Lynne d Johnson

 

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07.18.02 11:39 PM

gettin' my grind on

Sleep is a luxury at this point. Haven't laid the head to rest before 3 AM any night this week. To think, it'll probably be this way the next couple of weeks. Damn. I want to talk about yesterday a little bit though. It was one of those full days again. It began with work getting more interesting, that is in terms of the work that I'm supposed to be doing finally getting off the ground. Like I need a lot of work in the middle of finals. Anyway, at around 1 PM, the employer, VIBE/SPIN Ventures hosted a company picnic in Central Park. What does one do at a picnic on what was probably one of the hottest days of the year so far, especially when one doesn't play softball, football, or frisbee? If you're me, you get stuck with the company digital camera taking shots of all the activities and people. I did take my own camera, but of course (the forgetful woman I've become as of late) forgot my CompactFlash Memory Card. Since I can't post any of the photos that belong to the company, I can't share a pictorial overview of the event. Oh well. Actually though, it turned out to be a good day for me. Still new to the company, being camera woman gave me an opportunity to become more familiar with both magazines' teams. But it was really hot out there in the sun. And my melanated ass even got a little darker. Oh yes, sister can burn and peel, and she ain't even "light skinded."

Last night, I was on the guest list to see Zap Mamma DJ Project and Meshell Ndegeocello at SOBs. Well, I thought I was on the list. When I got there I found out that my contact at SOBs no longer worked there, and so her list was rendered null and void. As I was there and wanted to see the show anyway, I paid the $30 ticket price. Since I wasn't a VIP guest, I ended up being subjected to a search. And they almost didn't let me in b/c I had the digital camera with me. I had to promise not to use it. Again I find myself without photos to post. Had I known my boy Rich Medina was DJing for Zap Mamma, I would've asked him to get me on the list. I just seem to never take advantage of my relationships, or of being a writer/editor. Oh well.

It was a great night. But as you know, I am in the midst of finals and really have no time to get into detail about how anyone sang or played, or what they sang or played. I will add that Talib Kweli was there. If you don't know, he has spit gracious lyrics on both Zap Mamma and Meshell's latest projects. The track with Zap Mamma, "Yelling Away," appears on the Rawkus Records released Soundbombing 3. And with Meshell, he appears on "Hot Night," on Cookie the Anthropological Mix Tape.

From the Zap Mamma Web site, here is a description of their sound: "Unearthly harmonies born of Pygmy song, Moroccan chants and exhuberant scat made Zap Mama global a cappella queens. Now for the first time they meet the roots throb of bass and drums, shot through with equal parts highlife and hip-hop. Zap Mama is soul music for the diaspora. "If your ears are open," mama Zap Marie Daulne says, "you'll understand."

What I can say about Meshell is that it took her 45 minutes after Zap Mamma left the stage to perform. And oh, she had jokes. When she began the go-go influenced "Berry Farms," it went a little something like this: "She was about 17. Sound like R. Kelly." She went on to say, "It wasn't him. I didn't see the video, but it wasn't him." She also made a joke about how you could go down to 125th St. and get a special on the video and Best of Both Worlds. After a hearty chuckle, she said, "I love bootlegs." Somewhere else in the song, around the chorus, "She couldn't love me without shame/ She only wanted me for one thang/ But you should teach your boy to do that," she inserted the lyrics "My neck/ My back." Everyone of course got the reference to Khia's dirty song from the dirty south. (An aside: Speaking of that song, have you heard the remix with Memphis Bleek? That boy is nasty. And I mean that in the negative sense. He says something to the effect of, "skeet in her weave then tell her to leave.") Anyway, back to Meshell. It was mainly a slow music night. There were several instrumental interludes, and lots of musician solos. She was definitely on point. Wish I could say more, but the clock is ticking on me. I'm just glad I paid the money for entry.

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