Friday, June 19, 2009

Where is Teena Marie?

Before you do anything else, check out this video of Lady Tee recorded at Sinbad’s Caribbean Concert so you can really feel me.

Back to the topic of diva’s for this Friday’s installment of “Where is…?”.

My sister-in-law jokes that I have a thing for an old white woman. It seems like every time she visits, I’m all holed up in my office with Teena Marie serenading me as I work.

Now, I’m quite sure I don’t have a physical thing for Teena, but I do have a weakness for women who can sang, and Teena Marie can sang, y’all. You know it. And if you don’t, ask somebody, anybody.

For you all folks out there, do you remember that joint she did with Rick James back in the day, “Fire and Desire”? Do you remember how everyone just knew Teena had to be black, and when they found out she wasn’t, they kind of sat there all slack-jawed? Check out the clip below from the 2004 BET Awards to refresh your memory. The two are a little rusty, but it was Rick James’ last performance before his death.

Well, I don’t think her whiteness matters all that much now. It’s been thirty years since her debut album Wild and Peaceful. Now, she’s a full-fledged sista’. Not even honorary or anything.

Rick James produced her debut album and guided her through her early career. For a while they were linked romantically, but in a recent interview, she stated that after Rick James literally died on the emergency room table from a drug overdose for the second time and had to be revived by doctors, she just couldn’t stand the drama anymore. Cocaine is a helluva drug!

In the thirty years since that first album, the singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist has put together an oeuvre of sixteen more albums. Longevity does count for something in the music industry.

However, her latest offering, the sixteen song compilation on Stax Records, Congo Square, has got to be her very best. It covers a number of genres to include soul, jazz, and hip-hop, and features an impressive list of guest artists to include Faith Evans, Howard Hewett, M.C. Lyte, George Duke, and even her daughter, up and coming chanteuse Rose LeDeau.

Click here to hear an interview promoting the CD. Notice how in the interview she references the music of our ancestors. It appears even she has forgotten her whiteness.

I won’t name any names, but a number of white musical artists have used black music to gain entry into the marketplace, but then forgot us as soon as they made a dollar or two. But Teena has always remained true to the game.

So, check out the sample clips below and pick up a copy. You’ve got to have this one!

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Also see:

www.officialteenamarie.com

teenamarie.ning.com

8 comments:

El Nuyorican said...

Oh man! lady Tee! I still play her shit (love the remix they did on one of her songs). You're right, she had major chops and was sexy! I have to thank her and rick for all the times i got laid with Fire playing in the BG! Lol

i DIDN'T KNOW SHE HAD A NEW JOINT OUT. mOS DEF GONNA CHECK IT OUT.

-- eDDIE

uglyblackjohn said...

What?!!!
I lost a dance contest back in the day so badly that I swore off dancing forever - I got served.
But put on Square Biz and I forget that I don't dance anymore.
Thanks for the concert.

jjbrock said...

Hey! "Fire and Desire" I believe Lady Tee put her soul into that piece...Thanks for the memories.

Max Reddick said...

@ El Nuy

Yeah, Fire and Desire was the seduction song back in the day. You couldn't miss with that one.

@ uglyblackjohn

Square Biz is one of my very favorites.

@ jjbrock

I have to think very hard to come up with a song filled with more heartfelt passion than Fire and Desire.

Issa Rae said...

Ok, back when the BET Awards first aired, I was mostly laughing at the ridiculousness of this performance. Come on, the antics? Black people can't just can't SING a song without adding the overdramatics.

BUT, just focusing on Teena Marie's vocal abilities ... she's a bad chick.

Max Reddick said...

But that's what black folks want, a show. Whether it's a concert or church, we want to see a show. You gotta come with it.

Invisible Woman said...

Saw her at a show back in the day and me and my friends were spinning like tops! Thanks for the great post :-)

Max Reddick said...

She definitely puts on a good live show. She puts on a performance like no other.

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