Monday, March 28, 2016

MUSIC MONDAY: Interlude Game Crazy

     I know I've said this to myself and to my friends a few times but never to my BQC family. Welp until today. Seeing how it's #MusicMonday and all. Now check me if I'm wrong but isn't it true? "Interludes are some of the best songs on an album." You know an album... the full bodies of work artists used to put out where most of the songs on the project are actually good. Yeah those things. Anyway, few albums have them but the interludes used to be everything and part of what makes an album special. A good interlude leaves you wanting to hear more. A good interlude will make you say, "This should have been a full song." A great interlude helps the flow of an album easing you into and setting you up for the next song. It can be the perfect transition into another theme or guided feeling. I don't want to get too technical but interludes are pretty necessary in some cases. Maybe it's just me. No? Well I'm going to share some of my favorite interludes with you and I'd like to hear some of yours too. So share.

Listen. Below of my favorite interludes are...
Interlude x Jamie Foxx
Superstar Interlude x Usher
Cameras/Good Ones Go x Drake
Loving Intro- India Arie
I Think It's Better x Jill(She never disappoints)






Wednesday, March 2, 2016

RELATIONS WEDNESDAY: It is Women's History Month Right?

Welp we've ended our nationally allotted time to celebrate people of color (shade) but guess what Queens? Women's history month is here. You know The BQC is all for a celebration especially a celebration of women. It's what we're here for. All day. Every day.

Many years ago (like 4) I wrote a little poem and it became the official grand preamble for The Brown Queens' Constitution. These are words to live by for all women and even more, brown queens.  I know it is relations Wednesday and you might be a little confused. But this poem is about the woman in relation to fellow women and the rest of the world. Women please go forward recognizing and owning your queendom. You so deserve it. You are absolutely magnificent. Happy Women's History month.

 The original font is a bit fancy so here it is plain, clear, and bold as ever.

Wisdom. Pride. Courage. Grace. Power. Generosity.
 To be a Brown Queen
 it is not required that I posses all of these things in their entirety.
 It is the gradual effort I put forth,
 the appreciation of the process, and being a constant source
 of love and inspiration reflective upon me.
 It's to be a magnet of knowledge, growth, and positivity.
 This is how I rule,
 the majesty I bestow
 Even without a crown or a throne, I am rightfully so
 a Brown Queen and I am beautiful.

And since everything's better with music, I've included a few songs that really make me feel good about being a woman. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

TRESSES TUESDAY: I am not to be tamed

Don’t try to tame me.            
: Not wild: trained to obey people.
:  Not excited or interesting
All queens, no matter the pigment, have felt pressure to tame themselves in one area of life or another. From sexuality, to the boardroom, society tells us who, what, and how we should be. Because we all know how a woman should speak, groom, and behave, right? TGIQ. Thank God I’m A Queen. I make my own rules and I create the plays. I create my image and forge my own path. This one is for my Brown Queens, the melanated royalty. If nobody shares your pressures, sister, I do.

While we face many pressures, for the sake of time and attention spans, let’s focus on one: hair. Has this topic been beaten to death already? Does thinking about it cause your shafts to split and single-strands to knot? Hair has been a hot topic in recent years as Brown Queens have battled with the decision to QP or let it kink. Brown Queens have chosen one path or the other for various reasons. Let’s make this clear now, I honor them all. I also understand that a large influence in the decision to return to our uninhibited state is society, pressure, and the world at large trying to tame us. To that, I say, “I can’t be tamed.” Seriously, I can’t be tamed. You can’t either. Think about it. Have you ever done a bomb twist-out, and then stepped outside on a humid day? Have you ever gone for a jog after a fresh press? Have you ever taken down your twists before they were fully dry? Lord have mercy. Come on, somebody! Touch your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, I’ve traveled that road and wrote the book.” I know you can relate. If not, I have traveled the road and back enough for us all. The point I’m making is that no matter how many “taming” processes we put our hair through, at the end of the day she and nature have the final say. And while I may be able to tame her temporarily, there’s nothing that I can do to keep her from being who she is, and I don’t want to. There was a point in time where my curls had to be defined to the gods. *inserts snap* I would wash, protein treatment, deep condition, ACV rinse, leave-in condition, coconut oil, fully detangle, carefully rake that good old eco styler gel through (You know, the olive oil kind), twist, and let dry. And the next day? You know you have to coat those finger tips with oil before taking your twists down. You don’t want frizz, do you? After unraveling, separate your twists once, twice max! This is how you get ‘dem curls poppin’ like Orville Redenbacher. It wasn’t long into my hair journey that definition became something I put on the back burner. Actually, it wasn’t even on the stove. I cared not about a curl. If you “hair type,” my hair is a big mixture of 3c in the very front and straight down the center, and the rest 4a/b. Lots of kinks and curls to love. Before I knew it, I fell in love with big fluffy fros, and I would pick my hair until every curl was unrecognized. I realized my desire for curls that were “on fleek” stemmed from a less than desirable place. It was all society induced. Once I freed my mind from the ridiculous notion that my natural hair had to be full of cylindrical curls in order to be beautiful, I could fully embrace Erica. All of her. Not just the eight 3c curls in the front.
This is why I will never fix my lips to ask a Brown Queen why she won’t flat iron her hair, bantu knot, or retwist her locs.  Outside of the fact that it’s none of my business, I’ve entered a space where I can see the beauty in a Brown Queen for who she is and where she finds herself in her journey. Be it under the dryer with a roller set, or free-forming it. Sister, whatever your choice may be, know and own the underlying reasoning. This is why you may see me with a fresh retwist, or locs that have been untouched for three months. Because it’s my choice, I own it, and rock the hell out of it if I do say so myself. (Jay Z voice) *drops mic* *flips locs*


Monday, February 15, 2016

MUSIC MONDAY: Lost In The Movement

 "An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times."- Nina Simone

Our girl Nina was a true talent forever etched in history and her music and spirit remain in our hearts.

I'm sure many of you have seen "What happened Miss Simone?" via Netflix. If you haven't, you're in for a treat and a greater understanding of the magnificence that is Nina.

I found Nina's dedication to the Civil Rights movement commendable and thought Nina's involvement is one that should be constantly recognized and discussed.

The music of the civil rights movement was instrumental providing the soundtrack, inspiring the people and simply enough... promoting the cause. The music got out the message. In Nina's case, her music expressed what I imagine was the consensus of the people.

In the Netflix documentary we learned about Nina's mental illness and we are left with the assumption that her illness explains her total consumption in the movement. Not only was she dedicating her time and and art but her mind and spirit were very much so invested. Whenever your total mind, body, and spirit is involved in something or someone, it's a dangerous space to be in. Her mental illness seemed to only swell her passions to the point where it was almost impossible to live a healthy and socially functional life. Can you imagine empathizing too much? What if you felt every single blow of all your peers and you carried your own burdens in addition to every one else's.

It's just too much for one woman, even a queen.

Like Nina, there have been several other artists dedicated and maybe even lost in the movement.

I immediately think of Fela. If you don't know him, he's a great idol to read up on. *BHM fact check time*
Fela Kuti was a Nigerian musician and artist(an amazing one) who decided his music would always represent the people and the fight for equality in his home and abroad. He let the rest of the world know what was going on in Africa. Fela was a no nonsense man. He called out the corrupt leaders and often literally went to war with the oppressors. Fela was a natural born leader and the amount of people that followed him is outstanding honestly. Was he "lost" in the movement? I don't know about all that but his lifestyle was one that paralleled the civil rights movement and it was evident in the music. There were things that happened during his life that changed him forever. *Sidenote: Speaking of Fela's lifestyle, he was a no-nonsense man but what he was not was a one woman man. Fela did die from HIV/AIDS. Whether you want to charge that up to the movement or the lifestyle is subjective. What can not be denied is the music. You must listen for yourselves.

Being "lost" in the movement also brings on eerie thoughts of the 23- year- old Black Lives Matter activist, Marshawn McCarrel who committed suicide last week. There's some speculation that McCarrel was depressed. Before his death, McCarrel posted, "My demons won today, I'm sorry." on his Facebook page. He was not known as an artist but as an activist. His work in the community speaks for itself and his legacy outlives him.

These individuals are not here to see their impact on the world but the fact that I'm discussing them speaks to their heavy influence and their honorable dedication.

When you think music to the movement, you must mention...
from back in the day...
James Brown
Bob Marley
Billie Holiday
Miles Davis
Today's artists
Beyonce' (Umm Formation hello!)
Kendrick Lamar
J. Cole
Who else?


The BQC is back

Hey good people!

 Its been a while, I know. However, It is Fe-bru-a-ry and February means black history month. If you haven't been getting your dose of #bhm facts everyday on social media (esp Facebook) then where have you been? Not only is it black history month but get ready for it... The BQC is back with a new look and so much in store for the future.We ain't done yet!! And just f.y.i. it's definitely not a coincidence that the blog was started in February  So it's only right we welcome you back to The BQC during black history month. A new #MusicMonday awaits you...

- Na'Shun

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Eureka Takeover

We are a part of the Girls Inc. of Memphis Eureka! Program
#ClassOf2k17 #SQUAD!!!!
  We Are
Design Team   
                Photography Team             
Writing Team

Videography Team