Nippy’s 50th

Hi!! ~waves fanatically~

If you guys have been paying attention over the years…you know I love/d me some Whitney. Nippy was the first voice I heard that made me want to buy her album. I got her first album, which was MY first album, when I was 11 or 12. I played the ENTIRE HEYELL out of that album. Miraculously, it didn’t get scratched and start skipping. 
*dang…I said “album”…as in VINYL! lol*
Let me take you on a little highlight reel of my life featuring the incomparable Whitney “The Voice” Houston…

I used to sing her debut single, “You Give Good Love” to my first boo. lol That was my SHIT! Nothing was greater than that song, except for when it changes tempo at the break down. YES! I get all of my life with that song. 

I can’t hit all the notes anymore, but when I was younger…I could tear it DOWN!

The summer that her second album debuted…I was 13. Yea, things got real that summer. I fell in love with the sophomore album just like I did the first. This time, it was two remakes that held my heart the most. “For the Love of You”, originally by The Isley Brothers and “If You’re Really Ready For Love” by the Manhattans. Don’t get me started on “So Emotional”, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”, “Where You Are” and the underplayed and underrated, “Love is a Contact Sport”.

Yes, I serenaded the boo with this, too. LOL

I could’ve played it forever…and sometimes, I have me a Whitney day and go hard on those 1st and 2nd albums. lol

When I heard Whitney would be starring in a movie…I was ecstatic. My Whitney…an ACTRESS! Cool, so when’s it coming out? lol

The Bodyguard’s soundtrack was my next purchase…this time on CD. No more vinyl purchases at that point. More so, because I no longer had a working record player. Well, of COURSE I fell in love with “I Will Always Love You” a remake originally by Dolly Parton. Oh, and “Run to You”. Such a beautiful song…but the one I sang constantly that made my mama tell me to shut up one night? “I Have Nothing”…

so…now we start getting into the part of my story that becomes a little more personal and raw.

In 1994 I got into my first REAL relationship…with someone 22 years my senior. We had a tumultuous relationship of the sometimes physical ilk.  He had a tendency to get outta pocket and because my mama ain’t raise no punk, I [after the first slap] got “projects” on his ass. Well, where there’s stress in my life…musical refuge coexists. Our song was off of the “I’m Your Baby Tonight” album. Along with the title cut, “My Name is Not Susan” and a very sweet duet with Stevie Wonder called, “We Didn’t Know”…my favorite…OUR favorite…was, “Lover For Life”.

I remember that on our anniversary, which was November 12th…HBO aired a Whitney Houston concert from South Africa…and Whitney sang this song (which was rarely ever played). A beautiful and serendipitous moment in an overwhelmingly rough time.

Who knew that I’d literally feel like a prisoner in that relationship?

The next level of fuckery was just beyond beyond. I refuse to font it. LOL

Just know that the next song was so very apropos once I realized this man was out doing all kinds of madness…

I played that song and album ad nauseum. I loved Nippy’s rendition of Stevie’s, “I Was Made To Love Her”.  “If I Told You That”, “Heartbreak Hotel” w/Faith Evans & Kelly Price, and “When You Believe” the song from “The Prince of Egypt” animated movie.

I remember when Whitney began struggling with drugs and infamy. I wanted so badly each time she arose with a new album, for that to be the moment of reckoning. For her to be on top again and clean with the sobriety of her fan’s love. It wasn’t easy watching her fall right into the next scandal trap. Most people wanted to see her fail. The naysayers were rampant…and when she died, the seemed to act in shame and quiet remorse, but the banter began again soon after. Details, presumptions about the way she died, who she was involved with…eh. I suppose it’s all a part of being a public figure. I just wish there was a way to receive the art…the gift from someone…without all of the negativity. Either way, my heart dropped the day I heard the news, same as it did when I heard about Michael Jackson.

You never truly stop missing such mega stars. If the sun died out today, the Earth would die with it…and a lot of people’s earthly love for music dies a little more as these stars leave here.

I still love you Whitney. I get my life EVERY…SINGLE…TIME I hear your music and sing with you.

Happy 50th Birthday!!

Love Always, Kiwi

No Longer Waiting to Exhale

You could’ve bought me for half a penny last night when I found out Whitney Houston had died. I HATE the internet for the kind of  false alarms we have about celebrities dying. The first thing I do is search out the info on big sites…which I did this time and the top source was ABC. She’d died in the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel and was found by her bodyguard. (even though for a second folks thought Ray J had found her). She was there to attend the Grammy’s which is to be aired tonight at 8pm EST on CBS. I’m sure the show will reflect the industry’s loss. Especially since we’ve also lost Etta James and Don Cornelius as well. ~sigh~

Let me tell you…I couldn’t even talk to my girl Tei anymore. I had to get off the phone. CNN was reporting and I had to hear every bit of it. I search for words right now and I’ve got a swirl of info and thoughts and emotions competing for space in this blog right now. (It doesn’t help that VH1Soul is on and playing her songs) I cried and cried some more…and turned her music on and cried some more. I’m still in disbelief…probably will be for a long time. It’s hard to accept the loss of such public people when they’ve left so many living visuals of themselves to keep them alive.

::exhaling::


Most people my age grew up with Whitney the way my mom grew up with Michael Jackson. In their beginning years…WITH them. My first album ever(which I purchased with my allowance) was her first album…vinyl. I played that album until it skipped. I loved EVERY song and played it and sang it EVERY day. I was 11 or 12. I used to hang with the Bunches…Shawn and Equenthia…and I think we all thought we were Houstons and Jacksons. I KNOW their mom Sandy got tired of us singing all the GAT damn time. lol  “You Give Good Love” summoned Shawn and I into his mother’s room one day as we laid eyes on Whitney for the first time singing. Mouths and ears open. That intro is unforgettable and I don’t care if we’re riding in a car of loud folks, with the windows down, wind whipping and what not…I can still spot that song on the lowest volume by the 1st few notes. “TURN IT UP!!!” is what you’ll hear me say out of nowhere. My 2nd fave became “Thinking About You” which is the 2nd track and honey it goes on for each song on this album. Her duets with Teddy Pendergrass and Jermaine Jackson…classic.

Then her sophomore album hit, “Whitney Houston” and I played THAT like it was going outta style. My girl Leah and I sat around and played that album (often crying and feeling every emotion…even though we were 12 & 14). “Where You Are”, “For the Love of You” the Isley Bros remake, which I had the nerve to correct Leah’s mom when she said that in the car:

Judy *as the song plays on the radio*: “Oh, this is a remake of the Isley Bros song…”
Smart Ass Me: “Nah uh, Ms. Judy…that’s Whitney Houston!”
Judy: “Yea, but they made it first…”

Smart Ass Me: “Oh…I like Whitney’s better” (KNOWING I hadn’t heard the other and thinking…who cares?) LOL

“So Emotional” was the song my sister and I sang often…mics and all. “Just the Lonely Talking Again” another remake, this one originally by The Manhattans. I swear…I sang this song to an ex of mine and he was mesmerized. He was like, “Wow…you sound just like her!” Back in those days I could actually hit those notes…now, not so much. lol

Whitney’s music, along with Michael Jackson, Prince, Stevie Wonder, New Edition, and so many more were indeed the singers to the songs that made the soundtrack to my adolescence. I can tell you who I was “in love” with, where I lived, who was my bestie and how I wore my hair to each song.

When Whitney visibly fell victim her drug usage…no longer functional, it was heart-breaking. I used to tell people…she’s human. Yes, we love her…but she’s human. There has to be enormous pressure on someone like her to be “perfect”, that we shouldn’t expect her never to fall, make mistakes and lose her way. I believed in my favorite female artist of all time. I believed that God and her strong mom would help her through. Whitney came from a family who although were connected to the gospel world…also had substance abuse issues. Both of her brothers at one time or another were addicted and her cousin Dionne Warwick had her own battles.

I wrote on Whitney before…click here…to see what I had to say back in 2009. As I read that older blog, I see some of the same memories written there as in this one, but hey…it’s my blog…I can repeat myself if I want to. LOL

~sigh~ Whitney Elizabeth…”Nippy”…I’m gonna miss you girl. I’m gonna miss pulling for you to get better and come back and reclaim your glory. Never again though…you’re in HIS glory now. I pray that for you. I pray an abundance of comfort, peace and understanding for Bobbi Kristina, Cissy, Bobby and the rest of your family and friends. I pray that your struggle speaks so loudly to those doing the same and that they’re convicted to get it together. I’ll never EVER forget your angelically pure voice, your sass and your artistic offerings. Rest in Peace, Whitney.

Love Always, Kali

**I want to thank my tumblr family for the pics @queennubian and @notesonascandal**  

Whitney…is that YOU?

Whitney is back! Or is she? I’m so scared for her. I’m in proverbial nail-biting mode over this latest release. See, if Prince and Michael were my leading musical men…Whitney and Janet were their leading lyrical ladies. I remember getting allowance and running up to the record shop on “the avenue” in Mt. Vernon, NY (known to most as Money Earnin’). I can’t even tell you how much that album cost. All I know is at 12 in 1985, I, Kali…bought my first Whitney Houston album. Yea, you know…when they were still vinyl? lol

I played the HELL out of that album. It ended up skipping to the lou until I just handed it off to my little sister. I still know the words to every song on it and at one point owned all she had to offer on CD’s. I no longer have those *grrrr* but, nonetheless…I am a FAN! One of my favorites from that album is the little heard, “Thinking About You“…an up-tempo song that is a MONSTER to find and download. Of course there was “Saving All My Love For You” the covetous ode to a married man. And who could forget “How Will I Know” with its colorful video and quintessential 80’s flavor. Yet, the song that when those first synthesized notes bang in, sets me into “me me me-mode”…is “You Give Good Love”. The first released song and video from the album. GEEZ…I listen to that now and remember that Whit was just 22. What a voice…purer and stronger than a 22 year old should behold.


Of course, when the 2nd album was released…I was ON it! My friend Leah and I used to sit there and listen to that album and cry. LOL She was 12 and I was 14…and we were some sappy girls who loved boys who didn’t love us. I even remember their names but I wont post for the sake of the innocent (meaning Leah and I) ha! It didn’t help that it was the same year Prince released, “Adore” which is my favorite of all time and we were STILL losing control over Janet’s Control album. Songs like “Just the Lonely Talking Again” a remake of the Manhattan’s song. “So Emotional” which is a song that still gets me up and dancing around with the fake mic and everything…lmao. The beautiful, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” was a winner for me…but it was “For The Love of You” a remake of the Isley Brother’s classic, that had my heart and still does. I remember being in the car with Leah’s family on the way to the pool and her mother said, “Oh, this is the Isley Brother’s song” and know-it-all Kali says, “Nah uh…that’s Whitney Houston, Ms Judy!”. She quickly schooled me and told me that yes, Whitney was singing, but the Isley Brothers made it first. I just replied, “Well, I like Whitney’s better!”…even though I’d never heard the other version. FAN, much?

If I were to sit here and name every song she’s sung that I fell in love with, you all would be mad at me. So, I’ll just say…I’M A FAN!

I’ve seen my girl put out albums that just rocked us, and some that left the critics wondering where she was going. I saw her marry Bobby Brown from another fave group of mine, New Edition…and put more R&B into her repertoire which the critics REALLY didn’t like. There’s the tumultuous marriage of Bobby & Whitney…their monkey foolery on Bobby’s reality show, the rumors…the TRUTHS about drugs and other abuse. The infamous Wendy Williams’ interview. The Diane Sawyer interview and the birth of “CRACK IS WACK”. Hearing about her having affair with little Ray Ray…and the whispers of a resurfacing in the music industry.

I’ll be 100% with you…I heard her newest release, “I Look To You” and it was OKAY. It’s Whitney, years ago…watered down. I’m sure someone told her she needed a super ballad to bring her back in but, in my opinion…this wasn’t it. Don’t get me wrong. I like the song and was happier than a new California cow that she was back…but, there’s something missing. What makes it hit you IS understanding what she’s been through. All I know is that when things got really bad and it was APPARENT, like that HBO concert where she could barely talk let alone sing…people were SO down on her and I hated it. I just kept praying that she’d be ok. That my idol would loosen from whatever had grabbed hold of her and that she’d rise again to her former glory and reclaim her spot…but then we all know, no matter what she’s been through, no matter how hard she fell…no one will EVER be who she was in music legend. After all, she is still Just Whitney.

Some more faves: “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)“, “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay“, “Lover for Life“, “Greatest Love of All“, “Jesus Loves Me

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