spoken word album

Maya Angelou

Text from Bad Girls Throughout History by Ann Shen

Many consider Maya Angelou (1928–2014) a U.S. national treasure. A writer, activist, filmmaker, actor, and lecturer well into her eighties, Angelou transcended her humble upbringing in deeply racist Arkansas to create a vast body of work that helped to change the landscape of American culture. After a traumatic childhood event that she would later chronicle in her game-changing memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou became extraordinarily gifted in arts and literature and earned a scholarship to a San Francisco high school. As a teen, she became the first African-American female cable car conductor in San Francisco. She became a mom at sixteen and married a Greek aspiring musician, flouting the existing laws forbidding interracial marriage. Angelou studied dance with legendary choreographer Alvin Ailey and became a staple on the calypso music and dance scene as a performer. She also toured Europe with a production of the opera Porgy and Bess. After meeting novelist John Oliver Killens in 1959, she joined the Harlem Writers Guild and published her first written work. She became a civil rights activist and worked alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X. Angelou would go on to write thirty-six books, earning the honor of both being on the banned books list and holding the record for the longest-running nonfiction book on The New York Times’ bestseller list.

In addition to roles in producing, writing, and directing film and television, Angelou became the first African-American woman to pen a screenplay that was actually made into a film, the Pulitzer Prize–nominated Georgia, Georgia. She won three Grammys for her spoken word albums, served on two presidential committees, and became the first female poet to compose and recite a poem for a presidential inauguration (President  Bill Clinton’s in 1993). Showered with accolades at the end of her life, Angelou was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama in 2010. Angelou was fittingly recognized in her lifetime for her work that opened America’s hearts and minds.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Martin Luther King Jr. was an inspiration and a key figure in civil rights advancement in the United States and around the world as well. He was born Michael King and his name remained as that until a few years later when his father, also Michael King, changed his own name to Martin Luther King Sr. to honor a great protestant reformer. His son’s name was also changed to Martin Luther King Jr. M.L.K. Jr. was admitted to Morehouse College at the age of 15 and graduated at the age of 19. He received his Doctorate of Philosophy in Systematic Theology at the age of 26 at Boston University. In addition to being an American pastor, he was a humanitarian, activist and a prominent leader. Following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, he consistently used nonviolent methods in his lifetime. He married Coretta Scott on June 18, 1953 and settled in Montgomery, Alabama.

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anonymous asked:

holy shit how much longer are you going to have your fans wait for this new album? seriously its been over a year since you announced it. are you trying to break guns n roses record of longest awaited album?

the spoken word album has been delayed another three months because of this message

anonymous asked:

is there anything you can tell us about a new album?

  1. it’s still being written.
  2. i’m sorry it’s taking so long, i’ve just got a lot going on in my personal life as of lately, and i’d never want to put out anything i’m not 100% proud of. 
  3. it’ll sound more like new flatsound (you said okay) than old flatsound (anything off of sleep) in the sense that it’s much louder. that isn’t to say it’s a spoken word album, it’s just much more abrasive and desperate sounding.
  4. it’s some of the most ambitious material i’ve ever written. 
  5. i spoke to someone earlier this week about setting up studio time in the spring. 
  6. i DO plan to play shows and tour after it’s done.
57th Annual Grammy Award Winners - Complete List

Record of the Year 

Sam Smith – “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”

Song of the Year 

Sam Smith - “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”

Album of the Year

Beck - Morning Phase

Best New Artist 

Sam Smith

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance 

A Great Big World With Christina Aguilera - “Say Something”

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album 

Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga - Cheek To Cheek

Best Pop Solo Performance 

Pharrell Williams - “Happy”

Best Pop Vocal Album 

Sam Smith - In The Lonely Hour

Best Rock Performance 

Jack White - “Lazaretto”

Best Rock Album 

Beck - Morning Phase

Best Rock Song 

Paramore - “Ain’t It Fun" 

Best Alternative Rock Album

St. Vincent - St. Vincent

Best Metal Performance 

Tenacious D - "The Last In Line”

Best Rap Performance 

Kendrick Lamar - “I”

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

Eminem Featuring Rihanna - “The Monster”

Best Rap Song

Kendrick Lamar - “I”

Best Rap Album 

Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP2

Best R&B Performance 

Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z – “Drunk In Love”

Best Traditional R&B Performance 

“Jesus Children" 

Best R&B Song 

Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z - "Drunk In Love”

Best Urban Contemporary Album 

Pharrell Williams - Girl

Best R&B Album 

Toni Braxton & Babyface - Love, Marriage & Divorce

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album 

Chris Thile & Edgar Meyer - Bass & Mandolin

Best Dance/Electronic Album 

Aphex Twin - Syro

Best Dance Recording

Clean Bandit Featuring Jess Glynne - “Rather Be”

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media 


Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media 

The Grand Budapest Hotel 

Best Song Written for Visual Media 

“Let It Go” from Frozen

Best Country Album 

Miranda Lambert - Platinum

Best Country Solo Performance 

Carrie Underwood - “Something In The Water”

Best Country Duo/Group Performance 

The Band Perry - “Gentle On My Mind”

Best Country Song 

“I’m Not Gonna Miss You”

Best Bluegrass Album 

The Earls Of Leicester - The Earls Of Leicester

Best American Roots Performance 

Rosanne Cash - “A Feather’s Not A Bird”

Best American Roots Song 

Rosanne Cash - “A Feather’s Not A Bird”

Best Americana Album 

Rosanne Cash - The River & The Thread

Best Folk Album 

Old Crow Medicine Show - Remedy

Best Music Video 

Pharrell Williams - “Happy”

Best Music Film 

20 Feet From Stardom
Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer & Judith Hill

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical 

Max Martin
“Bang Bang” (Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj)
“Break Free” (Ariana Grande Featuring Zedd)
“Dark Horse” (Katy Perry Featuring Juicy J)
“Problem” (Ariana Grande Featuring Iggy Azalea)
“Shake It Off” (Taylor Swift)
“Unconditionally” (Katy Perry)

Best Instrumental Composition 

John Williams - “The Book Thief”

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella 

Pentatonix - “Daft Punk”

Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals 

Billy Childs - “New York Tendaberry”

Best Recording Package 

Jeff Ament, Don Pendleton, Joe Spix & Jerome Turner, art directors
Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package 

Susan Archie, Dean Blackwood & Jack White, art directors
The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-27)

Best Album Notes

Ashley Kahn
John Coltrane - Offering: Live At Temple University

Best Historical Album

Colin Escott & Cheryl Pawelski, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer
Hank Williams - The Garden Spot Programs, 1950

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical 

Beck - Morning Phase

Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical

Tijs Michiel Verwest, remixer
John Legend – “All Of Me (Tiesto’s Birthday Treatment Remix)”

Best Surround Sound Album 

Beyoncé - Beyoncé

Best Regional Roots Music Album

Jo-El Sonnier - The Legacy

Best Reggae Album

Ziggy Marley - Fly Rasta

Best World Music Album 

Angelique Kidjo - Eve

Best Children’s Album

Neela Vaswani - I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World (Malala Yousafzai)

Best Musical Theatre Album 

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Best Blues Album 

Johnny Winter - Step Back

Best Spoken Word Album 

Joan Rivers - Diary Of A Mad Diva

Best Comedy Album 

“Weird Al” Yankovic - Mandatory Fun

Best New Age Album 

Ricky Kej & Wouter Kellerman - Winds Of Samsara

Best Improved Jazz Solo

Chick Corea - “Fingerprints”

Best Jazz Vocal Album

Dianne Reeves - Beautiful Life

Best Jazz Instrumental Album 

Chick Corea Trio - Trilogy

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album 

Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band - Life In The Bubble

Best Latin Jazz Album 

Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra - The Offense Of The Drum

@TheGRAMMYs @VictoriaMcCall_

anonymous asked:

Hey I saw on twitter you said something about spoken word making you sad and stuff, does that mean you are not doing any in the near future?

i’m still writing here and there, i just don’t have it in me to record any spoken word tracks right now. if i’m being honest, yeah, spoken word does make me sad.

i’m also afraid that when i release the spoken word album you guys are going to expect a lot of songs like you said okay and i really have no interest in doing that at the moment. not to sound dramatic, but recording you said okay hurt. it actually hurt a lot, both physically and emotionally. i wasn’t in a good place when i recorded that song, i wasn’t eating enough and between every take i’d have to stop recording because i’d start having a panic attack. for days after recording the song i walked around feeling like someone had beat the shit out of me, every little muscle between my ribs was sore from screaming. i hated it.

i guess i’m just not in the mood right now, i’ve got an EP about to come out and two full lengths that are like halfway recorded each. i’m trying to focus on those.