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Archive for July, 2011

Weed smoke, grown men fainting and people with no concept of personal space could not stop me enjoying this night. Since attending this event I have sported at least two hairstyles inspired by Erykah Badu. Yes, she was that good.

Erykah Badu

Am yet to master this style

With a DJ support act the diva kept us waiting a little while. When her band came on and played an incredibly long but funky intro the crowd became more and more focused on the stage. Despite the sloping floor people stretched their necks to witness Badu’s entrance. And there she was, in pigtails, a cowboy hat and her signature long poncho. She greeted us and opened her set with a song called ‘Happy to see you again’, extending her warmth and initiating us into the funk that was to penetrate our souls. (more…)

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As the growing crowd waited for the acts to come on stage there was an excited anticipation in the air. For anyone who does not know of J Dilla, he was a highly original music producer and founding member of hip hop collective Slum Village. Sadly he died in 2006 of a rare blood disease and lupus. Many describe him as a genius and he was worked with countless famous artists including Janet Jackson, Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, Common, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest.

Jay Dilla

Jay Dilla

My friend, one of the biggest Dilla fans I know, bobbed up and down enthusiastically as some of Dilla’s later tunes were pumped out by the somewhat distorted Jazz café soundsystem. A group of people near the front seemed to have practiced Dilla dance routines at home as they danced energetically in sync with each other. It was incredibly crowded but the vibe seemed laid-back, cool and even slightly geeky. Dilla fans tend to be really into their music. (more…)

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Marie Claire recently reported that mental health problems are found in two thirds of women. I find this statistic quite worrying and I ask myself what is causing all this distress. In the last few years the pressures on women do seem to have significantly increased and diversified. We are expected to be all things to all people: Look good, have great careers, earn our own money, be independent (look after ourselves) but also nurturing (look after others), and if we have children we must be perfect mothers who succeed at work, prepare nutritious meals at home and never let the strain show.

meditation

One thing we can do is ask ourselves where these demands are coming from. It is admirable to have high standards and expect the best of ourselves. However, if those standards are set by anyone other than ourselves we are living someone else’s life. Celebrity culture scrutinizes women brutally for how they look, advertising encourages us to fear ageing as well as less than sparkly clean homes, and facebook wants to broadcast our degree and work history! Then there are the expectations of our families, friends and people we meet throughout our lives. (more…)

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