• Danica Johnson

Compositions & Coffee Presents: "Creative Soul Digest"




It’s A Vibe Friday



Hey friends welcome to my favorite day of the week again FRIIIIIIDAYYYY!

My vibe this week has been R&B but truly leaning on songs about pain, struggle, recovery. My playlist has consisted of Mary J, Faith Evans, Fantasia, and Jennifer Hudson and coincidently all these women have stories full of pain that they sung about and lived. This week I want to recognize and tip my hats off to them. Strong women is something I hear a lot but what people forget is the strength came FROM the struggle. I have a bit of their stories, celebrations, and I will top you off with a playlist. Sound good? Alright let’s go…



Mary J. Blige



Mary J..Mary J….WOW! She just turned 50 this year let me just say that because Sis looks amaaazzzzingggg. Mary’s career has spanned nearly 3 decades and hasn’t shown any signs of stopping. She’s a powerhouse, songwriter, actress, and philanthropist. She’s won 9 Grammy’s, 3 Golden Globes, and has been nominated for an Academy award. Sis is decorated and multitalented. Her songs are known to be full of booming sound ringing triumph but also echoing pain. We all know it too because you’d play her song, either when going through heartbreak, or as you are pulling out from it. She has the ability to make you go there. Her ability to do that came from her own true life story full of trauma, pain, and addiction. Her publicized divorce with her husband Kendu Isaacs, with whom she devoted 12 years to, was another painful mountain she had to climb. She poured it all into her music and career. Listen….I’m trying to elevate to Mary J. Blige’s level y’all for real!



Jennifer Hudson



JHud is my girrrrllll y’all. When I think of her I literally think of power and a “brickhouse.” She is mighty in both voice and spirit. Starting from her humble beginning’s on American Idol to her rise into superstardom with movies like DreamGirls she continues to inspire all of us. She has received an Academy Award, A Golden Globe, 2 Grammy’s, and was Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2020. Yes…girl dope! She acts, she can sang, and she’s a philanthropist…she’s truly a gem. JHud’s life has also been plagued by pain and heartache that she emerged from stronger, louder, and with a warrior’s spirit. Many know the story but in 2008 her mother, brother, and nephew were killed in a shooting. It received national media attention and many joined in the fight for better gun control policies. Ms. Hudson took some time out of the limelight to heal and emerged the following year for an amazing National Anthem performance. Since her emergence she’s been a coach on the TV show The Voice. She will be playing Aretha Franklin in her biopic set to release this year. She also continues to make music while also being active in anti-gun violence rally’s and giving back to her community. She’s an inspiration no question.


Fantasia



Oh the lovely Ms. Barrino. With the gift to pull the music out from her soul and turn it into a poetic melody her music aims straight for the heart. You can’t help but to belt out each note when you're singing along to her music. She also came from the American Idol world when she won the third season in 2004. Since she has won a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and was ranked 32 out of the 100 Greatest Women in Music by VH1. She is a story teller much like Ms. Blige and conveys deep emotion in each song she sings. Fantasia dropped out of high school and had her first child at age 16. In her memoir she also states she is functionally illiterate. She also details her difficult upbringing and hardships with failed relationships. She was also sued by her father for $10 million due to her memoir and some unflattering remarks about him. In 2010 she also was hospitalized for an overdose. That was not the end for her and she knew that her story was not meant to end there. In 2015 she married her husband and the their family is growing since Fantasia announced she was expecting in November of last year. Truly over the moon for her she truly has climbed so many mountains but made it to the top each time and her devoted fans have been able to celebrate with her.



Faith Evans



Nobody has quite the story like Ms. Evans. Known as the widow of one the largest persona’s in rap music Notorious B.I.G. she also has a story to tell. Faith Evans had just begun her career when she met and married Biggie in 1994. They had their son Christopher not long after. Her first album with Bad Boy Records was certified platinum in 1995 and as her career and family life were just starting Biggie was killed in 1997. The couple had separated in 1997 and rumors were spun to state she had a part in the murder of her husband. This continued since she was dating record company executive Todd Russaw during that time and a year later married and had their first child together. Despite the allegations Faith produced a tribute song with P.Diddy to her husband, I’ll Be Missing You and continued to push forward. She had some legal trouble in between with drug possession and drunk driving and later filed from divorce from her husband in 2011. The two underwent a drug treatment program that same year. She is currently married to producer Stevie J. During all of her trials and tribulations she continued to make moves though y’all. She continued to make music including her and husbands hit song A Minute in 2018. She has made film appearances and had reoccurring roles in Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta. She has made a posthumous Notorious B.I.G album titled The King & I released in 2017 and wrote an autobiographic book called Keep the Faith. In the book she opens up about her relationship with Biggie and how it was not all roses. She talks about redefining herself and now telling her own story. Sounds familiar doesn’t it ladies?


The thing that links all these women is they have stories we can all relate to. What has made them inspirations is their ability to recognize the struggles as stories, speak openly and candidly about them (well sing), and rise above each challenge in order to grow. They are inspirations to their fan base and relatable. Each artist has power vocals that can be described as soulful. That’s what R&B is….soul and rhythm yes but… our music was birthed from blues y’all. True BLUES. Nobody embodies that batter than the black sister.

Alright as promised the music list is below:



The Music


Everything


Not Gon' Cry


I Can Love You (feat. Lil'Kim)


Family Affair


Real Love


Be Without You (Kendu Mix)


No More Drama


I'm Goin Down


Be Happy


Real Love


Rainy Dayz


Just Fine


When I See U


Ain't Gon Beg You


Truth Is


Lose to Win


Got Me Waiting


Bittersweet


Baby, It's Cold Outside (feat. Ceelo Green)


Enough


PTSD (feat. T-Pain)


Spotlight


If This Isn't Love


Dangerous


And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going


Love You I Do


How Great Thou Art (Pentatonix)


You Used to Love Me


Never Gonna Let You Go


I'll Be Missing You


Soon As I Get Home


Love Likes This


I Love You


Legacy


When We Party


I Deserve It (feat. Missy Elliot & Sharaya J)







Yet again, you’re welcome! I hope as you listen to this music it, #1 takes you back, but also encourages you if you are going through your own valley or climbing up that steep hill. Remember you have sisters that have all gone through it and have told their stories. If you have just come through it or are going through it celebrate…. every moment and breath there’s a victory happening. We are women here us roar because we always overcome. YAY Women’s History Month!! I loved every moment of this month’s celebration with all of you but also seeing it unfold in the media and how it’s truly being recognized and honored. Alright folks check out the recommendations below and go enjoy your weekend! Much love…


--Be Free

Your family at Eclectuals

"Where we mind your mental diet!"



****Oh by the way we are taking a month off to focus on some other fun stuff but we will be back to feed your mind and soul in May. Try not to miss us too much….but if you do just know we miss you too FAM.

--See ya soon.



Support Black Business


Hell Notes for Beauty


Peak and Valley


The Cupcake Collection




Book Recommendations


Just As I am: A Memoir by Cicely Tyson


I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou




Coffee Recommendations

Eclectic Sunset

A sumatra and Indonesian coffee from the Ketiara collective (women farmers). It's a dark, earthy, deep, full bodied, and complex coffee. It's flavors are creamy, sweet, spice, and butterscotch.




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