An Open Letter To..

Dear Lauren & D.. I just gotta ask..... Where are you? Do you know we miss you guys? Do you know we are all here waiting patiently for the 2 of you to return and grace us with your presence? Do you know how much you are loved, honored, and adored by the rest of us? Lauren.. We've all heard the stories.. We know it's hard living your life out in the open for all the world to see and sometimes judge, but I promise you, the people that judge you are not your real fans or at least not your best fans. We know you had unpleasant dramas with your former co-producers and writers but did you know... we don't care? Do you know how many of us don't give a damn if you didn't write a fucking word on 'Miseducation' because the bottom line is NOBODY could sing those songs like you do? And I'm not even saying you didn't write those songs, I'm just saying most of us don't care! Because your voice, your presentation, YOU are such a magnificent talent, you could sing tha' damn phonebook and I'd still be first in line to buy it! I still listen to 'Miseducation' and your 'MTV Unplugged' cd's today and I still love them every bit as much today as I did when I first heard them. I remember the first time I heard 'Lost Ones', I was in a store in Greenwhich Village in New York. I was in a fitting room trying on clothes, that song came on and I was like 'OH SHIT!' I came out of the fitting room and started dancing.. (I put my clothes back on 1st, haha) When that song went off I walked right over to Tower Records to find out when the album would be released and if the single was available. That was back in the day when you could still buy a cd single and if it wasn't out yet you'd wait patiently for the song to come on the radio. I remember how people used to talk about 'Miseducation' being groundbreaking and innovative and fresh, and it was, it was all that and more. People were comparing it to Bob Marley and the Beatles. Maybe there have been other personal dramas in your life, demons you've had to put to rest.. We all understand the need for private time and a personal life but PLEASE don't let whatever those issues are make you stay away from us forever. We need your thoughts, your ideas and your emotion, we need that voice. We need you.. ..And what about you D? How much longer do we have to wait for the next one? We all know you recorded about 10 albums worth of material when you did 'Voodoo'. Can't we just get an EP? A single leaked to the internet?? Somethin'? I've just about played the words of 'Brown Sugar' and 'Voodoo'. You know you single handedly changed the the sound of R&B music in the nineties, don't you? There are many others that have done great things in music but you are one of the few that gave us a brand new sound.. New for us anyways.. Let's see... before you, there was Scott Joplin, Little Richard (or) Chuck Berry (don't know which of the 2 of them is credited with bringing rock and roll to the world), Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gilespie, Bob Marley, Teddy Riley and you.. Now there were many other folks who came before you.. Sly Stone, Jimi Hendryx, Miles Davis, Ella & Sarah, Duke, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Michael, Stevie, Curtis, Marvin, Al, Earth Wind & Fire, and on & on, not to mention Ludwig Von Beethoven, as black artists who have been groundbreaking and forward thinking but there are only a few that we can truly say started a genre or had a musical term coined after their music.. You are one of the few.. One of the things that makes you different is that you openly admit you've studied and learned from the masters and freely share with us who our masters are and who we should be listening to, if we didn't already know.... Sadly, some of us didn't. You encouraged us to go back and listen and learn by sharing the adventures of the 'Soulquarians'. Didn't we all wanna be up in those sessions? Up in tha' house that Jimi Hendryx built, watching videos of Curtis and Sly, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Donny & Prince, smoking a joint, having a lil' taste of Jesus juice and then jamming for 'bout 8 or 9 hours straight.. You know what I'm sayin'? Sometimes an artist comes along and makes everybody that isn't black want to be black so badly, if only for a time, just to have that real true black experience of our music , our culture, and being a part of something so soulful... so smoky... so earthy...and beautiful... that when that artist sings their song, black people everywhere look at everybody else with that knowing look in their eyes, their heads cocked to the side like 'we have a secret and the secret is,'s good to be us, you heard that song, you heard what he said, you seen the video, that's what we look like, that's what we do when we party, that represents us and we know you wanna be us!' 'Brown Sugar' is still one of those songs that if you hear it in the club or at a house party, when it starts with tha' 'ba-down ba-down'.. er'body in tha' room gets a crick in they neck (yeah I said 'they',) a hump in they back, arms go up in the air and asses gits up off tha' chair... 'uh uh uh uhhh, oooh wa oooh wa oooooh, clack' you put that song on and even the most unfunky, unsoulful mofo's in tha world become instantly cool as they get transported to the scene of Marvin Gayes 'I Want You' album cover or the 'Got 'Til It's Gone' video by Ms. Janet.. I've only run up to the front of the stage for 2 concerts in my ENtar life.. One was for Al green (there is a hilarious story that goes along with that ep) and yours.. I was at your show with my boyfriend and it was understood that even though HE bought the tickets and I was there with HIM, HE WOULD have to get over it 'cuase I WAS going up to the front of the stage and would kick another bitches ass (I'm usually very loving to my sisters) if she ain't (that's right I said ain't ) move over! We've been hearing for a couple years now that there's an album in the works.. We hope to God that's true.. That would make my year for music! Last week I was checking out the October edition of Vibe magazine with Chris Brown on it's cover. Lot of good stories in there but one that really caught me was the story on the rise and fall of the Debarge family, a most beloved first family of r&b music. It was a tragic story of fame and drugs followed by a fall from grace, & behind that, an extremely abusive father, a passive mother, lawsuits, prison, death AND underneath all of that...a most beautiful legacy of music that the survivors in the family struggle to keep alive. Don't be that D, please, we beg of you... don't ever be that.. Don't be that star who shined so brightly and then burned out too quickly leaving us all here with crushing memories of what you could have been, should have been... Black people live that reality all too often. Our Icons give us hope, someone to look up to, something to strive for.. Especially the musical ones because you give us a song to sing and to put in our hearts, a soundtrack to live our lives to... happy birthday D.. WE love and miss you both