Pop Culture The Word 5 minute read

Taylor Needs to Swiftly Take a Seat & Other Music Musings


I’m such a poor singer that I usually lip sync singing “Happy Birthday” at birthday parties.  Almost everybody, on both sides of my family can sing (some can saaaaang), so I thought it was something that would “kick in” as I got older.  It didn’t.  You’d think my lack of talent would keep me mum about all things music.  It doesn’t.  I’m like a person who can’t cook, but loves to eat and critiques the grub.  I love music and quickly share my opinions.  I gots some thangs to say about the current going-ons in the music industry.


Let’s just get this first thing out of the way:  I like Cardi B’s new album.  I’m not saying it’s a classic or that we will hear it in elevators 20 years from now.  But right now, it’s pushing me through workouts, getting my middle-aged butt on the dance floor, and helping ease the boredom and stress of traffic delays. There’s just somethin’ about this woman that I find likable (authenticity? her hustle-tude?).


Speaking of classics, Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation of Lauryn Hill would be solidly listed in my Top 20 Albums of all time.  I’ve been to her concerts before; and I would I just love to hear her belt out “Killing me Softly” just one more time.  But, I won’t be attending her 20th Anniversary Tour announced this week.  I just don’t have the stamina anymore; and for a Lauryn Hill concert, you’ve got to have stamina.  You will wait, and wait, and wait.  There is CP time, fashionably late time, and then there is Lauryn Hill time.  If you go, bring snacks, water and comfortable shoes (perhaps some cards –you could probably get a few spades games in with your friends and seat-mates).

Photo by Andrew H. Walker/REX/Shutterstock (9629341bu)
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Show, Cleveland, USA – 14 Apr 2018


If you are salty about anything that Sista did at Coachella, you need to get you some embossed Professional Hater cards because girlfriend represented for every Black woman, man, child, school and cause up on dat damn stage.  That’s all I have to say about that—cause she left it ALL said (including the a Black bibliography and footnotes) through her performance.

(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella)


I ain’t gonna lie, while I probably won’t be attending any of her concerts or downloading any of her music; I think Taylor Swift is a talented young lady. I also can flow with people covering other people’s songs.  Some of my favorite performances on the show, The Voice, have been when artist’s come with an interesting take on a popular song. And I am a writer-I’m all up in dis creative world.  We creative-types don’t work well with boundaries.  We need to let our creative juices flow.

But, I have straight choked on Taylor’s latest creative juice.  Her remake of Earth, Wind & Fire’s, “September” is insultingly, ‘hell-to-the-naw, no she didn’t’, bad.  It’s ‘even her momma had to know that bullshiggity was sorry’ bad. What in the “White-privilege, everything in the world is mine” made that skinny-tail girl think that she could sing THAT song (wait I think I answered my own question)?! Look, there are boundaries. There are hard “do not pass go, turn your ass around because you are trying to breathe in and sigh out rarified air.  There are just some artists that are unfuckablewith.

Let me make Article VII, Section (A), Subpart (iv) perfectly clear: Unless Thou’st is singing karaoke, thou art a pure amateur singing by yourself, or a professional performing at an award show or the person’s funeral/tribute,  it shall be a defacto violation and thou shalt not remake songs from the following artists:

Whitney Houston

Earth, Wind, and Fire

Michael Jackson

Luther Vandross (we loved Rueben Studdard when he was on American Idol singing Luther, but when he made an album and got for real on us, we didn’t seem to appreciate it as much).


Barry White

Aretha Franklin

Further the rules and provisos set forth above are compounded and applied doubly if thou’st: (1) isn’t Black; (2) can’t dance to the song they are trying to remake; and (3) wasn’t born when the song was created (so can’t even bring the soul from sneaking downstairs when your parents were doing the hustle with their friends in the living room).

Your compliance with these rules is required and any violations shall subject you to a public flogging and then banishment from the musical kingdom.


My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more


You Might Also Like...