Beyoncé Releases Mini-Documentary: Changing The Narrative of Black and Latino Men

via by Brennan Williams, Pop Culture Editor, The Huffington Post

Reactions from Beyoncé’s Grammy performance of notable gospel song, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” has drawn a great deal of attention from fans on social media. And while some may feel the international pop star slighted Ledisi from performing the track, who sang the song in the movie “Selma,” Beyoncé has revealed how personal the tune is to her family lineage.

via by Brennan Williams, Pop Culture Editor, The Huffington Post

Reactions from Beyoncé’s Grammy performance of notable gospel song, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” has drawn a great deal of attention from fans on social media. And while some may feel the international pop star slighted Ledisi from performing the track, who sang the song in the movie “Selma,” Beyoncé has revealed how personal the tune is to her family lineage.

On Monday, via her official website and YouTube channel, “Queen Bey” released an exclusive 8-minute documentary titled, “’Take My Hand, Precious Lord’: The Voices” highlighting rehearsal footage of her performance and interviews with her background singers sharing their thoughts on racial injustice.

In addition to the Grammy Award-winner recollecting childhood memories of her mother, Tina, playing Mahalia Jackson’s original version of the song, she also discussed singing the ballad in honor of black men including her father and former manager, Mathew.

“I wanted to find real men that have lived, that have struggled, cried, have a light and a spirit about them,” Beyoncé said in the clip. “I felt like this is an opportunity to show the strength and vulnerability in black men.”

“My grandparents marched with Dr. King and my father was part of the first generation of black men that attended an all-white school,” she continued.

“My father has grown up with a lot of trauma from those experiences. I feel like now I can sing for his pain, I can sing for my grandparents’ pain. I can sing for some of the families that have lost their sons.”

Check out Beyoncé “’Take My Hand, Precious Lord’: The Voices” in the clip above.

I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White, Video

Who Would You Be If No One Put a Label on You?


In this stunning spoken-word video from Prince Ea, we get a sense of how labels truly define our society instead of allowing who we are inside to shine through. When we raise our kids without barriers, and without society’s stereotypes, there’s no limit to how far they can go. Where would you be—and who would you be—if no one put a label on you?


About Prince Ea: Richard Williams, better known by his stage name Prince Ea, is an American rapper and activist, known for discussing topics like politics, sociality, environmentalism and life issues.

Early life

Prince Ea, born as Richard Williams on September 16, 1988 in St. Louis, Missouri, was the youngest of three children, and has resided there his whole life, and worked on the stage name “Prince Ea” when he graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an Anthropology degree and Latin honors, as “Prince Ea” is derived from Sumerian mythology meaning “The Prince of the Earth”.

Music career

In late 2008, Prince Ea released the mixtape “The Adolescence” on the internet for free download. A few days after the release, he recorded an amateur video of himself rapping and entered it into a VIBE Magazine contest dubbed “VIBE Verses”. Subsequently, Ea was declared the VIBE Verses grand champion and was awarded $5000 in music recording equipment along with a full page article in the VIBE Magazine, which held a total value of $50,000. In 2009, he won a Funk Volume competition, stemming from success on YouTube, which allowed him to become the first hip-hop artist to have a feature in Discover Magazine.[12] Ea has also been awarded the grand prize of a competition run by Trojan condoms entitled “Magnum’s Live Large Project II” hosted by rapper Ludacris in which he was flown out to Miami to perform with the platinum recording artist. In 2011 he won the Riverfront Times “Best hip-hop artist in St. Louis”.

In February 2011, Prince Ea independently released “The Compilation Mixtape”, a free digital compilation mixtape with selections from DJ Techne.

The “Make ‘SMART’ Cool” movement

In 2009, Prince Ea, who was upset at the present state of the music industry, decided to form a movement named “Make ‘SMART’ Cool”. The “Make ‘SMART’ Cool” movement (SMART is an acronym for “Sophisticating Minds And Revolutionizing Thought”) attempts to “promote intelligence to everyone, everywhere and integrate it with hip-hop. To create and nurture, without discrimination or preference, a community of free-thinking individuals under the singular purpose of promoting the ideals of education, intelligence, unity and creativity throughout the world at large.”

A successful underground clothing line for the movement, which includes t-shirts and sweaters, was released and has gained support from artists such as newly signed So So Def producer Mike Kalombo. Artists supporting the movement include TraphikBlack ThoughtImmortal TechniqueSha StimuliAugust Rigo.

Why I Think This World Should End

Dear Future Generations: Sorry

Why Most People Die Before Age 25

Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?

Working to Live or Living to Work?


Vintage Film of one of the greatest, Ismael Rivera a.k.a. “Maelo”, a Puerto Rican composer and singer



Ismael Rivera a.k.a. “Maelo” (October 5, 1931 – May 13, 1987), was a Puerto Rican composer and singer of Puerto Rican music.

Early life

Rivera was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, a sector of San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was the first of five children born to Luis and Margarita Rivera. His father, Luis, was a carpenter and his mother a housewife. As a child, Rivera was always singing and banging on cans with sticks. He received his primary education at the Pedro G. Goyco Elementary School and then went on to learn carpentry at a vocational school. He also shined shoes to help his family financially and when he was 16 years old, he worked as a carpenter. During his free time he would hang around the corner with his best friend Rafael Cortijo and sing songs. La Fundacion Ismael Rivera In 1948, Rivera and Cortijo joined El Conjunto Monterrey, where Rivera played the conga and Cortijo the bongos. Rivera was unable to work full-time as a musician because of his work as a carpenter.

Musical career

In 1952, Rivera joined the U.S. Army but was quickly discharged, because he didn’t speak English. When he returned to Puerto Rico, he went to work as a lead singer with Orquesta Panamericana, thanks to the recommendation of his friend Cortijo. With Orquesta Panamericana, Rivera recorded and scored his first hits with the songs “El charlatán”, “Ya yo sé”, “La vieja en camisa” and “La sazón de Abuela”. However, an incident between Rivera and another band member, over a girl, led to his departure from the popular band. In 1954, he joined Cortijo’s Combo and recorded the following songs, which soon became hits in the American Latin community:

  • “El Bombón de Elena”
  • “El Negro Bembón”
  • “Juan José”
  • “Besitos de Coco”
  • “Palo Que Tú Me Das”
  • “Quítate de la Vía Perico”
  • “Oriza”
  • “El Chivo de la Campana”
  • “Maquinolandera”
  • “El Yayo”
  • “María Teresa”
  • “Yo Soy del Campo”

Amazing footage of one of the greatest. Ismael Rivera a.k.a. "Maelo", a Puerto Rican composer and singer of some of the Best Salsa out there.

Posted by Utah Salsa on Monday, January 18, 2016

El Sonero Mayor

Cortijo’s Combo continued to gain fame and so did Rivera’s reputation as a lead singer. Rivera was named sonero mayor by Cuban producer Ángel Maceda, owner of club Bronx Casino in New York; this is based in an interview done to Ismael.

The band went to New York City and played in the famed Palladium Ballroom, where the orchestras of Tito RodríguezTito Puente and Charlie Palmieri also played.

Rivera married Virginia Fuente in 1951. He also had relationships with other women like Gladis Serrano, who was the wife of Daniel Santos. Rivera had five children: Ismael, Jr., Carlos, Margarita, Caridad, and Orquídea. In 1959, Rivera, together with Cortijo and his Combo, participated in the European produced movie titled Calipso, starring Harry Belafonte. He traveled with Cortijo’s Combo, which also included Rafael Ithier and Roberto Roena, to Europe, Central and South America.

Rivera was arrested for drug possession after a trip to Panama with the Cortijo combo. According to later reports, various band members regularly concealed illegal drug shipments, but this time the Customs inspectors were waiting for them. Rivera took the fall, sparing other members. But this event led to the break-up of Cortijo’s Combo. Shortly after, Rafael Ithier regrouped some of the former members and formed El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico.

Upon his release from jail, Rivera formed his own band called Ismael Rivera and his Cachimbos. This successful band lasted for eight years. Rivera reunited with Cortijo and recorded “Juntos otra vez”. Later, Rivera went solo and did well with the recordings of “El Sonero Mayor” and “Volare”. He scored his greatest hit with “Las caras lindas (de mi gente negra)” written by Tite Curet Alonso. On May 14, 1974, Rivera participated in a concert at the Carnegie Hall which was recorded live. Rivera sang a song from Bobby Capó called “Dormir contigo”. One of his last public performances was in Paris, as an opener for Bob Marley in 1978.

Later years

Rivera was a faithful pilgrim of the Black Christ procession in PortobeloPanama, from 1975 to 1985, and even wrote a song about the Black Christ, known affectionately as “El Nazareno”. Rivera was baptized as the “Brujo de Borinquen” in Panama.

The death of his childhood friend, Rafael Cortijo in 1982, affected him emotionally to the point that he couldn’t sing in the tribute to Cortijo celebrated at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum. Rivera was actively involved in the creation of a historical museum which depicts the contributions made to the cultural life of Puerto Rico by the black Puerto Ricans.

Ismael Rivera died on May 13, 1987 in the arms of his mother Margarita, from a heart attack. He was buried at the Villa Palmeras cemetery in Santurce, Puerto Rico.


On October 5, 2008, Puerto Rico’s governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá signed a proclaim stating that every anniversary of Rivera’s birth will be celebrated as “Día Conmemorativo del Natalicio de Ismael Rivera”.

On September 27, 2001, the Puerto Rican Senate approved the law #134 declaring October 5 as “Ismael Rivera Day”. In Villa Palmeras, Santurce, Puerto Rico, there is a plaza named “Plaza de los Salseros” which has a statue and plaque dedicated to Ismael. Celia Cruz recorded a tribute to Ismael Rivera and so did Dario y su ComboRican.


  • De Colores (1968)
  • Controversia (1969)
  • Lo Último en la Avenida (1971)
  • Esto Fue lo Que Trajo el Barco (1972)
  • Vengo Por la Maceta (1973)
  • Traigo de Todo (1974)
  • Feliz Navidad (1975)
  • Soy Feliz (1975)
  • De Todas Maneras Rosas (1977)
  • Esto Si Es lo Mío (1978)
  • El Sonero Mayor (1980)


  • Con Todos los Hierros (1967)
  • Juntos Otra Vez (1974)
  • Eclipse Total (1975)
  • Llaves de la Tradición (1977)
  • Oro (1979)
  • El Sueño del Maestro (1980)
  • Sonero No. 1 (1982)
  • Maelo… El Único (1992)
  • Legend (1992)
  • El Sonero Mayor Vol. 1 (1992)
  • El Sonero Mayor Vol. 2 (1997)
  • El Sonero Mayor: Latin Roots (1999)
  • Maelo: The Fania Legends of Salsa Vol. 8 (2001)
  • La Época de Oro Vol. 1 (2002)
  • Historia Musical de Ismael Rivera (2004)
  • Salsa Legende: Best of Ismael Rivera (2004)
  • La Experiencia (2004)
  • Mucho Corazón (2005)
  • Su Época Dorada Vol. 1 (2007)
  • Su Época Dorada Vol. 2 (2007)
  • Dos Grandes de Siempre: 16 Éxitos (2008)
  • Grandes Éxitos Vol. 2 (2008)
  • La Herencia (2008)
  • Historia de la Salsa (2009)
  • Greatest Hits (2009)
  • La Esencia de la Fania (2009)
  • A Maelo (2011)
  • Selecciones Fania (2012)
  • El Sonero Mayor (2012)

Further reading

  • Ismael Rivera, el sonero mayor (1993) by César Pagano (Colombia)
  • Salsa, sabor y control!, sicologia de la musica tropical (1998) by Ángel G. Quintero Rivera
  • Dos libros sobre Maelo
  • Dialogo (1998) by Francisco Cabanillas U.S.
  • Bailando en casa del Trompo (1999) by Lil Rodríguez (Venezuela) and
  • Ismael Rivera, el sonero mayor by Rafael Figueroa Hernández.
  • “El Entierro de Cortijo” by Edgardo Rodríguez Juliá.