Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Michelle Obama at The DNC

Last night was The Democratic National convention, just a week after the Republican National Convention at which Melania Trump, Republican candidate Donald Trump's wife, infamously recited a speech which plagiarized a large amount of Michelle Obama's DNC speech in 2008.

As far as drama goes, one could understand that Obama's speech at the DNC would be some sort of rebuttal and dismissal of the RNC incident. She delivered a beautiful inspiring account, as usual, with a few references to what the Republican Party represents as of late. Here is a summary of the speech, thanks to AJ+

 

Monday, July 25, 2016

New Hair Tutorial!: 6 large Bantu knots with short locs!

     Bantu knots, chinie bumps, spacebuns, what have you! I've twisted up my hair in this cute simple style, which love because my hair is at a comfortable length at which I can keep it out of my face and off of the back of my neck. Check it out !


Saturday, July 23, 2016

OOTD: well maybe of the month

Yes, yes a new Outfit of the Week! and the first in a while. This look is suitable for the current hot whether, both cute and sporty.






Here I am wearing a Keith Haring Crop Top from Forever 21 paired with Urban Outfitters Urban Renewal shorts, and Nike Air Maxes. A tutorial for the buns I have in my hair is coming soon !

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Jasmine Mans at The Nuyorican Poet's Café

    Sunday, July 10th Poet and Performer Jasmine Mans headlined a night of spoken word and song at The Nuyo. Other featured performers include Amy Leon, Andre Richard, and Myself Kearmonie.

    To kick off the night Jasmine opened the floor to any audience member who would like to share their own work as part of an open mic segment. With what has be all over the media as of late, she urged us to keep in our minds and heart the Black Lives Matter movement here in the U.S. A handful of folks from the audience, from as young as 16, shared their work reflecting their own identities and especially highlighting Black Death, the war on Black people, and their own personal experiences.




Poet Steven Willis, on the Open Mic


     As soon as the open mic concluded, the room went dark and then I took to the stage to start the main event. Performing 3 of my own pieces with the most energy including "Harriet Tubman", that feeling was certainly reciprocated by the audience. Moving along we heard from Musician André Richard. André wowed the audience as he created a song, live right in front of us, using his own voice, guitar for its strings and it's body as a drum. He sung about 3 of his own original songs all having their roots in reggae music. Then we met Singer, songwriter and poet Amy Leon. Amy performed several poems paired with song and even brought André back to the stage to play his guitar as she freestyle a song just for us. A classic voice with range and just enough raspiness to make you feel something, to bring soul into the most dull room, Amy Leon is someone to look out for.

Amy and André

Jasmine and Amy

  and Finally, the poet everyone had been waiting for and the reason for the event Jasmine Mans took to the stage. Having read news pieces and performed a few fan favorites as usually Jasmine did not disappoint. Paralleling her poetry with dialogue created a warmer space. She shared her opinions on the state of the world today and being Black in America as well as her own personal stories that influenced the poems she shared with us. To close out her set Jasmine invited Amy Leon back to the stage to perform one of her latest singles "Burning in Birmingham" along with her reading her own poem about the infamous church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama September of 1963 which resulted in the death of four young Black girls. Jasmine finished her pieces and walks of the stage leaving Amy to finish the song fully and then go into her own poem which goes along with it.


     Overall the night was a reminder in the need for this work, this art and that we are still here and we the privilege, right, and blessing to speak when there are so many who have been silenced. Here are some more photos from the event, captured by Kolin Mendez, a complete gallery is up for viewing on their website http://kolinmendez.com/
















To keep up with Jasmine Mans you can visit her website Jasminemans.com/ and to see what I'm doing visit my official website Kearmonie.com/

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Coloring Book, the Christian Religion, and the Black millennial

     "Coloring Book", the highly anticipated 3rd mixtape by Chicago MC Chance the Rapper is a journey, of self reflection and praise with the accompaniment of lively instrumentation, choirs, and an overall heavy gospel music inspiration. Chance first grabbed the attention of millions with the release of his second mixtape "Acid Rap". With "Coloring Book" Chance sticks to the unconventional sound he's always brought to Hip-hop through project and singles, with more of a spiritual undertone, Coloring Book is the representation of Religion, more specifically Christianity and the Black millennial today.

"I get my word from the sermon 
I do not talk to the serpent 
That's the holistic discernment"

     Chance's alt hip-hop personal style merged with gospel music was first introduced to us on his last project with the social experiment "Surf"(2015), with single "Sunday Candy". Songstress Jamila Woods, featured on "Sunday Candy", also makes an appearance on coloring book with "Blessings", on which she proclaims "When the praises go up, the blessing come down".





     For us Millennials(those born between the mid 80's and early 2000's) religion is something that was forced upon us in a subtle way. By now certain practices are what we were raised with but eventually made the choice to break out of. Especially in the Christian/Catholic faith(s). The Bible is important, but attending church on the regular basis is not as mandatory as it once was. We all have adapted our respective faiths to our lives accordingly, especially when it comes to what faith is, and what faith truly means. These days there more people recognize the difference between religion and faith. Your faith is what guides your spirituality, which is simply a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves and what that means for ourselves. Religion is a system, it has a name, it has rules, norms, and practices attached to it. One can be spiritual without being religious. One can pull ideals from a certain religion and not be religious. One can have their faith grounded in a certain religious foundation and still not take part in it's practices. 

     Chance seems to represent the less than religious youth who's faith is still very important, on the basis of Christianity. It can be assumed that he was raised a Christian. This album is filled with praises to God lyrically and musically. Songs that stand out with strong Gospel influence are "Blessings", "How Great" and the last two songs to close out the album "Finish Line/Drown", and "Blessings" (another song from the one aforementioned), there are also religious references on other songs throughout the mixtape. The use of a choir(s) is reminiscent of College Dropout, the first album by Chance's predecessor himself KanYe West who is featured on the very first song of Coloring Book "All We Got". Chance's growing friendship with West is known based on his feature on KanYe's latest album "The Life of Pablo" with "Ultralight Beam". Another track presenting listeners with a gospel feel, features a testimony from Kirk Franklin and probably one of Chances best verses of his careers, accompanied with the proclamation "This is a God dream".

   "Coloring Book" is closed with the use of a choir singing "Are you ready for your blessing", on "Blessing", along with voice over from Kirk Franklin as well. Chance is "Blessed" and he knows it. "Coloring Book" is available for streaming on Apple Music.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Oh Mr. West, Mr. West

    Just a week after releasing the dates for his "Saint Pablo" tour and dropping a single added to his most recent album "The Life of Pablo", also titled "Saint Pablo" KanYe Has released the first video for the album. It is for the song "Famous", one of my favorites, which features Rihanna singing a Nina Simone sample.




    The video starts off with colorful sunset like imagery, then cuts to what seems to be a home video of KanYe lying in bed with his wife, Kim Kardashian. then there are a few pans overrates bed where we see some familiar and naked bodies. Based on facial features, hair and tattoos they become easily recognizable as a few celebrities who's celebrity has taken over their respective lives. They are, in no particular order, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Taylor Swift, Ray J, Donald Trump, Anna Wintour, Amber Rose, George Bush, Caitlyn Jenner, and Bill Cosby. Most of the bodies are extremely real looking, however as a huge fan I could tell that Rihanna was certainly not in that bed portraying herself, who or whatever was in that bed did not favor the star very much as far as facial feature go. Throughout the video though there are contacts pans, cuts to, and close ups of these bodies, some are breathing and moving and the mind blowing part of this music video is the experience f trying to figure if these "celebrities" really agreed to take time out of their schedules to lie naked among each other for KanYe's video. Toward the end, there is a pull out and we slowly see everyone on this large bed come into frame, crotches covered. It is this shot where I can also tell that the Chris Brown depicted in not actually Chris Brown. Before this, though, what answers the big question for me is the special thanks. There are shorts credits where "special thanks" is given to all of the people I mentioned earlier, it then ends with "...For being famous". So technically they are not being thanked for being featured int he video but only for being famous and helping the video's meaning. The thank you could also be for giving KanYe permission to portray their images.

    Now for the meaning of the video itself, despite the celebrity "cameos". They are nude, they are on display, they all are figures who have been all over the meaning for positive but also very negative reasons. Kanye and Kim Kardashian have had their fair share of media coverage in tabloids and gossip blogs before even getting married and so much more afterwards and still. Rihanna is a superstar as well is her ex Chris Brown, there relationship and domestic violence incident has been publicized, and they are still have a massive amount of media coverage individually. Ray-J is known for making Kim Kardashian "Famous" after the release of their sex tape. Donald Trump is the most hated man in America, well maybe the most loved which is absolutely terrifying. and so on and so forth. The plain and simple meaning is that celebrities are constantly on display, at our disposal; they stand before us practically nude as we exploit their lives and exploit their bodies. "Fame" has greatly affected the lives of these people, along with KanYe's and with this video he subtly yet controversially shining light on that. When are is this daring yet minuscule is when it becomes the forever disrespected art form, performance art. This is clearly film, a music video, but the display seems more performative. What this sparks in viewers is exactly what KanYe seems to be going for. He states the obvious while dropping jaws.

     My problem is with the people he depicted. Evidently they all are all people greatly effected by their own celebrity, but do these depiction represent any personal feelings of Mr. West? Is KanYe sympathizing with these people? Is there any emotional meaning at all? Ultimately, does he support or in other words fuck with the people depicted?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

THE ALL EYEZ ON ME TRAILER HAS BEEN RELEASED

     "All Eyez On Me" the name of Tupac Shakur's 3rd studio album(and title track) as well as the upcoming BioPic about the late icon. Tupac Shakur is a legend to say the least. Infamous and still impacting lives nearly two decades after his death. Talks of this film have been swarming for the past year or so especially since Pac was portrayed in the N.W.A. BioPic "Straight Outta Compton" last Fall. Controversy surrounding the rights to the story and doing Tupac's legacy justice with this film were eminent throughout the process which slowed it down a bit. But it is here. The film should be released later this year but now, on Tupac Shakur's birthday, we have the trailer.



Monday, June 13, 2016

BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez

     The Biographical Documentary film exhibiting the life and experiences of the legendary Sonia Sanchez. Having publish over 20 books of poetry, short stories, etc. Sonia Sanchez is a pioneer in the Black Arts Movement and a noted name in the Black Power Movement as a whole, always standing for what she believes in and living in truth as well as always writing it; she writes everyday. Full of various performances, readings of her poems by herself and other poets she has influenced, and plenty reminiscing; "BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez" is a must-see. Now streaming as part of AmDoc/POV's documentary series "America ReFramed".

"Someone asked me 'why do you write?' 
and I said because I wanted tell people 
how I became this woman with razor blades 
between her teeth" 
                                      - Sonia Sanchez



     Known for her melodic flow with words alone, and an conventional use of language; Sonia Sanchez's work and being has always stood in the name of revolution. Throughout the film we learn of her resistance, her strength and the impact she has made on so many through her work whether it be a performance, written work, or who she is as a college professor. Her writings a perfectly woven into the film to line up with her own experiences whether personal or political, recited by other contemporary poets/spoken word artists whom she has influenced. The poems are read from Sanchez's most recent collection of new and old work "Shake Loose My Skin".

"Language is the most dangerous of professions"
- Sonia Sanchez

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Help send Union Square Slam to NPS!!

What is NPS? Well it is the National Poetry Slam being held in Decatur Georgia this year.



     Union Square Slam(My team)  is sending our very first team to the National Poetry Slam in Decatur, GA this August, and we need YOUR help to get there! Nkosi Nkululeko, Taylor Steele, Kearah Armonie, and Patrick Roche are some of the sharpest writers coming out of the greater New York City area. They will be competing among 72 teams for a spot on Finals stage, but more importantly, they will be sharing their incredibly relevant and necessary work with poets, fans, and audience members from across the country.

To learn more about NPS, USS, and our team visit: https://www.gofundme.com/sendUSStoNPS

Friday, June 3, 2016

My Graduation

I've completed my bachelor's degree and commencement was just yesterday. For my outfit, I wore the Ecoté linear lace body-con dress from Urban Outfitters and shoes from Forever21.





















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