Grammy Award-winning composer and producer, David Foster, has had his share of struggle and success as one of today’s most successful musician. Foster first attempted his music career in his home state New York, where he found no real luck, success, or place to call home. Foster eventually left New York and found great potential for his music career in Los Angeles. A place he felt was more home to him than New York. In Los Angeles, he worked with music idols such as Whitney Houston in Bodyguard, Toni Braxton in “Unbreak My Hear” and “All By Myself” with Celine Dion to name a few. In his film, while music is clearly a driving force in Foster’s life, Foster shares that being a good human being was important in being a musician. Off the Record offers insight into Foster’s journey as today’s most popular and grammy awarding composer/ producer that is not often shared in the lime light. David has 16 Grammys from 47 nominations. Definitely one of my music idols I’d love to meet in this lifetime. Film is available on Netflix.
so ya’ll might not be surprised about this one.. I mean, how can I run a music blog but not talk about Beyonce right?
As you can tell from the title, along with my other Netflix binges, I watched Homecoming not too long ago. For those of you not familiar, and I quote, “the film finds the artist getting candid about her journey to her historic Coachella set. Beyoncé’s headlining set at Coachella in 2018 was a master class in pop performance: an instantly iconic celebration of blackness, HBCUs and her own historic 22-year career” (Rollingstone.com). Now, I don’t think anyone can truly get tired of Beyonce. I mean she might not be a-so-called-“legend”, but she has paved a way for many artists in this generation and has done so in an iconic fashion. She is talented & very hard working.. and how can you give criticism to someone like that?
But that is not to say (and im sorry to say & beehives don’t come for me– or do) that I exactly identify as a Beyonce Stan. Because quite frankly, at one point, I considered her quite overrated. I just didn’t exactly understand the hype of Beyonce throughout my high school years when her career was in her prime circa 2012-2014. While she is a great vocalist, I think the over-sexualization of her image kinda offsets me, which is sad to say because I do admire her as a vocalist. And to me, for the amount of fame and glory she got.. something was lacking and wasn’t hitting right in her music for me. I guess she didn’t exactly possess quite the same charisma & poise (& perhaps technicality?) that the late great Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey had/ have, which might be why they had to up sell her image? might sound odd, not entirely sure. Or maybe it was because I simply didn’t want to identify with the homogenous opinion & wanted to go against the grain? Is that what truly great artists force people to do? Idk what to think honestly. All I feel I can say is, coming from a musical stand point, Beyonce does not compare or even come close to these legends (regardless of how much fame & public praise she attains). This might upset a lot of Bees out there, but it’s only my personal opinion, though an unpopular one, that I’ve only had the courage to share.
But all tangents aside, the documentary was entertaining while informative, as it dips into the empowerment of the black culture– which I am entirely in for (I graduated with a b.a in sociology. so go figure.) while using Beyonce as the “face” or representation of black culture. But I do have to point out my observation, and call me a critic, in that while she does identify as African American, I don’t think she is entirely accurate representation or exactly the most epitomic figure of the movement only because (and wait for it) she is considered the lighter of African Americans. As we may all infer and I think it is fair & safe to say, much the same way colored people do than white, African American women of darker color do experience much more discrimination and injustice. While she may speak for African American, she cannot necessarily represent the very true population/ culture/ story of the black community; she would be, in a lack of better words, the privileged of the minority. I mean do we have to talk Destiny’s Child? Can we even relate her strive to stardom with the historical struggle of an entire oppressed generation of people? But I guess this is a discussion we might have to save that for another topic as I don’t want to delve into that here.
All in all, the film was not entirely a disappointment. I noticed how the film did refer to the Great Miss Nina Simone and her profound message of BLACK power– which you can read here. If you have been following my blog for quite some time now, you’d know that the very first post I made was dedicated to the High Priestess of Soul. I admire her for her intellect, genius, grit, & her musical gift. They also quoted W.E.B DuBois, a sociologist who coined the notion of “double consciousness” (I can go more into this on another post as well if interested). The film showcases what hard work (and a little bit of luck) can bring you all the while celebrating the beauty of black culture in all its glory. And who wouldn’t want to experience that?
Be sure to add Homecoming on watchlist, and let me know your thoughts below!
From across borders and all over the world, Whitney Houston was a musical icon. Or on second thought, a music legend. She left her mark on those whose ears were blessed by her god-given gift. Needless to say that Ms. Houston is an unforgettable talent, we shouldn’t be fooled by the glitz and glamour brought to her by her fame. Ms. Houston’s drug use was a strong indicator of something happening in her life, and this film captures it. Watching Whitney gave me hope of gaining some insight into the chaos of her life and the cause of her tragic death.
While I believe Whitney was well filmed I also knew they weren’t going to share everything and the intimate details of her life that was just as equally important in understanding Whitney’s and her public behavior. The film did a great job, however, in delivering Whitney’s story and also shedding light on the voices of those closest to her, those who knew her more than anybody else. In my opinion, the film captured Whitney’s essence as close as any public documentary could get. My only regret is that I wished the filmmakers spent more time and effort covering her death as much as they did for her childhood and adulthood.. But my assumption is they did so to leave it to the audience to decipher and also, for a more powerful effect of the film. For anyone, like my self, who considers Whitney Houston a big influence in their life, I would definitely give the documentary a shot. It was a worthwhile film, offering a thing or two about Whitney that was not publicly shared during her time here with us.