New York Strip 🥩 ⏤ Vol 46
Summer is tomorrow. Get your life together with some of my favorite vibes.
Happy Juneteenth observation day! Hopefully, the company you work for decided to formally recognize today as a day off of work to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved Black people.
I first learned about what the day meant while living in Arizona during my adolescent years. My church always had a Juneteenth program and celebration I never missed. As a teen, I mainly attended because I knew all the cute boys would be there, but one year I listened and learned what the day meant and represented.
I am grateful that it is a federally recognized holiday, so “some” [Black] folks get the day off. I wish it stayed within our [Black] community because it’s become overly exploited now. Businesses are giving us Juneteenth “inspired” things we never asked for.
This awesome article written by The Root last year gave me a good chuckle on how to make Juneteenth great again, the Caucasians Guide. 😂
Let’s get into our topics:
I was more excited to celebrate Father’s Day than Mother’s Day. I haven’t been able to celebrate Father’s Day since 2001. The last Father’s Day I celebrated, my Dad was very sick; three months later, he passed.
Since then, it’s always been a holiday I was sensitive to, similar to father-daughter dances at weddings. While I can still celebrate my father, it’s not the same without him. So when Julian and I met, actually on our very first date, we, unfortunately, discovered we shared this loss. And ever since, we celebrated Father’s Day with a commemorative meal at a fine restaurant, toasting to our dads.
We still do that, but now we get to experience celebrating the day with him as a dad.
Yesterday was special. Seeing Julian with our son overjoys me with emotions. Getting to this point as parents was no easy feat for us.
We had a miscarriage in December of 2020, leading me to emergency surgery the day after my birthday, Christmas Eve. While miscarriages are more common than I thought, I just knew it was my fault when it wasn’t. I wish more women talked about this experience. You never know who will understand you.
I was excited to be a mom but even more excited to make Julian a dad. He didn’t get to spend as much time with his father as I did with mine. I wanted to give him that experience badly, and when it was taken away from us, it hit me very hard.
But just five short (it didn’t seem short in the moment) months later, we found out I was pregnant, and it was the week right before Father’s Day!
So during our Father’s Day Brunch in 2021, I gave a little toast to my husband because I prayed this time would be different. I was right.
Holidays celebrating loved ones, whether it’s Mother’s or Father’s Day, a birthday, an anniversary, or something else, can be tough when you’ve experienced a loss. Give yourself some grace; it will get better with time.
Happy Father’s Day to all of the amazing Dad’s out there. Your little [big] ones are so lucky to have him in their life, no matter the age.
Summer officially starts tomorrow, but here in South Carolina, summer BEEN here. We’ve had at least seven 100+ degree days in the past two weeks. Like it’s hot AF.
I love our extended springs and summers in this state, but our summer months can be brutal. The heat + the humidity is a recipe for disaster. It wasn’t even this hot when I lived in Arizona. That dry heat hits different.
So in honor of summer kicking off, let’s talk about some of my favorite songs of the early 00s and a couple from the 90s that sound just a little bit better when the sun is shining bright.
I am sure I will say “vibe” a gazillion times; deal with it.
Real Love - Mary J. Blige (1992)
Mary has hits for days. Most of my favorites aren’t songs I would be quick to turn on at a summertime cookout, but this one always picks up the energy when it’s played. Plus, I LOVE the extremely Black baseball jersey’s she and the dancers are wearing in this video, especially the one with the X on the chest. ✊🏾
When I hear this song, I want to have finger waves, airbrush nails, brown lip liner with lip gloss from the beauty supply store and walk around Baltimore in jelly heels. A vibe.
My absolute favorite Foxy Brown song.
Before I even ventured to Brooklyn, this song made me feel like I was on the block in Brooklyn, hanging on a random stoop listening to a boombox. The mix of hip-hop and reggae gets me every time. Ever been in a club in New York when this song comes on? It’s one of those you gotta be there moments.
Why Don’t We Fall In Love - Amerie (2002)
Why Don’t we Fall in Love was Amerie’s first single. What a way to hop on the scene.
Though the song dropped in April of ’02, when the music video hit in June, it became the song of the summer and summers to come. When the beat drops, you feel like you are outside soaking up summer rays.
I think Amerie is an underrated artist. Her first two albums are excellent. Songs like Talking to Me, Nothing Like Loving You, I Just Died, Float, All I Have from her first album and Like It Used to Be, Rolling Down My Face, and Falling from her second…fucking GREAT music.
Her third album was meh, but then she returned with the 4th, In Love & War, in 2009. The Flowers is one of the best songs on the entire album. This song will hit you.
Slow Motion - Juvenile, Soulja Slim (2004)
Fun Fact - Slow Motion is Juvi’s ONLY #1 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song hit the airwaves on March 1, 2004. Soulja Slim didn’t even get to live to see the success of this song. He was murdered on the front lawn of his mother and stepfather’s home on November 26, 2003.
And if you remember the music video, everyone had a R.I.P Soulja Slim tall tee on. Y’all remember the tall tee era?!
This song would get played at house parties. And you would be dancing, trying to be cute and shit to attract whoever you were crushing on.
Tell Me - Bobby Valentino (2005)
We were first introduced to Bobby V by way of the group Mista and their only hit Blackberry Molasses, which I featured in Volume 1 of Monday Lunch! Whew, such a long time ago. Shout out to all the OG Monday Lunchers!
This song is a summer R&B vibe that will never go out of style. Spring Break ’07 me and my girls went to Miami and ran into Bobby V at some club. Without any regard, we ran up to him and shoved a camera in his face. Ha!
Summer Wit’ Miami - Jim Jones (2005)
The title says it all, but Jimmy had to know when this song dropped that it would be a summer classic. And he picked the RIGHT R&B artist to sing on the hook.
Summer has not started until you play this song while riding with the windows or top-down if your car allows. This song hits any time of the year, but it’s an ultimate summer vibe.
I remember Howard Homecoming ’06, my line sister and I ended up partying with Jimmy at H20 on the OLD DC waterfront. This is before they gentrified it and called it the Wharf; the yts were nowhere to be found.
Btw, has Jimmy married Chrissy yet?! I will never forget the first season of Love & Hip Hop when she dragged Kimbella off that couch. I need to go back and watch that season.
Ross's third album, Deeper Than Rap, might be my favorite, but his first two are also classics.
Yacht Club wasn’t a released single from this album, but its vibe. When I play this song, I feel like I am riding around Miami in a yacht drinking Champagne, dressed head to toe in Versace.
Cigar Music, another non-single from this album, is also a favorite. His music makes me feel rich when I listen to it, similar to BIG. But Ross makes me feel drug dealer rich even though it came out that he was the po-po years back! Haha.
A line in this song says, “She's only 23, but ahead of her time; she's the Dream of a billion men." It would make me hit the back button to repeat the song.
When this song came out, I was 23, bought a new two-seater, had my own apartment with no roommate, and finally made decent money at my job. I was living my best GOT damn life in Atlanta, hanging out at the best clubs with the most elite crowds. You couldn’t tell me shit.
So when I heard this song while listening to The-Dream’s second album, I was immediately hooked. I ended up naming my car Fancy.
This song reminds me of summer because of Memorial Day weekend in Vegas. The year was 2010, and my besties and I had the time of our LIFE; OKAY! This song had just dropped, and every single pool party or club played this song over and over again.
Every time I hear this song, I think of sunny hot Vegas and all the shenanigans we got into that weekend. #GreatMemories
Honorable mention to LMFAO’s Shots feat. Lil’ Jon. That was another Vegas staple song; you were taking shots when this song came on, whether you liked it or not.
Well my friend our summer lunch today was fun, right? Hopefully I gave you some good energy and musical vibes to get you through this work week. Don’t push yourself too hard out here. Life shouldn’t be on 1000 all the time.
See you next month! xo, Jemia
P.S. A few Jems💎 for you:
Halftime - A Netflix documentary on J.Lo turning 50 and performing at the Super Bowl in 2019.
Roadrunner - A HBO documentary on the life and tragic downfall of Anthony Bourdain. I learned a lot about his life and the darkness he carried around with him. A sad tale, but great storytelling!
P.P.S. Today’s lunch is actually what we are having for dinner tonight. But you know some of you have Monday Lunch for dinner sometimes, so same thing. 🙃