american-musician

Women that have made history (and their signs)

Aries: Billie Holiday (African American jazz musician)

Taurus: Sandra Day O’Connor (first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court)

Gemini: Chien Shiung Wu (Chinese American nuclear physicist that contributed to the Manhattan Project and is often recognized as the First Lady of Physics)

Cancer: Frida Kahlo (Mexican painter known for her powerful self-portraits and artwork)

Leo: Amelia Earhart (first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo)

Virgo: Mother Teresa (20th Century symbol of humanitarianism known for her charity work and dedication to the Catholic Church)

Libra: Eleanor Roosevelt (changed the role of the First Lady as an activist, politician, and diplomat)

Scorpio: Elizabeth Cady Stanton (early leader of the women’s rights movement and writer of the Declaration of Sentiments)

Sagittarius: Emily Dickinson (revolutionized the world of poetry with her unique and unconventional writing style)

Capricorn: Zora Neale Hurston (African American novelist and anthropologist that gained notoriety during the Harlem Renaissance)

Aquarius: Corazon Aquino (first female president not only in the Philippines but in all of Asia as well)

Pisces: Kate Sheppard (appears on New Zealand’s 10 dollar note as a result of being the country’s most famous suffragette)

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Black History Day 3: Cab Calloway.

Cab Calloway was groundbreaking as one of the first African-American musicians to be prominently featured on film. His work with the “Betty Boop” cartoons (as seen above) was legendary because it was basically the grandfather of what we know now as motion capture animation. They recorded Cab singing and dancing (dancing which included an early version of the moonwalk so take that Michael Jackson) and they TRACED HIS MOVEMENTS FRAME BY FRAME to translate them into the character he was playing. None of that unitard covered in ping-pong balls mess. Painstaking frame by frame tracing to capture his motions. You can watch full length versions of the Betty Boop cartoons featuring Cab Calloway pretty easily. I think they’re all on YouTube and they’re in the public domain so they’re easy to find and download. The names of the cartoon shorts are “Minnie the Moocher”, “Snow White ”, and “The Old Man of the Mountain”.
So go watch them now and appreciate a hard-working black musician who pioneered the jazz genre and was a key player in animation advancement.

10 most memorable Kurt Cobain Quotes

February 20th marks the birth anniversary of late American musician and ‘grunge’ legend Kurt Cobain.

Aside from being one of the pioneers of the grunge music scene of Seattle, Cobain was widely respected as a great artist and a poet. Here are 10 of his most memorable quotes which youth could identify with even to this day.

Image Source: Getty Images

  • “I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.”
  • “The duty of youth is to challenge corruption.”
  • “I’m so happy because today I found my friends – they’re in my head.”
  • “Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes along with with your self-esteem.”
  • “A friend is nothing but a known enemy.”
  • “I’m not well-read, but when I read, I read well.”
  • “We have no right to express an opinion until we know all of the answers.”
  • “The sun is gone, but I have a light.”
  • “The worst crime is faking it”
  • “They laugh at me because I’m different; I laugh at them because they’re all the same.”
Hip Hop Would Not Be The Success It Is Today If It Wasn’t For This Pioneering Woman.....

After watching her family on the reality series, The First Family of Hip Hop, I wanted to know more about Mrs. Robinson and her contribution to hip-hop which we don’t hear being acknowledged much. While creating this post, I’m also reminded about a post from a few weeks ago in my archive about black women’s contribution to music in which one of my fellow sista follower/blogger said and I’m probably paraphrasing, “I wouldn’t be surprised if a black woman invented hip hop.”

Sylvia Robinson (née Vanderpool; March 6, 1935 – September 29, 2011) was an American singer, musician, record producer, and record label executive. Robinson was best known for her work as founder/CEO of the hip hop label Sugar Hill Records.[3] Robinson is credited as the driving force behind two landmark singles in the genre; “Rapper’s Delight” (1979) by the Sugarhill Gang,[4] and “The Message” (1982) by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five; which dubbed her as the “Mother of Hip-Hop”. Robinson received a Pioneer Award for her career in singing and being the founder of Sugarhill Records at the 11th Annual Rhythm and Blues Awards Gala in 2000.[5] Robinson died of congestive heart failure on September 29, 2011 at age 76.


A movie about her life story is in the works. Read about it here.





I Salute this AMAZING HER-STORY Making Sista!

in which i project me and my egyptian family and extended family onto fareeha amari

 -your concept of personal space is approximately twice to three times as gracious as hers; would you really mind having fareeha amari closer to you

-absolutely refuses to accept help if she feels even slight confidence in what she’s doing; this doesn’t change unless she trusts someone very deeply, and even then she still doesn’t feel like relying on other people for help 

-is so bitter about snow that she angrily rants about it even when it isn’t there, even in fucking summer she just has to get her feelings about snow out she fucking hates that frozen white bullshit

-she doesnt believe when you offer something nice; she’s usually like “wait really???”

-while you studied makeup fareeha studied the gun. as a consequence it takes her a really long time to get her eyeliner just right

-will try her hardest to sing songs even if she doesnt know them

-can detect even the slightest fucking change in the house temperature like yeah fareeha i upped the thermostat by one damn degree it’s gonna be ok

-talks during movies all the time, constantly misses key plot details and notices that one character has the same shoes as she did in high school

- e x p e r t  c h e f  f a r e e h a

-uses all of the fucking hot water in the morning and at night, she’s the first one to take a shower and she knows damn well how long she’s in there

-constantly does impressions of americans, especially southerners; has almost undeniably yelled “howdy partner!” when entering a room on several different occasions

-constantly makes jokes about The White Man

-has never heard of any classic American musicians besides David Bowie why does she know so much David Bowie please help

im looking for someone who loves music, gets crinkly eyes when they smile, dyes their hair all kinds of fun colors, is Joshua William “Josh” Dun born June 18, 1988, an American musician. He is the drummer and percussionist for the musical duo Twenty One Pilots. Dun was born in Columbus, OH and grew up with-

John Lewis (May 3, 1920 – March 29, 2001) 

American jazz pianist, composer and arranger, best known as the founder and musical director of the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Portrait of musician John Lewis, at the piano. Printed on front: “John Lewis. Personal management, Monte Kay, 200 West 57th St., New York, N.Y.” Handwritten on back: “Lewis, John.”

  • Courtesy of the E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts, Detroit Public Library
vimeo.com
Brown Girls -- Episode 1 on Vimeo

‘Brown Girls’ is an intimate story of the lives of two young women of color. Leila is a South Asian-American writer just now owning her queerness. Patricia is a sex-positive Black-American musician who is struggling to commit to anything: job, art and relationships. While the two women come from completely different backgrounds, their friendship is ultimately what they lean on to get through the messiness of their mid-twenties.

I only just watched the first episode and I’m already excited. People of color! QUEER people of color! Sex positivity!

There are seven episodes up on their website (and also their channel on Vimeo) so go check them out.

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Dr. Moses “Musa” Powell (1941-2005)- A martial arts master teacher and practitioner from New York. Moses Powell was a master student to , he was so skilled at Juijitsu that he developed his own style and system called Sanuces Ryu and he still ha students such as Anthony Muhammad teaching today. Moses was a teacher to the Nation of Islam, law enforcement, and even the FBI.

Ava DuVernay (Born 1972). I know most of you know Ava so I don’t need to do the whole bio. But I’ll say that I became aware of her work when she released a little documentary called “This is the Life” about a L.A. hip hop scene that produced some of my favorite MC’s. And imagine how stunned I was when I realized I’d been listening to Ava rhyme on Project Blowed and didnt even know it was her. This is the 3rd time I’ve drawn or painted Ava. Yes. Go watch her latest film “The 13th” about prison industrial complex and its relation to slavery.

Octavia Butler (1947-2006)- Octavia was in incredible mind. An incredible writer, and a predictor of future. My mom read her work and introduced me to her 15-20 years ago. It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that I actually read and understood her work. In fact, she is the reason why I now love to read and share books with others. Her work in fantasy and science fiction has inspired so many with her talent for describing, telling, and bringing you in. I beg you, read her work and check out Octavia’s Brood-an anthology of writers inspired by her work.

Dawud Anyabwile (born 1965)- Illustrator and co-creator of the Brotherman Comics stories, I first became aware of his work as a teen, and later became rejuvenated by it as a young adult. I have written about this brother in magazines, and social forums because his outlook and approach to life, his views on Black family, and his stunning artistic abilities are a guiding light daily. Go support this living legend now by getting “Brotherman-Revelations” for your kids.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973)- A Rock and Roll pioneer, she was one of the architects of what today is now known as Rock in its many forms. She was a pioneer in her life, music, beliefs, and her relationships being a bi-sexual woman in her day. Her style was fierce, loud, and extremely soulful.

Oddisee (born 1985). Amir Mohamed is a Sudanese American musicians who both rhymes and produces instrumental music. The basis for his work is hip hop, but it expands to other genre’s such as Jazz, Soul, and house. I first became aware of the brother on a visit to DC back in 2008 and have been a fan of him and Diamond District since. His work is extremely skillful, well crafted and thought-out, and balanced with thought and care-free. I think many my age would agree that he is one of most talented to do it. On constant rotation. Support him now by seeing him perform or buying his new LP.

These are a few illustrations from last year that were commissioned by a Bay Area Tech company last year for Black History/Future month. There are more, but these were my favorite. If you would like to purchase a print of any one of these email me at info@robdontstop.com 8"x11" mixed media on paper.

Billie Holiday by Ian Johnson

Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), professionally known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz musician and singer-songwriter with a career spanning nearly thirty years. Nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills, which made up for her limited range and lack of formal music education.