This Is Nina Simone

27 Dec

I love this lady more than I had ever realized. A few years ago she was reintroduced to the forefront of my thinking by something and I for the life of me can’t remember what that something was.  I do however remember going to see her when I was very young in the park in D.C. one summer, Rock Creek Park I think. Me perched on my father’s shoulders and I sea of Afros bouncing like cotton balls from the Planet Mo’ Better Makes It Mo Better. We were a family under one groove and though I really don’t remember much from that day, those Afros I remember and that movement and that feeling and those people. We all came to see our Sista Ms. Nina Simone.

Not a lot of people know this or at least I don’t think that they do. Ms. Simone suffered from mental illness and I might add the most beautiful overbite I have ever seen. She was a gorgeously handsome woman. You’ll forgive my scattered thoughts on her, but there’s so much I would like to say about her I’ll never get a clear thought.

Anyway, yes, she is said to have suffered from bipolar disorder and/or borderline personality disorder. I really don’t know what borderline personality disorder is, but I’m sure I got some. It comes with the all the other baggage of being wrapped in this dark skin of mine that I have come to love over the years. For this post I’ll just speak of the mental illness and let you discover the lady more deeply if you feel moved to.

I firmly believe that some of the most creative and genius people of ours have suffered from some form of outwardly evident mental illness. One would have to, if one ever saw clearly, our reality makes us crazy. I can see where some of her illness was evident in her personality and please, this is my own assessment as I see these same things in myself. She didn’t have much patience for foolishness and once in mid-chord she stopped and chastised talkative audience members. She didn’t mind speaking for her mind off stage either. The song Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood was written for her, but The Animals recorded it (I love both versions) and had hit with it. Ms. Nina confronted the front man and in Nina form said to him; So you the honky that stole my song and got a hit with it? I recognize these acts as something that would come from me.

She however (it is said) had been taken over by schizophrenia. With that came some delusions of being a reincarnation of an Egyptian queen.   When a friend took Ms. Nina to a musical revue in Washington, she began speaking to the onstage performers from her seat. Now, let’s sit back and think for a second about these two incidences, don’t they sound really familiar? Black people are always talking about how we are kings and queens and have you been to a movie with a mostly Black audience? So we are all  trapped by schizophrenia.

Serious, our Ms. Nina had gone far down the mental illness road and it ended our sisters mind from which that voice came. We have to take look at how mental illness has run roughshod through us and give ourselves a break ever now again. My heart remains broken for how this world has chewed on our very essence like doublemint and spit us out when the flavor was gone. I get murderous at the thought of the incredible people we are and how we are stepped on by us and them. We are in need of healing, we are in need of that sea of Afros bouncing together to the Ms. Nina beat.

Sadly Ms. Nina left us and this hell in 2003 from what was called a stroke, but to me it was exhaustion. This world makes one really tired, really early in life and the results of the fatigue can be seen all over Black faces and Black places.

Here comes the sun and we should heal.

Like I stated earlier, these are “reimagined” and may not appeal to the purest, but I really like them.

19 Responses to “This Is Nina Simone”

  1. mary burrell December 27, 2012 at 3:31 PM #

    You’ve got good taste. Nina was a Queen. She used her art to speak truth to power. Mississippi Goddamn is another one of her songs. Good choice.

    • hunglikejesus December 27, 2012 at 3:36 PM #

      Ms. Mary you are a trip. I haven’t even finished the post yet, but you did give me a nice LOL.

      Thank you so much sis, I’ll be finish inna bit. OH!! I’m gonna post some of her music that has been “reimagined” by some artist. I really like these “reworked” pieces a lot and I hope I don’t offend any of the Nina purest.

    • hunglikejesus December 27, 2012 at 4:51 PM #

      aiight Ms. Mary it’s done.

  2. diaryofanegress December 27, 2012 at 3:43 PM #

    Did I ever tell you Nina is my hero? Sugar in my bowl is one of my favorites.

    • hunglikejesus December 27, 2012 at 3:47 PM #

      You better back up off MY Nina. Look!! there are plenty of singers that can be your hero like Beyonce or some “singer”…….OH!! wait……I see now, never mind.

  3. mary burrell December 27, 2012 at 7:17 PM #

    Ok, Let’s start over. I thought the post was good. I bet that was a good memory of you being at the concert in the park on your Dad’s shoulders and the afro and all that soulfulness and black people who were proud to be black back then. I like all the tracks you put together. some of them had alot of jazz and reggae mixed in. I like the songs like Sinner Man and Oh Baltimore. I like Sugar In My Bowl and I Put A Spell On You. Very sexy. I did read that she suffered from some form of mental illness. She kind of seemed kind of manic in some scenes of the video. She seemed like she could get irritated or agitated if someone or something pissed her off. And she looked like she didn’t suffer fools,and she would go off on somebody. I like the Kanye West sample of Sinner Man on his Bad News joint. The song Don’t Smoke In Bed is a good one also. I like this post. I will get some more of her music to put on my ipod. Thanx for this.

    • hunglikejesus December 27, 2012 at 7:27 PM #

      I had to go and see about this Kanye West sampling my Nina. It’s not bad, but I really don’t care for Mr. West so we’ll leave at that.

      It was a good time as I remember and my father can’t remember but my mother remembers it like it was yesterday. She said it was a lot of acts that day but I can only remember my Ms. Nina.

      The songs are one I’ve had for a while in fact, I have several of her songs reworked, but I just included a few. I didn’t put up Mississippi God Damn up there because believe it or not I couldn’t find one to embed that went along with the others.

      More importantly she did suffer from bipolar and it was cleanly evident in the video, but one thing that never suffered was her music. If you ever get the time check out some of her older concerts on youtube. She loved her music and her music loved her.

      Thank you Ms. Mary you are the best.

  4. Kushite Prince January 2, 2013 at 6:24 PM #

    Great video! Nina is a legend. One of the all time greats!

    • hunglikejesus January 4, 2013 at 9:40 AM #

      Yes she is. Ms. Nina and I go back a long time. Thank you for stopping by.

      I’m gonna have to check my alerts. I never seems to get notice when the blogs I follow post something new. I have been missing out on a lot of good material.

      • Kushite Prince January 4, 2013 at 3:05 PM #

        Yeah I hear you. What are your thoughts on Zoe Saldana playing her in that upcoming film? I think it was a total miscast myself. They could have gotten someone better in my opinion

        • hunglikejesus January 4, 2013 at 4:09 PM #

          So that I can remain somewhat codified, I’ll have to let my thoughts on that stay in my head for right now. BUT the reason I decided to do a post on Ms. Nina is because of that “movie”. I just saw today where Zoe is getting ready to or may have already married a white man. She has yet to receive her nigger wake up call as Ms. Truth would say.

          • Kushite Prince January 5, 2013 at 12:59 PM #

            She may have married a white guy. I wouldn’t be surprised. In the films Avatar,Star Trek and Colombiana she was with white men. She’s the “go-to interracial black woman” at the moment. She better enjoy her popularity while she can because her nigger wake up call is just around the

            • hunglikejesus January 5, 2013 at 1:03 PM #

              The real Ms. Nina was involved with a white man as well. Or at least I think he was white. I think she was manipulated a lot in her life and I would like to continue to believe that. Zoe on the other hand seems to take pride in being sexually sewered by white men, hell she even tells people she’s not Black. Yeah, a nigger wake up call is in the making. I wish I could see it.

              • Kushite Prince January 5, 2013 at 1:46 PM #

                I think I remember hearing she was involved with a white guy. I’ll have to research that. But I do know that Nina’s daughter says the Simone estate was not consulted for this film. I don’t think she’s happy about that at all. Here’s the link:


                • hunglikejesus January 5, 2013 at 2:23 PM #

                  I think Ms. Nina’s daughter is Halfikan. Not sure though and I don’t think her and mother got along well. I do know that daughter changed her name to Nina Simone to cash in on it I would think. The same thing happened with Alice Walker and her daughter who is also Halfikan, just as an aside.

                  • Kushite Prince January 5, 2013 at 2:58 PM #

                    Okay thanks for the info. That makes a little more sense to me now. It’s a shame when people try to cash in on a name.smh

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