Tag Archive: lauryn hill


 

nas_bevel_shoot_1169_8bit

Life
I wonder
Will it take me under
I don’t know

Imagine smoking weed in the streets without cops harassin’
Imagine going to court with no trial
Lifestyle cruising blue behind my waters
No welfare supporters, more conscious of the way we raise our daughters
Days are shorter, nights are colder
Feeling like life is over, these snakes strike like a cobra
The world’s hot my son got not
Evidently, it’s elementary, they want us all gone eventually
Troopin’ out of state for a plate, knowledge
If coke was cooked without the garbage we’d all have the top dollars
Imagine everybody flashin’, fashion
Designer clothes, lacing your click up with diamond vogues
Your people holdin’ dough, no parole
No rubbers, go in raw imagine, law with no undercovers
Just some thoughts for the mind
I take a glimpse into time
Watch the blimp read, “The World Is Mine”

If I ruled the world, imagine that
I’d free all my sons, I love ’em love ’em baby
Black diamonds and pearls
Could it be, if you could be mine we’d both shine
If I ruled the world
Still livin’ for today, in these last days and times

The way to be, paradise like relaxin’, Black, Latino and Anglo-Saxon
Armani, exchange the reins
Cash, Lost Tribe of Shabazz, free at last
Brand new whips to crash then we laugh in the ill’er path
The Villa house is for the crew, how we do
Trees for breakfast, dime sexes and Benz stretches
So many years of depression make me vision
The better livin’, type of place to raise kids in
Open they eyes to the lies, history’s told foul
But I’m as wise as the old owl, plus the Gold Child
Seeing things like I was controlling, click rollin’
Trickin’ six digits on kicks and still holdin’
Trips to Paris, I civilized every savage
Gimme one shot I turn trife life to lavish
Political prisoner set free, stress free
No work release purple M3’s and jet skis
Feel the wind breeze in West Indies
I’d make Coretta Scott-King mayor o’the cities and reverse themes to Willies
It sounds foul but every girl I meet to go downtown
I’d open every cell in Attica send em to Africa

If I ruled the world, imagine that
I’d free all my sons, I love ’em love ’em baby
Black diamonds and pearls
Could it be, if you could be mine we’d both shine
If I ruled the world
Still livin’ for today, in these last days and times

And then we’ll walk right up to the sun
Hand in hand
We’ll walk right up to the sun
We won’t land
We’ll walk right up to the sun
Hand in hand
We’ll walk right up to the sun
We won’t land

You’d love to hear the story how the thugs live in worry
Duck down in car seats, heat’s mandatory
Runnin’ from Jake, gettin’ chased, hunger for papes
These are the breaks, many mistakes go down out of state
Wait, I had to let it marinate we carry weight
Tryin’ to get laced, flip the ace stack, the safe
Millionaire plan to keep the gat with the cock hammer
Makin’ moves in Atlanta, back and forth scrambler
‘Cause you could have all the chips, be poor or rich
Still nobody want a nigga havin’ shit
If I ruled the world and everything in it, sky’s the limit
I push a Q-4-5 infinite
It wouldn’t be no such thing as jealousies or be felony
Strictly living longevity to the destiny
I thought I’d never see, but reality struck
Better find out before your time’s out, what the fuck

If I ruled the world, if I ruled, if I ruled
I’d free all my sons, if I ruled, if I ruled
Black diamonds and pearls, black diamonds, black diamonds
Could it be, if you could be mine, we’d both shine
If I ruled the world
Still livin’ for today, in these last days and times

If I ruled the world, if I ruled, if I ruled
I’d free all my sons, black diamonds
I love em love em baby
Black diamonds and pearls, if I ruled
If I ruled the world

If I ruled the world
I love em love em baby

 

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albsure

Every time I hear this, I feel conflicted about the gender reversal.  Growing up, we called this ‘caking’ (a few of you are know are chuckling…)

Still, having said all that, I passes my remake test (has to be different enough from the original to stand on its own).

It’s no Lauryn Hill, but it’ll do.

Enjoy!

 

lauryn

True: this was the first woman I proposed to (settle down, I was high and in the pit of the Granada, she gave me a death glare from the stage when she saw me).

Also true: a couple years later I actually met her backstage in K.C. and we had a short conversation. She was at her professional apex (when today’s song was out) and I just became a Trojan officially.  She was the first ‘star’ I ever met and could have justifiably treated me any kind of way.  Couldn’t have been nicer and gave me her information (again, settle down, all business).  I tell you this to say professionally speaking,  she set the standard in terms of no matter how high or low I go on the status totem pole, be respectful to ‘the little people’ and stay grounded.

So on that note, enjoy!

lauryn-hill

Have something else to talk about tomorrow, so here’s your love song for the week.

Enjoy!

nina-simone

I could tell you more about Nina Simone as a ‘symbol’ than I could as an actual person.  ‘What Happened Miss Simone?’ is a nice in to her life story for those of you like myself.  Archival footage and interviews with her musical collaborators and family fill out the story of this incredibly complex woman.

A child of the segregation era South, her ambition to be a great classical pianist was the first of many great (for lack of a better term) ‘complications’ that would define the woman who would rechristen herself ‘Nina Simone’ when she hit the Big Apple.  Through her own diary and the recollections of her daughter, we get a great glimpse of how Nina’s relationship with her husband/manager was both the best and worst thing that probably ever happened to her.

The talent and the respect to become a major crossover star, her fiercely independent streak drew her (as a woman and an artist) into the Movement and made her beloved by the community she stood up for.  (From my own generation, I thought about Lauryn Hill more than once watching this.)

Streaming on Netflix. Definitely worth checking out.

 

laurynhill

My world it moves so fast today
The past it seems so far away
And I squeeze it so tight, I can’t breathe
And every time I try to be
What someone has thought of me
So caught up, I wasn’t able to acheive
But deep in my heart the answer it was in me
And I made up my mind to find my own destiny
I look at my environment
And wonder where the fire went
What happened to everything we used to be
I hear so many cry for help
Searching outside of themselves
Now I know His strength is within me
And deep in my heart the answer it was in me
And I made up my mind to find my own destiny
And deep in my heart the answer it was in me
And I made up my mind to find my own destiny…

Apparently, it’s all over come Saturday.  I haven’t written anything here too personal in a while, but since apparently I only have 48 or so hours left, I thought I’d end it on a high note.

If there is no future, then I have to become something that’s not really in my nature, and become one of those people whose life only exists in the rear view mirror.  What do I think of when I think about my life?  A lot of random things really as I see my life flash before my eyes…

Since I never married, I take a lot of pride in usually upholding all the major ManLaws.  There’s enough females out here for all of us.  Never speak ill of your homie’s girl cause one way or another, it always gets back to her.  Never sell out another man’s private affairs under any circumstances.  If it takes a lifetime, pay back all vendettas. Your mistress and your wife shouldn’t live in the same town, let alone the same house.  (Not that I know anything about that last one, that’s just what I’ve heard. Let’s move on.)

I’ve had my heart broken and I’ve broken hearts.  If you have a soul, neither experience is very pleasant.  But it’s life.  The first woman I ever proposed to was Lauryn Hill (true story).  The look she gave me on that particular night could have cut glass, but evidently she didn’t remember it because when I had an actual conversation with her a couple years later, she couldn’t have been nicer.  She was the first ‘star’ I met, so it framed my expectations of celebrity.  In my experiences, generally celebrities are pretty down to earth, it’s the ‘Entourages’ that are complete intolerable.

It’s an understatement to say I was an ‘anomaly’ as a black Muslim kid in Kansas who wasn’t desperate to get married at 21 years old (or now either, but that’s neither here nor there). I very much had a ‘Bachelor’s’ Bucket List: New Years Eve in Vegas, the Bayou Classic in New Orleans (pre-Katrina), South Beach Spring Break, Nationals for my Fraternity, Hollywood movie premiere party, D.C. and the GoGo scene, ATL and Buckhead and Club 112 and the Blue Flame. And I did it all, before I hit 30 if memory serves me correctly.  At this point, my reputation as ‘Hollywood’ is much bigger than the reality, but I accept how hard reputations are to shake.  Certain stories (my first earthquake and the night I threatened to beat up my best friend immediately come to mind) will never be forgotten.  But you know, if you can’t stand the heat…

I’ve headlined short films and reality shows, I’ve seen my jokes and suggestions appear in Hollywood movies and TV shows (they weren’t stolen, I gave them away), I’ve gone back to my hometown to watch films I’ve directed shown on the big screen.  And I thought I was done writing, but I did have one more story in me, one I wrote for my Ummah.  Doesn’t look like there’s enough time to see it through, but I was/am very proud of it.  It’s slowly being seen by those who need to see it, but if there is a Sunday, maybe I’ll talk about it then.  Or knowing me maybe I won’t.

Live for today, plan for tomorrow.  It’s worked out pretty well for me. Now let’s see what comes next…

 

My world it moves so fast today, The past it seems so far away

And I squeeze it so tight, I can’t breathe

And every time I try to be, What someone has thought of me

So caught up, I wasn’t able to achieve

But deep in my heart, the answer it was in me

And I made up my mind to find my own destiny

I look at my environment, And wonder where the fire went

What happened to everything we used to be?

I hear so many cry for help, searching outside of themselves

Now I know His strength is within me

And deep in my heart, the answer it was in me

And I made up my mind to find my own destiny

‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’

I dedicate this to the lovers.  The company you keep says a lot about how you see yourself.  My friends and allies are male, female, hoodrats, Ivy League grads, hardcore players, happily married folks, straight, gay, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Republicans, Democrats, unemployed, multi-millionaires…and I’m sure I’m leaving a few folks out.  There is a saying that no man has worshipped perfectly until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.  I know some of the people I love still deal with major sources of unhappiness in their lives.  I’ve been down that road; I pray that in time you’ll have the peace of mind that I’ve come to have.

I also dedicate this to the haters.  You failed to stop me from living in a city I love, you failed to stop me from making films, you failed to stop me from surrounding myself with great friends, you failed to destroy my belief in the power of love.  But I appreciate the fact that you tried, I sincerely do.  Billie Holliday once said famously, “You don’t know what enough is until you’ve had more than enough.”  Without your hate at certain points, I wouldn’t be so driven to prove you wrong.  Without your hate at certain times, I would be apt to forget that trust, like respect, can only be earned.  Without your hate I would be…well, I would be you.

People have always take me to be ‘smart’.  Everything I take credit for knowing though, I had to learn it.  More often than not, I had to learn it the hard way.  I’ll do my best to describe my journey for you…