Black Women For Black Music Month! Anita Baker

This lady had us "caught up in the rapture of love" with her smoky contralto vocals, smooth enough to sing a new born baby to rest with no struggle. Soulful jazz singer-songwriter Anita Baker is a classic act that has been vital to many African-American homes in the '80s as she showcased a new way to enjoy the classic sounds of R&B and jazz infused over supreme lyrics.

Anita got her kick start in the church where she began singing in a baptist  choir at the age of 12. At age 16 she was in a band called Humanity, which included fellow high school friends. She later joined popular Detroit group Chapter 8 in 1975 and they spent a few years playing in and around Detroit, and eventually got a record deal with Ariola. The self-titled album came out in the fall of 1979. After things went sour with the Ariola deal, Anita made ends meet as she went home to Detroit and worked, first as a short order cook, then waited tables at a bar and finally getting a good job with a law firm as a receptionist. Otis Smith, who was the man behind Chapter 8's contract, formed his own label in 1981, called Beverly Glenn. Having a nostalgic experience of Anita's special voice, he reached out. At first Anita refused because of the 9-5 job, a steady income, health coverage and paid vacations, but when Otis Smith raised the first $10.000 offer and her law firm, whom she was working for, approved the contract, was the answer was quickly turned around.

The fabulous album Songstress hit the streets in 1983. Spring 1984, Anita has had four chart hits and was close to a gold record. Her new followers screamed for a new album, and when asked Beverly Glenn, there where no answer. Disputes lead to a contract with Elektra in 1986. Being an executive producer on her debut for Elektra, which was extremely odd at that that time, meant that Anita had complete control on the project. Choosing her friend from Chapter 8, Michael J. Powell as her producer, they created a masterpiece called "Rapture," which is her best selling record to date. The album received US platinum in only six months and the success on the chart's meant a total sale of over 8 million records worldwide. The following Grammy awards gave her 2 Grammy's. Memorable classic tracks "Sweet Love," "Caught Up In the Rapture," and "Same Ole Love." Other pieces of work to follow included Givin You The Best That I Got and  Rhythm Of Love. Rumor has it that Anita is slated to drop yet another record this year, titled 21st Century Love. -Shabazz

From the Web

More on Vibe

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Michelle Obama Interviews Barack Obama For First Episode Of New Podcast

Michelle Obama kicked off her podcast this week with a very special guest. The former first lady welcomed her husband, Barack Obama, for a lengthy discussion about their childhood, as it relates to race and class, experiences that shaped their “notion of community,” and more.

Barack tweeted a photo from the podcast on Thursday (July 29) with the caption,. “Michelle and I have spent a lot of time together these past few months. We’ve had a lot of good talks — and this one’s up there with the best.”

Michelle and I have spent a lot of time together these past few months. We’ve had a lot of good talks—and this one’s up there with the best. Take a listen to the very first episode of Michelle’s podcast:

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 29, 2020

The podcast aims to give listeners deeper insight into Mrs. Obama's life. “I spent a lot of time thinking, talking with friends and family,” she explained of her life after the White House. “Really just being, if you know what I mean. I reflected back on my time in the White House of course, but I went even deeper. I looked back at the whole arc of my life.

“In this first season, you’ll be hearing me talk with some of the people I’m closest with — my mom…my brothers…friends..colleagues. And I wanted to start at the most basic level. In these episodes, we’ll be discussing the relationships that make us who we are. Sometimes that might be as personal as our relationship with ourselves or how we navigate our health and our bodies at various points in our lives,” said Mrs. Obama. “In other episodes we’ll be talking about what the challenges and the joys of being a parent or a spouse…the growth we gain from leaning on colleagues and mentors…the friends that help us sort through the toughest times.”

Click here to listen to the first episode of The Michelle Obama Podcast.

Continue Reading
YG attends the 2019 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Paras Griffin/Getty Images

YG Recalls Police Pulling Guns On His Children During Home Raid

YG has had his share of run-ins with police, but one incident was particularly harrowing for the Compton native. In an interview with The Morning Hustle, YG opened up about his home being raided and police pulling guns on his young daughters.

The incident occurred in January, a day after the  30-year-old rapper was briefly arrested for suspicion of robbery.  “They came through like four in the morning,” he recalled. “We asleep, the helicopter came around and all that..they bang the door in trying to get in the door, so I go downstairs, I open the door…boom! They drew [guns] on me. That’s normal, but my kids at the time [were] 4 years old and 6 [months old]. They were upstairs in the room with their mama.”

Cops went upstairs where his children were in the room with their mother. “They go up in the room and they got the big AK’s all up in my little kids’ faces [yelling] ‘Don’t move! I’m like ‘bro, what the f*ck is ya’ll doing? Ya’ll got me f*cked up! They doing this to my little kids…and these are little girls, you know what I’m saying?

“I’ve been through a lot of other stuff with the police but I’m from the streets though so it’s like I got a target on my back from that and I know that,” he continued. “When you from a certain area the police gon’ f*ck with you.”

YG added that he’s never been beaten by police, but at least two of his friends have been killed by cops. “It’s a lot of stuff that be going on with the police that don’t make the news, he said. “That activity [being targeted by police] became normal to us. [We’ve] dealt with that for a long time. It’s sad to say but when you’re Black, you feel like that’s what comes with being Black.”

The incident was the second time that police raided his home in the last year. In July 2019, authorities raided the residence in connection with a shooting investigation. YG was not involved in the investigation and was not home at the time.

Watch his full interview below.

Continue Reading
David Livingston/Getty Images

Naya Rivera Laid To Rest During Private Ceremony In Los Angeles

Glee star Naya Rivera was laid to rest during a private ceremony held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles last week, according to a death certificate obtained by PEOPLE on Thursday (July 30).

Rivera’s funeral date was July 24. Her cause of death is listed as an accidental drowning, and her date of death is July 13 -- five days after she went missing at Lake Piru in Ventura County, Calif.

The 33-year-old actress took her 4-year-old son, Josey, out for an afternoon on the lake on July 8. Mother and son were in the water when things went awry and Rivera lifted him back onto the boat.

Rivera drowned within minutes of being submerged in the lake, her death certificate states. Josey was found safely on the boat and was able to tell authorities what happened to his mother.

Days later, Rivera’s family broke their silence to thank those who recovered her body.

“We extend endless gratitude and ovation to the heroine who found her. Thank you to her fiends, colleagues, and fans for your continued support,” the family said. “Heaven gained our sassy angel. We kindly request that our privacy be respected during this very difficult time.”

Continue Reading

Top Stories