Love

Happy 37th Birthday to Dr. Santresa L. Glass

Dr. Santresa L. Glass

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Santresa L. Glass)

Most friends speak about they’ve had their “ups and downs” as friends, but we’ve never experienced any “downs.” For 16 years, you’ve been one of my best friends, and I’m grateful for our incomparable friendship. Too many people wait until someone’s funeral before sharing expressions of love, but we make our love for one another known weekly, even if it’s just a “love you” text. You’re undeniably beautiful on the inside and outside.

I’m so proud of all you have accomplished. When I think about the fact that my best friend is a pioneer in research on social media’s impact on small and medium-sized businesses, completing one of the earliest doctoral dissertations in this area, this makes me even more proud of you. I look forward to the future research you will conduct and publish in this area, and I look forward to collaborating with you on some empirical studies involving this interesting and important research.

The great work you’re doing through your non-profit organization, Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc., is commendable. Each day, your organization, under your leadership, works tirelessly to bring increased awareness about all forms of cancer—not just one or two forms as almost all other cancer-related organizations do. Again, you’re innovative and revolutionary approach to cancer prevention, education, support and treatment makes you a standout leader and thinker in this sector of the non-profit community. I’m intrigued to see what Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. will do next. By the way, I hate cancer! (You already knew that, though.)

My prayer for you, on your 37th birthday, is to have a day of joy, peace, relaxation and reflection.

Without question, you’re one of the best gifts God has ever given to me.

Thank you for being who you are.

I love you.

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Juice Soul and L.T. Terror’s “Let Me Have My Way”: A Critical Review

"Let Me Have My Way" Juice Soul

(Photo Courtesy of Juice Soul)

“Let Me Have My Way,” the second single from the forthcoming album Too Dark to Turn Back, features the ingenious collaboration of R&B and soul artist Juice Soul, rapper L.T. Terror and producer Chevalier Coleman. These gifted independent black male talents are among the best in the music industry. Without question, they will soon be household names. Last summer’s hottest song, “Tasteless,” their brainchild, put music fans in the mood for romance. With “Let Me Have My Way,” the hot, the sexy, the romance returns—just in time for summer love and lovemaking.

Trained in the Department of English and Modern Languages at the renowned Albany State University, Juice Soul masterfully wields compelling storytelling in his new single; this engrossing storytelling is a singular and characteristic element in his oeuvre. Mr. Soul’s euphonious, mellifluous vocals never disappoint, never auto-tuned, always delivering classic and disarming sounds that drive the ladies wild.

Drawing on the power of vivid, evocative storytelling, Juice takes his listeners on a journey, a love journey, one where sexual satisfaction is promised. We, the listeners, witness a cohesive and intriguing narrative, one apposite for an episode of a quality television drama.

A general proclivity in postmodernism, a historical and cultural phenomenon and the historical and cultural epoch in which we reside, as articulated by cultural critic and theorist Fredric Jameson and scholar Elizabeth Atkinson, is to welcome disorder and ambiguity. Resisting this postmodern impulse, Mr. Soul proffers a substantive story that’s logical and perspicuous and that resonates—he does not simply string some words together, as is, unfortunately, increasingly becoming the case for many popular singers and songwriters. Even some of his distinctive lyrical phrasing, where the vocal styling appears to blur or fade words intentionally for musicality purposes, still permits audiences to understand fundamentally what he attempts to convey.

The song anticipates feminist critique: both artists respectfully invite their desired women to share in an intimate experience with them. In Soul’s case, he wants it to last perpetually: “I never wanna let you go.” Sexual intercourse for him is communal, appropriately tasteful and delicate, never sacrificing, though, healthy masculine performance: “I’m going to give it to you so nice/Tell me how you feel about this?” The artist expresses a genuine interest in evaluative feedback—even during the sexual encounter, suggesting a true wish to please his woman. As artist, father, and professional, Juice Soul remains relentlessly authentic.

While L.T. Terror maintains this authenticity in the song, the rapper does it in a divergent way from Juice. The sagacious rapper, disabusing potential critics of arguments about the song being too idyllic, too mawkish (and it’s not), communicates frank intentions about his desires for the sexual experience, one ephemeral by design, yet vowed to delight. A central characteristic of postmodernism is an explicit embracing and engaging in textual fragmentation, that is, intentional textual discontinuities, and Terror’s lyrics, from a first reading, seem to represent radical textual fragmentation, especially when one juxtaposes them with Juice’s. Sex, however, does not have to be an enduring commitment; it can be a “one-time” experience, as Juice Soul intimates.

For L.T. Terror, this “one time” sexual interaction will include psychic stimulation: “My favorite position is in your mind.” Although the artist isn’t looking for a long-term physical commitment (and isn’t willing to give one), he hopes the woman will eternally remember their time together: “trying to find a home inside of your thighs.” Candid as possible, though, the rapper does not want good sex mistaken for love: “Might see love inside of my eyes/But that’s one big disguise/I’m such a horrible guy.” In other words, enjoy this magical moment, but don’t catch any abiding feelings.

Ironically, the divergences between Juice Soul’s lyrics and L.T. Terror’s form a totality, a unified whole, one reflecting real possibilities, diverse interactions and reactions, and nuanced notions of authenticity.

The track can be purchased on iTunes, and one can hear it on all digital streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal.

Let’s make this single go viral by sharing this piece and keeping the song in constant rotation on our favorite listening devices and music platforms.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Tasteless” by Juice Soul Featuring L.T. Terror: The Hottest Track of Summer 2016

Tasteless Juice Soul

(Photo Credit: Juice Soul)

Rising star and independent singer and songwriter Juice Soul has released the summer’s hottest track, “Tasteless,” featuring rap artist L.T. Terror and produced by Chevalier. Corporate media often defines which song is the hottest of a particular season, with little input from consumers themselves. As an increasing number of people learn about “Tasteless,” they’re convinced it’s the best new song available this summer.

With this track, Juice Soul engenders a new movement, a movement centered on loving one another. In the extant political climate—where vile, xenophobic, racist and sexist discourse is exponentially increasing and sadly becoming normative—the native of Augusta, Georgia, Juice Soul, promulgates a national and global clarion call to “love somebody.” The song, therefore, offers a brilliant, masterful and powerful counternarrative to the dominant national narrative of discord advanced by political interlocutors on the Left and Right.

“Tasteless” has potential to burgeon an effective and robust national citizens’ counterinsurgency against elected officials and candidates with intentions to foment hate and violence. The song possesses immense revolutionary potential. If we collectively heed the core message of real and unwavering love it champions, then we will build relationships—instead of walls.

Receiving his undergraduate training in Literary Studies (English) at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia, Juice Soul understands how to deploy irony adroitly, thus his choice to create an ironic title. The track’s title critiques the current state of love across the globe; it’s instructive, informing us through negation how to treat one another.

When ones listens to “Tasteless,” he or she might experience nostalgia for R&B of the 1970s – 1990s—a period of time in which authentic and quality vocals were cornerstones of the genre and not auto-tune and other technologically manufactured effects. Although Juice Soul’s mellifluous sound has affinities with the classic singing of the aforementioned period, he’s still current, sporting vocals that bear influences of Jamie Foxx, Sam Cooke, and Donny Hathaway. Many people love to say, “Bring back real music.” Well, lament no more. Juice Soul is the answer.

On this track, Juice Soul is joined by a talented rapper, L.T. Terror, who will inevitably blaze the national scene and become a household name. L.T. Terror spits rhymes that perfectly complement Juice Soul’s vocals, yielding purposeful and exemplary art. Neither artist overshadows or upstages the other. Although both are remarkable talents, one should never overlook the amazingly gifted Chevalier, the producer behind this artistic gem, “Tasteless.”

Fellows, you will thank Juice Soul later for supplying you with a new track to add to your mood-setting repertoire. “Tasteless” will tastefully ready the atmosphere for love, for romance, for lovemaking. Numerous current R&B songs denigrate and objectify women. Displeased with this reality, Juice Soul desired to present men with a resource to help communicate how much they cherish the special ladies in their lives. The artist responded to the popular demand from women to craft music that resists using profanity toward them and that resists commodifying and reifying them. Ladies, this isn’t a song that views you as a female dog—it embraces your humanity, your equality, your longing for true love, your external and internal beauty.

Yes, most men are more balanced and complex than seeing women as being only worth what they can extend sexually. Guys, “Tasteless” captures this aforementioned sentiment. Ladies will find this song physically, emotionally, and mentally stimulating. This track is a refreshing departure from “Let Me Hit It.” You think?  As always, Juice Soul presents mature, thoughtful, sensual, sexy, smart, and compelling art.

Juice Soul is destined to become the next popular national recording artist. Listen to “Tasteless” on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Tidal, and all other digital platforms. Let your local record stations know you want to hear his new single played. Purchase it on iTunes.

Do you long to love somebody? Well, join the “Love Somebody Movement” and support its progenitor, Juice Soul.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Nature Speaks, Nature Remembers: My Strong, Protective Flower Tree

Flower Tree

(Photo Credit: Ginnie Ann Daniels)

I had some trees cut around the house that seemed likely to fall. After the trees were cut, some of the remaining stumps left such distinctive prints. One, in particular, evoked the memory of when Billy and I, as a young couple 30 years ago, purchased our home. What follows is the dominant impression this idiosyncratic tree, uniquely mine, engendered.

The tree reminded me of you 30 years ago when we first moved in, so strong with muscle limbs, protecting our little family from storms and harsh sunrays. Yet, with time, the strong become weak but still try to withhold winds and persevere. Each year, more dead leaves fell, and we could tell—with unspoken words—this once robust tree was dying.

Flower Tree

(Photo Credit: Ginnie Ann Daniels)

Your strong roots embedded lasting memories for your seedlings, family and friends. We have to let go and start anew. With exultation, however, we never forget that the strong leave roots in the dirt with everlasting memory of the last leaf that fell.

I can now look out of my window to see and remember my strong, protective flower tree.

In loving memory of Billy Daniels, spouse of Ginnie Ann Daniels, married nearly 44 years (23 days short of 44 years).

Ginnie Ann Daniels, El Dorado, Arkansas, Author

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Editor

Happy 35th Birthday to Dr. Santresa L. Glass

Santresa L. Glass

Courtesy of Santresa L. Glass

I want to take this opportunity to wish Dr. Santresa L. Glass, my best friend, a Happy Birthday! San, as she’s affectionately known, is such a loving, caring and thoughtful person. She’s passionate about friendship and love. Whenever I have good news to share, Dr. Glass is always more excited about the news than I am. In a world saturated with jealousy and envy, one must truly treasure that aforementioned aspect of a person. We have a friendship like none other. It’s a joy to wake up each day and know that you have someone in your corner with the love and support that Santresa extends. Yes, my life is great because of Jesus dwelling on the inside of me, and Dr. Glass is one of those precious treasures He’s given to me that makes life even more special.

Although we disagree 99% of the time, our ardent discourses always add to our friendship rather than take away from it. Too many people are looking for “yes men” and “yes women,” but San and I seek authenticity, and that’s exactly what we receive from one another 100% of the time. We always honor each other’s authenticity because it comes from a genuine place of love. Dr. Glass and I embrace each other’s differences and those differences help us to learn so much from one another.

One of the dimensions of our friendship I appreciate the most is how she’s able to give me valuable insights from a woman’s perspective and I’m able to offer her meaningful insights from a man’s perspective. You would be really surprised how we’ve used this “insider knowledge” to our advantage.

While many still believe we have a sexually intimate relationship, our friendship is not based on sexual relations at all. We share an intimacy that is much deeper and rewarding than what people experience in relationships involving sexual intercourse. The essence of our intimacy and love is best encapsulated and delineated by William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116. Our love and intimacy cannot even be eradicated by the ravages of time.

San, I’m so proud of you and everything you’ve accomplished. Whatever you set your mind to do, you conquer—no matter what challenges and problems you encounter. As you know, I’m only a call, text, tweet or Facebook message away. It’s my prayer that God’s Grace will manifest into your life on this day an abundance of spiritual elevation, divine health, love, peace, joy, happiness, wealth, faith, favor and miracles.

I love you and want you to have the best birthday ever!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Santresa L. Glass!

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison