Marvin Gaye 'Here My Dear' cover Marvin Gaye 'Here My Dear' cover

What Millennials Should Know About... Marvin Gaye's 'Here, My Dear'

To celebrate Black Music Month, VIBE spotlights some of music's most essential timepieces for Gen Y to get hip to

MARVIN GAYE
Here, My Dear (1978)

Most Slept On: There are several stand-outs on Marvin Gaye's deeply personal testimony of a marriage descending into its final heartbreaking, bitter, and angry end. But as you dig deeper inside this surreal 1978 masterpiece that is Here, My Dear, you will find the criminally underrated cut "Time to Get it Together," a funked-up number that sticks out amongst the brooding statements of Here, My Dear. Originally written and recorded in 1976, the self-dissecting track finds Gaye trying to work through his own personal demons of drug abuse and womanizing. "Trying my best to find my way," he testifies. "Change our world in just one day/Blowin' coke all up my nose/Gettin' in and out my clothes/Foolin' 'round with midnight ho's/But that chapter of life's closed." Stunning.

Lines Best For Status Updates:
-"I guess I'd have to say this album is dedicated to you/Although perhaps you may not be happy." ("Here, My Dear")

-"If you ever loved me with all of your heart, you'd never take a million dollars to part." ("When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You")

-"Somebody tell me please, tell me please/Why do I have to pay attorney fees (My baby's) Attorney fees...This is a joke/I need a smoke." ("Is That Enough")

-"That young girl is going to cost you/If you want happiness you got to pay." ("You Can Leave, But It's Going To Cost You")

-"Memories haunt you all the time, I will never leave, you're mine..." ("When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You (Reprise)"

Bet You Didn't Know: For their politically-incorrect lean anthem "Sippin' On Some Syrup", Three Six Mafia (feat. UGK/Project Pat) sampled "Is That Enough."

Synopsis: Initially rejected by the public, Here, My Dear has since taken on mythical standing amongst musicologists, critics, artists and longtime fans of Marvin Gaye. This was a long playing document that did little to hide the pain and anguish of an imploding relationship. Initially, the work was recorded to help fund the $1 million Gaye owed to his wife Anna Ruby Gordy in alimony. Gaye's plan was simple. He would purposely make a lackluster, dog of a record just to spite his ex. "Why would I break my neck when Anna was going to wind up with the money anyway," the legendary vocalist said in his 1983 biography Divided Soul--The Life of Marvin Gaye. "But the more I lived with the notion, the more it fascinated me. Finally, I did the record out of deep passion. It became an obsession."

Here, My Dear has been described as the quintessential divorce album. And while there have been other releases that have explored the the raw aftermath of a union becoming undone (most notably Bob Dylan's celebrated 1975 comeback release Blood On The Tracks), the flesh-and-bones recording is the measuring stick for all to reach. The title track itself leaves nothing to the imagination: "You don't have the right to use the son of mine to keep me in line," he pleads. "One thing I can't do without is the boy whom God gave to both of us." Records like the doo-wop heavy "I Met A Little Girl," the thematic "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You" and the melancholy "Anna's Song" were at once cringe-worthy, bravely executed, and thrilling.

Indeed, it has taken some years for Here, My Dear to get its proper due as an artistic landmark. 30 plus years later, Nas took Gaye's vision into the hip-hop realm with the critically-acclaimed 2012 work Life Is Good. R. Kelly drew inspiration from Here, My Dear on his cathartic (and more hopeful) set Love Letter. And Mos Def included "Anna's Love Song," a reworking of the Here, My Dear track, on this year's Marvin/Mos mashup Yasiin Gaye. But the most unlikely cultural co-sign came from a 2010 television commercial. When actress Charlize Theron boldly strutted across the screen for a Dior J'Adore perfume spot it was to the melody of Here, My Dear's sensual, pimped-out groove "A Funky Space Reincarnation." Just more proof that sometimes we all have to catch up to genius. —Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29)

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Malcolm X’s Daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, Speaks On His Legacy And Netflix Docuseries

In commemoration of the 55th anniversary of his assassination, Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, spoke out on her father’s legacy and the popular Netflix documentary, Who Killed Malcolm X? 

Speaking with Democracy Now on Friday (Feb. 21), Ilyasah praised the filmmakers behind the six-part docuseries for their work in attempting to uncover, “Who killed our father? Who took the life of a very young man who challenged the moral compass of world nations.”

Ilyasah was just two years old when her father was assassinated in front of her, three of her sisters and her mother, Betty Shabazz, who was pregnant with twins at the time. A week before Malcolm’s murder, the family’s home was firebombed.

Ilyasah has no memory of her father’s assassination which took place on Feb. 21, 1965, inside Harlem's Audubon Ballroom. Malcolm was preparing to give a speech in the venue and invited his family to sit in the front row.

“I’m really grateful that I don’t have memory as my older sisters I’m sure can recollect, being 6 years old and 4 years old, the trauma and chaos and understanding that our father never came home,” she said. “And especially to my mother who was a young woman that actually saw bullets just tear my father’s body apart.”

The interview details the days leading up to Malcolm's death, including France banning him from entry into the country three weeks before his assassination. Malcolm who was only 39 years old when he died, traveled to Europe during the first week of February in 1965. He was turned away at the airport in France without explanation and subsequently forced to fly back to London where he delivered what would become one of his final speeches at the London School of Economics.

“He realized this was bigger than the Nation of Islam,” Ilyasah explained of Malcolm being banned from France. “The Nation of Islam itself did not have the power to keep him [out of France] and France did not want history to include that Malcolm was assassinated on their land. And so that speaks volumes, and my father understood that his life was not just challenged by the Nation of Islam. It was much bigger than that.

“It’s important to look at the work that he was doing,” she added. “Challenging world powers, challenging world nations for taking control of an [unequal] distribution of the world’s wealth.”

Ilyasah also dismantles the notion that her father “miraculously became Malcolm X” after he went to prison by detailing how his upbringing shaped his interest in political activism.

“He was always a leader,” she said. “He was always compassionate, he was always a learned young man. His parents instilled specific values in him and his siblings. The importance of self love, compassion, [and] care.”

Watch the full interview in the video above (Ilyasah’s portion begins at 12:17).

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Gregg DeGuire

Jhene Aiko Reveals Release Date For ‘Chilombo’ Album

Jhene Aiko announced the release date for her third studio album and what appears to be the album artwork on Friday (Feb. 21). The album titled, Chilombo, after Aiko’s sur name, is slated to drop on March 6 and promises to be some of her “realest” work to date.

“Just typed out all the lyrics to the free flows that are #CHILOMBO #phew realest s**t I ever wrote,” the Grammy-nominated tweeted on Monday (Feb. 17). Aiko described the album as an compilation of her previous work. “If sailing soul(s), sail out, souled out and trip had a baby #CHILOMBO.”

just typed out all the lyrics to the free flows that are #CHILOMBO 👏🏼 #phew realest shit i ever wrote....

— Chilombo (@JheneAiko) February 17, 2020

if sailing soul(s), sail out, souled out and trip had a baby #CHILOMBO 🌋

— Chilombo (@JheneAiko) February 17, 2020

Last month, Aiko dropped the track “P*$$Y Fairy (OTW),” which is expected to be on the album. Aiko’s last album, Trip, was released in 2017.

See the Aiko's latest album artwork below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

"Chilombo" March 6th 🌋

A post shared by Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo 🌋 (@jheneaiko) on Feb 21, 2020 at 6:00pm PST

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Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Jojo Announces ‘Good To Know’ Album And Tour

Jojo has a new album, Good to Know, dropping this spring and will be hitting the road for a headlining tour kicking off in April, the singer announced on Friday (Feb, 21).

The album title encompasses all that Jojo has learned “in the past few years,” she explained in a statement. “Every piece of feedback, criticism (internal or external), whatever it is — it’s all just information. And it’s all good! I’ve been lucky to have the space to reflect on my own journey up to now, and I hope people can take comfort in the fact that I am not anywhere near perfect, and I will never sugarcoat anything. We're all constantly living and learning and that’s what makes this life fun.”

The 'Good to Know' tour launches at Seattle’s The Showbox on April 21, and wraps May 30, at First Avenue in Minneapolis. Presale tickets will be available beginning Monday, Feb, 24. Additional tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, Feb. 28.

Click here for more information.

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