Teena Marie used to remind me of Saturday mornings around the homestead when my mother would click off the television, thus ending our cartoon marathon, and blast the It Must Be Magic album from the stereo speakers. It was our cue that mommy-time has arrived and we better start our choirs.
It would take years for me to disassociate Square Biz with Pine-Sol and Scrubbing Bubbles - not until I was a junior in high school, when If I Were A Bell became the signature anecdote to my first experience with love - and heartache.
And then again as a freshman in college, feeling homesick and the likes. I remember ordering her "Best Of" album from one of those mail-order music buying clubs (you know the clubs, where you get 10 CDs or cassette tapes for a penny?). I played DeJa Vu' so many times that one day, one of my college roommates asked me about my obsession with this "white girl."
Teena Marie; a white girl? Nawh. She's just light-skinned.
As pointed out by my girl, Summer M, of Black Youth Project:
"Perhaps my mourning leads to more hyperbole than usual, but the term “blue-eyed soul” does not apply to Teena Marie. Hall & Oates? Yes. Lisa Stansfield? Sure. Amy Winehouse? Yep. But Teena Marie? Nope. I’m not the one to deny that ‘hood passes have been issued and/or revoked--because they have. But Teena Marie was never issued one. ‘Hood passes are for those just passing through, for those appropriating aspects of black culture for a hit or two, in search of some “street cred” and nothing more but a side-eye from the natives. Not Teena Marie. Teena Marie lived there, with us, and she never left. (Which is probably why some of my white readers--if I have any--may have had to employ Google by the end of my first paragraph. There are no hyperlinks to biographies in this entry, you either know or you don’t.) Square biz."