hard to be like Michael Jackson. So much so it was almost impossible to separate the two, because his movements seemed like Michael. In fact, I think I do remember watching an interview with him, and he did state that Michael was a huge influence. But in my opinion, he wasn’t just an influence, he was almost a copycat. Proof of this is when I heard him record a remake of Michael Jackson’s “She’s Out Of My Life.” Not only that, I said to myself, why would you pick the saddest song Michael has ever made? Anywayzzzz…..

Ginuwine worked with many producers that give him some of his greatest hits. And most of those hits probably came from Timberland. Ginuwine’s birth name is Elgin Baylor Lumpkin, and is almost as old as I am. He was born in 1970. His career took of once he hit around twenty years of age (ruffly the early 90s). He started with a group called the Swing Mob, also sometimes known as “The Basement Cru.” From there he developed good work relationships with the likes of Missy Eliot and many more. This group was his stepping stone to a good music career. There are many songs I love from him, and recommend that you find a “Best Of,” or “Greatest Hits” CD. If you have music streaming, I think “100% Ginuwine” is good to start off with. It has most of the hits that I really like. Such as, “What’s So Different,” “So Anxious,” “Two Sides To A Story,” and finally “Same O’l G.” Listen to this album on Napster here.

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Let me start off by saying, I’ve never been a fan of hardcore hip hop. That isn’t a statement to put down people who do, it’s just a matter of musical taste. The kinds of hip hop I used to enjoy was I guess what you would call “Bubble Gum” rap today. Anything past Will Smith, Queen Latifah, Dug E. Fresh, Chub Rock, and sometimes Rakim isn’t my cup of tea. How I feel about hip hop today, is like how I feel about R&B. After Berry Gordy sold Motown, the quality of music has slowly went down hill after that. Sorry, just my opinion. Anyway, the reason why I’m writing about Easy E, is because someone posted a photo of him on a Facebook group I belong to. Now, please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying, I don’t think people should always think negative about celebrities. However, every time I see someone mention anything about Easy E., it’s always about how great his music is….. Fine…. But why do my people from my generation almost totally over looked the fact that he rocked the rap industry, when it was revealed he had A.I.D.S.

I mentioned this because this was also a huge part of Easy E’s life that we shouldn’t ignore or forget about. It taught a huge lesson to both the rappers and the fans of rap, because this was at a time where it was thought of as impossible that a rapper can get A.I.D.S. Rap was and still is anti-gay, and the mentality was (and sometimes still is) that only gay people got A.I.D.S. Which kind of opens a segway in to what a really wanted to talk about, which is the attitudes the rap industry still have about women. Unfortunately, there also exist women who are all so eager to entertain the degradation of other women, never seeing the importance of demanding respect. I digress…… Actually, after the announcement of both Easy E. and Magic Johnson’s status, the rap industry appeared to have put all sexual activity on lock-down. It’s a shame that Easy didn’t have the money that Magic Johnson had to stay alive, but then again rap had not reached its peak yet. Today, I can’t recall anyone that was just as famous as Easy E. who contracted the virus. However, I just wanted to say that straight woman are just as much of a victim of this deadly disease as gay men, and I just wished that there was still messages from the hip hop community about protecting themselves while “getting their freak-on.”

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Let me start off by saying, I’ve always loved Donna Summer ever since I’ve heard her song “Try Me, I Know We Can Make It (1976).” I was about eight years old then. I remember one day in my grandparents house, sitting in one of the rooms with my little tape player, and singing all of side A and side B of Donna’s “On The Radio (1979)” cassette. After I finished, I would turn it over and do the whole tape again, as if I were performing a concert. As young as I was, her music really connected with me on so many levels. I naturally connected with her. As I got older I’ve discovered almost every gay person on the planet loved Donna Summer! LOL. You know, over the years I’ve always questioned her fashion choices 😀 I said to myself, Donna I love you, but what they hell are you wearing!?!?!? When I saw this album, I said to myself WTF??? If I didn’t love her so much, I don’t think I would have purchased this album.

This happened to be one of my many favorite albums from Donna. There aren’t many artists that we can say that spits out a lot of albums were we love almost ALL their songs. Donna has been pretty consistent, but then again, she’s re-released a lot of her same music too. Witch is quit interesting when you think about it. Why? There has been only one other artist I can think of, that can put out so many re-releases and still make money from them, and that’s Barbra Streisand. This speaks to the level of dedicated fans she had, now even more after death. I think my most favorites from this masterpiece is #1 “Loves About To Change My Heart,” it’s such a beautiful song, Donna’s voice made it so romantic, yet the danceable beats made it fun to listen to. #2 “Whatever Your Heart Desires,” another romantic and danceable tune. #3 “This Time I Know It’s For Real.” And lastly #4 a song called, “Another Place And Time,” which is a much more mellow song, and is one of those reflective songs (after the fact) I always speak of. Listen to her album on Napster here.

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gloria

I absolutely LOOOOOOOOVVVVEEEEEEEEE Gloria Estefan! I just HAD to share this photo of her.  She is on the front page of Spry Living’s magazine, which was in this past Sunday’s “Daily News.” This bitch is GORGEOUS!! She hasn’t aged one day, not ONE!!!! I am so happy for her, I mean for real! I’m really happy for her. Not only do I love her music, she is truly an inspiration; and anybody who is old enough to remember her during her peak career (in the 80s) understands exactly what I’m talking about. From the boating accident that not not only almost killed her and almost left her paralyzed for life; but also the issues she faced not being able to go back to her beloved country, Cuba. Just imagine, dancing is a huge part of your culture and career; laying in a hospital bed and the doctor tells you you may never dance again, ’cause your spine suffered major damage? Just sit down and think about that! Shit just not being able to walk would make me crawl over the tallest building. Honey, this woman went through a lot, and she still looks fucking good! You would never know she was under such incredible stress like that. And before you say “I don’t believe,” you better use google and search it, before you get on Facebook, cause I know a lot of your parents won’t tell you to. Thank you Gloria for your music and your positive energy. Huge love to you sistah… 🙂

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Donny Hathaway was mostly a blues and jazz singer, as well as a pianist. He was born in 1945 and died around 1979-1980. He song with many artists, including  the talented Jerry Butler & Aretha Franklin; he also worked with musical groups such as, the Impressions and the Staple Singers. He’s even worked with Curtis Mayfield on quite a few projects. If I understood correctly, during the height of his career, he began to develop sever depression, and later it was discovered that he had bouts with mental illness. Unfortunately, from what I’ve read, it sounded like no one really knew he suffered from mental illness until it was too late. He claimed that “White people were trying to steal his music.” The very same day he said this, he was found died from suicide. It’s interesting, I couldn’t help but to wonder if he heard something he wasn’t supposed to hear, and it triggered something? Let’s be real, there were a LOT of record labels stealing a lot of money from Black performers in that era (this is not only a fact, but common knowledge). Maybe he knew something big was about to go down then (concerning him), and he had no recourse? Who knows?

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I have to be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of Donny. I found a lot of his songs either too slow, or the lyrics were depressing (now I know way). The only song that I can remember I really liked him to sing was a song called “A Song For You.” But I like many of the duets he did with Roberta Flack. Now that I think about it, it’s quite hilarious, because I’ve complained before about how boring I thought Roberta Flack is (they’re music is actually kind of similar in a way), yet when they collaborated they’ve made great music!! Who would have ever thought that two boring artists, would come together to produce positive music! I sure didn’t LOLOL. Some of those songs I love were, “Where Is The Love,” “The Closer I Get To You,” I really liked how they reinterpreted “You’ve Got A Friend,” and “Back Together Again.” Lastly, I like a song they did called “You’re My Heaven.”

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You know, Eddie Murphy has had such a huge acting career, with movies like “48 Hours (1982),” “Coming To America (1988),” and so many others, it’s hard for me to see him a singer. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he is a bad singer, but he’s not a great singer either LOL. In my opinion his voice was/is average; but unfortunately his singing voice didn’t wow me enough to want to actually buy his records. If I can be honest for a moment, a lot of his musical recordings sounded like he produced them in a karaoke bar. I really hate that style of recording because it comes off cheap.

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Now, I don’t mean to offend Eddie Murphy fans (but I am actually a fan of Eddie’s work as well) however, the only song that I really liked from Eddie is a song off the “How Could It Be” album called “Party All The Time.” That was the ONLY song I really liked, and that was more probably because it was a catchy tune. Then there was a song called “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” which sounds ok but he sings the song like he’s a long lost Jackson that no one knew about LOL. It appeared that Eddie really tried hard to make it as a solo artist, but his music really didn’t light my fire. I did make time to listen to his later album called “So Happy (1989),” but I was turned off because it was obvious he bit really hard off of Prince. Listen to his “Party All The Time” classic from Napster.

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MusicFactory

I can’t believe I found this album, I totally forgot about them (I haven’t heard about these guys since the 90s). “C&C Music Factory,” also was known as “The 28th Street Crew,” was really hot back in the 90s. Their music wasn’t just dance music, they were also workout music. You could still rock this music in your ear in the gym, or while doing power walk exercises. This group confused me a lot, because before I knew what they looked like, for the longest time I thought rapper Freedom Williams voice was actually rapper/actor Ice T, who you may remember from the hit TV show “Law & Order.” 😀 Actually I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought that.

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I also thought the voice of Martha Wash was Scarlett Santana. I used to say to myself, “for a very skinny lady, she sure knows how to belt those notes!” Turns out it was Martha all along LOLOL. Not saying she can’t sing, but unless I’m wrong, I never saw Martha in any of there videos. I guess they couldn’t afford to pay extra LOLOL. The members of the group weren’t always the same, but Scarlett & Freedom where the ones I’ve always remembered. To my understanding they are still performing, although they haven’t had a big hit (that I’m aware of since the 90s. My favorites are “Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm,” “Gonna Make You Sweat,” “Here We Go Let’s Rock and Roll,” “Live Happy,” and finally, a song called “Untitled.” “Untitled” has a hot beat in my opinion; although this particular song has gay overtones, I’m not sure if any of the members where actually gay. But then again, “gay club music” was also hot in the 90s too. Today, Mr. Freedom is working to help the homeless. Which is almost unheard of with many of these celebrities. Check their album at on Napster.

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