Two Headed Monsters by Butch Ford

the ojays

Two Headed Monsters by Butch Ford

As I sit here reminiscing about days long since passed (I’m just nostalgic that way). I began to hum a few classic oldies but goodies to myself, which brought about a debate I had with some friends a while ago.  The conversation was about…who we believed the greatest “One-Two Punch” in R&B history was.

The 70’s and 80’s brought about some undeniable timeless pieces…delivered by some of the most gifted & phenomenal singers.  And by “One-Two Punch” I mean a duo or tandem within a group or band that brought different flavors or elements to the music (within that unit) that we all grew to love.  The three choices that were mentioned most were: The O’Jays, The Whispers and Earth Wind & Fire.  Let’s settle this once and for all.

First was the O’Jays, with the sweet, smooth silkiness of Walter Williams, in direct contrast with the rugged, I didn’t come here to fuck around with y’all, begging & pleading delivery of Eddie Levert.  Great choice.  Next, was the identical twins Walter and Wallace (Scotty) Scott from The Whispers.  It was magical…almost mystical how they seamlessly and effortlessly dazzled us by swapping lines and alternating powerful individual lead parts with flawless, deceptive unison. Can’t argue that choice either.  Then there’s Earth Wind & Fire’s co-lead vocalists, the incomparable Maurice White (baritone) and the dynamic Philip Bailey (1st tenor) who provided another whirlwind “two headed monster” worthy of being crowned the greatest of all time, as well.  EWF’s genius touched our spirits and souls on some other level. Didn’t it?  To be honest, you can’t go wrong with either of these choices.  BUT WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE TANDEM???  And why?  Is it one of the groups mentioned above?  Or are we sleeping on some folks?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention The Hutchinson sisters, Wanda and Sheila of The Emotions; Bobby Smith and Phillipe Wynne of The Spinners; Ron Banks and LJ Reynolds of The Dramatics & Alfa Anderson and Luci Martin of Chic…who were all spectacular in their own right.  And if there’s anyone else I failed to mention, it’s probably because they had one primary lead vocalist during their run, which doesn’t qualify them as a tandem.  So…no shade intended towards anyone whatsoever.

But I’d like to know everyone else’s thoughts.  Who do you believe the greatest One-Two Punch in R&B History is?  Let’s have some fun with this.


Butch Ford



Mamba…Out! by Butch Ford

Kobe Bryant
Mamba…Out! by Butch Ford

Sunday January 26, 2020…A day we’ll all remember; where we were, what we were doing and how we felt upon hearing the devastating news of the helicopter accident that claimed the lives of Los Angeles Lakers’ Great Kobe Bryant, his 13 year old daughter, Gianna, her friend Alyssa, her parents John & Keri Altobelli and the pilot, in Calabasas, California.

I’d reserved my thoughts, feelings and comments until after I was able to process everything.  But as my timeline began to flood, my phone began to ring and my messages began to mount. I took time to reflect on my numerous memories and the unbelievable career accomplishments of the man nicknamed, The Black Mamba.  Kobe was an 18 time All-Star, a 5 time NBA Champion and the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player. He entered the NBA as a teenager from Lower Merion High School (Pennsylvania) in 1996 and dazzled us for 20 incredible seasons.

Widely regarded as an All-Time NBA Great, Bryant leaves his wife Vanessa, three daughters, his parents, The NBA Fraternity and an entire world of fans to mourn his untimely demise.  The Altobelli’s were survived by a son and a daughter.  This was truly a sad day.  Let’s pray for healing, strength and courage for the families.  And let’s take better care of each other.  For none of us know the day, the hour or the time we’re gonna be called home.  God Bless Us All.



Drop that 0 and Find a HERO! by Klassy K

Drop that Zero

Drop that 0 and Find a HERO! by Klassy K

Home Skillets! In my Martin Lawrence voice, “What’s up, What’s up, Whaaaaat’s Up!” Well, I’ll tell you, absolutely nothing! University of Michigan got STOMPED by Alabama State University 16-35.  Yeah, I know it was like weeks ago, but I’m still trying to pick up my face. I went to church that Sunday, cause my soul could not believe that U of M lost that game. I even asked the choir to play that gospel song that would go well with the U of M game. Well, you guessed it, they played Kirk Franklin’s “Stomp.”  I’m still singing Kirk Franklin’s song, “Annie say, Stomp, granny say, Stomp, everybody say, Stomp.” Well, you guys get the picture.

University of Michigan ranks 14 currently 9-4.  Maybe they will get their redemption at a bowl or something because the Crimson was just Tide of them and beat them. If University of Michigan, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Titans, Michigan State University and lastly the Detroit Pistons records were combined all together, we would be the greatest teams of all times. Well, a girl could dream.

Do you know what I think? It is time for a fresh start, the Detroit Pistons are 17-28 ranking 9th in the Eastern Conference.  So, let me break that down on how bad they are. If the Playoffs were this month, they wouldn’t even place. Only the top 8 team(s) from both Western and Eastern would qualify and they are slightly below. I watched this past game when the Pistons played the Sacramento Kings. They beat them. In my opinion, kind of looked like a practice game because the “Little” Caesars Arena had just that many fans in the stands. The owner should just randomly throw tickets around the state of Michigan.  He could have a special buy 5 tickets, get 10 tickets free, instead of just giving free tickets to charities, or giveaways and or calling previous people that have bought tickets and see if they would like to purchase tickets at a discounted price. Yes, true story, “someone” from the organization contacted me to offer me a package where I can get floor 100 section seats for the price of 200 section seats. They called me so much, I had to block their number. Now home skillet, I haven’t purchased tickets since they moved to the Little Caesars Arena.

Like I stated the Pistons played Sacramento Kings yesterday and beat them 106-127.  Now, the point leaders were Markieff Morris, Derrick Rose (you KNOW) and Christian Wood. Did you notice Reggie, Blake and Andre were not mentioned? You know why, because they didn’t play. Blake is injured and out for the WHOLE season. Yeah, the MILLION-dollar man! You know how much Billionaire Tom paid Blake and look at him nursing his knee in Punta Cana with his baby momma, sike! Naw, he is at his second home in Los Angeles watching Power and trying to find out “who shot GHOST”. Well, I’m only kidding. What do I know?

Well I’ll tell you what I do know is that next summer Andre Drummond will be a free agent. In case you may not know who he is, he is the dangly looking guy, tall, kind of janky that proudly wears the number “0” on his jersey. I am praying to God that the owners, managers, cheerleaders, concession stand, etc. do not re-sign him. Let him go, like the movie “Frozen.”  “Drop” him, like in the song by DJ Magic Mike! Well, you get the point. We need a HERO!  If you remembered a long time ago when I wrote my opinionated article about Blake Griffin, I thought he was going to be the Savior, but God said, “no not today or any other day.”  There can only be One David Ruff–, no Savior. I was having a flashback about the movie “The Temptations.”  Well, I hope Tom does not get tempted to re-sign number “0”, because we could sure use a HERO.

I don’t know what player(s) are going to be available for owners to sign for next year, but who wants to come here anyway? They should listen to T Baby’s, “It’s so cold in the D.” Maybe they need to watch the video because I’m sorry walking in the cemetery and seeing a homeless man on the floor is not going to be a deal-breaker.

Well, if you are still a believer in your Piston team, like you were with the Detroit Lions…..  Say what are they doing anyway? To be honest, they don’t even deserve to be mentioned in this article with their 3-12-1 ass! They couldn’t even win the last and final game. At least give the fans some hope for next year. Check out the Pistons on my hubby birthday, Friday, January 24, against the Grizzlies, or you can watch it on FSSE or Fox Sports Detroit. You can also check out your other favorite sports team:

Detroit Red Wings:, Detroit Titans:, Michigan State University:, University of Michigan:, or hell just Google!

Klassy K’s Sports Korner: A contributor writer for


R & B Church by Butch Ford

Frankie Beverly

R & B Church by Butch Ford

Does the name Howard Beverly ring a bell?  Probably not.  Well…he’s a multi-instrumentalist, singer, writer and producer from Philadelphia, PA.  He started do-wapping (harmonizing) on the tough streets with friends and composing songs in the early 60’s.

Beverly later changed his name to Frankie after his favorite singer Frankie Lymon, formed a band called Raw Soul, moved to California with the hopes of making it big.  After a few years of playing small bars around town, Marvin Gaye sat in on a set one evening.  He saw potential in the band.  He took them under his wing, talked the group into changing their name and the magic began.

The newly christened Maze led by Frankie Beverly started creating a buzz in the urban markets.  We soon fell in love with the silky, soulful voice and hits such as, “Happy Feelings”, “Joy & Pain” and “Before I Let Go.”  1993 was the last year Maze released a studio album, but they continue to sell out everything from dinner clubs to 20,000 seat arenas.

If you’ve never had the honor or distinct pleasure to experience a live Maze concert…please do yourself a favor?  Frankie comes on stage to thunderous applause and from the opening number, the audience is on their feet.  Eyes are closed, arms are swaying left to right in unison and if you’re completely quiet and still for a few seconds it sounds like a mass choir.  The feeling is overwhelming.  It’s hard to put into words.  I refer to it as R&B Church.  It’s simply beautiful.


Butch Ford


A Wicked World by Butch Ford





A Wicked World by Butch Ford

There have been several reports of some 64,000+ African American women currently missing in the United States.  Yet another problem that’s very troubling and disturbs me deeply.  I don’t even know where to begin.

I started hearing about human trafficking a few years ago but didn’t exactly know what to think of it all.  It took a while to process.  I couldn’t decipher if it was fallacy or some twisted form of reality.  And it continues to baffle me today.  After extensive research, I learned that it’s the kidnapping of our women for the illegal sex trade and the selling of human organs on the black market.

Evidently, people have been hired to snatch other human beings from public areas and use them for unspeakable acts.  Individuals are also being murdered and sold for their internal organs.  It’s a sick, satanic scheme for profit designed to bypass and flat out ignore the traditional organ donation process and donor transplant regulations.

As parents, educators, law enforcement and community leaders, WE MUST find a solution to this horrible epidemic.  We’re losing…and have lost countless loved ones at an alarming rate at the hands of these monsters.  And sadly, I’ve only seen and read about African Americans victimizing OUR OWN women!  The bigger question is…who are they working for?  Who’s behind this deviant criminal enterprise?

We must always be on guard. Traffickers have been reported being seen in school zones, outside of malls, around night clubs and even randomly in neighborhoods.  It’s our responsibility to protect our females and deter these awful crimes of occurring.  This is truly a wicked world we live in.


Butch Ford


Genocide by Butch Ford

Genocide by Butch Ford

Genocide is defined as “the deliberate killing of a large group of people.  Especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.”

As I travel the highways and byways of this journey called life, I’m looking at things through a not-so-rosy set of lenses.  Maybe it has something to do with my growth and maturity, which have exceeded even my own expectations.  In fact, my attitude and thought process resemble my cantankerous grandfather’s Alfred L. Ford Sr., who went home to glory over 35 years ago.  I’ll speak more about him at another time.

But today I’d like to discuss some very disturbing facts about what’s going on in our community.  I’ll put this in question form…which means they are merely rhetorical and are designed to provoke thought.  Here are a few of the obvious truths:  Why are there liquor stores strategically placed on every corner in urban USA?  But not in the suburban neighborhoods.  With dispensaries popping up all over the place, does this mean that prospective employers will ignore positive drug tests now that recreational marijuana is legal?  Why are dollar stores selling below market value items and products that are of poor quality?

Now let’s look at some of the more subtle realities that I believe are designed to take us out, as well.  In the inner-city Quick Marts & Party Stores, why are the 2 for $1 snacks (Honey Buns, donuts, cupcakes, fruit pies) full of poisonous/toxic ingredients?  Just check the labels.  Why are “Flaming Hot” items and .25 candy NOT sold outside of the city?  Why were value menus created at Fast Food Establishments?  And what quality of food is being served?

Why are the parks and recreation centers closed?  Why were the extracurricular activities removed from schools?  Why are all media outlets geared towards drugs, violence and evil?  I’m not trying to stir up controversy.  I’m just curious as to why this is happening in my community.  It’s sad…and we’re all being cheated.  But why is that?  Is there a larger plan that we aren’t aware of?  I’d love to know.


Butch Ford



The Sad Truth by Butch Ford



The Sad Truth by Butch Ford

One year after the release of the 2018 critically acclaimed docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly”, the Lifetime Network has released its follow-up.  If you’re unfamiliar with the story, it chronicles the alleged sexual assault allegations by dozens of women who claim to have suffered sexual and physical abuse at the hands of R&B star Robert Sylvester Kelly for the better part of three decades.  Old “survivors” returned to update their stories, while new victims have emerged to tell theirs.

Part two of the documentary doesn’t appear to have garnered the ratings or the attention of its predecessor, but is just as alarming…in my opinion.  Kelly is currently being held in a Federal Correctional Facility outside of Chicago as he awaits trial later this year.  Part one of the docuseries had us all in an uproar.  Some were appalled by the allegations against the embattled singer, while his die-hard fans refused to waver and defended him totally.

I’m sickened by the allegations and have used this ordeal to further educate my daughters, colleagues, relatives and friends.  This extends way beyond music and is a very serious issue in The African American community.  People should know about the predatory nature of these animals in our society, today.  With so much access to our daily routine and personal lives, due to the digital age, security is paramount.  We should be more proactive and have plans in place to avoid being victims of these crimes.

I’m not here to judge Mr. Kelly, but as a father of young daughters, I do have strong feelings of discontent regarding his alleged pattern of abuse towards our young black women.  Personally, I don’t believe that 48+ women are all lying.  This could be any one of us in this position; pleading for the safe return of our daughters, reaching out for help from the local authorities to address this systematic problem, or seeking the necessary resources to heal our damaged children upon their return.

What are your thoughts on the matter?  Share with us.  And let’s pray for the victims and their families.

Butch Ford


Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels



What’s going to keep you going in the New Year? Chellyz View

Woman Thinking

What’s going to keep you going in the New Year? Chellyz View

It’s a New Year!  I know you have seen and heard all the Hoopla.  “New Year, New Me.”  “2020, is my Year.” “No negativity in the New Year!”  So forth…so forth… and so forth.  What happens by the fourth or fifth of January or maybe even on the first?  We made a ton of resolutions then have a heavy heart because we don’t live up to them.  Well, I am going to keep this post plain and simple.  Stop throwing all those resolutions out there that you can’t handle.  Don’t you know they will return like a boomerang and hit you right in the face.  Booyah!  At that point you are feeling the burdens of self-defeat and depression.  What should you do instead?  Hey, I’m no expert but I would like to share three quick tips that have been helping me over the years.

Just try to be the best version of you!

I know it sounds cliché, but it’s so true.  You’ve read about this phrase in other articles.  Life is not perfect.  Neither am I or You.  Lord knows throughout my 40 plus years the life I have lived has not been stellar.   I haven’t always been the best daughter, mother, wife, sister, friend or well you get the picture.  Kodak moments haven’t always been displayed on the mantle of the fireplace or in my mind.  However, what I have decided to do is be the best version of myself.  No imitation.  No fakeness.  Just me.

I will strive to make wiser and better choices moving forward while packing plenty of prayer, patience, hopefulness, understanding, and positivity.  Most definitely, more common sense.  Hey, Donnie McClurkin sang it best, “We fall down, but we get up.”  I don’t care how many times you must repeat the cycle.  Learn to get back up and stand tall each time you may fall or fail.

Don’t stay in a place of Darkness!

Whether we want to admit it or not, life goes by quicker than we expected the older we become.  What happens?  Losses.  Loss of jobs, loved ones, self-confidence, wealth, social status, relationships etc…  Sometimes it feels like there are more losses than gains which may lead us to a dark place.  I don’t know if you are in a spiritual place or not.  Over the past two years, I had the opportunity to participate in a wonderful Biblical Bible class at Zion Hope in Detroit, MI.  Looking forward to year three!!!!   One of the recurring themes I have learned from the classes is if you have ever felt defeated in life or if you feel the enemy is always on your heels, don’t stay in a place of darkness.

Yes, it is alright to feel sad, it is alright to cry, and it is alright to go through the motions.  However, there is peace waiting for you. You must be the one willing to accept and welcome the light in your life.  Find what brings you solitude and solidifies your faith.  It might be through meditation and/or prayer, finding a support group, yoga, or finding a hobby that brings you joy.  Discover what brings you a sense of fulfillment to remove the emptiness and get out of the darkness.

Positive Affirmations over Resolutions

I probably wrote about this last year in another post.  I know some of you may have heard me say this time and time again.  It is only a suggestion, but it is a method I have adopted over the years.  Try writing positive affirmations over swearing to adopt disappointing resolutions.  Make a list of positive affirmations. Believe in them when you read them out loud.  Here a few of my affirmations:  I will be a good steward over my money and reduce debt in my life.  I am purposeful and will utilize the gifts the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon me to make the universe a better place for myself and others.  My temple is valuable, and I will commit to participating in activities that will keep me healthy and strong.  Now you make your own and revise as needed!  No pressure, and no race to the finish line.  Just believe in your worth!

We are Human

I hope these few suggestions have encouraged you.  Remember, we are HUMAN.  There will always be trials, issues, and a battle that will try to knock us of our game.  The key is to establish ground rules, and develop coping mechanisms that will help you survive throughout this year and the years ahead.  I truly hope you have a peaceful and successful New Year.  Thanks for your support throughout the years. If you ever need a conversation and a pep talk to keep you going, A Heart Full of Conversations is here!  Until next time…

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

McClurkin, Donnie.  “We Fall Down.”  Live in London and More.  Verity Records, 2000.
Photo cred:  Photo by Tachina Lee on Unsplash






Twenty 20 by Butch Ford

Twenty 20 by Butch Ford

As we kick off a New Year and New Decade, I’d like to get something off my chest that’s been weighing heavily on me for some time now.  With the rash of kidnappings, infestation of drugs, poverty and crime in our communities, I thought about how things were for generations past.  Check it out and tell me what you think?

“Mother, mother there’s too many of you crying.  Brother, brother, brother there’s far too many of you dying.  You know we’ve got to find a way…to bring some lovin’ here today.”

“Thousands of lives wasting away…people living from day to day.  It’s a challenge just staying alive.  Cuz in the ghetto, only the strong survive.  Broken down homes, kids strung out…they don’t know what life’s all about.  Stealing cars, robbing bars, mugging, drugs, rat infested.  And no one’s interested.”

“Her brother’s smart.  He’s got more sense than many.  His patience’s long… but soon he won’t have any.  To find a job is like a haystack needle.  Cause where he lives they don’t use colored people.”

These are a compilation of lyrics from Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” (1971), The Temptation’s “Masterpiece” (1973) and Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City” (1973).  All written 45+ years ago but still quite relevant in today.

It’s scary that nearly 50 years have passed and we’re no closer to the dream that MLK spoke of.  We’re not unified like our forefathers taught us to be.  Nor are we trying to make a difference to others.  It’s 2020 my people.  Not 1970.  We’ve got to get it together.  AND FAST!!!


Butch Ford



Gaye, Marvin.  “What’s Going On.”  What’s Going On.  Tamla, 1971.

The Temptations.  “Masterpiece.”  Masterpiece.  Motown/Universal, 1973.

Wonder, Stevie.  “Living for the City.”  Innervisions.  Tamla, 1973.

Photo Cred:  Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash