Tag Archives: Women

Didn’t Know I Was Lost

“Waiting for a savior but is he really worth my faith

Waiting for a fighter but will he keep me safe?”

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From a tender age little girls are saturated with the idea of marriage, whether it is by parents caregivers or the media. The Disney idea of love and relationships alone is enough to skew how women view love and marriage.

“I woke up like this”. A line made popular by diva/songstress Beyonce Via her hit number Flawless, with the little knowledge I have of the song (How it came about or what it’s about) It is the spoken (poetry) part towards the beginning of the song/video which may lead one to thinking that the number it to perhaps encourage contentment amongst women not just that but to inject independence as well as knowing that one is perfect, that one’s life can be “full” without having a “better half”. A notion that can be applied to us men just as well but we’re sitting this one out as we’ve been seen as the heads and leaders and generally stronger for centuries. As the world transitions and establishes equality between genders, most male artist would rather rap/sing about “balling” and sex whilst many females are making a stand and inspiring each other with their various crafts.

Feminism is lionized by modern society to erode and flush away the mental caveman oppression of females. The spoken part or the intro to Flawless is a sample of a society inspiring speech made by a proud Nigerian feminist Chimamanda Ngozi;

 

“…Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support

But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage

And we don’t teach boys the same?

We raise girls to see each other as competitors

Not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing

But for the attention of men…”

 

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Considered a Nu Metal classic “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence has several meanings and inspirations, Amy Lee (Evanescence frontlady) would only later reveal that the number was in fact inspired by her long-time friend and husband Josh Hartzler. With amazing Amy Lee vocals and Paul McCoy Rap-singing, the song has been compared to a lot of Linkin Park’s work but I for this post would like to compare it To “Home Safe” by Ross Jack ft Kat Vinter, though Kat Vinter delivers much calmer vocals the sentiment between both numbers seems to be consistent.

As I’ve begun this posts with the opening lyrics of Home Safe, as the song starts we develop the idea of a girl waiting to be saved by her prince charming but as the song continues things get darker. The lyrics “headfirst into traffic” give us a tragic imagery, the accompanying video confirms this tragedy as we see what appears to be a ghost bride lingering around a dark alley. When we as a society have conditioned a girl into thinking that all she needs for a happy ending is a prince charming to marry her she can sometimes sink her paws so deep into the idea that not even death can divorce her from the dream of being married… So her yearning, bleeding soul waits…

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“Now that I know what I’m without

You can’t just leave me

Breathe into me and make me real

Bring me to life”

 

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Classic Beauties & Virgins

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It’s a known fact that Pharrell Williams had a massive year last year, especially because of his Despicable Me 2 soundtrack contribution, “Happy”, this number was such a global phenomenon it sparked a few jokes like how money can’t buy you happiness though “Happy” helped Pharrell buy a few new cars… well, shoot me for not remembering the joke word for word. Personally I wasn’t a big fan of that number though I’ve always hoped that if N.E.R.D ever reunited, it would be something for me to write about. Sampling the Spongebob Squarepants jingle, N.E.R.D have coined up a tropical themed number titled “Squeeze Me” as their contribution to the up + coming Spongebob soundtrack, If it worked once, why not do it again? Someone else who owned 2014 with their (movie) soundtrack contribution is of course Charli XCX with “Boom Clap”, I can name numbers of recent hits that happen to be part of a soundtrack album, instead, I’ll just mention one more from 1989… Wanna guess which one it’s gonna be?

Not to take away from the song, life is a journey and as soon as an individual is exposed to a song that corresponds to where they currently are in their journey the song becomes an instant companion, the individual holds on to it and with that said, a movie has the power to take one on a journey, whilst watching, we become the main character, we feel their pain their glory and everything in-between. Considering that a soundtrack is engineered to don or capture the theme, the feel of a movie, it only makes sense that upon experiencing every emotion within the movie, we feel we can relate to the theme song. It becomes our companion, it becomes a hit. That ladies and gentlemen is why we often find artists telling a story and taking us on a journey not just with their music, but with the videos that come along with the music.

Wrapping up my thoughts about Pharrell Williams and Soundracks, “Happy” was also featured on his 1st solo album in 8 years, the whole deal reminds me of the song title “Soundtracks and Comebacks” by Goldfish… (I’m not sure if I should label them as our local band since they’ve made their mark in Europe and other parts of the world,) nonetheless, Pharrell Williams made a huge comeback with his album “G I R L”, an album titled to honor female figures that have been part of his life, of course this is very refreshing as we have mother’s day and women’s day (here in SA) and on both these days we howl the fact of how we should honor our mothers, our nurturer(s), women in general 365 days a year rather than waiting for these “special” days to do so, yet howling about that movement is all we ever do.

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This women’s work, this women’s world, this is my way of honoring women all over the world, the gender that gives birth to us, the 1st gender any of us made our first ever bond with pre-birth. A song that was not only written for a movie but also had a very grabbing story telling video is of course “This Woman’s Work” by Kate Bush. “This Woman’s Work” is about being forced to confront an unexpected and frightening crisis during the normal event of childbirth, written in a father’s helpless point of view, this number explores the thoughts of an expecting father waiting in the waiting room, his prayers to the almighty and how HIS part is over, how He has given them this little life and how it’s time for him to take over, to man up… now starts the craft of the father.

Birth, it’s such a beautiful thing, ain’t it? at the same time it’s very unpredictable, it’s fickle, anything can happen as we all know that so many have died during such a beautiful event… giving birth. Reworked By R&B star Maxwell, the song remained golden over the years, most recently reworked by Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit, this number keeps coming back… which is good news for the next generation.

Life’s just a pace-car on death only less diligent and when the two collide, it’s no coincidence”


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“They play it safe
are quick to assassinate what they do not understand
They move in packs
Ingesting more and more fear with every act of hate on one another
They feel most comfortable in groups
less guilt to swallow
They are us
This is what we have become
Afraid to respect the individual
A single person within a circumstance can move to change
To love herself
To evolve”

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“Window Seat” video shot

Spoken by Erykah Badu at the end of her “Window Seat” video, these words are directed to females, to help empower them, though in a broader spectrum, these words are to call each and every one of us out as humans.
They provoke us to step away from The Mass Mentality Of Conformity, they encourage us to strip away the very shells that hinder our growth, our evolution as individuals. They remind us of our freedom, it’s beauty and how it is constantly haunted by our monkey sees, monkey do tendencies, yes, I’m talking about that alone together dance. Conformity.

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Erykah Badu stripping down in “Window Seat” video

Women… where do I start?
Yes, In Roctressess I did emphasis my profound respect for women, what I did not mention is how I secretly fear them.
Nurtures?, yes they are, though I feel that the above “Window Seat” poem describes women perfectly. Firstly, they move in packs(this is also one of the reason I fear them, for someone who walks alone, I’m always out numbered). As a pack, they are quick to assassinate what they do not understand, us men being from Mars and them being from Venus means we’re somewhat “strange” which means we’re always the first to be assassinated, hence we hear ladies passing on comments such as “All men are dogs” etc.

We are not your enemies, yes, you may have had bad experiences with us men in the past, We also have bad experiences with the opposite sex though it’s always important to see each person as an individual and not to burden one with mistakes they know nothing about. I talked about this in Living Vision.

I’ll play the macho man and pretend that I or we can handle being disregarded by women for being members of the opposite sex. What really concerns me is when women are against each other. The first time I ever heard of “PHD(Pull Her Down) Syndrome” was from a lady… it’s alive and kicking, “Ingesting more and more fear with every act of hate on one another”

“This is how I show my love
I made it in my mind because
I blame it on my A.D.D baby
This is how an angel dies
I blame it on my own supply
Blame it on my A.D.D baby”

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Women abuse is an issue talking alone can’t eradicate. Recently covered by the great Macy Gray “Sail” by Awolnation talks the same tongue “We Found Love” by Rihanna ft Calvin Harris and “Love The Way You Lie” by Eminem ft Rihanna speaks.
They each speak of a situation where the female protagonist is enduring an abusive relationship, though love seems to be alive, violent passion viciously strangles all hopes of a happy ending… til’ the abused finally realises that she is the captain of her own ship, til’ she finds it within herself to “sail”, to move on… realistically, this is the most effective way to decline women abuse.

Sisters, mothers, daughters… if they’re leaving marks on you, emotionally, physically or otherwise… go on, SAIL.

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“Roar” video shot

“A single person within a circumstance can move to change, To love herself, To evolve”


Rocktressess (Chicks And Dudes, Who You Think Is Really Kickin’ Tunes?)

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Growing up, the word “Rock-star” would paint a picture of a long-haired, sweaty popular rock musician on stage performing for adoring fans. Years later, though the sentiment is still alive, the picture has morphed into a more ambiguous image.

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So many artists have successfully redefined the term “Rock-star”… well, as far as their target audience is concerned, yes, they have.

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Not so long ago I read a certain blog post that talked about how being “different” is the new common… without going into depth about what that means, I’ll just be like everyone else and attempt to express my  “different” view of things.
How I see it, being a rock-star isn’t just about long hair, guitar smashing and tattoos, it’s about making it work, regardless of genre or ability to sing.

Anthony Kiedis once said every true artist is at war with the world, there’s a thousand ways to look at this statement though I think everyone is an artist in their own right as we’ve all felt misunderstood at least a million times in our lives. Being a “true” artist means that this feeling is heightened not only by a thousand but to a degree that the “true artist” may actually be seen as “weird” by many, to endure that psychological battle and manage to step out of ones shell and onto the stage and have numbers cheer for you… that’s what I call “Making it work”… better yet, I call that rocking! Being a rock-star.

“You’re a rockstar. A statement made following a success that is not measured by what one accomplishes, but by the opposition they have encountered, and the courage with which one has maintained the struggle against the overwhelming odds”

Here’s to the real rock star in our lives, yes ladies, I’m talking about you. Having had a life where I found myself having to grow up as the only boy surrounded by 5 females from 3 different generations, I’ve always had a profound respect for women. Living in a notoriously dodgy neighbourhood, every time I got myself into a fight or perhaps in a situation where I was being bullied, I had my gran, aunt, mother and two older female cousins to run back to.
Of course they didn’t always take matters into their own hands though they never failed to make my young self feel safe. With break ins, where my aunt was at one point held at gun point, it was apparent that people did take advantage of our seemingly “vulnerable” family, though we always pulled through. As a kid, I never felt the effects of such events as the great ladies I was blessed with made sure of it.

To celebrate the 8th month of the year (women’s month), I will in no particular order pay homage to 8 strong, beautiful women who have not only made it work in the music industry, but for years have firmly stood in front of the world as front-ladies of their respected bands, ladies whom have broken the stereotype of bands being man-fronted… here goes.

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Courtney Love

From fronting Hole, to being the queen of grunge to helping Fall Out Boy save rock n roll, one can never guess that the oh so provocative Courtney Love once “didn’t have a lot of social skills”

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Courtney Love

“I didn’t ask to be hated, I just don’t mind being a b****”- Courtney Love

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Amy Lee

From being the American chairperson for the international epilepsy awareness foundation, to being named the #1 Hottest Chick in Hard Rock by Revolver Mag for their 2011 annual issue (whilst still keeping all her clothes on throughout her career) and of course being the lead singer of Evanescenes… this rock-star is unstopable

“You don’t have to be half-naked to be successful. Just be talented.”- Amy Lee

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Brenda Fassie

From being the youngest of nine kids and named after American singer Brenda Lee, this South African anti-apartheid Afropop icon sang and performed her way to the top. propelled by her success as the lead singer of Brenda and The Big Dudes, she branched off as a solo artist and was refered to as Madonna of The Townships by Time magazine.
Yes Brenda did an amazing job fronting The Big Dudes, but she showed us what women can do as a unit when she joined forces with Joy.
“Paradise Road” spent 9 weeks at number one and today remains South African gold! honestly, who could forget that number?

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Joy

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Hayley Williams

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Hayley Williams

Signed at the tender age of 14 for a two-year production deal Hayley Williams would later as the front-lady of Paramore release their debut album at the age of 16. A lot of you may know her from the 2010 chart topper, “Airplanes” by B.O.B and of course “Stay The Night” by Zedd

“I believe music is a place every one of us can go to. I don’t care who you are, where you were born, what you do with your life. Everyone can come here in music and be equal”- Hayley Williams

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Linda Perry

Having a hand in the women empowering hit “Superwoman” by Alicia Keys is amazingly the last reason why I feel Linda Perry deserves a spot in this post. Aside from fronting 4 Non Blondes, Linda Perry has founded two record labels, mentored the likes of Christina Aguilera (whom she wrote the Grammy nominated “beautiful” for), P!nk and still found time to discover James Blunt.

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Lauryn Hill

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Lauryn Hill

Singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, actress, The Fugees former front-lady has sold millions of records, won numerous awards as a solo artist and otherwise… need I say more?

“The only way to know is to Live, Learn and Grow”- Lauryn Hill

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Stevie Nicks

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Stevie Nicks

Deemed “The Reigning Queen of Rock and Roll” and one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone, Stevie Nicks has earned 5 Grammy Awards as a Fleetwood Mac band mate and a further 8 as a solo artist. Her 1st album with Fleetwook Mac is said to be the sixth biggest selling studio album of all time… She’s number than gold.

Okay, I’ll admit it, I had a very long argument with myself trying to figure out if I was sure the next artist should ever be mentioned in the same post as the above women, this argument was brought to life by her “Sex Sells” antics and the world not being sure if she has ever written a song on her own… you guessed it.

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Beyonce

Yep, I’ve decided  to go against my better judgement and throw her in… Fergie could have been a good substitute? I don’t know.
We could all debate about Beyonce for… well, the rest of our lives, though the mark she has left is alive and kicking, We got to know her as Destiny’s Child front-lady. Today… without mentioning any of her accomplishments, I can safely say that anyone and everyone knows who she is… “The King”… I still don’t know how that came about.

“I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, I only have to follow my heart and concentrate on what I want to say to the world. I run my world”- Beyonce