Let Me Take A Moment… [Love is a Verb ]

On April 8, 2016 we had an incredibly blessed night! Shaun Liriano Poetic Productions had a poetry showcase in Saint Albans Queens. I want to thank the performers and everyone who came out to support “Love is a Verb.” I can not articulate how amazing the experience was. The energy took my breath away. Stay tuned for more events and write me on Twitter @ShutyaMouthNow , Facebook Shaunee Liriano and subscribe to our BRAND NEW YouTube Shaun Liriano.

Serina Young is creative arts director of Synergism Dance Company. She began dancing at the age of 4 and continued to study dance at LIU. Her passion for the arts has led her to start her own dance company. Synergism provides the arts to artists of all ages and all levels.

image

Janessa Terry has been dancing with St Benedict School of Dance since 2005. She is an instructor in Brooklyn and also a high school mentor.  Janessa is also an assistant teaching artist under the Urban Arts Partnership. She graduated Forest Hills High School in 2014.

image

image

James Jones Jr. is a musician, arranger, composer, vocalist and music director. He is also the VP of Jenjillus Music Corporation. James is the son of Jimmy “Handyman” Jones. James has music on Jango.com (Radio airplay), YouTube and Amazon. His new CD is entitled “Chains of Love.”

image

Carlin is a R&B /Pop singer , songwriter,  and producer. You can check out his music at carlinsmusic.com.
He also has a radio show at BlogTalkRadio.

image

image

Chinna Njoku has been dancing since she was 7 years old under the direction of Mrs. Frances Rhymes and Mrs. Terri Rhymes-Lowery. She says, “I came in with two left feet and they molded me into the dancer and the woman I am today.”

image

image

Devin Olivas is a loving father, husband, and musician. He is a Queens native who enjoys the arts.  Currently he is pursuing a degree in special education.

image

So much love in the building…

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

If you’d like a demo cd please comment below or email me at shutyamouthandcallmeugly@gmail.com

image

Advertisements

James Jones Jr. “Chains of Love” Continuing A Legacy (Diamond In the Rough)

James Jones Jr. is a musician in every sense of the title. He is an arranger, composer, vocalist, and musical director. He is the vice president of the Jenjillus Music Corporation. One of the artists he worked closely with was his late father and music mogul, Jimmy “Handyman” Jones.  Jimmy is best known for his 1960 hit “Handyman.”  “Handyman” was released in 1959 and gave Jones his first US and UK hit single. James Jones Jr directed Jimmy in the recording studio as well as all live performances. They did numerous shows and sold out tours including The United Kingdom and The Greek Amphitheater in Los Angeles California. James Jones Jr is hoping to give honor to his father’s legacy but also to leave his own unique signature on the music industry.  His new CD has been released on the JenJillus Label and it is entitled, “Chains Of Love”.  The album is a compilation of love songs with a plethora of background vocals and upbeat tempos.  It’s what I call “step music.”  Catchy lyrics and the musicality is just plain ol’ FUN! 

Check it out at: http://www.jango.com/music/James+Jones+Jr+?l=0

CD’s can be purchased at: http://www.jenjillusmusic.com/    

See James Jones Jr’s notorious father on You Tube:www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKpbNvDg6zY

James Jones Jr

What’s Your Karaoke Song?

image

You enter the small room. There’s a phone on the wall to call the bar and grill if you need some more “liquid courage. ” The room is dimly lit. There is a large screen,  seating and binders on the table with thousands of song choices.  What song are you looking for?

My two go to choices are always:

Hotel California by The Eagles
” Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device”
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast”

And 911 by Wyclef Jean feat Mary J

[Mary J. Blige]
“So cold
Sometimes I feel like I’m a prisoner
I think I’m trapped here for a while
(but I’m always right here with you girl)
And every breath I fight to take
Is as hard as these four walls I wanna break
I told the cops you wasn’t here tonight
Messin’ around with me is gonna get you life
Oh yeah, yeah
But everytime I look into your eyes
Then it’s worth the sacrifice”

I sing those songs at the top of my lungs including all the riffs and ad libs! I sing them and I’m reminded of my first Karaoke machine (a gift from Santa.) I would record songs straight from the radio on blank tapes. If you weren’t careful you would record the commercials by accident.  So I would stand attentively next to the karaoke machine and hit stop just before the disk jockey would announce the song that just played.

My dad used to blast Hotel California from the basement.  I couldn’t appreciate the lyrics when I was younger.   As an adult I recognize how truly creative they really are. They tell a great story. You envision a place so beautiful becoming a prison,  a place you can’t escape from.  The contrast is the fact that in between the lyrical stanzas are beautiful instrumental solos playing so freely.   You can hear the liberation.  I envied the talent and had to just be complacent in my air playing on my electric hairbrush.

Someone wise once defined love this way: “Love is insanity.” Music often encapsulates that sentiment.  So many songs.  So much expression.  So many emotions. So many other undefined anomalies. So many antithetical ideas placed carefully on the music staff.  What’s your song? What plays on the “old school at noon” that makes you throw your hand in the air? What are you vigorously looking for in those binders?  Share with me in the comments.

~SMN

Special

image

Everyone thinks they’re special but you really are
Like the hembra and the macho bongos
Our hearts beat together and make beautiful percussion
You really are
A shining light
I can see from afar
Deep in the darkness
And everything they think you are crazy for believing in
And for every time they tried to control you with hatred
And for everyone who still doesn’t “get” you
I do
And I think you’re special. 

Happy Valentine’s Day from Shutyamouthandcallmeugly! 

-SMN

Show Em Whatcha Got

Recently I went to an annual gathering with some close friends from college.  We’ve been doing it since we were in school. We used to do secret Santa and potluck. We’d play games and tell stories. Over time our lives have evolved. Everyone is pushing thirty and growing families.  So last year we brought our significant others. We had a great time and the guys got better acquainted with one another. This year it was ladies only.

We ate food we couldn’t pronounce at a cute restaurant in the city.  Then we walked down the block to a little lounge. Now it was only 9:30 so no one was there but that was OK! We have always been that way. Never needed to fraternize in order to have fun. Just us girls, a comfortable place and maybe a couple of drinks and we would certainly have some laughs. Besides most of us have children now and have to do the mommy thing when we get home.

We sat in the lounge laughing with one another and seat dancing to the music. I glanced at my friend in a leopard mini-dress and envied the fact that her shower must be long enough to shave above the knee. With my crying little one, I have to make it quick. Sometimes shaving gets cut! I donned leather pants and a fur vest. The others were in cute and classy ensembles. We were all equally excited to see one another. There was only one issue…the music.

I don’t know if he was warming up but DJ Pandemic (or something like that) just couldn’t quite get it together. He would cut songs at the wrong time. He would let some songs play out too long. It just wasn’t going well for him. Then it happened!
DJ Terrible (or something like that) played “Love U Better” (2002) LL Cool J. Everyones head went back, hands went in the air, and eyes closed. It was like an r&b prayer.

“A toast to the queen, you’re back in my life
But this time I’m a do it right
Trust me from the bottom of my heart
Nothin’s gonna tear us apart, promise…”

That’s when I thought about the power of music and creativity. How can a song do that? How can music take you so far away?  Words are so powerful. Everyone was in the same reflective space. LL was singing our ghetto pledge of allegiance.

With one Old School at Noon hit on your local radio station, we get time travel.
“Flashlight” by Parliament and I’m in the basement dancing with my eccentric father.
image

“The Power” by Snap and I’m back at St Benedict School of Dance onstage in Jamaica Queens. I’m back to dreaming of being a singer, then a lawyer, and then a physical therapist (I was an indecisive child.)
image

Back to the sole responsibility of keeping my room clean. Back to a place in my heart I faintly remember where all you are expected to do is dream. If I hear “Weak” by SWV, I’m in my bedroom rewinding the cassette tape over and over on my karaoke machine. Careful not to rewind too far back because then you would hear the commercials from me taping the single from the radio. I’m in size 6 old navy jeans and a Tommy Hilfiger t-shirt and baby blue and white Nike uptowns with the strap undone.

I encourage you to “dig in the crates” and listen to the music that used to make your parents want to hide your Sony Walkman (yeah no iPods back then.) I encourage you to take a journey away from bills, car repairs, pressures, work, and the credit card debt you just accumulated from Christmas shopping. Go to that place…tilt your head back…raise your right hand…close your eyes or ShutYaMouthAndCallMeUgly.

By SMN

New Release from “The Wealth Club” w/ commentary by Figgy

Disclaimer

The opinions, recommendations, and comments expressed in the following post are solely those of the artists’ and subjects quoted.  They do not represent the position of ShutYaMouthAndCallMeUgly.com.  This site does not endorse the expletives used in the song nor do we necessarily share the intended outlook of the artists.  However, it is our estimation that art (no matter what form) should be celebrated and never calibrated. As always we request the feedback of the ShutYaMouthAndCallMeUgly.com family and we encourage you to engage with the artists’.

“The Nike Strike” ft History [Prod By. Dre Dollasz]

Nike Strike

Nike Strike

 

 

 

 

 

 

To listen to the new release click here ——> The Nike Strike

If you read the feature we did on The Wealth Club in July 2012, you may have noticed a drastic difference in content and delivery.   I asked Figgy for a brief commentary on the song so that we may clear up any misunderstandings or presumptions.

SYMACMU: We all know there’s been controversy revolved around the low wages and working conditions in overseas Nike shoe factories. Is that all that inspired this song and the accompanying cover art?

FIGGY: Well actually, The Nike Strike is a metaphor for a break from the norm. Our culture becomes so infatuated with what’s in and what’s trendy that we forget to set the trends. You take a ride on any form of public transportation and you’re bound to find teenagers rockin’ the latest Nikes or Jordan’s, or some other fashion that someone told them was fly. The fact that Nike takes part in the overseas underworld of menial labor only attests to the fact that we don’t even know what we’re doing. I made the song to let people know that the only person that benefits from the 300 dollars spent on these sneakers is Michael Jordan himself. I want to encourage people to think for themselves and not be subject to believing the things they are told.

SYMACMU: The closing of the song says, “Art over commerce.”  A synonym for commerce is trade.  Some may argue, commerce strengthens our international social relations.  As with many revolutions, we historically coin phrases that are catchy or attention grabbing.  Is it safe to assume that you are attacking the art of fashion and accusing major brands of being trendy rather than authentic?

FIGGY: Art over Commerce is the title of my series’ of mixtapes. The theme Art over Commerce focuses around the idea of art being more important than the monetary gain. Obviously the point of making a career out of being an artist would be to ultimately make money, but at what cost? Too often we see hiphop artists portray an on-screen facade to make themselves relevant or to “come up”. Hip hop is based around the premise of honest expression. How can we call ourselves hip hop artists or be part of the hip hop generation if we aren’t willing to stay true to its origins?

SYMACMU:  Do you consider yourselves “conscious rappers”?

FIGGY: We aren’t conscious rappers. We find inspiration in our everyday lives and what’s important to us and we speak on it. I don’t like to categorize us at all. The categorization places limits on the directions that we can go. Basically we do what feels right.

SYMACMU: The majority of my readers are females.  This particular track is laced with profanity including the word bitch.  Traditional and contemporary feminists have fought against the common use of this word almost as much as Black educators and neo-revolutionaries have fought against the word Nigger.  How do you defend the use of the words bitch and nigger in this song?

FIGGY: I have a deep respect for the power of language. I feel as if the context gives the word a situational meaning. For example, women call each other bitches all the time and it’s okay because within the context, the word bitch becomes a term of endearment. But if I were to call a woman a bitch it would be a blatant sign of disrespect. On the other side of the spectrum I also believe in calling a spade a spade. Although we’re blessed to have many respectable upstanding beautiful women making their way in life, we also have the bottom of the totem pole bitches and that’s fact. As for the word nigger, I think it affects you as much as you let it. I look at the transition of the word as a mark of our progression. We have taken a word that was used to demean and terrorize our people and alienated the people responsible from using it. I know many people would disagree and state that we should rid ourselves of the word all along which I don’t any problem in doing,  but while it’s being used I say we keep it to ourselves.

-Shaun Nickens

Girl, Thats Not Your Booty, That’s Your Hip!!! (Challenging Accepted American Media Images of Women of Color)

I don’t care what she tells you.  I don’t care if she looks you right in the eye when she says it.  If she says she doesn’t check her butt out in the mirror before she leaves the house, she’s lying!  We’re all guilty of it.  Hair, skin, nails and booty.  At this point, I don’t even know what I’m looking for!  I’m 27 and I’m aware nothing back there is going to change.  I’m not genetically configured in a way that constitutes a big ol’ Nicki Minaj backside.  Shoot…it wasn’t in her genetic make up either!!!!  I can’t afford the shots and I heard the serum can leak into another  body part and you’ll get a fat knee or belly button or something. Ewww!  So at some point you have to be happy with what you have and be confident and innately sexy.  When was it determined that booty makes a woman sexy?

I remember sitting in an auditorium at Stony Brook University and listening to an informative speech about the story of Sarah Baartman  AKA “The Hottentot Venus.”  I was so moved I decided to do a feature on it with a youth group I worked with at a local dance studio.  We inserted a tribute to her in our annual black history show.  If you don’t know her story I’ll give you the edited version.  She was one of the Khoi people of South Africa.  She was a slave under British rule and she was sent to London in 1810 as a “performer” for “exhibition.”  She was exhibited because of her alluring aesthetic appeal in comparison to European women of that time and her physical features were considered bizarre.  She was the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not of her time.  After she died (allegedly of smallpox) her genitalia was displayed in a Parisian museum.  I was so hurt.  How could a human being objectify another human being like that?

I examine where we are present day.  I think about the images forced upon us by main stream media.  We are surrounded by booty!  Turn on the radio…what do you hear?  Rihanna’s “Cake”, Big Sean singing “ass ass ass ass ass ass ass ass…”, or how about the contemporary version of the 80’s babies party anthem by Luke “I Wanna Rock”.  I’m showing my age but remember that song by 2 Live Crew “Pop That Coochie”?  We all know Sir-Mix-A-Lot “I like big butts.”  This has been going on for years!  We’ve been brainwashed by booty.  In a way I support it because there was also a time where curves weren’t accepted at all and we were sending the wrong messages with pencil thin chain-smoking models on our television screens.  However, there has to be a definitive line drawn.  This line has to be thick enough and bold enough to honor our heritage.  This line has to be thin enough and bright enough to be able to laugh at ourselves in certain circumstances.  Who doesn’t love the Thugnificent song from animated series “The Boondocks” entitled , “Booty Butt Cheeks?”

This line has to be transparent enough that we can step over it and around it when people of other ethnicities and cultures attempt to comment on the subjects that we think are exclusive to our own colored community.  Let me be clear…there is no topic that can be our own little secret.  So if it would offend you if your Caucasian brother or sister mentions a black woman’s rear end…maybe it shouldn’t be a topic of conversation for you either.  I need us to be able to recognize when things have gone too far.  I can’t shop for my 13-year-old sister anymore!  The shirts look like bras!  The shorts look like panties!  There’s writing on the back of the pants.  I’m alarmed as a sibling, let alone a parent.  I’m going to learn how to sew so she can wear clothes that actually cover and protect her body!

I was describing an outfit to a co-worker the other day.  I was telling her how I couldn’t wait to wear it because it accentuated my “curves.”  She said, “What curves?  You have no booty.”  I’m used to comments like this so I stood up and I did my best booty pose with an award-winning provocative smile.  She simply responded, “You’re so cute. Girl, that ain’t booty, that’s your hip!”  We all cracked up and then attempted to resume working with tears in our eyes.  As women we have to accept all forms of beauty and appeal,  we have to love ourselves because media will never give us accurate perceptions of what attracts a man to a woman.  We think in different ways, our feelings vary, and our self-expression will always be similar but never identical.  To any woman who struggles with body image and consciousness…love yourself (I don’t care how cliché it sounds)…or ShutYaMouthAndCallMeUgly 😉

-By Shaun Nickens