She Is Focused

October 22, 2009

KRS-One Releases The Gospel Of Hip Hop: The First Instrument

Filed under: Chat 'bout — Felicia @ 1:00 pm

GospelofHipHopEmcee, activist, lecturer and now author, KRS-One releases his first book in his I Am Hip Hop Series, The Gospel of Hip Hop: The First Instrument under PowerHouse Books. The book which is set for a November release outlines the development in the Hip Hop culture and ways to preserve its future. KRS known as “The Teacha” also discusses the origins of Hip Hop culture in addition to combining classic philosophy with faith and practical knowledge. The book which reads as a self-help manual is a full in-depth discussion on the cultures manifestation in addition to incorporating Health, Love, Awareness and Wealth (H-Law).

For more information and previews, visit http://powerhousebooks.com/gospelofhiphop.pdf  .

Juveniles Serving Life Sentences: Should Our Justice System Be Reevaluated?

Filed under: Chat 'bout — Felicia @ 11:05 am

I’m not an attorney nor have I attempted to take the Bar Exam, just someone who has done minor research in Legal Studies.

I was recently caught up in my daily Facebook perusing when I came across a video a friend posted. Often the content of videos posted on Facebook are of a silly nature and are mainly just for kicks and laughs, but this one was of a more serious matter. CuffedIt was a video of a young woman from California who was sentenced to life without parole, plus four years at the age of 16. After watching this video I felt the strong sense of wanting to look further into laws from different jurisdictions concerning the sentencing of juveniles to life without parole. While committing crimes of any nature from anyone including minors deserves reproof, sentencing a minor to life without parole in my non-legal opinion is a bit callous.

 Amnesty International is a non-governmental organization which conducts research and generates action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights and demands justice for those whose rights have been violated. AI refers to the United States as “the only country in the world that does not comply with the norm against imposing life without parole sentences on juveniles”. In other words minors, children under the age of 18, can be sentenced to life; even if there was no murder or homicide involved in the crime in some cases. The state of Florida sentences the most juveniles to life sentences for crimes not involving murder or homicide. There are roughly 2,500 prisoners serving life sentences for crimes committed when they were minors in the United States.

In regards to the video I watched on Facebook it was pertaining to a young woman named Sarah Kruzan, a young woman from California who is currently 13 years into her life sentence. 

Sarah KruzanSarah who grew up with a mother who was addicted to drugs and a father behind bars fell into the hands of a pimp who introduced her to a life of prostitution at the age of 13. In addition to the physical abuse he inflicted he held a power over Sarah that she has mistaken for a person who could grant her solace from her broken home. After 3 years of abuse and using her body for 12 hours of daily sexual exploitation, Sarah murdered her pimp and at 16 was sentenced to life in prison. “Life without parole means absolutely no opportunity for release,” says Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo). “It also means minors are often left without access to programs and rehabilitative services while in prison”.

I’m a strong believer in punishment for any wrongdoings committed, including from minors. However at such a young age when children are still developing emotionally and have not fully developed brain maturation,  giving them life in prison is completely and wholeheartedly giving up on our children. It’s instant dismissal of their worth and contribution to society. In the case of Sarah Kruzan, she was never afforded and opportunity to be that contribution. She was instantly dismissed at age 16. According to Senator Yee who is also a child psychologist, “children have an extraordinary capacity for rehabilitation”. (more…)

October 16, 2009

Flashback To Kelis’ S.H.I.T.

Filed under: Flashback — Felicia @ 3:41 pm

Song: Sugar Honey Iced Tea

Album: Tasty (2003)

Label: Star Trak/Arista

Kelis is not your typical R&B chic. The eccentric big-haired singer has four albums under her belt and several hit records to date which earned her a Hits album. She was the first woman to scream on a hook with her 1999 debut, “Caught Out There” and has been releasing catchy records ever since. Her second album 2001’s Wanderland wasn’t released in the states although it also had several noteworthy records like “Young, Fresh n’ New” and “Popular Thug”. Kelis mentioned in the past that the label didn’t understand the album and her follow-up, Tasty was released under Arista.

I always struggle with her first three records with trying to determine which is my favorite. Her last album, Kelis Was Here is the only album that had a few too many misses. Tasty gave birth to Kelis’ biggest record to date, “Milkshake” but had other jewels on there as well. My favorite song on this album is “Sugar Honey Iced Tea” which gets constant burn on my iPod. The album was produced entirely by the Neptunes and this record definitely showcases that celestial mark the duo is known for. A video was never released for this laid back cut, but it’s one of those songs that don’t need an accompanying video to add to its grander. Check the vocals below along with the rest of the tracks on Tasty. Although Kelis’ albums don’t push as much volumes as her R&B counterparts, you’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth.

October 15, 2009

From Delusions to Fruition: Jaguar Wright

Filed under: Interviews — Felicia @ 4:27 pm

Originally posted on Rolling Out

Soul Singer Jaguar Wright Talks About her Evolution

Monday, 12 October 2009 16:19 Felicia J. Barclay

Jaguar Wright, Soul and R&B’s fearless songstress readies for the debut of her upcoming EP Beautiful, set for a November release. After a recent performance at New York’s S.O.B.’s Ms. Wright sat down to discuss her new jawn, the message she thrives to deliver through her songs and her musical legacy. –felicia j. barclay 

JaguarWright4You have two albums under your belt (Denials, Delusions and Decisions and Divorcing Neo 2 Marry Soul) what have you been working on anything musically during the gap?

Growing, writing, taking care of my family, starting and finishing my novel, Denials, Delusions and Decisions: How Didn’t You Know, living and being an artist. 

Is Beautiful a preview for any future full album releases coming from you?

No, the album won’t be the same name but the EP is which comes out November 24th

How is the music on this album different from your previous albums?

It’s an evolution of me. What I’ve learned…I’m so in love with these songs that I’m writing, so in love. 

Which producers do you have on this EP?

Just one, Karma Productions. 

What type of message do you generally like to get across with your music?  (more…)

October 12, 2009

Melanie Fiona: It Kills Me

Filed under: Get To Know,New Music — Felicia @ 2:18 pm

I don’t usually make it a habit of doing multiple posts Melanie Fionaon any one particular artist in a short span of time, but i’ve really come to enjoy Melanie Fiona’s music; and she hasn’t even released her album yet. In my eyes she’s like the Drake of R&B. As you can recall i’ve mentioned her Give It To Me Right record a few weeks ago.

Her latest single, “It Kills Me” which will also be released on her upcoming album tentatively titled, The Bridge is my absolute favorite song from the Roc Nation affiliated artist. This is the type of song that any new artist needs to solidify their vocal abilities. A song that really executes their range, given the artist has the talent to back it up. She released a record on last year’s Reggae Gold 2008 album, “Somebody Come Get Me” where she displayed her Guyanese roots. But it seems her main focus is R&B.

Here’s the video for “It Kills Me”, the latest single from Ms. Fiona…get familiar!

This Week’s Read: The Lost Symbol

Filed under: Chat 'bout — Felicia @ 2:03 pm

Happy Monday everyone. In an effort to broaden the topics discussed on SheIsFocused, I decided to dive into other interests I have outside of my love for music. I’m a big advocate of reading. The mind is truly a terrible thing to waste and yet, many people continue to do just that. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, watching television and getting heavily into the reality show circuit is not representative of your character by any means, but you have to find an even balance.

I use my balance to include reading. Right now i’m The Lost Symbolabout halfway into Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. I typically read on my train rides to and from work, but i’ve recently started reading it at home now; meaning i’ve just gotten to the meat of the book. It’s an excellent read as always from Mr. Brown. In an effort to not give away too many details for those who haven’t yet picked it up, I will say that this book continues on with the story of Robert Langdon and his conundrums. I’ll be giving a full review of my thoughts on the book at a later date.

I’ve you’ve read the book already or plan on doing so, let me know your thoughts. If you like Angels And Demons and The Divinci Code then you’ll enjoy this one as well (haven’t read Deception Point just yet).

October 9, 2009

Juvenile is Cocky & Confident

Filed under: Interviews,New Music — Felicia @ 9:14 am

Here is my recent interview I did with Juvenile for Baller Status.

Juvenile Takes It Back To The ‘New Orleans Sound’ — Takes Credit For Lil Wayne’s Success

Juvenile has always been one of hip-hop’s southern jewels from the very beginning of his career with 1996’s underground album, Solja Rags. Once he became affiliated with Cash Money and a member of the label’s group, The Hot Boys, he was a certified as one of the region’s most lyrical rappers. He has since released many albums that have continued to put him at the forefront of the group, although a young Lil Wayne was right on his tail. In 2002, there was widespread speculation that a rift developed between Juve and Cash Money, which caused his departure from the Hot Boys and later, the label.

JuveJuve sat down with BallerStatus to clear the air about his relationship with Cash Money, why he takes credit for Wayne’s success, and how Atlantic Records won the bid to release his latest album, Cocky & Confident scheduled for a November release.

BallerStatus.com: Have you worked on any projects since your last studio album, Reality Check?

Juvenile: I got a company called Beats And Hooks, we make a lot of beats and hooks for other artists like Boosie, Jeezy. We’re doing a lot of stuff outside of me just rapping. I own a studio and a club out in New Orleans, so I’m still getting the money.

BallerStatus.com: Was it difficult working on that album considering it was done right around the time of Hurricane Katrina?

Juvenile: It was. It didn’t take long at all. The album was pretty much done when the hurricane hit. I just had to do a lot of voiceovers and mixing and stuff. A few things I had to do in a hotel, but not vocal recording or anything like that.

BallerStatus.com: Tell me about your Hurricane Katrina experience.

Juvenile: It wasn’t heard. A lot of people think it was more complicated than what it actually was. Got my insurance money and re-built my house. I didn’t go through nothing — I wasn’t stressed out or going crazy. It didn’t do me what it did a lot of people. It didn’t do us what people think it done us. People in New Orleans, we on a “I don’t want you to feel sorry for me” kick. That’s why I’m like “I don’t want to talk about it.” I didn’t go through nothing.

BallerStatus.com: You know I’m gonna ask you about Cash Money right? (more…)

October 6, 2009

Welcome Home Shyne

Filed under: Chat 'bout — Felicia @ 12:52 pm

Remember a while back I talked about jailed rappers who will be soon released? Well the first round comes today. J. BarrowAfter serving 9 years behind bars Moses Michael Leviy known to all as the rapper Shyne has been released today from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora. While in prison Shyne converted to Judaism and had his name legally changed a few years ago from Jamal Barrow to Leviy.

ShyneShyne may be given an additional 2 years on parole and is currently at Woodbourne Correctional Facility until all the I’s have been dotted and T’s have been crossed.

There’s no word on whether any label affiliations currently exist or if he will continue to record under the psuedonym Shyne, however a warm welcome is sent his way and I for one will be looking forward to any future records.

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