The Majak Mixtape - Lift Every Voice and Mixtape

Happy Friday Mixtapers! Welcome to another stunning, flawless, amazing, honoring history better than your favorite edition of the Majak Mixtape, where pop culture comes to get schooled. This February is Black History Month and as we come to a close, we here at the Majak Mixtape would like to honor our roots as both a person of color as well as simply being an American because, as they say, Black History is everybody's history. So in honor of that, we've put together a little Mixtape featuring some stunning, flawless, amazing singers from over the course of history that have moved us in a variety of ways as well as the Black films and movies that have pushed pop culture into opening it doors for folks. But before we get to the history, let us get to an extra special edition of:

The Sheen has hit the fan, y'all.

So much cray cray has happened in the past 24 hours, it's difficult to know where to begin, but we will do our best. It all started off a week or two ago when Chuck Lorre, the creator of "Two and a Half Men" as well "The Big Bang Theory," put a joke referring to Charlie Sheen in one of his title cards on "The Big Bang Theory," saying how he'd be pissed if Charlie Sheen outlived him. Initially people from Charlie Sheen's camp had said how funny Charlie thought the joke was and seemed to take all of this business in stride.

THEN, somebody decided that it'd a hugely wise idea to let Charlie Sheen phone into a radio station program and discuss his assorted issues about Chuck Lorre and other things that were on his totally rational, sane, does not need massive amounts of therapy mind. This, as you can already, tell went about as well as pulling Mel Gibson over for speeding. In one of the biggest acts of career suicide since Lea Thompson signed on for "Howard the Duck," Charlie Sheen unloaded all of his feelings about Chuck Lorre in a rant and a whole host of other subjects including Alcoholics Anonymous:
The only thing I’m addicted to right now is winning. You know? This bootleg cult arrogantly referred to as AA now supports a 5 percent success rate. My success rate is 100 percent. Do the math! One of their stupid mottos is ‘Don’t be special, be one of us.’ News flash: I am special and I will never be one of you.
About his existence:
I’m so tired of pretending like my life isn’t perfect and bitchin’ and just winning every second,” he continued. “I’m not perfect, and bitching and just delivering the goods at every f—ing turn. Because look what I’m dealing with, man — I’m dealing with fools and trolls. I’m dealing with soft targets.”
And on the haters:
I’m done. It’s on. Bring it. As I say. I ain’t hiding. You know? And if you’re part of my family, I will love you violently. If you infiltrate and try to hurt my family, I will murder you violently.”

I CAN'T with all of this cray cray. And apparently CBS was of the same opinion as they have put a halt to production of "Two and a Half Men" for the rest of the season. And did Charlie Sheen use this little moment to have a come-to-Jesus meeting with producers and offer up a mea culpa for all of his bad boy behavior? GURL BYE if you thought there was a snowball in floating in a cup of soup on a table in hell chance of having that happen. Instead, Charlie Sheen, showing the fine grasp of diplomacy not seen since maybe the Bush administration, issued a statement saying:
What does this say about Haim Levine [Chuck Lorre] after he tried to use his words to judge and attempt to degrade me. I gracefully ignored this folly for 177 shows ... I fire back once and this contaminated little maggot can't handle my power and can't handle the truth. I wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels especially if they wind up in my octagon. Clearly I have defeated this earthworm with my words -- imagine what I would have done with my fire breathing fists. I urge all my beautiful and loyal fans who embraced this show for almost a decade to walk with me side-by-side as we march up the steps of justice to right this unconscionable wrong.
Ugh. We're glad that CBS has decided to pull the plug, at least temporarily, on the show because Charlie Sheen clearly needs some help. We also feel bad for the crew, who will most likely be out of jobs until the summer when shows are picked up for the fall. And we're really sorry at the fact that CBS could run episodes of "Two and a Half Men" with just the opening title card on a loop, and it probably still get better ratings than higher quality comedies like "Parks and Recreation."

So we here at the Mixtape have decided that we are no longer covering Sheen-nanigans because it's impossible to keep with his crazy antics. So farewell Mr. Sheen. We're making like CBS and telling you:

Anyway from the HOLY SHEEN to the magic of Black History Month, let us take you on a musical journey!
Hey everybody! So we're pretty much using this Mixtape as an excuse to post a bunch of music by Black artists that we haven't found ways yet to put into other Mixtapes. And you know, that's good enough for us. And if you don't like that, we're not going to flat out call you a racist. We'll just heavily imply it with a side eye and few mumbled words under our breath. We kick of the Mixtape with one of our favorite genres of music that has been grossly under-represented here on the Mixtape: gospel.

When you think of Black culture, gospel is one of the first things that spring to mind. Or at least it does with advertisers since they haven't met a product they didn't feel could be improved by having an African-American choir singing about it, finding spiritual enlightenment in the joys of Polygrip and such. Anyway, gospel music, whether you're religious or not, is a place where you often times see talent at its most raw moments as it is usually devoid of the calculated machinations necessary to create pop.

We kick of the Mixtape with the vocal dramatics of one Patti Labelle, tackling a classic Mahalia Jackson classic "How I Got Over." Please note that Patti Labelle's hair is so high she could poke God in the eye with it.

Speaking of Mahalia Jackson, here is her performing a stirring rendition of "Trouble of the World" in the classic Douglas Sirk melodrama "Imitation of Life."

And you can't do gospel music without mentioning "His Eyes on the Sparrow." Below, Jennifer Holiday of "Dreamgirls" fame tackles, destroys and puts back together the classic tune in a way only she can do.

And just because it's gospel, it doesn't mean you can't get your dance onto it. We do, however, hope you refrain from dry humping for Jesus. Maybe? Next up, Kurt Franklin and his amazing single "Looking For You."

And Mary Mary pretty much took "Blame It (On the Alcohol)" and somehow turned it into a song about God in their song "God In Me."

And from gospel, we move onto jazz and the blues. We love both of these areas, as they have been an integral part of Black culture. We kick off this portion with Ruth Brown and B.B. King doing an amazing version of the classic "Ain't Nobody's Business."

As much as we love Sarah Vaughn, Ella, Billie and others, we want to highlight a voice that doesn't get as much shine as the other. We absolutely love the throaty quality to Abbey Lincoln's voice. It has intelligence just oozing from every note. Below, Abbey takes on the classic tune "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" and turns in a tour de force performance.

And from Abbey Lincoln, we turn our attention to the great music of Fats Waller, which made up the music for the amazing Broadway show "Ain't Misbehavin." Below Nell Carter and company do a medley on the Tony Awards.

We interrupt this Mixtape to bring you Claire Huxtable in one of the greatest takedowns of a misbehaving teenager.

And Florida Evans finally comes to realization that her husband James is actually dead and gone on "Good Times."

And one of the greatest romantic moments we've seen, care of Dwayne and Whitley on "A Different World." Well, romantic as long as you're not the groom she's leaving.

Back to the music! We now move onto R&B and soul music. We love some Aretha Franklin, especially a lot of her lesser known classics like this tune "Tighten Up Your Tie, Button Up Your Jacket."

Another soul artist we love is Chaka Khan. Whether she was with Rufus or if she was solo, her vocals were hard to be matched by even the great Whitney Houston. Below, one of our favorite songs as introduced to us by our friend Steve.

A lady we adore and who was recently nominated for a Grammy is Sade. Below, one of our favorite tunes from her, "By Your Side."

You can't talk about R&B and soul without some a) Luther Vandross and b) Marvin Gaye
First up, Luther Vandross and his tune "Never Too Much," a phrase he often said to his jheri curl activator.

Next up, Marvin Gaye and his tune "A Funky Space Reincarnation."

A voice that was sadly snuffed out way too soon, Sam Cooke.

Below, Steve Harvey explains the magic of old school music in "The Original Kings of Comedy."

Next up, the moment that still makes a cry like a baby whenever we see the film "The Color Purple."

And one of our favorite moments from the film

We end this mixtape on a hip hop note. First up, Nas and Lauryn Hill and their huge hit "If I Ruled The World."

Next up Methodman and Mary J. Blige and their take on the Marvin Gaye classic "All I Need to Get By"

Next, Erykah Badu and Common pretty much are able to sum up the whole rap music movement in one four minute music kudos.

One of the greatest meldings of music and imagery, the opening sequence of "Do the Right Thing."

And we end this Mixtape with the song that gave us our title, Ray Charles sings "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

And Kim Weston's take on it

As always, we wish you love, peace and downloads! Be sure to follow our Twitter on Sunday as we live-Tweet the Academy Awards! NOW BRING ON THE DANCING MACHINES!

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