Keep Beyonce’s Name Out Of Your Mouth

One reason you will never hear me complain about the Beyhive stanning for Beyonce. Aside from the fact that she’s awesome, it’s that even in the 21st century, celebrating phenomenal black women is still a revolutionary act.

Prelude:

Setting: A dream (?) from a few years back where I wake up and find myself strapped to a lab table. Everything is dark and blurry but I hear voices overhead.

Female Voice: Ladies, gentlemen, non gender binary individuals present. We can rebuild him. We have the technology and the magic. We have the capability to transform this candidate into a sleeper agent for the Beyhive. Dennis R. Upkins will be that agent. Ready to act on behalf of King Bey at a moment’s notice. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster, wiser.

Male Voice: Are you sure he’s the right candidate?

Female Voice: This comes from High Command. Apparently he’s been on the radar of the Illuminati for quite some time. 

Male Voice: I think he’s waking up.

Female Voice: Oh crap.

Denny: [Groggy] Where am I???? What’s going on????

Male Voice: Back to sleep you. [Places anesthetic mask back on my face. Everything fades to black……..]

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Like countless others, you could count me as a fan of one Beyonce Knowles-Carter. Between her music, films, artistry, philanthropy, and activism, she is not only a role model and an inspiration but the personification of #BlackExcellence.

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While I’ve been a fan of Bey’s, I never considered myself a member of the Beyhive. But you wouldn’t know it given how vocal I’ve been over the years am in defending Beyonce against attacks of white supremacy. But not all agents of white supremacy are of the caucasian persuasion. Many are other blacks all too eager to the devil’s bidding.

Which brings us to one Nnedi Okorafor.

As speculative fiction authors, she and I run in many of the same circles. And many white spec fic fans and authors kept recommending her to me. Always happy to support a sister (or so I thought), I read some of her stuff which was pretty solid and followed her on social media. However it wasn’t long before I realized why she was such a darling for white audiences.  Okorafor began showing who she truly is. From petulant temper tantrums to unprovoked attacks, she would regularly abuse everyone from fans to other authors on social media and would then cowardly delete her comments to cover up her toxic behavior, usually aimed at other Blacks.

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Double Platinum: The Best Music of 2017 and 2018

As the dearth of posts this past year will illustrate, the last year or so has been crazy busy for me with a plethora of freelance writing projects. As a professional writer, that’s always a good problem to have.

Because of this, by the time I realized that I never posted my Top Music List of 2017, 2018 was nearly over. The same nearly happened the year before as well. So to appease this mistake and my OCD, I’m doing a double feature with a Top List of both 2017 and 2018.

So what do I look for when it comes to music? Originality, a poignant sound, brilliant lyrics, excellent storytelling, true artistry. Which will no doubt explain my eclectic tastes.

Another reason this is a super list of sorts is because a few of the artists listed, I’m proud to call loved ones. Loved ones, whose talent is undeniable and would’ve made this list regardless of any personal.

So without further adieu, the following are my top picks for Best Music of 2017 & 2018.

I also share this for those of you who may be searching for some great music to check out if you feel so inclined.

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Top Albums of 2016

So it’s been a minute since I’ve done an update. That’s because I’ve been busy writing and getting some affairs in order which has consumed the last few months.

So recently, the MTV Video Music Awards were presented. I was totally going to watch but then I remembered that I had better things to do with my time and I love myself as a person.

However it did remind me that I have not posted my top albums of 2016. So why am I posting it now. Because my OCD will not allow me to do otherwise. Besides there’s a lot of excellent music out there that you may not know about.

What’s also cool is this is the first time siblings have had featured albums in the same year. Also, some of you may be looking for new music to check out.

So here we go.

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By Dennis R. Upkins Tagged

Night of the Waking Astronomer

Being stuck in Nashville, proud home of country music, the Confederacy and the Klan, I don’t go out often. To be more accurate I really don’t go out ever.

For me to emerge from my Batcave of Solitude, there had better be a good reason. A very good reason.

This past Friday there most certainly was a reason for me to venture out into the wasteland known as the Music City.

Comic book artist, rock musician, Jane-of-all-trades, Renaissance Woman, fellow Atlanta native, and the epitome of Black Girl Magic, Afua Richardson, announced on social media that her band, Waking Astronomer would be in town performing at the Exit In.

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She already had me at Afua Richardson would be in town.

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Introducing Tony B

They grow up so fast.

My awesome little cousin (well, he’s not little anymore but he’s awesome as ever), Tony B has entered the music game.

And cuz has come out swinging with “Fall,” the title track off his upcoming EP.

Anyone who’s known me for five seconds knows that I’m all about promoting and supporting quality PoC media. And when said quality media is coming from kinfolk: bonus!

So you know I’m more than proud to boost the signal with this post.

Tony is not only immensely talented but he clearly knows his craft.

But don’t take my word for it. Check out the track.

And don’t hesitate to show my cousin some love. You can find him at these haunts:

Facebook: fbook.me/tonyb
Twitter: @tonybonline
YouTube: YouTube.com/tonybvideos