The Beauty of Helen

The Beauty of Helen

The ever talented British/Nigerian woman known as Helen Folasade Adu has made it into the hearts of many people who are passionate about music, soulful jazz, strength and beauty, and so on. Born on January 16th, 1959, Helen was destined for greatness. In 1983, she and a few members of the band ‘Pride’ split and formed their own band named Sade. They caught the attention of Record labels and became famous from their hit song titled “Smooth Operator”. Their first album, Diamond Life, was released in 1984, and they became big immediately. No one dead or alive could doubt the talents of this amazing lead singer. 


The first time I remember hearing Sade was with my uncle in his car. He would like to take my cousin, sister, and myself on car rides frequently. Sometimes, just to ride around, sometimes to bring us various places. Most of my music taste comes from him. He would play a very wide variety of old school and underground hip hop, soul and r&b. You know, the good stuff. On occasion, he would put on a beat and freestyle about literally anything that he saw and he was actually very good. We tried every now and then and got only two lines in before we realized we couldn’t rhyme to save our lives. Nothing has changed. Anyway, there was this one time in particular where he put on this new album I had never heard and a saxophone started playing. After the intro, all I heard in the most blissful and angelic way was “This May come... This may come as some surprise... but I missed you.” and the song played on. I was a child, I had no idea what the hell I was listening to. All I knew was that this was one of the most beautiful voices I had ever heard, and that stays true to this day. The song reached the chorus in a climactic crescendo and it cuts abruptly to silence and then you hear, “Is it a crime?” That particular memory has stuck with me all of these years and I wouldn’t forget it for the life of me. It brings me back to a joyous moment in my youth, and I fully owe it to my uncle for exposing me to such an amazing artist. Several years later, one man. One pencil. One dream. One reality. All of these things combine to bring you the Sweet Taboo Pin, available to purchase over at our shop. Get one if you enjoy Helen as much as I do!


Oh, and by the way

I can rhyme, I do it all the time.

May 15, 2018 — Byron Laurent Jr


Hey guys! Here we are on the 14th of May, one day before our one month anniversary. It’s been one hell of a road! Jared and I have attempted plenty of business ventures/art projects since we became friends over a decade ago. Those range from website design to making YouTube content, podcasts, essentially a wide variety of entertainment and media projects. A lot of these projects had varying success, and I will leave it at that...  Either way, here we are coming to you behind the business name of Thenamel. I cannot speak directly for Jared, but I know for sure that this business venture of ours in particular is the best one for me. I love digital design, and I have recently learned that I certainly have a bit of a passion for entrepreneurialism. And, if it isn’t obvious, I have fallen in love with both the collection and production of lapel pins. Weirdly enough, what got me into creating a pin business was mainly fueled by my desire to save money on buying pins, and making pins that I know I could enjoy and have others enjoy as well. I won’t say too much more, as I have much more to talk about in later posts, but I will say that you should expect us to be around for a while and you will hear about us for as long as we don’t get shut down by net neutrality. See you later!



May 14, 2018 — Byron Laurent Jr