Wordsmith (A fluent or prolific writer) Wednesday~

Lauryn Hill ~ Social Drugs
To hide this condemnation
I find a compilation
Of a man made stimulation
to deny my situation
Now because reality
is distorting what I see
A sense of false security

So in my imagination
Oh I must find a recreation
To open my sensations

there's no equilibrium   
inebriated till I'm numb
intoxicated till I'm dumb
to avoid confrontation

these social drugs
messing with my mind
these social drugs
telling me I'm blind

these social drugs
messing with my head
these social drugs
telling me I'm dead


In Living Color~

Soul Train Tuesday~

The JB's ~ Aka Maceo and the Macks. I love this episode of the Soul Train Line, the dance moves were supreme.


Get your mind right Monday~

Usually on Monday I bring to you a phrase of inspiration to get your mind right for the week; however this video encapsulates exactly what I would like to convey to you at the present moment...respect of differences with in each others being. In this sociopolitical video Erykah walks the same route that J.F.K. rode right before he was assassinated, and at the end of the song she leaves us with some deeply resonating words to ponder:

"They play it safe, are quick to assassinate what they do not understand. They move in packs, ingesting more and more fear with every act of hate on one another. They feel most comfortable in groups, less guilt to swallow, they are us, this is what we have become; afraid to respect an individual, a single person within our circumstance can move one to change, to love our self to evolve."

Erykah's music moves me in a way I can only explain as the feeling you get when your moving up a roller-coaster, inch-by-inch, knowing that soon will come a peek of sheer, uncanny, delight that makes you feel ALIVE.


Friday Film Quote~ A Bronx Tale

Colloagero 'C' Anello: Sonny and my father always said that when I get older I would understand. Well, I finally did. I learned something from these two men. I learned to give love and get love unconditionally. You just have to accept people for what they are, and I learned the greatest gift of all. The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever. But you can ask anybody from my neighborhood, and they'll just tell you this is just another Bronx tale.


Thought Provoker Thursday~

YOU WANT to double your wealth without gambling or stock-jobbing. Share it. Whether it be material or intellectual, its rapid increase will amaze you. What would the sun have been had he folded himself up in darkness? Surely he would have gone out. So would Socrates.~J.C. Hare

Remember your first kiss?

Oh how this show brings back memories; I loved it!

Music Sweet Music~

Dear Al Stewart, thank you for never ceasing to amaze me. Listen to the sweet guitar riff of Jimmy Page, recorded right before he joined Led Zeppelin.




Just chill video of the day~

Telepopmusik is the BEST!

Wordsmith (A fluent or prolific writer) Wednesday~

I am a work in progress, dressed in the fabric of a world unfolding, offering me intricate patterns of questions; rhythms that never come clean and strengths that you still haven't seen.

~Artist: Ani Difranco
~Song: The Slant
~Album: Ani Difranco


Soul Train Tuesday~

This one always makes me want to tear the rug up.


It's Monday and "It's All Good"~

With lyrics like "I got some growing to do but it's all good" and "I'm mixing up the dough cuz I'm all about the cake" (not the money kind either) Casey Veggies has me sold. Keep the ring of his name in your ear.

Casey Veggies "It's All Good" from Antoine Bandele on Vimeo.

Get your mind right Monday~

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... 'til you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."
~Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

"Don't think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire. I can't stand a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drive into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark."
~Samuel Johnson

“Victory is sweetest when you've known defeat.”
~ Malcolm S. Forbes


Before Jodeci, Bobby Womack hit this song hard~

A little weekend inspiration~

INSPIRE~Men cannot be made wise or strong or moral by exterior laws or agencies. There are two ways to help a thriftless man. One is to build him a house and place him there in. The other is to inspire in him the sense of industry, economy, and ambition, then he will build his own house. All tools, books, pictures, laws, on the outside begin with ideas on the inside. Inspire the reason, and man will fill the galleries with pictures. Stir the springs of justice, and men will go forth to cleanse iniquities and right wrongs.~Parkhurst


Jasmine Solano Interview...Brooklyn's Finest!

It is with honor that I bring to you Gritty Velvet's first interview with Brooklyn' finest Jasmine Solano. Jasmine is a DJ, Rapper (writes her own lyrics), MC, Host on, and Producer, this lady has worked really hard to get where she is and stays grounded through it all.

Just to break down a little of Jasmine's background, well it goes a little something like this:

• Jasmine has opened for Rock The Bells NYC with artists Nas, Damian Marley, The Roots, and Common to name a few.
• She has opened Myspace music shows for Ghostface, the one and only Rakim, The Clipse, and Sean Kingston.
• Produced a # of Indie videos with Downtown's Sweetheart Va$htie ( I wasn't playing when I said she works really hard. Most currently Jasmine is on the Wiz Khalifa tour with U-God of Wu-Tang & has just departed the Mile Hi City, but she will return and I'll tell you why; Denver has nothing but love for her and in fact she has fam here, that's right read on for more details.

1.) GV -  Who is your earliest female icon or just someone you looked at and said yeah I can do that?

JS - I grew up an 80's baby so in terms of female icons, Salt N Pepa had a lot to do with my love for hip hop from an early age. I performed "Shoop" at my 4th grade talent show and "Very Necessary" was my favorite album when I was 8, 9 years old. To me female MCs were always normal.

2.) GV-  How did you come about mixing and MC’ing in Denver?

JS - When I first ventured to Denver, I was there to produce a video for Shoe Shine 2007. I met Lily (, Musa ( DJ Musa ) and Anthony Hull (VJ, and instantly they became family. Since then, they have brought me back to DJ, Perform and become a part of the scene which I love.

3.) GV - What brings you back to Denver?

JS - The people and the mountains. :)

4.) GV- What was the highlight of opening for Rock the Bells?

JS - Being the only female MC. It's unfortunate that I was the only one - but when that's the case, I'm proud to carry the weight and represent to the fullest.

5.) GV - You are currently working on a new single “That’s not it”, directed by Va$htie…when will we be able to see this? What is the vibe or inspiration behind this song?

JS - The video for "That's Not It" which was directed by Va$htie ( will premier on Myspace Music soon! The song itself is very sarcastic and funny. It's a reflection of my experiences with men that have approached me in the most hilarious ways. Specifically when I'm expected to be attracted to material objects & pick up lines. It's my comical explanation of such a situation ;)

6.) GV - For young viewers of Gritty Velvet such as my daughter Gia (and in particular young ladies); what are some words of advice or encouragement you would like to express?

JS - Be true to who you are. Be respectful to every single person you meet. Nothing is impossible.

I would personally like to thank lovely Lily ( Firelily Concepts ) for introducing me to the humble and talented Ms. Jasmine Solano; if you don't know Lily believe me you should, she makes things happen, and tells me like it is. I am very proud of this interview and inspired by such talent.

Thank you again Jasmine and Denver misses you already, come back soon, please and thank you.
Click at any one of these links to get more Jasmine in your life -

Photo Credits:


An inspirational song~

Awe yes it just feels like a Willie Hutch kind of day!

Thought Provoker Thursday~

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." 
~ Jack Kerouac


The Gardner Heist...I blame the leprechauns!

It will be twenty years ago tomorrow since the biggest art heist in US history was pulled off " The Gardner Heist."  Well over $500 million in art was easily stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and to this day not one of the Rembrandt', Vermeer', or Degas have turned up.

Some say the paintings were sent over seas via James 'Whitey' Bulgar, the Irish-American Mobster (whom Jack Nicholsons character from the Departed is loosely based). Others believe the Irish Limerick Criminals are using the paintings as trade/security in exchange for weapons and drugs. The perfect crime eh? I have a feeling one day the paintings will wash up...maybe at the end of a rainbow, or perhaps in the hands of  a mischievous leprechaun, it can happen right?

Just a few of the missing pieces, there are rumors that a movie is under way, I love a good Heist movie.


The Art Of The Steal~

This film is a must see for any individual who is concerned of the art world and its value of history. This story makes you think...about where true justice lies in a society of money hungry vixens. Actual Heist or Conspiracy Theory? You decide.

Illustrator of the day~

Kris Lewis takes ethereal to another level. Kris Lewis describes his work as such: “As I begin a painting the subject physically, emotionally and spiritually reveals itself to me.  Each brushstroke speaks to the subsequent stroke, carrying out a dialogue, linking my subject and me as if we were meeting for the first time. I find this uncertainty exciting and embrace the indecisive nature of my work.

Soul Train Tuesday~ O-o-h Child by The Five Stairsteps

This song is dedicated to my Auntie Becky who passed when I was 15, she used to sing this song to me with a brush in her hand and always used to say "Remember this song if I ever leave this world...oh & if you ever get tired of your LA Gear Rhinestone jacket I got first dibs." I miss her.


Take off your mask~

"The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange put on a mask. There can't be any large scale revolution until there is a personal revolution, on an individual level. Its got to happen inside first. You can take away a mans political freedom and you won't hurt him - unless you take away his freedom to feel, that can destroy him. That kind of freedom can not be granted, nobody can win it for you." ~Jim Morrison, singer/poet. 

Get your mind right Monday~

BELIEVE while others are doubting.
PLAN while others are playing.
STUDY while others are sleeping.
DECIDE while others are delaying.
PREPARE while others are daydreaming.
BEGIN while others are procrastinating.
WORK while others are wishing.
SAVE while others are wasting.
LISTEN while others are talking.
SMILE while others are frowning.
COMMEND while others are criticizing.
PERSIST while others are quitting.
Winner's Blueprint for achieving~


Just chill song of the night~

J*Davey has an eclectic sound that I think everyone can enjoy. They are definitely not your cookie cutter duo; the sound is a little funk, new wave, alternative, jazzy type feel, never the less I dig them...appreciate.

J*DaVeY "Get Together" from Veronica "V-Chip" Hinds on Vimeo.

Love their style too!

Most Beautiful Woman In The World~

She had no special talent
No special beauty mark
No invention with a patent
No hourglass physique
No sunbeam likened smile
No lingering mystique
No manicured nails to file
But what she had, she flaunted
With the style of a fur-lined stole
With the chic of a runway model
She flashed her beautiful soul
~Ruwaida Van Doorsen

Illustrator of the day~

Eugenio Recuenco  is in a class of his own. His work is deeply dramatic, and almost dream like. I love how he can manipulate the lighting and bring such depth to each frame.


For my people who love Gritty Velvet...Stay tuned

I know I was slacking on posting up yesterday; however as rare as I get sick the little bug hit me hard. So please be patient with me, I promise to bring you the goodness! ~GV

Groove With You~

Oh how I love this song, I know you will too!


Around The Way Girl~

The ladies of Fresh Fiends, Miss Summer, Lady La and Shew joined forces with creative jewelry heads of Yardley December  to bring to you a throwback photo shoot cleverly titled "Around The Way Girl", with each lady channeling the 80's inspired fashions by Mc Lyte, JJ Fad, & The Fly Girls of In Living Color. Fresh Fiends is always doing different themed shoots, so if you like that kind of stuff, like I do check on them...frequently!

Soul Train Tuesday~

Have to give respect where due to the Master Pioneer Mr. Kurtis Blow, who at the tender age of 20 was the first rapper to be signed to a major record label Mercury almost 31 years ago. Kurtis Blow created hits for Run DMC and the Fat Boys. Nas did a cover of Blow' "If I ruled the World", which even topped the charts at #1 in 1997 on Billboard Hits.

Blow has been referenced by many artists including, 2Pac in his song "Old School", The Tom Tom Club with "Steppin to the rhythm of a Kurtis Blow, who needs to think when your feet just go", and was also an inspiration to Biggie, thus the singing along to his song "The Breaks" with his little sis in the movie Notorious. Bob Dylan one of my personal faves also mentions Blow as the one who hyped him to the whole hip hop culture.

On Soul Train doing his thing!


Just Another Funny Monday~

I recently read a great Rolling Stone article on Mr. Tracy Morgan: stand up comedian, past Saturday Night Live cast member and current cast member on 30 Rock. A few years ago me and The Generals Booty met Tracy and I have to admit I wasn't left with a good impression of him, considering he and a lady friend chose to sit at our table uninvited, plus help themselves to our bottle, and spoke of impregnating and fertilization verbiage.

However, after reading the article I kind of understand a softer side of Mr. Morgan; even found myself relating to a few issues he endured. This man has definitely experienced the three L's - Loved, Lost and Learned; but has triumphed and made a little peace within himself. I commend him now, and if I were ever to see him again, I definitely think we would have a lot of funny ish to dish out. ~ GV

Check this funny clip out of Tracy Morgan with fellow funny man Jimmy Kimmel, so appropriately named: IMPREGN8ED!!! Hilarious!!!

Tracy Morgan and GV~

Get Your Mind Right Monday~

Failure/Success~I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life; and that is why I succeed. ~Michael Jordan



Funky Fresh Friday Cut~

Taking it back on this one! Ann Peeple's version was super legit beat and all. I really like Missy Elliot's version though too.

Roxanne's Revenge~

Roxanne Shante Vs. The Real Roxanne plus more! Love this video right here.

Bite This is an indirect diss from Roxanne Shante (DJ Marley Marl) to The Real Roxanne


Illustrator of the day~

Jason Holley pushes the envelope with his illustrations. He takes surrealism to a whole new level. I find his work to be liberating and inspirational. Click here if you would like to view more of his work, Jason Holley Artwork
Depiction of "Almost Famous" Director Cameron Crowe at age 14 waking from an ethereal dream. This is untitled~.

This is one of those pictures that tells it like it is...or rather how you perceive it to be. The illustration was featured in Rolling Stone magazine in 2005 and titled "The Untold Mystery of The Notorious B.I.G."

This picture immediately brings to mind one song: "The Mystery of Iniquity" by Lauryn Hill. Read this verse and you soon may relate: "Y'all can't handle the truth in a court room of lies, perjures the jurors, witness despised, crooked lawyers, false indictments publicized; It's entertainment the arraignments, the subpoenas, high profile gladiators in blood thirsty arenas, enter the dragon black-robe crooked-balance, souls bought and sold and paroled for thirty talents."

This pic is titled "One year after Katrina" and was published in The New Republic magazine. Jason Holley best describes this picture as such, "As the water receded, the scope of the tragedy was revealed and it was sickening to see that the flood had actually shielded the real damage. As the government, media and public-at-large turned it's attention to other matters, the water line seemed like a perfect metaphor to describe a city that was still very much in the midst of a disaster."

Thought Provoker Thursday~

AMBITION~While visiting in a nearby city I was shown an unfinished mansion. A retired capitalist had planned to spend the remainder of his days in this luxurious home, but death ended his dream and deprived him of achieving his ambition. For eighty years no workman had scaled the scaffolds; no sounds of hammers heard. There was no sight of life save except one black crow perched on the summit of an unfinished spire. What a tragedy, but one frequently enacted in human life, and so that unfinished house stood amidst those stately pines as the symbol to me of unfulfilled ambition; a monument to the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death. A silent message urging us to strive not for the things which are seen, but for the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. ~Laws


Illustrator of the day~

Denver based artist Jason Thielke has some of the most super clean vectorized lines I've seen. His art is identifiably his own & so easy on the eyes. If in the Lodo area of Denver you can find his work displayed at David B. Smith Gallery on 15th & Wazee.


Street Lights as you have never seen before~

STREETLIGHT collectif presents from Louligan on Vimeo.

Just chill video of the day~

Artist: Deerhunter Song: Agoraphobia Album: Microcastle From: Atlanta, GA

Wordsmith (A fluent or prolific writer) Wednesdays~

Yes, I received your letter yesterday
(About the time the doorknob broke)
When you asked how I was doing
Was that some kind of joke?
All these people that you mention
Yes, I know them, they’re quite lame
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name
Right now I can’t read too good
Don’t send me no more letters no;
Not unless you mail them
From Desolation Row

~Artist: Bob Dylan
~Son: Desolation Row
~Album: Highway 61 Revisited