For Christmas, my home-girl gave me a delicious package of mint and lavender loose-leaf tea from Gullah Girl Tea. I handn't heard about the Brooklyn-based brand but was immediately intrigued. I did some poking around the site and learned Gullah Girl Tea was started five years ago by Charmaine Bee as a way to share the healing benefits of tea and the Gullah culture of South Carolina, where she's from.
I also learned that Gullah Girl Tea is in the midst of Kickstarter campaign. Gullah Girl Tea is close to their goal but with only five days left they could use our help to make sure the project is fully funded. If you're interested in good tea or would like to support a small business check out the site and their Kickstarter page here.
In light of recent events in Ferguson and around the country, today I am using this platform to support the Black Friday boycott, now known as Blackout Friday. During this boycott, consider only supporting independent black-owned businesses to make a statement about the power of the black dollar. If you're not black and just want to support this a great way to do so, black businesses are for everyone!
Change can come in so many ways. Yes protests, yes writing articles, yes making art, etc. All of which are necessary. But hitting the pockets where it hurts can say so much more when addressing a need for change. Inspired by my fellow blogger friend Afrobella's list, I decided to put together my own list in hopes that we can make our voices heard, create awareness, and highlight some amazing black-owned businesses, all for a cause. I know I'm missing some, but here are a few to get us through the weekend. And please feel free to share in the comments section any independently owned black businesses you don't see on this list. For more information about the boycott click here. And Happy Thanksgiving!
#Blacklivesmatter and #Blackmoneymatters too!
1. Mo's Bows
7. Boy Beads
1. Rachel Stewart
4. Asiyami Gold
6. Dpiper Twins
3. Yinka Iori
Silt, a debut album, by Alsarah & the Nubatones, takes you on a journey through East African sounds and influences (Alsarah was born in Sudan and lived in Yemen before moving to the US). I've been jammin' to this album for the last week and really enjoy every corner of Alsarah's voice and the layered tracks. Check out the video for the single "Soukura" below and also take a listen to the remixed album.
Refinery29 collaborates with Motorola to produce a web series, called Style Out There, which uncovers style in subcultures around the world. I immediately fell in love after watching the first three. Here's one exploring the matching outfit phenomenon in Korea.
The other day, ok yesterday, I discovered soulster MNEK when AfriPOP posted some beautiful screen-grabs from the singer's latest music video "Wrote A Song About You." When I played the video my creative neurons started jumping all over the place. The graphic animations and colors are gorgeous! The animation is like the opening of Saved By the Bell married the opening credits to In Living Color, had a baby, and named it Keith Haring 2.0. Oh, and I dig the song, too! Check it out and let me know what you think.
Typically in my Music for Your Weekend posts I showcase one artist or group I am currently listening to, but this week I'd like to share four I'm excited about based on reviews and recommendations. I think they'd be great for long weekend activities.
Here they go (clockwise):
Sylvan Esso (self-titled)
So far I am totally diggin' this folk-y techno sound from Sylvan Esso's debut album.
Xscape from Michael Jackson
I miss Michael. Especially lately. Because Michael is an ultimate artist and innovator, and I'm always inspired by creative people who follow their dreams, I've been really drawn to Michael's energy and creative process. A few weeks ago, after a late night of working, I YouTube'd vintage Michael interviews from the time of his Off the Wall and Thriller releases. Hearing him talk about his inspiration, his love for creating and performing, and making others happy with his work resonated with me as I embark on a new creative adventure.
I've heard very mixed reviews about this latest album, Xscape, which is a compilation of edited and unfinished works. Because I miss him so much, my plan is to get it and accept that fact that I will take what I can get. (Including the MJ hologram, which despite folks saying it's creepy, I actually enjoyed).
Coração a Batucar from Maria Rita
Daughter of the legendary Brazilian singer Elis Regina, has made a name of her own with a sweet eclectic sound. She's widely popular in Brazil, but I'm just getting hip to her amazing voice on this recent album infused with classic samba, pagode and bossa nova sounds.
The legendary hip hop trio, De La Soul, has made their entire catalog of music (and extra mixes and goodies) available for you to download for free, as of 11 am today until 12 pm tomorrow afternoon. You need to download it now! Even if you don't know their music, which is even more of a reason to do so. That's all I have to say.
Have a great weekend. Happy Valentine's Day, and stay warm my fellow east-coasters!
I really love Beyonce's new album. A lot. I've been playing it non-stop since its release, which is something I always do with new music I love. It usually takes another new album to allow me to give the other a break. In this case, I'm making space for Just a Band's 2012 release, Sorry for the Delay. I came across an article about this artists collective on the New York Times website, which talks about the work they're doing with video, design, photography, and of course music. While working on my own projects I began playing Sorry for the Delay and became a fan instantly. Their sound is wonderful. I especially love this song, "Probably for Lovers."
(Also, be sure to check out the article, "African Artists, Lifted by the Promises of Democracy and the Web," on NYT)
This year went by so fast. I recently read somewhere that some years bring questions and other years come with answers. This year, 2013, came with a lot of questions, so I'm hoping 2014 has some answers for me. Either way, this year was truly amazing. I learned a lot, saw a lot, and really enjoyed the (sometimes bumpy) ride.
I hope you're taking this time to reflect, refresh, and renew; whether it's alone in meditation or traveling to see family and friends I wish you a safe and fantastic holiday season.
As always, thank you for your support, and I look forward to seeing you in the new year!