A Renaissance is coming to Oak Cliff, and Taylor Toynes and the For Oak Cliff community center are two of its driving forces. What began as a small school supply drive in the former teacher’s classroom has since grown into a full-scale community center whose programs have garnered the attention of Mark Zuckerberg, J. Cole, Bay Bay, and the late rapper Nipsey Hussle. But beyond the glitz and glamour, Taylor has one goal: Liberate Oak Cliff from systemic oppression.
The goal-diggers talk a lot about the first quarter. In this first quarter the brand has been building, laying foundations, making plays. Individually, I’ve been doing the same. Reflecting on the kind of year I want for myself and manifesting it before next week ushers in my 29th year of life. This week's list needed to reflect those things. The opulence of a Maybach Music installment to describe the success I see the brand and myself having this year, balanced with the awareness that materialistic things aren’t nearly as important as God, family or the culture. A little shit talking to make it clear that in 2019 you’re about to see the next level of what you’ve already experienced: another year of outworking whoever, with the culture and for the culture.
Lady Saw’s “Sycamore Tree” and Tanya Stephens’ “You Nuh Ready For Dis Yet” were the staples on my father’s Joy Ride Riddim cassette tape. He would play it in our 1996 Mazda MPV while my siblings and I helped him wash the car. I considered her the Lil Kim of Dancehall because her lyrics were vulgar, raunchy and direct (but it’s worth mentioning that she has since been baptized and now goes by Minister Marion Hall if you want to look her up).
Hey, Mr. Carter
by Aaron Colen
Jay-Z’s 13th studio album, 4:44, is groundbreaking. It’s a game-changing project from an artist who many questioned whether he should still be in the game at all.
If you missed the award show or didn’t join the #BlackTwitter family reunion you missed a helluvah show! Not only did BET give us a show but they gave us lots – LOTS to talk about! BET did a lot of promoting and of course we didn’t expect it to be much but they proved a lot of us (including myself) wrong. A lot happened at this year’s BET Awards and you can catch up on your Twitter timeline because I’m only giving you…
Tay’s Top 5 moments of the 2016 BET Awards
5 - MUSIC MATTERS ARTIST
I can’t say that this has been my favorite part of the awards in the past but for this year’s, two artist stood out to me and made me hop on Apple Music to download some stuff! Chloe & Halle, I remembered them from YouTube and doing covers now they are Beyonce’s artist and on her label - Parkwood! Good stuff ladies! I look forward to hearing great music from you two – they are definitely in FORMATION. Also, Anderson Paak!!! He killed his performance (& he was JUST in the D!), I’ve been a little behind and can’t say I was too familiar with him but I’m definitely about to be!
4 - NEW EDITION – 3 NIGHT MINISERIES EVENT
Was I the only one excited about this?! Not only is BET giving us this incredible story of the men behind songs like Mr. Telephone Man, Candy Girl, & Can you Stand the Rain but they’re giving it to us with some (this is the part where you remember this is Tay writing and not T. Lee or Kenny) HOT EYE CANDY!!!! Bryshere Y. Gray, Elijah Kelley, Luke James, Algee Smith, Keith Powers and Woody McClain need I say more?? Ladies if you’re not familiar look em up!
3 - BEYONCE & KENDRICK LAMAR
If you know me you know I was, is, and forever will be a part of the BeyHive! I had no idea that Beyonce was performing and not only did she bring the Hive, and all of the ladies in Formation plus the water from the Formation World Tour but she brought K. DOT!!!! I was hereeee for that and from what I can tell and what I’m hearing it was one of EVERYONE’S favorite moments.
2 - PRINCE CELEBRATION
Honeeyyyy!!! Out of all the artist that were influence by Prince 9 took on the challenge and paid tribute to him in a HUGE way! The Roots, Erykah Badu, Bilal, Tori Kelly, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Maxwell, Janelle Monae and Shelia E. gave us the tribute we were waiting for! But in my opinion one artist who stole the #PrinceCelebration was J. Hud with Purple Rain! The entire audience was captivated and singing every lyric. Thank you to everyone! Thank you.
1 - THIS YEAR’S HUMANITARIAN JESSE WILLIAMS
Deemed as this generation’s Harry Belafonte, Jesse Williams accepted the Humanitarian Award with words that stung wayyyy after he left the stage. Jesse Williams better known for his role as Dr. Jackson Avery on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy is a Chicago born history teacher turned actor who is very conscience and known for his Twitter rants on injustice. His speech touched me and I don’t think I can go on thinking the same… With words like “We prayed for those brands off our body, now we pray for those brands on our body” and “If you have a critique for the resistance, you better have a long history of critiquing the oppressor.” I think my favorite part of the speech was the last 45 seconds where he speaks on how they (those not of color) want to be us but don’t want to go through what we go through, ending with “Just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real!” I’m sure it made some people uncomfortable but nonetheless we (Americans, ALL Americans) needed to hear it!
If you caught it… Hit me up on Twitter @MsTaylorAlexis and Let me know your favorite moments from this year’s BET Awards.
Ya did good BET! Ya did goodt!