Posts made in July 2023


A singer, MC, self-taught keyboardist, and prolific songwriter, Angie Stone’s first claim to fame was her membership in the Sequence, a pioneering hip-hop trio who arrived with “Funk You Up” (1979), the second release on Sugar Hill Records and the first rap single by an all-female group. 
Following a brief period with the post-new jack swing R&B act Vertical Hold, Stone began a fruitful and lasting solo career as one of neo-soul’s leading lights, known for providing sharp insight into romantic relationships with her smoky yet upfront voice. She established her solo career with a pair of gold-certified albums, Black Diamond (1999) and Mahogany Soul (2001), and added to her accolades with Grammy nominations in the R&B field for “More Than a Woman” (2002), “U-Haul” (2004), and “Baby” (2007). 
Increasingly occupied with acting roles, she has continued to record every few years, exemplified by deeply soul-rooted LPs such as Rich Girl (2012), Dream (2015), and Full Circle (2019).
Stone, a native of Columbia, South Carolina, began singing gospel music at a young age at First Nazareth Baptist Church. Her father, a member of a local gospel quartet, would take his only child to see performances by gospel artists such as the Singing Angels and the Gospel Keynotes. During her youth, she wrote poetry, played sports, and, after high-school graduation, was offered college basketball scholarships. While working dead-end jobs, Stone began saving money to record her own demos at a local studio called PAW. 
She joined Gwendolyn Chisholm and Cheryl Cook in the rap trio the Sequence, who recorded hits for Joe and Sylvia Robinson’s Sugar Hill label. These included “Funk You Up,” a remake of Parliament’s hit “Tear the Roof Off the Sucker” called “Funky Sound (Tear the Roof Off),” and “I Don’t Need Your Love.” Soon after, Stone worked with futuristic rap group Mantronix and rocker Lenny Kravitz, and formed the sophisticated R&B trio Vertical Hold, who in 1993 hit the R&B Top 40 with “Seems You’re Much Too Busy.” The group split after its second album.
Stone subsequently signed to Arista as a solo artist and recorded 1999’s Black Diamond, a Top Ten R&B album that was certified gold on the strength of the singles “No More Rain (In This Cloud)” and “Everyday” (one of several songs she has written either for or with D’Angelo). The album won her a pair of Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards. She shifted to J for 2001’s Mahogany Soul, another gold seller. That album’s “More Than a Woman,” a duet with Calvin Richardson, earned a Grammy nomination in the category of Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. 
Stone Love, released in 2004, fared just as well commercially with “U-Haul,” another Grammy-nominated performance, among the highlights. Stone smoothly moved to the revitalized Stax label for her fourth studio album, 2007’s The Art of Love & War. It topped the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and featured two of her best singles, “Sometimes” and the Betty Wright collaboration “Baby” — the latter of which made Stone a three-time Grammy nominee.
Throughout the next several years, the singer’s studio output remained consistent in terms of chart performance, despite a series of label changes and frequent acting work. 
(By the end of the 2000s, Stone had appeared in several movies, including The Fighting Temptations, Pastor Brown, and Scary Movie 5, as well as the television programs Moesha, Girlfriends, and Lincoln Heights.) Unexpected, released on Stax in 2009, hit the Top 20 of the R&B chart. Saguaro Road issued Rich Girl, Stone’s most stylistically diverse set, three years later, and it peaked slightly higher. For Dream, released in 2015, she joined the veteran-loaded Shanachie roster. The next year, the Goldenlane label issued Covered in Soul, for which Stone updated classics popularized by the Guess Who, the Five Stairsteps, and Carole King. Stone changed labels again for the 2019 set Full Circle, featuring the Jaheim duet “Gonna Have to Be You.”

Angie Stone recently released her anticipated 10th studio album under a new record label, a new look and a better point of view. “LOVE LANGUAGE.” “Love Language” has far exceeded my expectations. Considering the fact I was particularly excited about releasing a new album, I am so glad I decided to move forward. I feel this album encompasses classic Angie Stone, with songs like “Good Man” and “Gym”; while also expressing a new age feel with my first single “Kiss You”. Recording this album took me back to the creation of my sophomore album Mahogany Soul mainly because the music simply felt GOOD! I’m so thankful to my new label SRG and my team at Conjunction Entertainment. Special thanks to Walter Milsap, Candice Nelson and Balewa Muhammad. You guys have truly mastered my sound and we also work so effortlessly together. Special thanks to my incredibly talented brother, Musiq Soulchild, for gracing the album with true artistry! Last but certainly not least, thanks to my “sonshine” Swayvo Twain, on your first feature with your mom. You continue to solidify yourself as an amazing artist, while creating your own lane and for that I am so proud.,” mentions Angie.

The visuals to the fun and season-appropriate song, “LOVE THE FEELING.” were directed by Charles West. “This video was inspired by the infectious nature of two-step dancing and how we express love for one another through movement. Two-step dancing has made its way around the globe and is a sign of happiness and love. My hope is that you’ll be inspired to move and step during your home cookouts, house parties, and grown folks’ outings,” mentions Angie.

LOVE LANGUAGE was led by the singles, ‘KISS YOU“, followed by ”THE GYM” featuring Platinum R&B Superstar, MUSIQ SOULCHILD. and the beautiful “GOOD MAN”. The album is globally available now via the Conjunction Entertainment and SRG-GROUP label imprint.


1. Love Is Real

2. The Gym (featuring MUSIQ Soulchild)

3. Kiss You

4. Good Man

5. High

6. Love Language

7. All I Need

8. Love The Feeling

9. Old Thang Back (featuring Swayvo Twain)

10. Kiss You (X Mix)

11. Kiss You (Jersey Club Mix)




Instagram: @TheAngieStone 
Twitter: @TheAngieStone 


New York, NY (June 29, 2023) — Today, FPWA CEO Jennifer Jones Austin released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down affirmative action in college admissions. This comes as FPWA’s latest analysis of civil rights progress since the 1963 March on Washington shows persisting racial inequities in education and economic-related outcomes. Funding disparities between schools with majority Black students versus majority white students remain especially stark, and even with comparable or identical college degrees, Black people make an average 20% less each year.

“As an organization committed to dismantling systemic racism, FPWA denounces the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down affirmative action in the college admissions process. Since Affirmative Action’s inception, opponents have ignored the reason for race to be a consideration—to responsively acknowledge racism and how it impacts people of color’s lives, and particularly their educational experiences and lifelong opportunities. They have attacked the policy for being anti-meritocratic and unfair to deserving students. Today’s Supreme Court’s decision embraces their false narrative and willfully disregards persisting structural racism and resulting intergenerational inequality and inequity.

FPWA will continue working to dismantle structural and institutional barriers that have persisted for over 400 years in America, and will fight to advance policies that promote racial and economic equity.”

About FPWA
FPWA is an anti-poverty policy and advocacy organization committed to advancing economic opportunity, justice, and upward mobility for New Yorkers with low incomes. Since 1922, FPWA has driven groundbreaking policy reforms to better serve those in need. We work to dismantle the systemic barriers that impede economic security and well-being, and strengthen the capacity of human services agencies and faith organizations so New Yorkers with lower incomes can thrive and live with dignity.



Calls for Judicial Reforms to Supreme Court as Bench Deals Yet Another Blow to Civil Rights

New York, New York – (Thursday, June 29, 2023) – Rev. Al Sharpton, President and Founder of the National Action Network (NAN), condemned the Supreme Court’s decision today to overturn affirmative action in higher education. The 6-3 and 6-2 decisions in two related cases will end decades of safeguards for equal access to education, especially for Black and Brown students. Although many expected the Supreme Court to end affirmative action, the decision underscores a deep need to reform the court – especially as several justices face ethics concerns amid a rash of actions that have unraveled generations of civil rights.

“The Supreme Court just stuck a dagger in the back of Black America. Affirmative action was a commonly embraced policy because it served as a check on an admission process that was rife with racism, nepotism, and favoritism for generations. The reality is race plays a factor in admissions, from pre-K to post-doctorate, and institutions just saw their best tool for fairness outlawed.

Let’s not forget this wasn’t a decision supported by higher education institutions. It was pushed by a small group committed to peeling away our civil rights, who want Black and Brown faces out of their ivory towers. It’s why you saw so many colleges and universities batten down the hatches and come up with contingency plans when it became clear affirmative action would end. The National Action Network’s Youth Huddle will continue to push for fair admission standards, so they have the same access to higher education as those before them. Today’s misguided decision has activated them to stand at the vanguard of the March on Washington on August 26th, which will not be a commemoration but a continuation in the fight for justice and equality.”

About National Action Network (NAN)
National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency, and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality, or gender.

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