Tensions in my city have been running high since the death of unarmed teen Mike Brown in August. Here we are on the eve of Christmas and there is still unrest following another police involved shooting. So all I ask is that you pray for this city.
Sometimes voices can be decieving. This is ( and always has been) the case of R&B Diva, Michel’le. Her under developed vocal cords casue her to have the speaking voice of a child who has been sucking on helium. Being a huge fan of the soultry singer I jumped at the chance to meet her during a recent performance here in St. Louis. Having watched all episodes of this seasons R&B Divas L.A it was like she and I were old friends. She graciously greeted me with a hug and was ever so welcoming. Surprisngly thin and extremely short ( I stand 5’2, 5’6 in heels, she was my normal height even in heels) she was everything and more with her larger than life personality and sense of humor. The mother of Dr. Dre’s daughter and ex- wife of Suge Knight, Michel’le held nothing back and took little offense when I told her the first time my son heard her voice he asked “Mama, is that REALLY her voice?” Saying through laughter “I love the kids, call him he won’t believe it’s really me.” I spent a lttle more than ten minutes with the voice behind the chorus to Tupac’s “Run the Streetz” while she posed for pictures and laughed with the small entorouge of fans and press allowed into her dressing room.
STL’s own Tiffany Foxx (@1TiffanyFoxx on Twitter) who is one third of the all female rap trio June 5th dropped her mixtape “Yellow Tape” at midnight last night T. Foxx is no rookie to the rap game, the St. Louis native who was given her chance by everybody’s favorite “play uncle” Snoop Dogg has worked with some major players in the entertainment scene, Lil’ Kim (who is featured on Foxx’s song “Jay-Z), Plies,and Akon. “Yellow Tape” features production from Zaytoven and Big Fraze and has features from Lola Monroe and Shawty Low. The highly anticiapted mixtape offers hope that female rap artists are still very much alive. The blonde bombshell who was in St. Louis this past weekend for her mixtape release party along with Trina is a favorite of mine. Congrats Tiff!
Download Yellow Tape now : www.datpiff.com/mixtapes-detail.php?id=412419
On Monday March 12, 2012 the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department gave out a number, 20. The number was given to Sarah Billingsley-Walker, 18 of Wellston. The Vashon High School Senior was found dead in the home of Leonard Johnson, 17, her cause of death, a “mystery”. There were no visible bruises or marks on her and no sign of struggle or fowl play. I learned of Sarah’s death early in the afternoon on Tuesday while talking to a co-worker, I was busy complaining about my day and whining about a denied time off request when my co-worker said, “I’m sorry all that is happening, one of our kids was killed last night.” Working with the demographic of youth that I service it is nothing surprising to learn that one of them has lost their lives. Before asking the next question, I’d got in my mind that it was one of the male youth and he had been shot, it never crossed my mind that it would be a young lady and that her life would’ve been taken in such a cruel manner. As the day went on, we learned more details of Sarah’s death from sources close to her, Leonard was on the run and was being urged to turn himself in to police. The full story of this tragic story can be found here as written on STLToday.com: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/family-had-warned-slain-vashon-student-about-boyfriend/article_bc14d8b4-6d1f-11e1-a5a9-001a4bcf6878.html
Lets play the numbers game:
Everyday, more than 3 women in the U.S are killed by their husband or boyfriend, so Sarah is not the first to lose her life at the hands of a man (in this case boy) that claimed to love her. Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls admit to being in a situation where their boyfriend has threatened them with violence or self-harm if presented with a break-up. Every 9 seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten. 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault or abuse by a partner each year. Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to police. (The reporting source for these facts is National Coalition Against Domestic Violence )
Unfortunately the death of Sarah Billingsley-Walker, will be put in the book as Homicide # 20 in the City of St. Louis, but she wasn’t just another number. She was a daughter, a sister, and a friend. She was a young woman with a bright future ahead of her, she was her school’s Valedictorian, she was Homecoming Queen and a member of the National Honor Society. What we also have to realize is that at some point before her death she was a victim of domestic violence, I can’t say if anyone knew and didn’t help her. This is not a Lifetime movie, its real life and it happens everyday to women we come in constant contact with. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship I encourage you to seek help. Everything in life is fixable, except death, don’t wait until you have a number to make a difference.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE