Tag Archives: music

Jackson, Missy & Adele are BACK!

Good music seems to have come back this winter thanks to three music legends releasing some kick ass singles and albums. Thank GOD for Jackson, Missy & Adele’s return to the music scene that was just not happening for me.

Pop Queen is Burning It Up!

The pop queen that is Janet Jackson is back with a “burning” track off her new album, Unbreakable. I’m going through it slowly because I don’t want it to end but my favorite track off the album right now is BurnItUp!. I want to say it’s just the beat but can’t deny that her collaboration with Missy Elliot is just perfection! Can’t wait to see the Rhythm Nation queen put out a fun dance video for this track, maybe even a dance collage from her successful tour happening right now.

Missy Bringing it Back!

Speaking of which, who isn’t happy as hell the hip hop legend Missy Elliot is back? Finally some good beats to bring back the good hip hop music of the 90s! Even the music video for WTF (Where They From) is true to her fantastic and unique style. From the dance moves to the glass outfit (that left her bloodied!) to that hot blue makeup, Missy is back and on point, LOVE IT! I just simply can’t wait for her to release an album already, like WTF!

Totally Worth the Wait!

Can’t end this rant without mentioning the young legend that is Adele! She has finally released a fantastic album, 25, and announced a Europe tour which I’m very tempted to fly out for! Again, going through the album slowly because I don’t want it to end. However, right now I’m loving Water Under The Bridge, it’s just catchy despite it being a breakup song. I hope she makes a music video for this track as classic as her previous ones.

There ya have it peeps, my favorite winter tracks out at the moment. What’s your favorite track this winter?

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Public Response to Lacy Morris’ Huffington Post Article

If most of you have this odd love/hate relationship with the Huffington Post as yours truly, I’m sure most of you read Lacy Morris’ latest article in HP’s Travel, 30 Things Travelers Must See and Do Before They’re 30. Aside from making me feel slightly under accomplished at 31 (Thanks a lot Lacy), I felt the urge to share my comments publicly for each of the listed items Lacy listed. I’ll only post the list (bolded) but you can click here to read Lacy’s full article.

1. Jump off something.
Right after you Lacy!!

2. See one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Accomplished! =) I’m from the great city of San Francisco so I’ve been blessed to have enjoyed some of the modern wonders like the Golden Gate Bridge amongst others on a regular basis, Alhamdulillah. (I miss you SF!) When I was 19 years old, I worked two jobs (yes that’s 2 jobs, 7 days a week!) to save and pay for my Mama and I to go to Egypt in April of 2001 where I experienced the longest surviving wonder of the world, the Pyramids of Giza. I went again in 2011 after the revolution and experienced history in the making… another world wonder in my book.

3. Party in Las Vegas.
Unless you’re paying for it Lacy, I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on a slice of Sin City.

4. Take a vacation that isn’t Spring Break.
Accomplished! Never did a Spring Break type deal so my trip to Egypt (see number 2) counts.

5. Attend at least one large celebration.
Accomplished! Every year I attend Ramadan gatherings and Eid prayers. Trust me, it’s a fabulous celebration with clothed, sober people! I invite you Lacy to join us in SF when I return for a visit from Qatar to celebrate Eid! (You’re also welcome to experience Qatar and add it to your list!)

OnTheBeach
Enjoying San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, covered up, in 2009.

6. Hit up a nude beach. I laughed to tears at this number! One, I’m from San Francisco, home of Baker Beach and never even considered checking that nudity out. Two, I’m a happily covered-up Muslim so the idea of going out without my hijab, let alone naked is extremely laughable.

7. Spend several days with only what will fit in a backpack. Lacy, let’s hear about your days with only what will fit in your backpack.

8. Swim in the ocean.
I can’t swim but I’ve visited several beaches during my travels so… semi-accomplished!

9. Sleep somewhere where you have to light a fire to stay warm.
Lacy, YOU sleep somewhere where you have to light a fire to stay warm!

10. Do some sort of adrenaline sport.
I moved to another country at 30 on my own dime… doesn’t that count Lacy?

11. Hit up one of the Caribbean islands.
Are you going to pay that for Lacy? If so, let’s go and it can be “31 things I can do before I’m 32!”

12. Take one ultimate road trip.
Accomplished! I’ve done several road trips from SF to LA and back, the last one being when I was 29.  When I was 24, along with my Mama and sister, we road tripped from NY to the Carolinas and back. I do not recommend anyone to do that drive… ever!

13. Go somewhere alone.
Accomplished! My first flight alone was a training in Michigan at 20 then getting paid through my freelance work throughout California and parts of the US before I traveled and moved to the Middle East. I emphasize that those trips within the US were paid for by a third party otherwise I wouldn’t have ever been able to afford it as a college student. I doubt anyone under 30 can travel alone without a friend who can at least help split the costs of hotels and food.

14. Take a train somewhere.
I’d like to take the Trans-Siberian Railway (across Russia) like in Paulo Coelho’s Aleph. Let’s go Lacy, your treat! 😉

15. Go to a music festival.
I love music and have organized a few concerts but I’ve had dumb drunk people ruin one too many shows for me. You want me to go to a  music festival where drunkenness is encouraged? No thanks!

16. Have one iconic Americana experience.
I’m a Muslim Arab American whom has traveled through USA airports… if that ain’t enough “Americana” experience then what the hell is?

17. Go to at least one of the Smithsonian museums.
Now that’s on my list but I haven’t set an age deadline for it.

18. Summit a mountain.
San Francisco Twin Peaks, that should count… and I know how to get myself back down too!

19. Be able to name your top five dream vacations.
Wait, I thought this was a list of travel experiences we should have accomplished before 30, not draft them out. I’m confused Lacy…

20. See a game at a classic ballpark.
San Francisco turned the classic Candlestick Park into Monster Park (a football field) before I could afford to start going to cheer on my world champs, the SF Giants.

21. Visit a neighbor to our north or south.
Yea I would’ve, really, but no one wanted to pay for it.

22. Do something so adventurous that it requires a doctor’s visit.
Accomplished! Took my Hep C shots at 19 before my trip to Egypt. (How sad is that?)

23. Save pennies to go somewhere you really want to go.
FYI Lacy, it cost more than 200 pennies to go down the street.

24. Go to New York City.
Semi-Accomplished! I have family in New Jersey and NY’s Staten Island so we’ve done the ferry rides and walked some parts of Manhattan. I have yet to stand in the middle of Time Square or eat from NY’s famed Halal Food Trucks/Carts. I did bus it between Brooklyn and Staten Island, but no subway rides.

25. Sleep under the stars.
Never done it but during trips to NJ, my grandparents had a nice front lawn where we gathered during those hot summer nights over good conversation and star gazed before the mosquitoes kicked us out.

26. Eat an iconic city meal.
I’m from San Francisco… all the iconic meals come to us damn it!

27. Know all of the best places to take tourists in your home city.
Accomplished! One place tourists should go to in San Francisco aside from the 49 mile scenic drive is a small lovely corner in the heart of the city called Maiden Lane where some really nice spots to eat are located! You’re welcome Lacy!!

28. Have one close encounter with a wild animal.
I have three brothers, one sister and 3 cats split between two countries… that’s enough wild animal encounters for me.

29. Do something you can’t tell your parents about.
No comment… my Mama reads this! =P

30. Know a dance well enough that you could keep up with the locals.
Accomplished! When I was in fifth grade, I was part of the cultural dance troupe where I learned Chinese Ribbon Dancing, Irish Celtic Step Dance and traditional East African Tribal Dances to name a few… I still carry and remember everything I learned in that troupe to this day… best year of my elementary life!

8 1/2 (maybe 9) out of 30… not bad, huh Lacy?

My Public Letter to Hamada Helal

Dear Hamada Helal,

Please put down the microphone, turn around and walk away from the music industry forever.

This catastrophic song of yours (from an even catastrophic movie, Mr. and Mrs. Awees) has now put you in the I’m-not-a-descent-musician category alongside Tamer Hosny and the 4cats.

It’s because of stupid, uncreative, unimaginative Arab artists such as yourself, Egyptian artists have been put to shame! We can no longer pride ourselves in the arts like we once did. Can you imagine if the Egyptian greats Oum Kalthoum or AbdelHalim Hafez stole another’s vision and made it their own? Even back then, they could claim ignorance and would’ve apologized for it.

You on the other hand live in the shared information and internet era so you can’t even claim ignorance on this when (and I’m so praying this happens) Nickelodeon sues you and your productions company for rights infringement! Isn’t it enough that these stupid Arabic television stations air the amazing show that is SpongeBob SquarePants with the worst possible Arabic dubbing EVER?! Then you come along and add fuel to the freaking flame with this pathetic thing you call music! Akh!

For those of you unaware of the song I’m speaking of, watch this video at your own discretion…

Hamada Helal, I used to like you, I really did, you know, when you were a sad, depressed artist. Seriously, I couldn’t even defend you when you became all happy and started singing cheesy happy songs. It got worse when you decided to act and develop entire soundtracks for every movie you’re involved with… from the stupid one where you lead a gang of thugs (really, you a thug?) to the one about that sad boxer (You as a boxer? Despicable!). I thought for a moment you came back to your senses when you released a few decent songs during Egypt’s revolution last year (except for Martyrs of January 25, terribly written!) or the one about Prophet Mohamed (pbuh).

However, as a huge adult fan of the amazing SpongeBob SquarePants, it was just too much for me to take! You are NOT SpongePOP, you are not as “yellow as cumin” and you always dirty yourself when you plagiarize! I beg of you, please just go away… Go under a rock or something because it’s over… It’s Over! 

Signed, Ms. Hala… A Very Angry SpongeBob Fan

P.S. – Cumin is not yellow, it’s brown.