Tag Archive: Prince


 

2016

Taking stock of the past twelve months…

For the first time (within one calendar year), I auditioned as Othello, Dr. King, and Malcolm X for different stage productions across town. Malcolm came post-November, and it was ‘Nation of Islam Minister Malcolm X’ at that.  I would have given Denzel a run for his money that day!  I’m comfortably in my sweet spot with the character types I excel in.  And it’s starting to mesh with the characters people see in me when I walk in the room and do a monologue.  Good times.

Private life feels settled for the first time in years as well.  There’s the Family, there’s the ‘Fam’, there are friends and there are work friends.  Current events have reinforced the natural bonds between myself and those with a common religious identity, a common racial experience; common politics or just a common vibe with how we look at the world.  More goodness.

One of the first things I took from Stella Adler is still one of the best: “Your aim should be to have a life that includes playing the part…”  Not the other way around.  My defining story of 2016, I don’t think anyone involved will be put out by me sharing this…

I got an invite about a possible job with the Los Angeles Lakers.  My Lakers.  They were looking for someone passionate about the franchise, comfortable with the camera and with live crowds, who they could trust to not talk about grabbing pussies on a hot mic.  They thought I might be a good fit.

But here was the issue: one of my brothers was getting married on the same timeline they needed to see me.  And I was in the wedding party.

Now, when I was say, 25? Would I have burned a personal relationship to the ground for a potential dream job opportunity?  Some of you know the answer to that better than others (and will never let me forget it).

But I’m not that guy anymore.  Haven’t been for years.  The wedding weekend was an experience, and of course the Lakers understood the timing was just bad, so long term they appreciated my professionalism while getting a peek into my value system as a man.  My ego was bruised for a couple days (no need to lie about that), but I did the right thing.

And not that I needed the Universe to further validate me, but not too long after that, my Hollywood patrons reached out to me out of the blue and gave me a part on one of their projects.  So you can look forward to seeing your boy in front of the camera again next summer.  If not sooner.

I haven’t always had the gift of relationship building, but I’ve learned. I’m always learning and still love doing so.

So in the year I’ll always remember for my house being completely put in order, I look outside (or in 2016, I log on) and…yeah.  The goodbyes this year have felt especially hard (like the two beloved people up top, just for starters).  Things seem especially dark on the world stage.  I have no naive optimism for you going into the next year.  Just a renewed commitment to do the right thing, even if it seems like it’s going to be harder than ever to do so.

Onward and Upward.  See you in 2017.

 

X

Ladies and gentlemen, live from Coachella…

Kamasi Washington.

Enjoy!

 

 

halloates

A Public Service Announcement for my fellow Angelenos:

Number one of my best concerts ever is Prince at the Forum.  Number two is Stevie at the Bowl.

These guys at the Bowl is number three.

And they’re playing there again next month.

Well worth the price of admission if you haven’t experienced them live.

Enjoy!

 

prince-1

Until legal starts pulling these back down, let’s enjoy them.

Why wait til Thursday for jams like this?

Enjoy!

 

ihateu

The weekend will start with a movie review, so let’s get our ‘Weekend song’ in now.

(While I can’t stop replaying it and before legal pulls it back down.)

Enjoy!

 

prince-purple-rain-ws-710

Insatiable.

Little Red Corvette.

Sexy MF.

I Hate U. (my all time favorite single of his)

Diamonds and Pearls.

Scandalous (from the 1989 ‘Batman’ soundtrack, which in case you forgot was ALL him.)

How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore?

AND ON AND ON AND ON AND ON WITH THE CLASSICS.

On a personal level, the best concert I’ve ever been to. An instant classic, and today I’m more certain than ever it will never be topped:

https://malikaziz.com/2011/05/29/princes-21-nite-stand-great-western-forum-may-28-2011/

An Icon.  I feel lucky to have grown up in this time and watch him evolve as an artist, I feel REALLY lucky to have seen him perform so many of his classics live.

Nothing more I can say that I’m sure others have said in various ways.  I can’t remember the last time I posted two videos in one day, but if ANYONE deserves that level of respect…

And of course…

Enjoy the weekend gang.

esperanza-spalding

I’ve heard this new album pitched as ‘Joni Mitchell meets Prince.’

First of all, that’s a hell of a comparison on both counts.

Secondly…I can see (or in this case hear) it.

Enjoy!

mj

The story goes that when Mike was trying to return to pop relevancy he went to Prince for advice (who’s obviously nailed it).

And Prince pretty much told him, ‘Forget the theatrics. Do smaller venues. Remind people that you’re a great vocalist.’

And Prince was right (as today’s song cosigns).  But Mike was also probably right; there was no going back to the ‘Off the Wall’ days really.  If people were coming to see Mike, they were coming for the spectacle as much as the music.

Alas…

jackie

Before Michael and Jackie, it wasn’t just James Brown. It was this man.

Enjoy!

 

Prince

This video gets passed around at least once a month in one of my various social circles, might as well post this here for those of you unfamiliar.

The backstory: George Harrison and Prince were both inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.  This is one of George’s signature songs obviously, and to have one of the great electric guitarists doing the solo…hell, that can’t go wrong right?

Well…’rumor has it’ that the Purple One didn’t show for rehearsal and Tom Petty (one of George’s real life best friends) didn’t take too kindly to it. And then ‘rumor has it’ that Prince didn’t take too kindly to that.  That’s all rumor though, here are the things you can definitely see with your own eyes in this clip:

  • Tambourine player in the background foolishly thinking he can upstage anybody on that stage.
  • George’s son Dhani chilling and grooving at first, then when Prince starts going off, Dhani becomes us: ‘Holy sh–, he’s going off!’
  • Prince doing one of those solos only Prince can do while throwing in more than a couple of those sweet ass side glances that only Prince can do.
  • The first time (to my memory) this fool throws the guitar off the stage at the end and pimp walks off the stage.

This still doesn’t go higher than third on my favorite versions of this song, but still.  Enjoy: