I Hate Boxes…

I hate boxes.  The reason that I hate boxes is that no one lives in them, yet everyone wants to place you in one.

My project was created in the spirit of the “anti-box” that usually derails all attempts at creativity and free expression in its truest form.  In fact, “boxes” are anti-spiritual, and anyone who knows me knows that I am a very, very spiritual person.  Thus it makes sense that I would be anti-boxes.

However, the marketing and business acumen side of me understands boxes.  Boxes ultimately are there to help the consumer understand what is inside.  The consumer needs to know what is inside so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not to purchase a product.  So, I get it…I totally do.  However, the trailblazer, march to my own drum beat, creative, and spiritual part of me will not allow me to submit to it.(this stmt is not clear)

Much about “genre” was discussed as we were preparing to release my debut project, “Looking For Love.”  Is it pop? Is it mainstream?   Is it Gospel or Christian?  What exactly is it?  My answer to this question has plagued me my entire life, and now it’s rearing its ugly head in my music.

You see…I have never been a genre…of any kind.  Ask me about my political beliefs and you won’t get Democrat, Republican or other.  Yes…I have my “leanings” but I guarantee that after you talk to me you may leave a bit confused about what I am.

Another example…  Ask me about my religious make-up and you are sure to be left as confused as you could possibly be.  I’m a Catholic boy who went to a Baptist College and majored in religion.  I left College and studied at an Assemblies of God Bible College for my Master’s.  I spent years in a non-denominational, Charismatic church.  I then became a Catholic Youth Minister who has a healthy skepticism towards church dogma and the powers that be that seek to enslave the lay as supposed to empower them.  I despise denominationalism, yet I understand it.  Jesus was not Catholic or Protestant my friends.  He was God… or at least that what I believe.  Yet, I enjoy watching debates with the brilliant atheist Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins vs. the top Christian apologists in the world.

Maybe it has much to do with my Louisiana roots.  In Louisiana we have a popular dish called gumbo.  In fact, my grandparents on both sides could make some real gumbo che’. (Louisiana lingo right there)  I’m talking rice, sausage, okra, chicken, shrimp, and a host of other meats and spices.  Gumbo is basically a dish of organized chaos.  But boy is it good!!!  I’m kind of like gumbo…lol.

Back to the point at hand -

The best way to describe who I am as an artist is that my music is Spiritual.  I am a spiritual artist.  I write the music that comes out of my spirit, and that I believe the Spirit is telling me to write.  I can’t put a genre on that.  I cannot put that in a box, because the ‘Spirit’ expands itself across multiple genres and subject matters.  For me, no topic is off limits; however the lens through which I approach that topic will have its roots and that which is Spiritual.

I’m not Gospel, because when you think of Gospel only a few subject matters come to mind.  ‘Praise and Worship’, ‘Baby need a new pair of shoes’, ‘Heaven’ or ‘some narrow theological matter and perspective.’  However, I don’t mind you referring to my music as Gospel, because my music is truth.  My music is Spirit.  My music is God.

I’m not Pop either, my friends.  The track may sound Pop, but there’s almost 0 chance that you’ll hear me talk about my ‘girlfriend next door’…I am married.  You won’t hear me ‘Partying like the World is going to blow.’  To be honest…I’m not really a clubber, and I’d rather be making music, or at home with my son.

I’m not R&B either.  Again…the track may surely have R&B vibes, but I don’t have any “Confessions” to make, nor do I claim to have invented anything that has not already been invented outside of a song.

You see…I hate boxes.  My brain just was not wired that way.  I have never been able to perfectly fit in any boxes, because what I see and hear comes from someplace else.  Sure…it would be much easier to fit into a box.  I admire people who can give you a 10 second pitch on who they are while easily identifying each and every box that they belong to.  I was not so blessed to be able to do so.

The only box that I know is Spirit.  You can call it Gospel if you’d like.  You can call it Pop, or R&B, or Hip-Hop, or whatever other box that you need to have.

I call it Spirit.  That’s the only box big enough for me.

 

Running Away

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I have a confession to make…I’ve kinda been running away from the church and all things “churchy” for the past two years…the reason being is that I just didn’t feel like it was a place for me…there is a “culture” in the church, especially the “black church” experience that I neither have the pedigree for nor the acting abilities to help me pretend that I belong…
My experience has been good, but most of the time offsetting…I’m a Catholic boy who did not grow up in the “church” (black church) and while trying to fit into that world, people looked at me like a green martian most of the time…I never said the right things…I never caught the Holy Ghost at the appropriate time…I just could not fix my mouth to say “AMEN” the way that the Deacons did…when I preached it wasn’t “preachy” enough, because I couldn’t hoop, or “pull it” or “bring the chariots” home… its not in me to “hoop” (and if I’m spelling it wrong that’s further proof that I don’t belong or have the pedigree for it)…that’s not me…I was raised Catholic……we give homilies and the sermons last about 5 minutes and sometimes can be sooo passive in its delivery that you may miss that it even occurred…
When I sung in these churches…people didn’t “catch the spirit” all the time and fall out in convulsions…that’s just not my music…I grew up listening to secular music and Catholic Hymns…I wanted to be like Michael Jackson and Bobby Brown…I didn’t discover black gospel until I was in high school and that was only because I was in a “short lived” gospel choir…I studied secular runs and riffs…not Daryl Coley…I studied secular music…not John P. Key…now before the HOLY PEOPLE get on here preaching to me about “being yourself” and “following the spirit” and “some deep spiritual application that does not apply” then please don’t…the fact of the matter is that the “church” has a culture and in most cases…if you don’t bring the tools necessary to exist in that culture you will not be accepted…I did it long enough to know…
But with that said…I love God now more than I ever have…I’m still finding my way…and although I don’t feel that the “black church” is my home…I do feel like the true “Church” (those that Love God and People) is my home…I just want to make the world a better place thru my music and my words…I guess that those whom God wants me touch…I will…and where I don’t belong…I won’t be…why couldn’t life be simpler???  Until I find the answer…I’ll be “Looking For Love”…
Check out my new single “Looking For Love” on itunes…

Happy 60th to my Pops!!!

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I celebrated my Dad’s 60th birthday this past Sunday and I’m still a bit moved by how fortunate I’ve been to have him as my Dad…for years I felt kind of “guilty” for having a good Dad…well, because my life story more so resembled that of the Huxtables as supposed to the one that makes for a great rap song and a “Behind the Music” episode…However, now that I am a Dad…I’m not ashamed nor do I feel guilty…what many people don’t know is that I am the beneficiary of a man who decided to break a familiar family curse…the one where the Father has children but then has many more children outside of the one’s he created with the “main wife” or the one where they’re just simply not there at all…yeah…not to put my Grandad’s business out there (and he did many things right) but it was something my Dad experienced and he, my dad, told me that he was determined to have a “Family”…done the right way…now this isn’t to say that if it’s not done this way that beauty cannot still come from it…it has and will continue to do so…yet, there is something to be said about a man that decides to be one…my transition into Fatherhood has been very easy b/c I had a dam# good model…a great model at that…so yeah…if my story isn’t “black” enough…I say…let’s be like my Pops instead, choose to be Men…and create a Huxtable like narrative for our children…trust me…the ramifications for the children and grand-children and great-grandchildren are endless…I’m proud to say that I had a Man as a Father…I’m even more proud to say that my son has a Man for a Grand-Father…my prayer is that in about 30 years my son will be blogging about me the same way that I am now about my Dad…at that point I’ll have to remind him that he has a great Dad because I had a great Dad…closing thought: the Huxtables should be the new norm :)

Lyndon- “Looking For Love”

Purchase my new single “Looking For Love” on itunes, google play, amazon…you can also listen to it here first on jango

Marvin Gaye… “Whats Going On”….The Greatest Gospel Album Ever!!!

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Yes…you read that correctly.  In my humble opinion, Marvin Gaye gave to us the Greatest Gospel album ever recorded.

“So, you’re saying that drug addict, womanizing, sexual healing,  I Sure Love to Ball, Marvin Gaye…much less made a Gospel album, but he made the GREATEST Gospel album ever??”  BLASPHEMY!!!!

Well, before you crucify me and my unorthodox thought process…consider these lyrics from the song titled “God Is my Friend” from the What’s Going On album.

Oh don’t go and talk about my father
God is my friend
Jesus is my friend
He made this world for us to live in, and gave us everything
And all he asks of us is we give each other love.
Oh ya
Don’t go and talk about my father
Cause God is my friend
Jesus is my friend
He loves us whether or not we know it
Just loves us, oh ya
And He’ll forgive all our sins
Forgive all our sins

Oh ya
Love your mother, she bore you
Love your father, he works for you
Love your sister, she’s good to you
Love your brother, your brother
Don’t go and talk about my father, He’s good to us,
God is my friend
Jesus is my friend
For when we call on Him for mercy, Mercy Father
He’ll be merciful, my friend
Oh, yes He will
All he asks of us, I know, is we give each other love

And another element of social consciousness that echo most holy scripture in its concern for justice, peace, and righteousness in our lands…lyrics from “Mercy Mercy Me”…(maybe my all-time favorite)…

Oh, mercy mercy me
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be
No, no
Where did all the blue sky go?
Poison is the wind that blows
From the north, east, south, and sea
Oh, mercy mercy me
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be
No, no
Oil wasted on the oceans and upon our seas
Fish full of mercury
Oh, mercy mercy me
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be
No, no
Radiation in the ground and in the sky
Animals and birds who live nearby are dying
Oh, mercy mercy me
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be
What about this overcrowded land?
How much more abuse from man can you stand?
My sweet Lord
My sweet Lord
My sweet Lord

You see…I can’t explain to you Marvin the adulterer, or Marvin the heavy drug user, or Marvin the womanizer…and I won’t even try to…WHY?? Because it’s not important to this matter…all that I can explain to you is that Marvin gave us arguably the most important musical work of art ever created…again…in my opinion…and I believe that we should appreciate it for what it is…

“But there is no way, Lyndon, that God could give a Gospel album to Marvin…he wasn’t a Gospel singer for starters, and secondly he was an extremely troubled man…his drug addiction and even parental abuse is well documented.”

You are absolutely right…but my question to you is…”What makes Marvin different from Moses??  A murderer…..What makes Marvin different from David whom I’m pretty sure you’ve told his story of defeating Goliath to every child in your Sunday school class??  A murderer, an adulterer, a liar…on that point…I don’t think Marvin murdered anyone…LOL!!

I can go on and on, so I’m pretty sure that you get my point…

A few years back Smokey Robinson was on the Monique Show and he told the story of how he visited Marvin Gaye’s house when he was writing the What’s Going On album and Marvin told Smokey that “God was writing this album.”

I believe that story, because there is no other way that you get the sincerity, passion, transparency, and lyrics like those, on this album, without some type of divine inspiration.

Consider the time in which the What’s Going On album was released as well.  It was released in 1971…3 years after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that not only rocked our Nation but the entire world…I’m pretty sure Marvin felt this.  This is after the height of the Civil Rights struggle in our country and the Vietnam War.  Oppressed people from all over our country were taking to the streets and fighting the oppressive powers of government, at all levels.  Consider this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.  -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

And this one…

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This is the context for the What’s Going On album…this was the atmosphere in which Marvin sat at his piano and allowed nothing less than ‘spirit possession’ to take place as he leaned back on his gospel roots, Pentecostal church upbringing, and the countless sermons of his troubled Father and Preacher.

I am convinced…God had a message for America…black, white, brown, red, yellow, and blue(what’s blue)…and he chose to use Marvin in order to get that message to us …

Again…Marvin’s life is well documented like King David’s life is, so we all know the story.  But, the work of art on this album is beyond amazing…it’s simply God inspired…it is the Gospel and that’s why I’ve given it the title of “Greatest Gospel Album Ever.”

For Marvin’s sake…I wish that the spirit of ‘What’s Going On’ could have followed him throughout the days of his life…maybe he would’ve given us a ‘What’s Going On’ sequel circa 2013. And, instead of the Vietnam War he would speak of a failing public educational system where countless children are being left behind, or maybe he’d write about the moral decay in our country, that I’m sure would’ve made him and his drug using friends feel like Spirit filled saints on the lower end of the sin totem pole.

Either way…you get my drift…I love this album…I’ve purchased and lost two copies of it already…time to buy a new copy today…I have to play it for my 4 month year old :)

My prayer is that God uses me like he used Marvin on
‘What’s Going On’…Lord knows I’m no more righteous than Marvin was…and no more perfect than Marvin may not have been…thank God that, like Marvin, we can all still be used…it’s the heart that matters most!!!

After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ (Acts 13:22)

Lyndon- “Looking For Love”

Oh yeah…I almost forgot…Purchase my new single “Looking For Love” on itunes, google play, amazon…you can also listen to it here first on jango

My New Single Single “Looking For Love”

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Looking For Love-Album Cover

Check out my new single “Looking For Love”…this song is touching people all over the world with its universal sound and message.  Click the link below to hear “Looking For Love”…it can also be purchased on itunes…support real artist with a message of Love!!!

http://www.jango.com/music/Lyndon?l=0

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/looking-for-love-single/id594396861

Looking For Love: The Meaning

Looking For Love was written at a point in my life when I was honestly searching for meaning, purpose, and a remedy to the intense pain that I was feeling deep inside my soul.  I was searching for a connection to the source of Life, and a re-connection to a God whose Love felt so distant at that present moment.  Sometimes in life, we go through events that knock us off balance or literally take us down.  I was feeling a hole in my heart that I knew no human, nothing physical and nothing temporal could remedy or cure.

I experienced betrayal and setbacks in a way that I had never experienced before.  I had never been confronted with evil in this manner until evil incarnate entered my life and skewed the lens thru which I viewed life in a very profound way.  As a result, all that I thought I knew about life, people, God, and myself, was brought to its foundation like a massive earthquake and I was left alone to pick up the pieces.

Looking For Love is a part of my rebuilding process.  In fact, it’s the relaying of the foundation of the new Lyndon.  That foundation is Love…that foundation is God.  I am an unashamed God Lover and in my song “Looking For Love” I am looking for God.  I am looking for a re-connection to that which is Spirit, that which is true, and that which is eternal…that which is Love.

I have learned, in my short life, that faith and hope should never be placed in things that are temporal and human.  Faith and hope should be placed in God…Faith and hope should be placed in Love.

I believe that my journey as expressed thru my song “Looking For Love” is not for some, but for every human being on this planet.  If we are created in the image and likeness of God, and God Is love, then this means that we are Love…and Love is our life source.

ImageMy hope is that my journey and song “Looking For love” inspires any and every individual that listens to it…Catholic/ Protestant, Gentile or Jew, Western /Eastern Hemisphere of the globe, black, white or other.  I hope it inspires you to reconnect to the source…which is God…who is Love.  In this, I know, I know, I know, I know… that you can then begin to put the pieces back together again, whatever and wherever those pieces may be, and build a better and stronger you than before.

 

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love…For God is Love.

(1 Cor. 13:13; 1 John 4:8).

  

In closing, I want you to know that Looking For Love can have any meaning assigned to it…For you it may mean, ‘Looking For’ someone, or something that gives life and purpose to your being.  It could mean ‘Looking For’ your passion in life, or ‘Looking For’ where you belong and fit in.  Maybe it means simply looking to fill a gaping hole in your heart left by the absence of someone dear and special to you.  In the end, you determine what you are ‘Looking For’…the hope is that WE both find whatever it is that we are ‘Looking For’…Love!

Purchase the single on iTunes…click here…“Looking For Love”