Carlos Santana To Beyoncé: “You Can’t Sing!”



And I’d like to add my voice to Santana’s, “Beyoncé, you can’t sing!”

 “With all respect to our sister Beyonce, Beyonce is very beautiful to look at and it’s more like modeling kind of music — music to model a dress — she’s not a singer-singer, with all respect to her,” he[Carlos Santana] said.

According to this article, Santana was congratulating Adele on receiving her Grammy award at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards and stating that she really can sing as opposed to Beyoncé kinda sorta mod-singing as opposed to singing.

As far as I am concerned, Carlos Santana has no reason in the world to backtrack or to apologize for his statement because it is true. I admit that I have not listened to much of what Beyoncé has ‘sung’ but it is only because I cannot get through the end of her ‘songs’, she sounds so bad. And what is with all the near naked gyrating? Real singers have no need to continuously bare all or almost bare all if they do indeed, have a natural talent for singing.

Take Whitney Houston, for example. She had no need to bare her body to help her with her singing. Whitney could sing a A capella and I could listen to her all day and night. Who could forget her rendition of “I Will Always Love You?” That song will always move me to tears. Nothing that I have ever heard from Beyoncé moved me to do anything other than to turn that mess off! There is natural talent and then there is the studio produced sound and Beyoncé is nothing more than naked thighs and a studio voice and if she is performing, she is lip syncing would be my guess.

Why is it that everyone is expected to apologize for stating the truth how they see it? The “You need to apologize!” police are all over anyone who says anything they find disagreeable over their established ‘gods’ and ‘goddesses’. To hell with that! I will not be politically corrected to pieces for merely stating my mind and my opinion.

I say, “Beyoncé cannot sing!” Now make me apologize for that! The naked harridan cannot sing and why everyone is worshipping and idolizing something that married a piece of dirt that’s rapped for decades about bitches, niggaz and hos, ain’t all that! But then, Jay Z could have been rapping about her AND his daughter AND the two that’s inside Beyoncé’s belly that she just can’t keep covered.

One thing I can say for Adele, at least she has the good grace to conduct herself like a lady and even though I detest the sound of her voice and if I hear ‘Hello!” one goddamn more time, I shall surely scream, she at least garners my respect for being ladylike. Beyoncé, on the other hand, hell no!

Unfortunately, I Was Right About Prince!

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 13:  RITZ CLUB  Photo of PRINCE, Prince performing on stage - Purple Rain Tour  (Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)
UNITED STATES – SEPTEMBER 13: RITZ CLUB Photo of PRINCE, Prince performing on stage – Purple Rain Tour (Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)



But quite actually, not surprised!

Medical examiner: Prince died of Fentanyl overdose

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prince died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller that is up to 50 times more potent than heroin, autopsy results released Thursday show.

The findings confirm suspicions that opioids played a role in the death of the superstar musician, who was found dead April 21 at his Minneapolis-area estate.

Apparently, those previous reports of ‘flu-like’ symptoms were just a cover-up for the fact that Prince was addicted to painkillers thanks in part to the fact of worn-out joints, an aging body and a desire to continue to perform.

After being in the limelight for decades, it is hard to sit down and be relegated to retirement and obscurity. Many of us think that the money alone would be good enough for us, but put yourself in their shoes and it would more than likely look differently to you, as was the case with Prince, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and all of the great ones who suffered career setbacks, sensational scandals, an aging body and fickle fans. I have stated it before and I state it again, when people are put on a pedestal, worshipped and idolized, it does something to them and they cannot ‘enjoy’ being an average person any longer. Drugs are going to play a role in their lives; that is a given. There are only a few celebrities who have not succumbed to the lure of drug addiction; be they from painkillers or other opioids or narcotics.

I understand that it has been said that Prince lived a ‘clean’ life; no alcohol or drugs and that he was a ‘vegetarian’. Although, it was first suggested that he was a vegan and I also understand that since that was changed, could it also be a lie that Prince was addicted to fentanyl? We could argue about it all day and all night, but one fact remains, Prince was getting old. Fifty-seven is not young in the music industry and Prince was in the music industry for decades and the wear and tear on joints after all the punishment he put them through are going to start acting up and to counter the pain, medication is necessary. No amount of a vegetarian lifestyle or religious practices are going to ease the ache of painful hip joints and arthritic knees. Get real!

Devil worshippers are not to blame for Prince’s death. The ‘illuminati’ did not cause Prince’s hip and knee pains. If you look at the old videos of Prince in action, you cannot fail to walk away without saying that after years of that type of abuse, pain at the age of 57, as a result was to be expected especially since he continued to perform. But notice that his later performances were tame in comparison. The man just could not leap about and jump from high speakers anymore. He more than likely tried to do without the painkillers but he was expected to do more than just stand up on stage, clutching a microphone and to put those joints in use meant either deal with it and try not to grimace or take painkillers because the show must go on. There were adoring fans who needed to be entertained and get their money’s worth from the performance. The ‘fans’ care not for aging joints. They want their ‘gods’ to never age, never show human frailties, and above all, never be like the rest of us. That is not why Prince was ‘idolized’, for being like the rest of us.

And we would think that since Prince is dead, has been cremated, it would be ‘case closed’, but it is only just beginning. Now, comes the blame game. Who gave Prince the fentanyl? Who helped Prince overdose on a powerful opioid painkiller? Who is responsible? Ultimately, it was up to Prince as to whether or not to take the drugs that helped him to continue to perform.

I can only speculate as to whether or not Prince was pushed by an overwhelming desire to continue to achieve perfection even in the face of much suffering so that he could perform or was it a desire to just dull the pain of aging joints to just allow him to walk without suffering. I don’t know. What I do know is that if he could stand the pain in his day-to-day activities, then I see no reason for fentanyl. But if he were taking fentanyl in order to perform, than that was on Prince.

Lastly, the opioid epidemic that is increasingly in the news, will surely get a boost in coverage now that it has been concluded that Prince died from an abuse of opioids. Too bad the crack epidemic that decimated Black communities all across AmeriKKKa did not get the same attention and calls from politicians and the CDC to have crack addiction treated as a medical condition instead of what it was treated as, a crime. But then, look at who the face of opioid addiction is, other than Prince, of course.

My Thoughts On Prince, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston And The Burden Of Fame!

prince michael and whitney



This is what I think about those who entertain us; the ones we laud, now and forever more for their outstanding achievements. I think that they just get burned out. I think that fame and fortune comes with a huge price tag and to pay that price, it means endless hours of grueling and exhausting work, work and work to continue to produce what they are adored for, to produce more for their fans who expect more and more and more from them.

With the recent passing of Prince and the not so distant passing of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, there seems to be a common denominator; aging and drugs, drugs to deal with the pain emanating from a body that has been put through a nightmarish and hellish torture. Can you just imagine what it would take to get your body ready for a concert tour? Can you imagine the hours of rehearsals, day after day after day. They have got to achieve perfection. There can be no ‘retakes’. There is no room for failure. Their fans are expecting them to give their all and to continue to give it, forever! They are expected to be above human failings. The problem is, they are not. They are put on a pedestal and they are worshipped and idolized and that has to do something to them. The pressure alone has to be beyond anything I can imagine. I would not have the stamina to withstand the pressures of being under a microscope, forever. I could not imagine the grueling workout routines and regimens they must have had to endure to be able to get through multiple back-to-back concerts and make it all look effortless and for them to look, tireless.

We are all extremely selfish when it comes to those who entertain us. We just hear and see the finished ‘product’. We don’t get to see all that goes into putting that finished ‘product’ together up until the moment they step out onto that stage and perform. We don’t see the sleepless nights when they are trying to pen lyrics to paper and then music to lyrics and then dance moves to the music. We think that it is all just glitz and glamour and fun and a beautiful voice and riches and fame and oh the wonder of it all. They must train their voice in order to extend it through hours of entertaining us and they also have no private life. Who they are friends with is known. Who they are dating or who they marry is known. Where they shop, what they buy and so forth and so on. They have no privacy whatsoever. And it seems as though it is expected of them to know that they have no right to privacy because they should know that they belong to us; their adoring and exacting fans. They cannot let us down for if they do, we will turn our backs on them, just as we did when Whitney Houston’s voice finally gave out due to her giving up. The pressure was just too great. Being in the spotlight all the time was more than she could take and add an aging body into the mix and there you have it, another ‘idol’ gone too soon, but was it too soon for her? We will never know.

And with Michael Jackson, what was different? We hear about his financial problems and we all know the scandals that rocked his life. We have heard about the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father as a child. The man had no childhood. He was expected to perform, get it right the first time and never should the word, ‘imperfect’ be a part of his life; privately or publicly. That would confuse the hell out of me. I wouldn’t even begin to know who I was, especially when I never knew what it was like to be a child; to laugh and to play and to run around a playground. He couldn’t do those things because he had lyrics to write and songs to produce and moves to choreograph; an adoring public to perform in front of and the performance had better be perfect, so said his father in his early years and he knew later on in life that it was demanded of him. But with an aging body, scandals dogging his every footstep, nowhere to turn, what did you think would happen? Oh we think that they are surrounded by a loving family and plenty of bosom buddy friends but Michael Jackson was alone with just a doctor when he died. The Michael Jacksons the Princes and Whitney Houstons of this world were more alone than we can ever know. The kind of life they must live does not bode for a long life. It cannot. The body cannot take it for long and neither can the mind. All of the greats have this in common. Not many live a long life.

Prince died alone. And yet, he was idolized. I have read that his parties were ‘All The Rage’ and everyone wanted an invitation but when the final curtain call came, who was with him? Where were all of these people who had clamored to be around him, to hitch their wagon to his star? Who faced with him, the pain of an aging body, the ravages of countless, sleepless nights spent at the piano attempting to pound out yet another hit because the hits just needed to keep coming? He was Prince. He was not a mere person. He was an idol; a god. He walked, not among us, but above us which is where we put him. No mere mortal can endure that kind of adulation forever. It exacted a toll. And death comes all too prematurely; a common denominator, once again.

These people that we idolize cease to be human and become ‘wonders’. They become stars. And where are stars? Stars are in the sky beyond our reach and so are these people. We cannot touch them. We can only see and hear them from a distance and we can read about them and follow them as best we can on social media and to one country after another when they go on tour.

But have you ever stopped and asked yourself, “Could I handle the pressure?” Have you ever even stopped to question just what it must be like to be idolized; put on a pedestal, not seen as all too human? Our idols will never live ‘up’ to our expectations because we prop them up too high and the higher we prop them up, the greater the distance they have to fall. And when they fall, we are not there to catch them. And so, they die, alone.

Think about that the next time you find yourself worshipping, idolizing and putting on a pedestal a person who, without the gift of a beautiful singing voice or some other extraordinary talent, would be just another you; an ordinary human being and not a ‘god’; a star in the sky, out of reach of us mere mortals. Please remember, they too, were mere mortals who happened to have been blessed with a gift they chose to share with us and though we think we did right by them, we only did them a disservice by never truly realizing all that we expected of them and all that they gave to us; not until after they died. We failed them, they did not fail us. Mankind was not meant to be worshipped, but to love and to be loved.

One Year Ago Today


Today marks the one year anniversary of my baby sister’s death due to a drug overdose. She died the same way Whitney Houston died. She was on the same drug that Whitney Houston was on. She started doing drugs in junior high school. First came cigarette smoking, then weed and next up was crack and that was the beginning of the end.

But here’s some background information on my sister. She didn’t grow up in the ‘ghetto’. She didn’t eat lead paint and thus start out at a disadvantage like most inner city children do. She lived in a two-parent household and no, it wasn’t perfect, but what family is? We did all the things that children do. We swam; roller skated, rode our bikes, bowled and hung out with our friends. We had birthday parties and we attended birthday parties of the children we played with. In the summer, there was always something to do; if we weren’t picking vegetables by the bushel full, we were shucking corn, shelling peas and snapping green beans and wondering where to put yet another container of strawberries. On our uncle’s farm, there were horses that we could ride and my middle sister was the only one with enough courage to mount one, only to get thrown and get right back on it while my baby sister and I just looked on and laughed. Like I said, we did all the things that children do and all the things that ALL children should have the ability to do. We attended the best schools, wore designer clothes and we were driving as teenagers paying no insurance and gassing up the vehicles without a care as to where the money to do so was coming from. We were carefree, most of the time or so I thought.

At this point, I must say that being the oldest, I was never able to attend school with my baby sister. We are four years apart and I never thought that she had the same problems in school that my middle sister did. My middle sister was bullied and because she was so scrawny, she was scared and would come to me. And since I was a strapping girl who took no shit, I quickly put paid to that shit even if I was suffering with the flu, I kicked ass on her behalf. However, I was not a bully; I just fucked up the bullies. It never dawned on me that my baby sister would get the same treatment. Yes, she was scrawny, but people liked her because she was so damn funny and I didn’t think she needed me because she never came to me and said that anyone was picking on her or telling her that they were going to beat her up if she went to school the next day. Little did I know that her situation was so much worse than getting bullied. She had gotten in with the ‘wrong’ crowd and they stole shit that they didn’t need to steal and since my sister had never done anything like that, she only got away with it for so long and then, the call came that she was in jail for shoplifting. But I digress.

My baby sister and my middle sister were close and since they were also two years apart, they would meet up in school, eventually and get to ‘pal’ around with each other. So, my baby sister would tell my middle sister things that neither one would tell me. Now, my middle sister, if she got mad at my baby sister, only then would she tell me her business and her secrets. Well, the very day that she told me that my baby sister was stealing and had been doing it for a while, was the very day that I told our mother. One of the reasons why I was hardly ever privy to their little secrets is because they knew that once I got a hold of them, I was telling mother. Unfortunately, in this instance, I was too late. We got the phone call about my baby sister’s arrest for shoplifting. I remember my mother crying her eyes out and my father left to go and get her out of jail and that was the beginning of a long and hard road for us all, but especially for my baby sister. After that, there were the suspensions from school, detention, smoking cigarettes, then weed, more stealing, back in jail and now comes the crack epidemic and that was it.

My parents tried everything. When she stole from them, they had her arrested because they had begged her to go into treatment and she refused and they figured that one way to get her into treatment was to make it a condition upon her release. Well, that happened and she went in for treatment for thirty days. She came out and went right to a known ‘crack house’. She knew where they all were. I didn’t even know ‘crack houses’ existed because I was doing my own thing and wasn’t even aware that this was going on until my middle sister was able to get into contact with me to tell me what was going on. My mother and father were having a time with my baby sister. They finally got her to go out of state to a rehab facility that was supposed to have a great success rate. She spent three years in and out of rehab and each time, she’d get out and head to a ‘crack house’.

Some sort of third cousin of ours sold drugs and told my middle sister that he had given our sister drugs to keep her from doing things for other drug dealers in order to get more drugs(he’s also dead, shot fourteen times), she was that hooked. We had heard stories, but just couldn’t believe them, not about our sister. Finally, things got so bad, that my baby sister was ostracized from the entire family. No one wanted her around because she lied and she stole and she’d sell anything you gave her for crack. When she would phone family members, they’d sometimes answer the phone and sometimes would not because they knew she would get to begging and they just didn’t want to deal with it. I was long gone by this time and hadn’t seen my sister in years. When I made it back to my hometown in 2006, she was at my parent’s house with her boyfriend and that was the last time I saw her, alive. Her boyfriend told my mother that he had had enough because my sister was constantly threatening to have him arrested since he kept attempting to leave her. She would throw herself against walls, get bruises and pick up the phone and threaten to call the police and say that he had beat her. She had gotten that bad. That was not the sister I knew. The crack had taken over and consumed her.

In the end, my sister died, alone and had to be found by one of her friends and an autopsy had to be performed because she died, suddenly. No one knew of any illness but of course no one knew what was going on with her as her calls were rarely accepted. A year ago today, she died and here I sit crying my eyes out and blaming myself because since I am the oldest, I should have somehow protected her. There must have been something that I could have done. Why did I not remain in my hometown and take care of her? I keep asking myself that. Why has it been so easy for me to turn my back on them for so long and to forget that they may have needed me? What penance can I do that would even come close to relieving even a tiny fragment of the guilt that I am consumed with? I have the unmitigated gall to write poetry about how I loved my sister. I can even form words to that effect that bring me to tears and yet, when she was alive, I was not there for her. I haven’t the right to even say her name because she was the baby and how the hell is she dead and I didn’t do a goddamn thing to stop it? How the hell can I say that I love her? How? And yet I can write words of a love that will never die when I was never there to fan the flames of love for her. And so, I cry!

So, people, understand something. You can tout the legalization of drugs until the cows come home, but drugs are not the answer. Drugs are destroying lives. Drug use is no respecter of persons. Drug addiction doesn’t care about your GPA. My sister was brilliant. She didn’t need a computer because her brain was a computer. There was nothing that she couldn’t do except get off drugs. She started off playing the clarinet and decided that she wanted to play the tenor saxophone. She excelled at that. She joined the band and marched in tune to the beat while playing her tenor saxophone. She went to college and never picked up a book, so her roommate says and yet, aced every exam. She just decided not to complete college with just two more credits to go. She could cook a meal for a 5-star restaurant and had never gone to culinary school. She could have been the highest paid comedienne there ever was. I have never seen anybody with as many natural talents as my baby sister had and yet her downfall was crack. I wish that I had one tenth of the smarts that she had because beside her, my middle sister and I would qualify as kindergarten rejects and I am SO not kidding. I don’t know if neglect or a predilection to addiction took my sister, probably both. I just know that I am mad as hell at the shits that introduced crack into communities all across this country. I am mad as hell at the shits that introduced heroin into communities all across this country. I am mad as hell that my sister needed me and I was nowhere to be found until they ‘found’ me to tell me that she was dead.

A poem, written for my sister by a cold, heartless hypocrite and that would be me!

Death does not become you.
Within my heart is where you will always live.
When I hear a tenor saxophone played,
It is to us, this gift you’ll always give.

When I’m attempting to cook a decent meal,
I hear your laughter when I know I get it wrong.
You whisper and you tell me how it’s done
And your words are the sweetest sounding song.

No, death will never become you.
Cold and lifeless, you can never be.
Within my heart and my soul, you still live.
And so long as I shall live, you will live in me.

The sound of your voice rings clear,
Even though you have been gone for a year.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2014 Shelby I. Courtland