Maimouna Youseef-Shine Your Light

Whats up party people
This is ya girl
Sherry Duveaux
On WTLC rocking for the hard working folks
Just getting off of one gig and heading to another.
But in this crazy Friday rush hour traffic
I gotta jam that will smooth you out and get you right for the night
Imma about to split but before I do
An instant classic by none other than Maimouna Youssef
Dig the lyrics jack, she’s dropping some knowledge and making you feel good too
A little inspiration from your favorite station, a groove to get you in the mood,
Some Sounds for your get down
I know its rough out there yall, the Man’s foot always on ya neck
but don’t worry about that sucka, just shine your light and I’ll catch you on the flip side…

 

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Keep on Walking with your head held high (shine your light 2x)
Keep on talking like you heard it from the sky (shine your light 2x)
We aint gonna let ‘em bring us down (shine your light 2x)
You know we come too far to give up now (shine your light 2x)
The chosen people bare the hardest load (shine your light 2x)
Heavy is the head that wears the crown you know (shine your light 2x)
Give Him thanks cuz we got Soul (shine your light 2x)
Baby shake it off and let the good times roll (shine your light 2x)
And lets party, everybody come together if only for one night (shine your light 2x)
Forget the troubles of the world (shine your light 2x)

 

Hook:
Lead: Oh and let the good times roll BGV: Shine your light (Repeat)
Lead: its good to be a light
Hey Let the good times roll, it feels so good to be alive
Child is born with no state of mind
Raised up in this ghetto life
Three strikes got daddy doing time
Feel like he was born under a bad sign
Crooked cops shoot your kids right in the back
They raided my grandmamma house, she had a heart attack
And when black girls go missing they never look for that
This ain’t nowhere to live but sh*t its where we’re at

Always seeming like we falling on some bad times
But we find a way to smile and keep our heads up high
Oh party Just forget about the troubles of the world HeyToo much hard times will hurt your pride (shine your light 2x)
And the ones that you love don’t ever do you right (shine your light 2x)
So I keep on living with my head up high (shine your light 2x)
Everywhere I go Im going to shine my light (shine your light 2x)
Im going to stand on my feet if I have to die (shine your light 2x)
I’ll never live on my knees just to pacify (shine your light 2x)
People don’t you have no fear tonight (shine your light 2x)
God Children were promised ever lasting life (shine your light 2x)

 

Hook:
People come together, forget about the troubles of the world,
shake it off and let the good times roll,
shake it off and let the good times roll baby,
feels good to let the good times roll

Danielle Mone Truitt

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Danielle  Mone Truitt was destined to entertain. She is the true definition of a Triple Threat. The actor, singer, and dancer hails from Sacramento, California where she studied Theatre and Dance at Sacramento State University before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in television and film. Truitt got her start in theatre, but has recently landed the highly coveted, lead starring role as Rebecca “Rebel” Cole in the upcoming John Singleton Drama series Rebel which will air on BET. The series will center around Truitt’s character, Rebel, an Oakland police officer, who struggles with life and career after her brother is killed by police. The series will delve into the complexities of officers of color and the conflicts they have with their jobs, particularly now, while there is scrutiny over misconduct and police brutality.

Recently, Truitt performed her one woman play, 3: Black Girl Blues to sold out audiences at the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York. Some of her other stage credits include The West Coast Premiere of The Mountaintop, Dreamgirls, In The Heights, Neat, Aida, A Raisin In The Sun and Hair. Truitt has appeared on TV in guest and co starring roles on ABC’s Super Fun Night and FOX’s Mulaney. Her film experience includes her role as Kay, in Fox Digital’s feature film ETXR. Truitt made history when she joined the cast of the Academy Award Nominated Animation The Princess and The Frog as the video reference for Princess Tiana. She performed the body movements and facial expressions for the Disney Princess, ultimately giving Princess Tiana her persona and essence as well as performing a voice for another character in the film, Georgia.

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Aside from performing, Truitt is a wife and mother of two young sons. She has a heart for people and for promoting change in our communities. Because of this, she started the Be. Eternal: The Thriving Artist Series that serves the artistic community by providing emotional and spiritual support. She produced an event entitled #MoreThanAHashtag – a night of open discussion and performance surrounding the misuse of police force and our role in activism to rekindle awareness towards injustice. Truitt truly believes that art has the ability to speak loud and to change the hearts and minds of people. She also partners in ministry with her husband at The Livingroom in Van Nuys, California. Their ministry works with Hope of the Valley to provide meals and encouragement to the homeless community in the San Fernando Valley, and they have worked with foster youth and boys’ homes. Truitt and her husband hold a monthly music/poetry/comedy event called My First Fridays, where artists from all over come to perform. It has become one of the most popular events in Southern California. Truitt is managed by Cheryl Martin at CMA Entertainment.

Jamila Woods- VRY BLK

Happy New Year family!  I hope everyone has a prosperous 2017.  I thought some good music would be a great way to start off the new year.  I like this new artist Jamila Woods.  She’s been creating a lot of buzz since last year.  I love this song VRY BLK.  It’s very catchy and a great theme for this blog.  Here’s a little back story on Jamila.

Poet and vocalist Jamila Woods was raised in Chicago, IL and graduated from Brown University, where she earned a BA in Africana Studies and Theatre & Performance Studies. Influenced by Lucille Clifton and Gwendolyn Brooks, much of her writing explores blackness, womanhood & the city of Chicago. Her first chapbook, The Truth About Dolls (2012), was inspired by a Toni Morisson quote & features a Pushcart-nominated poem about Frida Kahlo. Her poetry is included in the anthologies The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (2015), Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls (2014), and The UnCommon Core: Contemporary Poems for Learning & Living (2013).

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Jamila is also a vocalist & songwriter, focusing primarily on soul/hip-hop centered music. Her musical lineage includes Erykah Badu, Imogen Heap, Kirk Franklin, and Kendrick Lamar. Raised in her church choir, Jamila’s musical aesthetic involves choral layering in addition to the hip-hop tradition of sampling & allusions. Her work with her band, M&O (fka Milo & Otis) has been featured by Okayplayer, Spin, JET and Ebony Magazine.

Jamila is currently the Associate Artistic Director of non-profit youth organization Young Chicago Authors, where she helps organize Louder Than A Bomb (the largest poetry festival in the world), designs curriculum for Chicago Public Schools, and teaches poetry to young people throughout the city.

Natasha Malone

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Natasha  Malone is an actress and singer. She is  known for Lorenzo & Monica (2012), C.E.O. (2014) and Till Death Do Us Part (2004),Deadly Affairs(2014) and Criminals at Work(2016). She sings under the name Breezy Malone.

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Nondumiso Tembe

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Here’s an interview with Nondumiso Tembe:

Tell us about your background
I was born in Durban and my parents moved to New York, where I grew up from three to 10. My involvement in the performing arts has been quite broad – as an ­actress, singer, songwriter, dancer and choreographer.

I studied ballet and dancing for 10 years at places like the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and the Djoniba African Dance and Drum Centre, both in New York, and also at the Playhouse in Durban.

You seem to have your fingers in too many pies, though
I do this because it’s my calling. I am not interested in pursuing frivolous things in the entertainment industry.

God and the universe call people to contribute to the community and my vehicle is my art. I am sociopolitically conscious and passionate.

What drives your art?
Breaking down negative stereotypes, especially about Africans. I would like to represent our people in ways that go against these perceptions.

I take pride in telling our people’s stories and rising above racism and prejudice.And your music?
It is a reflection of my life on the two continents I have lived on. It’s old, new, traditional, modern, African and Western, with neo-soul and classical influences.

I also like maskandi and mbaqanga, especially the former because it’s so political by nature. It will never die as it will remain relevant.

My challenge is how, as a young woman, to sing really good traditional ­music, something my peers seem not interested in.

Who did you work with on your album?

I’ve been very lucky to work with great talents such as Mbongeni Ngema, Phuzekhemisi, Madala Kunene and Young Nation on my debut album.

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Your favourite musicians?
My all-time favourites are Mfaz’omnyama and Busi Mhlongo. I also admire Angelique Kidjo, Khadja Nin, Miriam Makeba, Tu Nokwe and Fela Kuti.

How is life for you in LA?
I travel between New York and LA so that I can work on my film career. I starred in NCIS LA with Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J.

I think it aired in November or December last year in South Africa. It’s interesting that I have become the “go to” African woman to tell African stories.

Perhaps my revolutionary attitude of breaking up stereotypes as an actor is making headway. I’ve played a Congolese woman, a West African, an East African and a Haitian woman.

What are you doing in theatre?
I am in Witness Uganda, a modern Ugandan story about a group of friends who “adopt” 10 orphans and put them through school with their Be The Change NGO.

The play follows their journey and I am Joy Mukasa, who is kind of a villain but is not. She is just a ferocious woman who runs the orphanage and has had it tough and has no time to be nice. We’re aiming to get it on Broadway.

What’s the biggest challenge facing young Africans today?
We’ve allowed the influence of hip-hop, pop and American celebrity reality TV to seep in and allowed ourselves to buy into Hollywood and Western values that are not about us and are destructive.

We have such a rich legacy of music from Sophiatown and before that.

We have the struggle songs we took to the world as part of the anti-apartheid movement.

It’s sad we’re not carrying the torch. Why should we copy Americans? It’s a slap in the face of our history.

How many languages do you speak?
I speak English and isiZulu of course, French, Spanish, isiXhosa, Afrikaans and I am learning Swahili. And I have made a conscious decision to polish up my seSotho.

What’s the biggest misconception about you?
Some people take me too seriously when they hear all of these things like opera, Yale University, French and so on.

They don’t know that I’m silly and goofy. I love to laugh. I really am the goofiest and most tomboyish person in the world.

Where in the world would you like to settle?

I am proud to be a Durbanite. It feels good that your government is behind you and wants to see you succeed and get your voice heard with a programme like KZNMusic company, which helps us musicians from KZN to put our province on the map.

I want to establish a ­career and a body of work that will allow me to live anywhere in the world and be able to work in LA or New York. I want to be based ekhaya.

Your message to young people like yourself?
I challenge my peers to come to the party. Our parents have done their part and it’s our turn now. We are having it easy.

The problems we face today are nothing compared to what our parents had to go through. One thing my parents taught me is that you must reach your potential to effect positive change given the opportunity, resources, means and health.

Maimouna Youssef- Say My Name(Sandra Bland tribute)

This is a very beautiful song by Maimouna Youssef.  It’s a great live performance.She has an amazing voice.  It’s a great tribute to the late Sandra Bland.

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