Version 2.0

Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


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Monday, February 28, 2005

Lets talk about impure thoughts. Everyone has them, everybody struggles to not act
on them. Some of my 'best' impure thoughts drive me to write about them. Not all the
time, but for me, good ideas come from the lowest of the low. I'll try to make them
useful.

As I grow older, sex isn't as much of a thought driver as it used to be. For
some strange reason (not really strange, blame it on TV or something)
violence seems to plague my mind. I am not a violent person but I do have a
violent temper. I have placed that part of me in it's own special place... Any
angry tirade or temper tantrum is reserved for the person or persons that lay harm on
my loved ones. I have never had to snap off, I did in the past
because I didn't have control of my emotions - hell, I didn't understand them, so I just
reacted to whatever situation with all of the confusion and
misunderstanding that I harbored inside. I hurt people. I cannot do that
again. I will not do that again. The people closest to me are the most
important.

Now back to thought, recently I've been having major thoughts of my death. Now
check it, I do not want to kill myself, I just wonder about the
repercussions of suicide or something worse. I also think about the method,
time place and whether other folks would be around if it happened. Now all of
this was triggered after I watched the most recent Spike Lee joint "She Hate
Me". Critics panned this movie and said that it was very unwatchable, I
thought not. Other than "Girl 6", this was a serious dive into fantasy and
fiction but you know Spike, his social-political rant and personal opinion was
added and I thought it was refreshing. Scorcese and Tarantino do it all the
time, and don't get me started on Stanley Kubrick!!!

My thing is, this movie had a very serious influence on my thought process
for the last two weeks or so. Now I know that TV, videos and songs that folks are
singing these days are very demeaning, but I thought based on my
beliefs and upbringing that I would never be influenced by any of these
things. The movie plot was simple... Corporate greed leads to lies and
deceit. The board of a small, but up and coming blue chip corporation are developing a
drug that will curb the spread of the HIV virus and the stock has already gone public
and split. Now of course, the drug isn't ready for public consumption and the FDA
rejected the drug but the company lies to the public and says all systems go for a
global product release which causes a surge in stock value. The chief scientist has been
keeping a video journal of the corporate lies, gives it to the central character in the flick
and commits suicide. This is how the movie starts. Now this isn't what the movie is
about, but it is one hell of a subplot.

I notice that Shelton Benjamin Lee leads the viewer into the subplot before
he reveals the main, and this is necessary to the viewer who would want to
submerge themselves into the story. Spike's joints always have a plethora of
supporting characters in order to add authenticity, such as it is in reality. To
know that Hollywood puts films out where the lead never visits or calls his
grandmother is farce. Never mind the impossible that already happens in
American film.

OK, so I ventured off onto a tangent, it happens. I felt compelled to explain
my reasoning seeing as I am a film whore as well as all things gadget. I
meant to go into detail about how media influences us, and how our inner
most thoughts are based off of them. I never had an inkling to take my own
life... I never had the thought of giving up so easily like a coward. Although I
could use that winning lottery ticket like the next person, my struggles are
small potatoes compared to the next guy. Something after seeing this
particular flick compelled me to delve into unknown thoughts of death and
repercussions. I don't want to die, but the events that occurred after a
central figure to the movie's plot committed suicide were too powerful for me to
ignore, causing me to wonder about my family and small circle of friends.

I don't have many.
Do I need more?
What about my family... Would they care enough to "do something" on my
behalf?
Have I done enough with my life to feel satisfied about all that I've
accomplished?
Have I turned that corner... Do I know where the corner is?
How will my death affect my family, my friends, the world?
What must I do RIGHT NOW to feel that I have worth and accomplishment,
and will I know it when I see it?

You see what happened there? A movie, a piece of media influenced me to
the point that I thought very deeply about my mortal existence. I thought
about my death and what happens afterwards more in the past two weeks
than I ever have in my life, which made me question the influence of hip hop
even more. What triggered my mind to concentrate about death so much?
The suicide scene only played once, I didn't rewind or re-view the frames to
watch it again. It just stuck there so I wonder... How does a child process that
bitch/nigga/gangsta/materialism bullshit that most major record labels push down our
throats in mainstream America? How does a young brother or sister differentiate
between a woman and a bitch ass hoe? How does a sister find the balance of wanting a
responsible brother that will show respect and take care of home from some ballin' ass
nigga that'll kick her down with the dollars he won't trick off?

The reality of these lyrics aren't really real. Hip Hop's mainstream representation is
farce, it's been that way for quite some time now, and it a'int stopping until it can no
longer be sold. What happens to our precious culture after that is a good question,
because we think we know the answer, but nobody's saying. Words indeed have the
power of life and death, and incantation is how we program the mind to do or not to
do.

How much longer will you let your 3 year old niece back that thing up and think it's
cute that she knows the lyrics to whatever misoginistic cut is on the radio right now?
How much longer will sisters ask where the good men are and then lose thier damn
minds when "Soldier" plays cause' "that's thier song"? How many of my sisters will
continue to be bitches and get absolutely no respect due to hip hop conditioning?

How can hip hop thrive when hip hop is sick and not getting better?
How much longer must I wait to see the culture thrive in our hands?
When will we take it back, or will we let the music get rode out like jazz?
The influence is great, when will the spiritual platform get off the ground?
Where is the candidate representing hip hop on the major political tickets?
A Rap Consortium needs to be established (and I just created that, give me credit), we
need a more powerful hip hop think tank.
I will no longer let something I support and believe in and be ran up in like some
hoodrat.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Uncomfortable silence....

For the past two weeks, that's what it has been. I've missed posting, but
from food poisoning, eye problems and family tragedies, uncomfortable silence has been the standard and the norm for me.

I haven't communicated with friends and family, I injured myself and have been affected by other's actions...

I'm horny, and I haven't acted... I'm being tested...

Black history month is a sham, and I wish "we" could do something about it.

I'm disappointed and kind of depressed about nothing and everything in
general. My job sucks and my friends are busy... But I love the air I breathe and I am so grateful just to be here right now.

I miss Nicque and 'Tisha, haven't talked to them either.

I have had fun though. I did get in some quality time. I am in love with a
Cruzan. Tim Duncan for MVP!!!

But, I still remain silent. My life is weird right now.

My new job search has ended.

I only drink wine now, and I think it's too much sometimes...

A family member committed a crime, I think about his
freedom lost and appreciate mine

Those thoughts weren't serious... But when you're depressed, you DO
think about it.

I wonder what my beloved aunt would be doing right now... It's
been 5 months since her passing... a piece of me is gone and can't come back.

Do you think Hip Hop will come back?

What would have happened if G Dub WASN'T President? You must admit, the right choice was made at this point. Every man should allowed to clean up his mess.

I hope Jamie Foxx doesn't pull a Cuba Gooding Jr. Sunday. I don't know,
that statue is a mutha focker. It's like crack... It'll make you do things.

I'm laying in my bed right now typing this on my laptop... Loading my iPod with stuff, ignoring folks calling the celly... This is probably why I'm single. Too nerdy.


Tam gon' rock I'll next week... You'll see!

I wish... I had... More time

Monday, February 14, 2005

Peace and Blessings in the name of the most high...

I took a week off, but not by design. I didn't get a chance to work out,
didn't get a chance to blog to my site, I did work on my business plan but that was about it.

My Brother and sister in law gave birth to twins last Monday, from there,
the course of events that guided the wee was set from there. It seems
that everything I did last week was tied into either family, friends or duty
towards them. I am still tired, didn't get much sleep due to running to the
four corners of the earth, other than that, this week I cleanse, so it should be a fun read for you.

Thursday: Deep Tissue Massage
Colonic
Friday: Left eye lasik surgery
Sensory deprivation float
Saturday: Police department Exam (whatever!!!)
Baby Shower for the twins (it's still on)
Farewell party for my girl Ruthie
Sunday: Catching wrestling PPV with my dad

It seems that my time is something that no longer belongs to me
anymore. I am in the middle of plotting and strategizing to bring the good ish, and that seems to take up a lot of life space. I will get a chance to cleanse and get rubbed down later this week.

A three day workweek... Good ish.

I wanna open up to y'all... So I added a chat room and discussion board.
A lot of y'all have been speaking to me, some I haven't heard from in quite
some time. It's nice to know that The Creator has blessed you with health
and prosperity. I do have one wish, I wish that we can cross lines so the
forums emanate from there. Plus there is a podcast coming in a few where game will be chopped and topics will be covered that matter to those that exist in the same realm I do.

I was recently asked by coworkers who my favorite superhero was. I
really didn't think about it much, the answer came right out. My younger
brother. Now I do have an older brother, and he was definitely in the
running, but after further review, the former beat out the latter by a hair.

I sit back and watch this cat, and it's amazing how he (and my older
brother) does what his thing. He's a college student, husband, father of
three (him and my sister in law just had twins 02/07/2005) and has the
nerve to still be on the humble while providing and guiding life as well as
adding a little satisfaction to wifey (twins? Damn!!!)

I can actually recall my brother from day one. I remember my mom telling my older brother and I that she was pregnant (again!) and that four would be a good whole number (actually five, but my older sis was called home early and we were blessed by my aunt, but that's another story) and we ran with it. I remember him running and not walking his first steps, and him having to get entirely undressed just to use the bathroom.
He's always been independent of the others in a way that I really cannot
explain, where I am distant and come around only when I want to be
bothered, Lil Bruh' is always involved in family matters, but still is given the time to think and reflect alone, he is indeed a thinker.

I remember him and my litter sister becoming close, you can't separate
the two to this day! They protected each other in ways only a sibling can
do. You see, they grew up in a time different that I did, and I was either a
teenager doing my thang or an adult trying to establish said things, so I
was a big brother. I mention that because right before Lil' Bruh and sis
started to come of age, my parents split and fending for self was very
necessary. You see, I grew up with a father. If I needed guidance or to
relate to something, pops was there. As many ass whippings I got, I'm
glad he was there to set me straight. It didn't hit me that they were
without until I was overseas and unable to do anything about it. So I
came home.

When I got back from the military, I made sure that the foot was put
down. When it came to showing Lil Bruh and sis what not to do, I made it
clear. I realized that they were watching me with intense scrutiny, and I
had to make sure that an example was set on what a black man was to be. They kept me on point. I could not be seen as a failure in their eyes. My dad at that time was coming back from his drug problem, and my mom was working 16 to 20 hours a day. I would not have my kinfolk out on those streets. It would have broken my heart to have seen either one of them fail, and back in the day, my older brother was "assigned" my sister, Lil Bruh was mine.

When my girl and I hung out, my brother was there. When we made
those field trips that couples make, he was there. When he wasn't hanging out with us, he was involved either with church activities (him and my sister perfected this puppet ministry show and had a successful run) or with other members of the family. Much respect goes out to my Uncle Ed, who was a major role model for not just my brother but my cousins as well. He showed the boys in the family that a black man could achieve whatever through faith, hard work and respect. That and other things seemed to work.

Bruh had a hard time accepting the fact that pops couldn't make the time
due to working on self. My dad had to re-find himself, so for a little bit of
time (you know which years, the formulative teen ones), there was little
contact. Pops had beaten the habit, but being a black man in America,
starting from zero at his age was difficult to say the least, and it wasn't like we were all there for him at times. Just being honest... But he overcame. My brother saw this and had to respect and acknowledge it. We all bridged that gap with pops and I think it set the wheels in motion for my brother being a dad and a leader.

I watched him go thru the changes. I watched the struggle to stay off the
corner. I watched him go thru relationships. He handled himself better
than I did in those matters. Hell, I'm 34 and still without wife (by choice,
of course), that is based on choice. I watched him make the choice to
become husband. I did not know that he had it in him. I knew he was
ready, but he never showed doubt. That was faith, and he stepped out on
it. So far, so good. In his mind, he had already taken care of business
when it came to marriage and family because he had the examples right in front of him. My brother was working on hero status years ago.

Lil Bruh would call and ask questions after he got married. I could not
answer, he already knew so I had (still have to) play Morpheus to his Neo. He is the one, but he has to just believe in it and let go. Last Monday, I saw the look of fatigue and terror in his eyes, after his sons made it to this realm, I saw relief, but the fear was still there. It's supposed to be. I would be terrified too. 3 boys. 1 job. 1 wife. 2 years. I already see some of his thought. I already see some of the plan. Them boys gon' be alright because he already has taken care of them. His faith is working.

I enjoy him explaining his thought process, I majored in electrical
engineering, and so did he. He flexes his mathematical skills (yeah, twins) and damn near over analyzes almost everything to a fault. This is good, because as a young black man in America with a family, you gotta have survival down to a science. He maps, just like me (although I map more than dude in A Brilliant Mind - bothers folks) and his follow thru is certain. Now that he has kids, he really cannot fail. I watched this dude just jump in and hustle for that change, Bruh' is serious about his paper. He actually comes with an idea, goes somewhere to plot it out, speaks on it and jumps right in with the revised plan. I'm more cautious. I admire his bravery in taking risks, especially with a family.

One thing I especially like is his spirituality. Dude will not budge or
compromise his beliefs. This is my grandmother and my dad. The thought of my dad and how/what he believes damn near brings me to tears. Lil Bruh' sometimes questions his faith, and there were times where overstanding does not balance the under, but he knew that God will only give you what you must have and take things away with blunt swiftness. After seeing that look in his eyes Monday at the hospital, I know that his sons, my nephews are destined for greatness. This cat has the blessing of handing down all of the knowledge from parallel sides of two great black families. The balance has been handed to him. I think my role as advisor has officially ended. It is my brother a decade younger who I will now ask. Now there are things that he has yet to experience, but one must let a man travel his own path, so I step back.

Friday, February 11, 2005

In the words of our enlightened wayberarers, I greet you - Hotep!!!

What is your Life's Blueprint?

Note: Six months before he was assassinated, King spoke to a group of students at
Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia on October 26, 1967.

I want to ask you a question, and that is: What is your life's Blueprint?

Whenever a building is constructed, you usually have an architect who draws a
blueprint, and that blueprint serves as the pattern, as the guide, and a building is
not well erected without a good, solid blueprint.

Now each of you is in the process of building the structure of your lives, and the
question is whether you have a proper, a solid and a sound blueprint.

I want to suggest some of the things that should begin your life's blueprint. Number
one, in your life's blueprint, should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your worth
and your own somebodiness. Don't allow anybody to make you feel that you're
nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always
feel that your life has ultimate significance.

Secondly, in your life's blueprint you must have as the basic principle the
determination to achieve excellence in your various fields of endeavor. You're going
to be deciding as the days, as the years unfold what you will do in life-- what your
life's work will be. Set out to do it well.

And I say to you, my young friends, doors are opening to you - doors of
opportunities that were not open to your mothers and your fathers-- and the great
challenge facing you is to be ready to face these doors as they open.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great essayist, said in a lecture in 1871, "If a man can
write a better book or preach a better sermon or make a better mousetrap than his
neighbor, even if he builds his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten
path to his door."

This hasn't always been true-- but it will become increasingly true, and so I would
urge you to study hard, to burn the midnight oil; I would say to you, don't drop
out of school. I understand all the sociological reasons, but I urge you that in spite
of your economic plight, in spite of the situation that you're forced to live in-- stay
in school.

And when you discover what you will be in your life, set out to do it as if God
Almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. Don't just set out
to do a good job. Set out to do such a good job that the living, the dead or the
unborn couldn't do it any better.

If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted
pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like
Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare
wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have
to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. If you
can't be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley. Be be the best little
shrub on the side of the hill.

Be a bush if you can't be a tree. If you can't be a highway, just be a trail. If you
can't be a sun, be a star. For it isn't by size that you win or fail. Be the best of
whatever you are.

I lifted that from the estate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Designing a blueprint is simple. What I noticed is that getting the funding, finding
good laborers and obtaining reliable material to build is the difficult part. I found a
way to create a working budget, eliminate folks skimming off of my life's payroll and
have come with a working design that astounds even me. The hardest part is
feeling the need to go back and redesign something that was already approved in
said blueprint.

Sometimes I wanna go back and do things over. Not to impress or to relieve pain (I
think that's necessary for me to grow), but it was something that made me want to
live in that moment at that time. Whether it was the person, surroundings or
situation, sometimes I want to go there, but it is impossible to go back, so I reflect. I
remember smells, sounds and the feelings that I either shared or experienced. Feels
good sometimes, but then... WHAM!!! Reality sets back in and I see why I had to
abandon that previous design. I have never seen myself as a perfect person, hell at
one time I never even thought of myself. I just did things that I thought pleased
people, whoever they were.

I realize now why I felt unfulfilled and decided to do something about it. I rejoice in
the fact that I had the strength to act on my pain. It hurts that I have to hurt
those that don't understand. It also feels empty sometimes because some of them
folks were at my right hand. Now I stand alone. When alone becomes lonely due to
me cleaning house, I call on Him. I am provided with activity, good thought and the
voices of those no longer here to scold or guide me. I never knew how powerful it
was to stand in the presence of my Grandmother. I can still hear her! Freaks me out
sometimes, but she keeps me out of jams when my mind replays stuff I remember
her saying back in the day.

When I shop or am out alone spending money, I swear my Granddad is making
sure I don't get hustled because he was a hustler. I know that they're not voices in
the literal sense but I have thought, I comprehend it and it guides me away from
things/people/situations that can harm me. My decision making process is based on
my upbringing and surroundings, and even if your intentions are good, that portion
of my life may prevent you from getting close to me. This tells me that I must be
special.

God would never allow me be harmed if I choose his path. So far my actions have
kept me out of trouble. That doesn't mean that I won't encounter rough seas in the
future, but I know now that where I'm going feels right based on what or who I do.
That's not a typo. I've encountered the right people in my life at the wrong times.
Most of my relationships have been that way, but I learned from them.

Right now I choose to establish things that will help and not hurt. I know who my
biological daddy is, but I never chose to approach him seeing as he has never
approached me. My step dad loved my mother so much that he chose my brother
and I when he chose her. This man is my father and that's all I know. When my
mother remarried, the man that is she chose to spend her life with after him I
consider my stepfather. They both are God fearing, knowledgeable men that
became daddy and continue to shape my life. For that, I chose to ignore the so
called sperm donor. I realize now that this is not who he is, and I must get to know
this man as well.

Sometimes God will provide someone that will jump start your car battery when
you are stranded in the middle of a deserted area. This is what this man did for my
mom when they got together. He was sent to provide life and nothing else. I think
he did a great job (I mean, I am a handsome cat with loving friends and family... I
have accomplished some things) Now is my time to compliment him on doing just
that. Part of my design is to make sure all of the sub architects are re numerated
and appreciated for their work. I gotta go find George W. (his real name) and
intercede like the Lord has inspired me to.

When coming up with a blueprint, we must research. I gotta first find out why G
Dub (what I call him - Son of a Bush!) never felt like contacting me. 35 years and we
only spoke to each other a week before I graduated from the eighth grade. For
some reason I got mad and was never curious, but now, I am more about
completion than just wondering about the man who gave me my DNA. I wanna
connect because this is my design. Like Neo in "The Matrix", part of my design is to
go back to the source.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Have you ever met someone that you cannot
have? Have you ever felt someone that you
knew felt you back, but the whole scenario feels
like something from Erykah's "Next Lifetime"
video? This was my Saturday night. My super
bowl eve was spent in a place where I never
intended to meet someone I would feel.

Of course I would like to explore possibilities.
Of course I was stunned and amazed. Of course
I feel like building something after, you know.
Time is crucial and of the essence. It's the one
thing we don't get back... I try not to let past lives
affect my present and/or future. I have no hang
ups, but sometimes folks interpret my education
from the past as me living in them. An ex told
me "I don't do ex's" I agree. That's why they're
ex's, right?

There is a hurdle. Yes, there is a restriction. I
might not get the time I want to explore said
possibilities, and there might be a chance to do
just that but I must be patient. If not, I have
accepted things that I cannot have, but the
picture embedded in my mind has me thinking...
Hard.

Damn!

Did I mention that I was stunned?