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


.
.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

See You At The Crossroads

Let's talk about my life.

I'm a young black man from the hood that made it out of the belly of the beast, went to college and the military and "made it" out. You know, out of the hood, out of my 20's (cause' we ain't supposed to make it, right?), made it to this point without scattering babies across the planet and got out of my momma's house. Right, I hear ya'... give that nigga a cookie!

Now that I made it past all of these so-called obstacles, I want to spend my time doing things worthwhile and satisfying. Here's where the problem begins... I don't know where to start.

Now if I wasn't a whore to corporate America, I would definitely be in Louisiana doing whatever I could to help them folks get back on their feet. If you haven't noticed from the hurricane news feeds most of the folks displaced by Katrina are brothers and sisters. Jobs lost, homes destroyed, schools gone. I wish I had the loot to set up shop for our people. It's gonna be a wild ass fall/winter season for our cousins down south. We cannot just sit here and watch this shit go gown negatively for cuzzo and em' without doing something...

I am currently writing and composing for future projects. That ish is easy. For the first time in my life I'm working with a part time muse (never had a part time muse). I have strong interest in this sista, but there is a little apprehension and fear to dive in right now so I respect that and continue to try to move forward the best I can. But that's where it starts...

My current wish list has "Wanted: Full-time muse with no hang ups wishing to spend time doing whatever, possibly leading to some long term ish" in its number one spot. It is very hard for a single brother that has never been married and has no kids at my age to land that particular wish. Either a sister thinks that something is broken, I was a part of some religious sect that forbade contact with women or I am some crazy-ass abusive cat that swung myself single in some way shape form or fashion. This is so far from the truth. But when a sister asks and she hears that I have no shorties, no jail record or previous marriages I get this twisted face thingee and a long ass stare...

I am currently planning to leave the corporate world for something more like what I want to do. For a cat my age to want to do that without a ton of cash saved up (and be black) is damn near impossible. And just like Skinny Black said, "everybody has to have a dream". I dream of running my own business in my own quirky ass way of doing shit. Doing this is not as impossible as one thinks, but once again, my skin color, belief system, hairstyle and age comes into question when I lay some (not all) of my plans to some of my people. And once again, some sistas give me the gas face and the blank stare...

I'm bored with my life right now. Work is damn near on automatic; the (vital) bills get paid. I travel sometimes and I do get out and about. My attempts to shake things up have a lot to do with my music and writing ventures, but I feel that I need more. Right now, I am yearning for some kind of adventure to just drop in my lap. But it'll mean nothing if I can't share...

I am at a crossroads right now in life and I'm wondering if I should just start the trip alone or if I should at least screen some companion candidates for the trip. I got a strange feeling once I get things going with my business ventures and art that I won't have time to really put into a relationship. For the past couple of years I've been moving to this point alone and I would really like to share what I already have with someone, but I do have the option to shut that love thing down and put all of my focus into the new definition of me.

I've always moved with someone there. It's felt a little strange moving alone for the time I have been.

I've always been in a corporate setting. Moving away from it in the prime of my performance level is a little scary, but I need the stimuli to want to move ahead.

I need to step out on faith, but I realize that as I change things in my life, the way I experience the same ole same is also changing. I just never thought that I would get a ton of resistance from family, friends and the opposite sex.

Why is it so hard to just do and have what you want?

I don't wanna follow the formula anymore.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Is It Friday Yet?

I guess everything old is new again... For those that remember, the Fresh Fest is back on the road featuring most of the old skool cats that used to rock audiences with multiple talents and some new cats such as Chubb Rock and Guru from Gangstarr. There was even Dana Dane and Joeski Love sightings on stages across the States. Wow. I still mark out to the Pee Wee Dance whenever I hear it, which is not that often. Thank God for peer 2 peer...


I've been working with my original producer and business partner DJ MorningMan on those pieces I mentioned a few days ago right here. It feels good to be sent tracks and to brainstorm over how to freak the funk over dope ass beats again. I forgot what it felt like to be an emcee. The power of the spoken word definitely elevates a brother these days, can't wait to share. Looks like we got an album project on our hands. We were supposed to be just throwing together a lil sumthin' sumthin' for our enjoyment, looks like we'll be shopping some of the stuff, the rest will be put into mixtape rotation...


I've been working on relaunching my personal website. I want to share some of the artwork I've been working on and then I had a conversation with someone I feel is very special. This person is a consummate artist and I have an idea on how to get that work out. For those in the general Chicagoland area, look out, there will be a mixer/auction going on very soon. Location and dates to come soon.


I will be free of my constrictions after Labor Day weekend.


We'll talk about THAT soon...


Other than that, I still got the flu.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Hump Day

So I decided to get back into recording music.

I used to be a studiohead back in the day, and I kind of retired in 99 due to Hip Hop burnout. I just felt like I couldn't contribute to the culture anymore without embarrassing myself. I felt too old. I felt like because of my age I would not be given a shot to be heard.

Time passed.

To hell with all of that noise in 2005, I'm just doing the damn thing and I hope what I got reaches someone. And touches them.

So I wrote some joints that I plan on recording in the very near future.
I'll post them when I'm done.
And I'll bring back my website and post all of the photos and videos that amassed my hard drive after I pulled the site down.
And I actually scheduled time to get my podcast show back on the air.

And I get to hang out with Ali Shaheed Muhammed this evening.

Inspiration comes from wired ass places...

liberation
divorce
sick people
getting old
niggas on the down low

Right now, I'm writing a joint inspired by all of these "down low" cats. Sisters keep asking and so have I. I actually had conversations with a brother I work with that feels that he cannot tell his wife that he's out there bumping uglies with other men. I asked if I can take those conversations and put some lyrics together and the ish snowballed from there. The outcome so far is something I can't wait to unleash on those that want to hear it. I was embarrassed at first to even go there and put my name and voice to something that would link me to the "down low movement", but if brothers in that lifestyle ain't talking, then I will be the catalyst. All this cat asked is that I don't link thangs to him and don't use his words to ridicule his actions or to make a song that can be used as a hate anthem. I agreed, so I'm trying to put together a serious piece, and it's taking shape very nicely. I just hope it's taken for what its worth and not trivialized.

We'll see.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

They might honor my request... At least I hope so

I did a horrible thing yesterday...

I haven't heard from my family in quite some time. No one ever calls, writes, etc. My little brother is the only family member that visited me... That was pretty recent, and we were going to a strip club. Other than that, I'm usually ignored, not respected and I have never been taken seriously - this is not unusual, but anyhoo...

I log into MSN at my desk at work and I have a new messaging buddy. I don't know who it is, so I allow them to see me so I can get at least one IM so I can identify...

It's my sister... Wondering where I am and what I'm doing. Now of course this is not unusual, but the way it was posed to me is that I should have "reported in" so my family can continue to criticize my movements, opinions and general life decisions.

Ever since I got back from the military in 92', my family has been trying to push me in whatever direction they want (need) me to go. Of course I got my own rhythm to dance to and every time I do my own thang I am questioned and ridiculed about going against the grain. According to everyone from Moms on down, I do not know how to live my life. So I keep them at a distance.

I changed my name a few years ago. All I got since then is jokes and non compliance. To this day, no one from my family has ever addressed me by my chosen name even though I raised a big shit about it and even gave them lessons and info on its meaning and proper pronunciation. I do not believe in what they believe, I think that is from my living and traveling abroad.

I have never felt like a member of the family so it was time for me to divest... I had to perform a horrible act.

The horrible thing I did was ask my sister to relay a message to the rest of them:

I no longer want to be a part of your family.
I was made to feel like the outcast, so why should I continue to reach out.
Please do not call, email or message me again.
Please erase me from your memory.


I feel I did the right thing...
I hope I did...
I feel better, and to some that's a horrible act.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Boredom

I am currently bored with life...

Sort of.

I have my health, am in the process of redecorating my apartment, have a good paying job. My friends respect me and treat me well. I am kinda-sorta seeing someone special. I wake up, go to work, have lunch when it's time, come home and do it all again if the next day calls for it.

I pick up my clothes from the cleaners Saturday morning. I take out my trash on the regular. My laundry days are Tuesdays and Thursdays. I rotate the sheets and bedspreads every other day. My phone bill gets paid on the 17th, My rent, promptly on the first day of the month. I refuel my ride on Sundays and Wednesdays like clockwork (the cost is killing me, but, whatever).

I wake up at 4am, get to the gym by 5 and I get to work at 7:40 every weekday. Like clockwork. I listen to a De La cut every morning before I leave the house. I have 2 prefabbed hash browns for breakfast, a bowl of oatmeal and 2 bananas for a morning snack, 2 veggie burritos and a protein shake for lunch and another protein shake with either tuna or chicken for dinner. I make sure I see "Girlfriends" every night at 10:30, and then to bed.

I am starting to hate my life.

It is boring.

I am grateful because I am all put together (2 hernia surgeries - nerve damage in the left ankle, arch pain in the right - never repaired a broken left thumb and it lets me know sometimes - reconstructive knee surgery on the right knee - lymph node removal from a cancer scare back in the day - diabetic - food aversions to dairy - a minor back procedure) and I have not had a problem that required a hospital stay or medication in quite some time. That scares me. I'm afraid that it will all hit me at the same time, leaving me in a vegetative state... OK, it doesn't really scare me. What does is the fact that my life is so predictable and boring and I feel that I will never get to do all of the "fun things" I set out to accomplish when I was younger.

I never married, have no kids and just reacquired an old pet, and now that we have gotten used to each other (again), that process is also routine. I tried quitting my job some time ago, and I ended up working for a new firm doing the same thing I did for the old one, but with better money... And an office. And more responsibility. Wow.

I used to skydive, so the adrenaline rush thingee has been done before.
I thought about going peace corps, but I'll miss the internet.
I'm almost too old to rejoin the Army (been there, done that anyway).
I can't become a spy (CIA and FBI says the body is too broken down).
Already did a quarter and a half-marathon.
Sold real estate.
Sold Amway.
Sold Education (was an University Admissions Advisor AND an Executive Search recruiter).
I tried my hand as a recording artist.
And did the music production thing too (when the rap thing failed and I was one of the few that knew how to twist knobs in that environment).
I write, but I hate everything I put to paper.
My photos suck.
I can only sketch and paint myself.
Lived overseas and traveled abroad... Didn't go everywhere, but now I fear US backlash.

I feel like I'm running outta things to do.
It depresses me.
And spell check doesn't want to work... So fuck it, there will be typos

Monday, August 15, 2005

Hep... Hep mee peeze!!!

I'm tired.

I need suggestions to rejuvinate.

Got any?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Wow, a new post!!!

Peace and Blessings in the name of the Most High,

It's been 2 weeks or so since my last post, I am glad to be here, right now laying down new verbage.

During my lil' absence, I decided to cut my locks and take up employment someplace other than Chicago, ran into an old girlfriend and argued about completely nothing and finally got a chance to hang out with a new "friend"... sort of.

Well, I decided not to take the new job, I did trim about 6 inches off of my locks (I gots to maintiain, it was long past due, and plus I got 3 inches of new growth already...) and put to bed any ideas of rekindling flames from the past. I also took on a new job (back in corporate Amerikkka, I guess I need them right now), and took on roomates (yes, that's plural) for the temporary until they close the deal on a very sweet new home. And as far as my new friend, I plan to hang. More. Soon.

Right now I am tired, driving waaaaay to many miles back and forth to Chicago from the nether regions and need to go shopping to replace most of my business casual collection. From the stresses and situations brought on from me attempting to unjack from cubicleland, I lost a significant amount of hair and weight. And to top things off, one of my closest dawgs is getting divorced. But other than that, I seem to be happy right now in this place.

We'll see how long this will last.