Artist Spotlight: U.K.’s Nadia Rose

It was the 4th quarter of 2015 when the 23 year old,  UK rap starlet, Nadia Rose dropped her 2nd underground viral hit ‘D.F.W.T‘ after already having had a first with the track ‘Station‘. The single that’s been heard on every UK based urban radio station across the nation was shortly followed by Nadia’s third track ‘BOOM‘, which has been a regular feature on BBC Radio 1’s “INMWT” (In Music We Trust) playlist.

Since then the records received rave reviews & regular airplay from popular DJ’s Semtex, Mista Jam & Annie Mac. The video regularly plays on popular music channels such as KISS. Since becoming Sony Music Group‘s latest signee, (under the subsidiary Relentless Records), it’s needless to say that Nadia Rose is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with within the UK music scene.

With a string of sold-out live performances under her belt performing alongside acts such as Section Boyz, Anderson & Paak, major brand endorsements from Adidas, G-Star, Beats by Dre, DKNY and a co-sign from R&B Superstar Alicia Keys, Nadia is clearly raising the bar for female rappers in a scene typically dominated by men. Read more. 

facebook.com/nadiarosemusic
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Poetry TRIBE: Everything Worth Fighting For

Everything Worth Fighting For

By Dasan Ahanu

There is a joy that comes with seeing

groups of children playing

in an open field

A twinge in your gut that comes

when passing a sun kissed testimony

in tattered clothes

holding court on a corner

A smile that forms

when a phone call affirms

that hard work has placed

another snapshot of black excellence

where the world can see

An affirming head nod

that says that

in a room of obstacles and expectation

we belong here

There is the pride

that beams at youthful recital

Cheers that accompany

athletic achievement

A hug that starter pistols

the next glorious gathering

of friends

Laughter that chronicles

The best of times

Tears that fall

During the worst times

These are the moments

that let us know that there is

so much worth fighting for

I know a cadre of will

talking bout toppling institutions

and dismantling systems

of oppression

in the back room of a church

2 prayers from a liquor house

Down the street

from a school named after an optimist

Around the corner

from a complex

considered an eyesore

with low property values

that has birthed more blessings

than bastards

These dedicated rebels

are planning demonstration

Coordinating childcare

Identifying roles and tasks

Building capacity with a passion unmatched

Their discussions are a joyful noise

These are the visionaries

who know that there is

so much worth fighting for

See there is promise

wrestling with purpose

in a classroom

during the late hour

They are inspired by the tales

of ancestors before

Searching for victory after

They came with questions

and are leaving

with a focused strategy

This is where developing minds

seek greater understanding

past professors and syllabi

Together

Here

careers and families

are distant actualizations

of a tuition paid journey

Today

Today is where they sharpen

their skills at crafting

a wonderfully sculpted

happy ending

Tomorrow

They will march and demand

Pushing administration

to consider that dorm rooms

are not margins

That the blueprints of their future

should have etchings

from their own hands

They are everything worth fighting for

There are neighborhoods to reclaim

Lost lives to honor with resilience

Names to say

Legacies to build

Ancestors to invoke

Text to review

Positions to be held

Stories to be told

Lessons to be learned

Insight to be passed

Programs to be developed

Work to be done

My God

Don’t you feel it?

Can’t you see it?

There is truth clotheslined

along the horizon

Hung by angels

who want us to see

what this world is meant to be

There

drying by the light of the sun

is woven inspiration

covered in the tears

of those who left

before the battle was won

Sitting in your house right now

is a mirror

with an honest tongue

and a glimmer in its eye

Waiting to have a

Heart-to-heart conversation

with you

It has a message to deliver

in familiar clarity

A promise to make

A revelation to share

A desire to let you know

that if you take a look there

that it can show you

everything worth fighting for

 

Get the Spring 2017 Issue of TRIBES Magazine

 

Dr. Alexis Gumbs’ SPILL

Spill: Stirring the Evolution and Freedom of Black Women Unleashed

By Patricia Corbett

 

On January 20, 2017, I was invited to a gathering of women at Duke University to hear Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Dr. Hortense Spillers engage in a conversation based on Dr. Gumbs book, Spill. Hosted by the Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies department, the timing was both brilliant and serendipitous. Receiving this invitation of the date of the 45th presidential inauguration was most welcomed and indeed highly anticipated. It is a rare treat to be a part of a discussion about a book and then to witness it reimagined as a performance piece. The discussion entitled, Spill: Black Feminist and Fugitivity in Conversation and Performance, was the antidote to an otherwise challenge to one’s intelligence and sensibility to watch the news of the day unfold. The poignant dialogue about intimacy, practice, and protest became a perfect prelude to the first performance of Spill by SpiritHouse, a local Durham theater company.

The Spill performance was robust and sometimes schizophrenic. Black women unabashedly ‘spilling’ emotion everywhere. The play managed to capture the reality of the black woman’s burden, pain, confusion, and her transcendent ability to claim herself amid the madness both self-inflicted and inflicted upon her. The performance was so intriguing that I wanted to know more about the incantations and the revelatory mix of words that created rifts of struggle and freedom that push back against a society that diminishes the value of black women.

I sent Dr. Gumbs the following questions and knew once I began reading Spill, that I would want to explore more of her 21st century black feminist terrain. For now, a brief Q/A with Dr. Alexis Gumbs based on her discussion, “Spill: Black Feminist and Fugitivity”, the SpiritHouse performance, and her new book, Spill: scenes of black feminist fugitivity.

How is Spill and act of intimacy, practice, and protest?

Spill came out of my desire to be with the archive of Black women’s literary and the critical work of Hortense Spillers, one of the Black feminist theorists who has influenced me the most as a scholar.  I wrote it as a daily practice of being with the tradition that produced me without having to explain it or sell it right away.  I wrote the passages in Spill early in the morning, like about 4 or 5am which is before my fear wakes up (my fear wakes up at about 8am most days).   So yes.  It is intimate because I wrote it from a vulnerable place, and because it addresses intimate violence.  It is practice because it was my daily practice for more than a year, and now it shapes my ongoing practice of activating Black feminist brilliance in public with my communities.  And it’s protest because Black women’s freedom requires a completely transformed world.  Everything must change. Read more in TRIBES Spring 2017 Issue 37. 

Introducing Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi

By Patricia Corbett

A Black Woman Speaks of Art, Identity, and Ancestry

I’ve known Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi personally for more than 10 years. When she granted me this interview after two years of interaction only via social media, I was ecstatic to hear her warm and spirited voice again. As we shared pleasantries we segued into a transcendent interview that far exceeded my expectations. There was something different about Lady Dane. Something powerful. She exuded her usual colorful confidence, but she was so vividly clear about who she is and her walk in the world. Our conversation was mixed with a landscape of emotion. We laughed and cried. Lady Dane was no longer the little girl who years ago auditioned for my play. In our absence from each other, she waded into the deep ocean of identity and emerged the female embodiment of who she had been all her life.

Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi is a Nigerian, Cuban, Indigenous, American Performance Artist, Author, Teacher, Choreographer, Oracular Consultant, Priestess, and Advocate self-described as an Ancient zz Priestess of Mother Africa. She is a force in the world of art, trans advocacy, and the spiritual realm. Her art and passion for issues that impact trans people globally is a testament to a legacy handed down, cultivated, and inspired by her family and the ancestors. Allow me to introduce to you Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi.

“My father is Nigerian and my mother is Cuban and Indigenous. I come from a family of performers. They were loud and talkative. My Mother and her sisters sang. So I was expected to sing. I was very introverted. I read Langston Hughes and history books about Africa and America. I would write my own books and poetry. I was told I needed to be smart and educated. If I want something I had to fight for it. Nothing would be handed to me.” . Read more in TRIBES Spring 2017 Issue 37. 

Feature Event: Sexy Dancer: A Burlesque Celebration of Prince, April 29, Durham, NC

Dearly Beloveds, we will gather on April 29th, 2017 to get through this thing called life.

Garden of Delights has assembled a cast like no other to celebrate the life of the Purple One, His Royal Badness, the Artist Forever Known as Prince. So bust out your Diamonds and Pearls, put on your Raspberry Beret, and drive your little red Corvette down to Monkey Bottom Collaborative for Sexy Dancer: A Burlesque Celebration of Prince! https://www.facebook.com/events/436462123357566/

Starring:
Caza Blanca
Jo’Rie Tigerlily
Lottie Ellington
Murphy Lawless
Kayy Lovely
Rebel
Ophelia Hart
JoRose
Sally Stardust
Miss Blue Bell
Zadora Zaftig

Doors: 9 pm, Show: 10 pm. Tickets on sale now!!!  https://www.facebook.com/events/436462123357566/

Art: PHREE, Swept Away to Uncharted Territories

By Leslie Cunningham

Freedom can only be achieved when we stop resisting and accept our lives as an accumulation of our experiences and the connection to our ancestors. This is what Dina Mccullough’s art represents to me.

Primarily known for creating mixed media installations and sculptures, Dina is a 47-year old African American self-taught contemporary artist who revels in making multi-dimensional spaces of speculation, imagination and human experience. Her work “The Free Wall”, a multimedia work of copper, plaster, clay and tile that depicts slaves and their lives, is now in permanent collection at the Myers House in Albany, New York.

Originally from Philadelphia, Dina didn’t choose art, it found her at a time when she was embracing sobriety, melting wax for candles, and putting the pieces of her broken life back together at Extended Stay outside of Atlanta. “Before I found out who my real father was in 2015, I felt like something was missing in my life,” shares Dina. Today, under the moniker Phree Spirit Abstracts, Dina creates what she wants, without restraint. Provocative, confrontational and at times obfuscous to ingest all at once, Dina’s art mostly addresses issues around feminism, politics, and history, putting her in the ranks with of other bold expressionists such as Kara Walker and Xaviera Simmons. Dina says she was inspired to create “The Free Wall” after reading the story of a reburial project that honored 14 African slaves after 200 years. “After reading about the Schuyler slaves, “I wanted to celebrate they were finally getting a proper burial.”

An offering to the ancestors, Dina’s latest work is called “The Scales of Injustice”. In this work, Dina sheds light on the torture and pain experienced by African women during slavery. What started out as an art piece about slave blocks has morphed into a beautifully disturbing multimedia installation comprised of six women who are impregnated with cotton, coffee, rice and indigo – products that highlight how these commodities fueled America’s dependency on slave labor. In her art journal, she writes:

Over four hundred years ago,
we were beaten kidnapped, murdered and raped
the most fervent prayer was our children could escape
the land of the free
of tobacco, rice, indigo, cotton
no life mattered
our essence was forgotten

In Scales, Dina uses heavy chains for hair around a mold of her own face on each model. “Throughout the process, the ancestors spoke to me. They didn’t want to be seen as slaves, they were African queens who deserved to be honored and respected. Read more in TRIBES Spring 2017 Issue 37. 

Visit phreespirit.com.