BornTooBlog Readers

November 29, 2011

Video Spotlight: Don Trip feat. Cee-Lo "A Letter To My Son"

I recently heard this song on the radio and was taken aback by the honesty and realness of the lyrics.  This song is my first introduction to Don Trip, a street poet from Memphis, Tennessee, who's mission is to be the voice of the people in these difficult social and economic times.  Don Trip enlisted the voice of one of my favs, soulful Cee-Lo Green.  Cee-Lo is known for bringing deep emotions out of songs and elevating them to a platform that speaks of the struggle in a way that is not only socially conscious, but also pleasing to one's ears.

The song entitled A Letter To My Son displays a father speaking to his only son, expressing the difficulties of raising the son, when all his mother wants to do is use him as a bargaining tool due to their failed relationship.  I spoke about this occurrence when I initially started my blog in the post Where's Daddy?  Too often, young fathers find themselves struggling to build relationships with their children due to the mother being difficult, caddy, messy and down right selfish.  I never understood why a mother would want to keep her children from their father.  Most children in urban neighborhoods barely get a chance to see their fathers, let alone see them at all.  Naturally, when I see mothers keeping their children away from their fathers who want to be in their lives, it makes me angry and confused.

There are so many fathers out there that are going through this, which is why I wanted to highlight this song to give a voice to the proud fathers who will have to wait until their children get older in to explain their misunderstood absence.  Mothers might think they have all the power, but ultimately, once the children realize what's going on, they will now be subject to the inquiries and judgement of their children.  Who really is winning in this situation anyway?

I appreciate Don Trip for bringing this occurrence to the forefront, in the hopes that some mothers will recognize the error in their ways and finally put the child first.  As I said in my previous post on this subject, if the father is violent or a detriment to the child, by all means, restrict his access to his children.  However, I will never justify keeping a man from his children due to their lack of funds or even further, a failed relationship between the child's parents.  It is no excuse and these women need to stop it immediately before they ruin their relationship with their children altogether.

Take a listen to the song and check out the video:

What do you think about the song and video?
Did Cee-Lo make a nice addition to the song?
Do you relate to the issue Don Trip is addressing in this video?
Have you experienced a jealous/hurtful/selfish baby mother who won't let you see your children?
How does this song make you feel as a father in this situation?

November 8, 2011

My 31 Years On This Earth...

During My 31 Years On This Earth....

I've learned that money isn't everything; that love conquers all and true friends are hard to come by.
I've learned that success comes from hard work, focus and fortitude.  The ability to go the distance and do what you love and are good at.
I've learned that if you put God and your family first, you can't lose.
I've learned that actions speak louder than words and your word is your bond.
I've learned to tune out the naysayers.
I've learned to exclude negative people, thoughts and decisions from my life.
I've learned that true passion comes with a purpose!

During My 31 Years On This Earth....

I've learned to love myself more than I love anyone or anything.
I've learned that fear and self-doubt are the enemy to my progression and the antagonist to my goals.
I've learned to have an open heart, eyes, ears, and mind.
I've learned to laugh at myself and not take things too seriously.
I've learned to plan for the future, but live in the NOW!
I've learned that whatever you do in this life comes back to you, good or bad.
I've learned to keep fighting, even when I feel like giving up.
I've learned to forgive.

During My 31 Years On This Earth...

I've learned to trust the power of the universe and to seek beauty through any and everything.
I've learned that everything isn't black and white.
I've learned to stand on my convictions and speak my truth, no matter who disagrees.
I've learned to be me to the fullest extent, but to balance my personality traits around others.
I've learned that traveling to other places can expand your horizons and lift your spirit and teach you things you can't learn in a classroom or a book.
I've learned that treating people the way you want to be treated is indeed...THE GOLDEN RULE!!!
I've learned that at the end of the day, no one is stopping you, but YOU!

I have so much more to learn and am thankful for the opportunity to do so.  I pray that my words reach at least one person in a positive/progressive manner and that I leave a mark on this world, before it all is said and done.

Maya Nichelle

P.S. I've learned that I was BORN TO BLOG........Thanks for reading!

November 7, 2011

BET Presents: Black Girls Rock!!!!

Last night I had the pleasure of viewing the taping of the Black Girls Rock Award show that aired on the BET Network and was hosted by the beautiful duo, Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King, who both looked AMAZING!  Hell, everyone looked amazing as the big names and not so big names, as well as the young and old, graced the red carpet at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc. was founded in 2006 as a non-profit organization that "seeks to build the self-esteem and self-worth of young women of color by changing their outlook on life, broadening their horizons, and helping them to empower themselves."  In doing this, founder, DJ and former model, Beverly Bond, created an award show to honor and celebrate the brilliance of black women both with celebrity and without. 

Last night Black Girls Rock honored none other than political activist and Black Panther, Angela Davis, with the Icon Award.  I literally had tears in my eyes when I looked at Ms. Davis and realized that her struggle for freedom and civil rights was not too long ago, yet we still have so much to do.  Ms. Davis looked lovely and gave a riveting acceptance speech about the power that lies in every single black woman across the world.

Gospel great Shirley Ceaser was also honored with the Living Legend Award for her remarkable career in music as well as her spiritual work as a pastor in North Carolina.  Academy Award Nominee Taraji Henson was also one of the younger awardees who was highlighted with the Star Power award for her work on and off the big screen.  Other awardees included Laurel Richie, President of the WNBA who received the Shot Caller award and Tatyana Ali, who received the Young, Black & Gifted Award.

Performances were made by newcomer Elle Varner, Estelle, Melanie Fiona, Erykah Badu & Mary J. Blige, Mary Mary as well as a poignant poem rendered by the incomparable Ms. Jill Scott.  Overall the show was very enjoyable and enlightening as they highlighted the youth that were also making a difference in their communities.

Now, enough of the talk about the awardees, the performers and the true BornTooBlog fashion, lets get down to the red carpet:

Black Girls Rock Founder Beverly Bond looked classy in her all black sleeveless ensemble and peep-toe pumps.  The hair and makeup are beautiful.

Newcomer Elle Varner showed her funky/spunky side with a colorful, one-shoulder silk dress.  The up do adds a nice touch.

Jill Scott looked AMAZING after her significant weight loss in her all black fit with the curly fro to boot.  She looks great.

La La Vasquez looked STUNNING in her long-sleeve creme gown with the side slit, showing some leg.  The pink lip pops against the cream fabric.  This was my fav ensem of the night!!!!

Laurie Ann Gibson rocked in a gold and black Versace-esqe tank dress and peep-toe booties.

Mary J. also opted for an ALL BLACK ensemble.
Mary Mary

Melanie Fiona shined in a silk backless cocktail dress with pink pumps.  I'm loving the color and Ms. Fiona's new haircut.  She looks great!

Co-host Regina King showed off her ripped bod in a red strapless number. 
Shanell (Lil' Wayne's ex-boo) - NO WORDS except a *side eye*
Taraji Henson sort of disappointed me with this ensemble.  The makeup and hair ages her, but she is a true beauty nonetheless.
Tatyana Ali looked young and chic in this creme-colored beaded gown.

Tracee Ellis needs a bra on with this dress. o_O  She looks fresh faced and chic, but not glam enough in my opinion for the affair.  Her other outfits on stage were much more FAB!

To all those who saw the show, I would love to hear your feedback.\

To those who have not seen the show, you can catch footage, bios, pics and performances here:

For more information on the non-profit organization Black Girls Rock, click here:

November 4, 2011

Ok, I Take It Back: Revisit to Post: "Just How Much Does Money Affect Relationships?"

I previously wrote a post entitled "Just How Much Does Money Affect Relationships???"  I got lots of feedback on and offline, but it was mostly from the fellas who felt that I wasn't seeing the issue from their perspective.  Well, here I am two months later, contemplating and rethinking a lot of the things I wrote in the post.  In the post I questioned the validity of some men's excuse for not wanting a relationship due to their lack of discretionary funds aka because they're broke!  By no means was I downplaying men who are struggling in this current negative financial climate, nor was it my intention to put anyone down or "male-bash" as some would call it.  I was simply questioning if this common excuse that women hear was really the case, and not what I believed to be a cop out.

After weeks of thinking about this post, speaking to people and experiencing things on my own I am now ready to admit that I see what the fellas were saying.  NO! Money is not everything, but it does afford a certain comfort and lifestyle that is elusive without it.  What really helped me see the light was understanding what role money plays in a relationship, outside of special occasions like birthdays and holidays.  I thought to myself, "Since money can't buy love, what can it actually buy?"  While pondering this I realized that money, or the lack thereof, could be a deal breaker in a relationship.  Case in point.  Money affords men to take us on dates, vacations, etc.  We all know that romance is what keeps relationships that have been going for awhile fresh and exciting.

Spending quality time outside of the home with the one you love can bring another level of intimacy that cannot be gained from cuddling on the couch watching movies.  The spark you both get when you look into each other's eyes over dinner, or hold each other's hands in the movies can do wonders for the sex life, and as I said earlier, keep things fresh and new.  I also realized, sitting at home with nothing to do due to a lack of funds can cause tension and staleness in a relationship.  Getting out together, enjoying each other's company in public, etc. can do wonders for a relationship that was once sizzling, but now seems to be fizzing out.

So for the first time in BornTooBlog history, I will say that I take back what I said and now understand the other side to my previous post, Just How Much Does Money Affect Relationships???.  I'm sure many men will be happy to witness this turn of events.  I will never declare that my views cannot be challenged nor that I can not be persuaded to the other side of the fence.  One of the main reasons I created this blog was for everyone to be able to share their ideas and insight on a variety of topics that they felt passionate about.  I am learning new things everyday and today, I am happy to say I learned this!

Do you think my change of heart was warranted?
Did you agree or disagree with my previous post?
How much do you think money affects relationships?
Has a women broke up with you because a lack of funds?

November 1, 2011

Throwback Tuesday: Tyrese's "Signs Of Love Making" + New Album "Open Invitation" & Video for "Stay"

We all recall that beautiful chocolate specimen singing on the bus on the Coca-Cola commercial many years ago.  That beautiful black skin and those pearly whites exposing a raspy, yet strong vocal ability that no one had expected.  Although Tyrese first came on the scene singing, he is now more well known for his acting gigs on Hollywood blockbuster sequels like Fast & Furious and Transformers.  Fortunately, Tyrese is now getting back to his roots...R&B!

Tyrese has a few albums under his belt and some of his most noteworthy tracks like Sweet Lady and One have always been geared toward the ladies, whether it be apologizing for what he's done or saying he will do better.  I wanted to feature Tyrese's Signs Of Love Making for the Throwback Tuesday video for because it is definitely one of my favs from his body of work...check it out:

He gives a special shoutout to Scorpio females at the 1:34 mark:

"I met a Scorpio. *PAUSE* Damn! 
She had no limit to where she'd go.
And she was so damn sexual. 
She said, "Tyrese, are you ready for me?"
I'll do anything to fulfill your needs. 
Tell me what you want, and I got you baby. 
Whisper in my ear, while I'm driving you crazy". 
I'll smack it from the side. 
While I'm grabbin' them thighs. 
Now I know, what zodiac signs are all about"

Sorry...Its November, so you KNOW I had to do it!

Tyrese's new album Open Invitation hit stores and iTunes today and boasts some of his best work to date, according to the man himself.  I already love his new track Stay, which automatically takes me back to the ol' school vibe of R&B when a man would beg his woman to stay with him after he had done her wrong.  Tyrese has captured that ol' school feel and combined it with a new and fresh perspective, which I love.  He and his favorite co-star, Taraji Henson, are featured in the video for Stay.  Check it out below:

Here is the album cover and track listing for his new album Open Invitation:

1.  I’m Home (feat. Jay Rock)
2.  I Gotta Chick (feat. Rick Ross)
3.  Stay
4.  Best of Me
5.  Nothing On You
6.  One Night
7.  It’s All On Me
8.  Too Easy (feat. Ludacris)
9.  Takeover
10. I Miss That Girl
11. Interlude
12. Make Love
13. Angel (feat. Candice)
14. Walk
15. What Took You So Long
16. Do It

Are you a fan of Tyrese's?
Do you plan on purchasing the album?
How do you like the video for the first single Stay?
Do you think Tyrese can make a comeback?