It took a ridiculous amount of time to take one decent picture. I felt I had to share it with all of you.

It took a ridiculous amount of time to take one decent picture. I felt I had to share it with all of you.


halphillips:

You can judge an era by its failures.  We remember the trailblazers, not the countless forgettable imitations, but these imitations reflect the zeitgeist.  They were not exceptional; they were aggressively normal.  With this in mind, I give you the East Coast Family.

After successfully shepherding Bell Biv Devoe, Boyz II Men, and Another Bad Creation to fame, Michael Bivins was ready to cement his role as an R&B mogul.  He labeled his collective the East Coast Family, founded Biv 10 Records, signed a bunch of up-and-comers, and put out a compilation.  Most of the songs were leftovers from his big stars, but the leadoff track, “1-4-All-4-1”, is a sampler of all his new proteges.  And its video, essentially a commercial, introduces the next wave of East Coast Family superstars, including Fruit Punch, Tom Boyy, and a group of white guys called Whytgize.

Sadly, none of these acts were ever heard from again.  I don’t mean they were unsuccessful; I mean they literally never released anything.  No failed albums.  No forgotten singles.  Just this one silly little non-song to remind them that 20 years ago, they thought they might get famous.

This was not a hit.  It is not what people were listening to in 1991.  But it is kind of what mainstream R&B sounded like in 1991, at its worst.  This is a historical document of what happened when a bunch of marginally talented singers in 1991 tried their best to do what they thought was expected of them.

Full disclosure: I remember begging my father to let me stay up later so I could catch this video.

So, once upon a time in the early 90s…this happened. 

One thing of note: not everyone in this video faded into obscurity. Over two minutes into the video, you might recognize a familiar face. That’s Yvette Nicole Brown, better known as Shirley from NBC’s Community


The Reluctant Role Model (Real Talk)

This following is adapted from a Facebook post I made after a lengthy conversation with my little brother not too long ago. Figured I’d share it because maybe someone else could relate. 

What started out as a brief text message ended up as a phone call (mainly because I was tired of typing and I realized that I could just, y’know, pick up the phone and actually SAY what I was thinking versus sending and iMessage). And what started out as a moment where a big brother is sharing knowledge about the awkward, uncomfortable clusterfuck that is middle school with his younger sibling turned into something a little deeper as I thought about it and as we continued talking.

I may not be anyone’s father at the present time, but this applies to anyone who has children looking up to them: your actions and decisions have more of an impact than you may realize. Children look up to their parents, grandparents, guardians, aunts, uncles, and even their much older siblings (in my case) and what you say and do can affect them a great deal. Look here, here, here, and here if you need empirical data to support this claim.

The example you set and the lessons they learn from you can either be good or bad. And those moments when you think it doesn’t matter may be the ones that matter the most. It is up to you to determine what example you provide. You can either be a hero or a cautionary tale. Choose wisely.


Good Question.


Greek Festival!

Greek Festival!



What’s this? Ledisi singing a song with a suggestive title? AND it’s upbeat and would fit right in on a Rhythmic Contemporary radio station’s playlist? HAS SHE LOST HER DAMN MIND?

No she hasn’t. And in fact, it’s kinda refreshing . She’s looking good, feeling confident and comfortable, and she wants her music to reflect it. I ain’t mad. I can only hope I’m just as fly at 42 as she is.


Hasn’t that always kinda been the assumption? Thanks for excusing that behavior before now, urinal seal manufacturing company.

Hasn’t that always kinda been the assumption? Thanks for excusing that behavior before now, urinal seal manufacturing company.


A battlefield. Patient and kind. A secondhand emotion. Blind. Or maybe it’s just a sign in front of an office building.

A battlefield. Patient and kind. A secondhand emotion. Blind. Or maybe it’s just a sign in front of an office building.


The view from my parents’ back porch.

The view from my parents’ back porch.


Me and bae ride in style.

Me and bae ride in style.



…good dog.

…good dog.


Happy first day of Spring to those of us in the Northern Hemisphere! Hoping it’s a wonderful three months for you for all of its symbolism as well as its real beauty.