I've had a few dope interviews over the past few months with some really dope people. Take a look if you if you have a minute :-)
This was a really fun one. We talked specifically about The Prototype series, writing about Black love, and audiobook publishing. WATCH
Cool Conversations with LaSheera Lee
Another dope one where we talked mostly about The Prototype, self-publishing, and the power of Black women writers. WATCH
All of my audiobooks are currently on sale! If you've been on the fence about grabbing an audiobook from me, here's your chance to get into my catalog for under $5 for a limited time only :-)
Woot-woot! I’m super excited to be a featured author in ReadHer’s Season of Giving Box!
If you love Zay+Jersey•Travis+Kennedy•Devin+Willow•Bam+Cassie as much as I do, you can head over to ReadHer and grab a box with all four books!
The boxes will also include The Prototype Glimpses: Short Stories From The Prototype Series ebook + more book-ish goodies!
The Night Before has been available on audio for about a month now, and I'm so grateful to those of you who shared, reviewed, rated, and supported this release. It's the first time I released an audiobook completely on my own, without a publisher, and so I'm extra thankful for your support because it matters. We all know when folks don't like something
Check out what readers are saying:
"The narrators were new to me but did a excellent job! I love how they brought the characters to life. I love all Mrs Howard's work! Can't wait for the next installment."
"I love Jacinta Howard writing style. she always pulls emotions from you. This is sweet and sexy story."
"I’ve fallen in love with the characters in this story almost as fast as they fell for each other. .."
In honor of Tupac's 50th birthday a little over a week ago, I got to join a few dope music journalists to discuss one of Pac's overlooked gems, Thug Life. You can listen to the discussion here!
You can bid on The Prototype Series signed by me AND super-dope narrator Wesleigh Siobhan!
You can bid here NOW: charityauction.bid/LIFT4Autism2021
Bidding closes Friday, April 30 at 5pm EST.
And if you don’t win your bid or don’t want to bid, you can STILL be involved!
1. Make a tax-deductible “no amount is too big or too small” donation to our Kulture City Fund: https://www.kulturecity.org/f/lift-4-autism-2021/
2. Buy LIFT Gear like t-shirts, mugs, sweatshirts, mugs, etc… (Proceeds to Kulture City)
Since 2015, LIFT 4 Autism has raised approximately $190,000 to benefit ASD families. All proceeds go to non-profit organizations serving the autism community. Now more than ever, we as a global community are uniting, even as we stay apart to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Auction organizers authors Ginger Scott and Kennedy Ryan along with Kulture City, this year’s charitable partner, wanted to respond to the real needs of autism families during this incredibly challenging time. Kulture City will direct proceeds from the 2020 auction to a scholarship program for autism families struggling during COVID-19.
Erykah Badu aka Moon Girl aka Analogue Girl aka Manuela Maria Mexico aka Sarah Bellam aka Badoula Oblingada aka SHE ILL... turns 50 today.
Anyone who knows me knows I love Badu. She's one of my very favorite artists of ever. I know her catalog like the back of my hand; I try to see her every single time she's in town... basically she's one of a handful of my go-to artists. Her music is grounded and spiritual and funky and earthy and futuristic and present and relatable and inspiring. She's one of the most gifted songwriters around—there aren't many writers who are able to convey feelings the way she does, and make it relatable and honest without being cliche. Anyway, here is my ode to Badu... a list of the times and the songs that helped shape some of my most memorable life experiences.
"Out My Mind" When the love of my life (or so I thought at the time) told me he felt like Donnell Jones on "Where I Wanna Be." Dude literally said that. Translation: he didn't want me any more, but didn't want to be upfront about it, and I was crushed. That can't get out of the bed, cry whenever I think about him, wonder what my life will look like without him because I knew he was my soulmate kinda crushed. If you've ever experienced that kind of heartbreak, then you feel me. If you haven't then, that's super nice for you- hope you never have to. Anyway, I listened to Erykah Badu's "Out My Mind" on repeat during that period. She wails on the song like her soul is collapsing under the weight of her unrequited want, and it's so relatable, so real, so gorgeous. It's still one of my favorite heartache songs of all time.
"I'm a recovering undercover over lover... and now my common law lover thinks he wants another. And I lie for you, I cry for you/And pop for you, and break for you/And hate for you, and I'll hate you too/If you want me to/I pray for you/Crochet for you/Make it from scratch for you/Leave off the latch for you/Go to the store for you, do it some more for you/Do what you want me to, guess I'm a fool for you..."
But by the end of the song, you know what happens? She climbs out of her despair, finds her sense of self, and gets out of her head/mind.
"Yeah, guess it's time to grab my coat/Evolution's time to grow/Ego tryin to block to do'/Might not have nowhere to go/Now I got a leading role/Introducing Super Dope/Starring in her episode/Hello, new world, out, my mind..."
"Green Eyes"- Another gorgeous heartbreak song that again, goes through a full cycle- from jealousy and denial, to yearning, then anger, then acceptance. This gotta be one of the best songs of the past 50 years, no exaggeration.
"Didn't Cha Know" - This is one of my favorite J. Dilla beats of all-time— top 3 for sure, and that's saying a whole lot because Dilla's discography is damn near unmatched. It's one of those songs that you make you remember where you were the first time you heard it, one of those songs that never, ever gets old, and still sounds just as fresh now as it does when it was released. Again, Badu's soul-searching songwriting is on display, "when I stumble off my path, I know my heart will guide me back..." word.
New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)- I'm just gonna talk about this entire album because I feel like it's the sleeper in her catalog. This album is one of those quietly influential albums that folks will come back and talk about in depth in later years. I hear it in Solange's A Seat At the Table and Kendricks' To Pimp A Butterfly, and all over these newbie soul artists with heavy jazz leanings (Ego Ella May, Mereba, Jamila Woods, etc). It was hopeful and angry, eccentric but precise in the production (handled by Madlib, and Shafiq Husayn and Taz Arnold of Sa-Ra) and the album's "get free" theme, which is best laid out on "Soldier," "Master Teacher," "That Hump," "The Cell," and "Telephone." This is one of those albums that hasn't left my rotation in the 13 years since it dropped.
"Fader," "Back In The Day," & "I Want You"- I remember one time I was going for a job interview in Asheville, NC and winding up semi-lost in the mountains as I tried to make my way back to Atlanta. It was getting dark, I was tired after the interview, and I was in the dang mountains. It was not a good look. I prayed, got back on the correct highway, and played the first three songs on this album (which I consider a mixtape more than an entry into her discography) the entire way home, on repeat.
Mama's Gun- One of the greatest albums of the past half-century, for sure. This album is openly influential— the feisty, world-weary, love torn lyricism and free-black girl countenance Badu possessed on that 2000 record has left its mark on modern soul artists who continue to emulate and build on the sound on that album, which was produced during the genius season of the Soulquarian run.
Okay, since this post is rambling, I'm just gonna leave you with 15 of my favorite Badu songs ever in no order and always changing.
1. "Gone Baby, Don't Be Long"
2. "I Want You"
3. "Kiss Me On My Neck"
4. "Orange Moon"
5. "Green Eyes"
6. "Back In The Day"
7. "Out My Mind"
8. "Master Teacher"
10. "Next Life Time"
11. "Other Side of The Game"
14. "Didn't Cha Know"
Over the past few weeks, I've been asked a couple of times to talk to folks about the benefits of reading as a form of wellness and self-care. When I started doing a bit of research about it, I actually found out that there are scientific studies to support that cozy feeling that you get when you're curled up with a good book... with real statistics and everything!
You know what else makes you literally feel better? Music? See, there is a reason why I include playlists with all of my books!
Anyway, click through the gallery of my nifty graphics to check out the stats. And as always, happy reading!
Tonight I'll be hanging out in the Diamond Mine with Diem's Diamonds! Join me tonight at 9P EST for what should be a cool Zoom chat with some of the coolest readers around! Cheers to the end of 2020!!
Link to join: bit.ly/DiemsDiamonds