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


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Allow me to introduce myself...

My name is Hassan.

I was not always Hassan. I changed my name in 2000 to reflect the man that I am now by studying and obtaining knowledge of self.

Hassan: he who improves and makes himself better
Olumoroti: it is with God that I stand
Ntimbanjayo: noble family

(all three of my chosen nomenclature are of Yoruban selection)

I am still a student of God's commands and Christ's teachings.

I believe in the Creator, his Son, and his prophets.

I am 34 years old.

I am currently re-relocating to Chicago, Illinois (I used to live there).

I am the 2nd child of Debra and the only child of George. I have only spoken to George once (the day before my 8th grade graduation). I have no intention to speak with him at this point.

I have an older brother by 14 months and a younger brother and sister a decade younger. My older brother defers to me, actually telling folks that I am the oldest child. We cannot be in the same room for more than 5 minutes. I love him dearly, but we still fight like we're children, and because we don't really approve of each other's decisions thought process about things. He's a straight up hustler, I take a business approach. We both want the same thing. Financial freedom. I haven't seen or spoken to him in over 6 months. That's normal. Not speaking with the rest of my family isn't.

I've never been married.

I have no kids.

I'd like to be a husband and a father in the future, but I do not rush what God has planned for me.

I am a veteran of the armed forces, serving and participating in 2 major conflicts during-non peace times.

I lived outside the US for 3 years.

I have had portions of my right hand, right leg, right knee, (and most recently the bottom of my left foot) head and abdomen either re-stitched, rebuilt or repaired. After losing a few minor bodyparts and having some added, I amazingly still function at 100% with no pain or visible limping.

I am diabetic. I do not take medication for my condition. I monitor it regularly. I am tired of pricking my fingers. I lost over 200 pounds since 1998 because I was scared to be known as the guy that ate himself to death. My diet mostly consists of raw tuna, mixed vegetables, oatmeal, various fruits and juice from a juicing machine. I have raw tuna over cold mixed vegetables 3 times a day damn near every day.

I am a recent vegetarian. I function better as a diabetic without red meat and poultry.

I play 3 instruments. And not well any more.

I speak one and a half languages and have a great overstanding of the Caribbean patois and it's different island variations.

I am an avid reader and information (news) junkie.

I write literary notes, personal memoirs and technical notes daily.

I have this thing I do like John Nash (the subject of the movie "A Brilliant Mind") where I plot, strategize, write and calculate on napkins, brown paper bags and paper scraps, sometimes for hours on end. I have an active analytical mind and I feel the need to get it on paper before my mind moves to it's next invention.

I am a spoken word poet. I am performing my first original piece on 2006 tonight at a spot in my old neighborhood. It's been damn near a year and a half since I blessed the mic on the south side of the Chi... I am a little nervous.

I am a former business owner. I failed miserably at my former businesses. Those older business plans have become templates for my current one.

Every morning I take 2 hours after I wake to meditate and gain focus on the day. I have perfected "ghetto yoga" from watching the "For Dummies" DVD and "Yoga For Regular Guys" series.

I used to be a rapper/performing artist. I also tried my hand at becoming a DJ. I was also a college recruiter, a postal mailhandler, a bank loan officer, a tech support specialist, a telephone installer/repairguy, an IT hardware support analyst, an HVAC technician, a personnel security clerk, a benefits consultant and an executive search recruiter. I also drove an army colonel around for a year and answered his cellphone (I carried his golf clubs too). I studied, trained and got my paper as an electrical engineer, but has never worked as one.

My favorite color is blue. (Obsidian Blue created by Nike for the "Air" shoe lines in 1983 is the boss, baby)

I used to be Republican. Now I revolt.

I think about Desiree and Kris multiple times a day. I really miss my aunt, and I wish I could have been a better friend to Kris.

I am no longer afraid of anything (used to be). Including death.

Speaking of such, I recently contemplated suicide. Luckily, I changed my mind.

I was in a 12 year relationship... Oh, and a 5 year one too.

I carry a digital camera everywhere I go.

I cannot have a one night stand... I believe in soul ties.

it's been more than 150 days since I last had an intimate encounter.

I love Hip Hop and it's sub-cultures. I remember rap lyrics from songs all the way back to Fat Back Ben and The Funky Four Plus One More. I memorized the Busy Bee/Kool Moe Dee battle mixtape as a kid and every now in then in the line at the bank... It comes out.

I believe that I will die before I turn 60. My mind and spirit tells me that I should do everything I can to enjoy what life has to offer right now...

I cannot sleep, and have not since yesterday. I finally crashed after a week of insomnia. It was a week of non sleep before that. I got in the house at 9:30 this morning (NYE party ended @ 6am, and we went to breakfast afterwards) and I can't seem to get to sleep right now (1:24pm Sunday, Jan 1, 2006).

I have never fallen in love in the past. I might be falling now but...

25 comments: said...

thanks for speaking your mind, brother

Anonymous said...

#!+ said...
You have really inspired me, this morning (I live in Australia). I've been having a difficult time of late, and to hear you verbalize your life so effectively and so easily means a lot. Thanx man.

Ladynay said...

Hello...I found you through Nikki. What a post to come in on! Thus far you have lived an interesting life.

Laylah Queen of the Night said...

Thank you for sharing yourself!

How did you feel when you changed your name?

The Brown Blogger said...

I had to rethink my first name choice because I had not given thought to my mother, how she did not name me and how difficult it would be for her to accept that kind of change. She balked at calling me anything else than what my grandmother chose for me. After over a year of study and compromise (Hassan is a very close pronounciation to my birthname, making it easier to for my mother to say it) I chose my current name, it fit my mission in life. I feel comfortable now after understanding that in Yoruban culture you are in essence named 3 times (named after the faith of your potential at birth, your chosen name at middle age once finding yourself, and later in life when the children and village addresses you as an elder). It's been more than 5 years now and I am still a student. I still try to improve myself in everything I do and say. I love being Hassan, it's who I am, but I still need to get closer to Him and do better things for myself and my people. I feel the same now as I did then, comfortable in my decision and glad that my name fits.

Hasan Mubarak said...

After losing a few minor bodyparts and having some added, I amazingly still function at 100% with no pain or visible limping.

Was this due to some accident??
It's really amazing to be working 100% after all this trouble...

princessdominique said...

Awesome. You are one interesting dude!

Abdul-Halim V. said...

Interesting on all sorts of levels..

I just have some random responses... Hassan is also a Muslim name too (one of Muhammad's grandsons had that name)... so actually I thought you had some kind of Muslim background when I first saw your blog.

I forget if I mentioned to you already.. I'm also from Chicago, may relocating there in the future.

I also do spoken word (last time I performed was at the National Poetry Slam this summer) but I haven't really written anything new, and have only performed once (one piece) since then.

Where in Chicago do you plan to spit? It's kind of funny, the slam started in the city of the big shoulders, and I'm from there, but I've never read there.

Anyway... Peace

Anonymous said...

This is very good.

I learned a lot.

Very inspirational, now we know who Hassan really is.......

It takes great courage to this, I feel one coming along.....

The Brown Blogger said...

Doninique: I am just a man. I'ts time for the world to know who's behind all of these posts. I feel that now (not because its a new year) is the time I let go and just be. I have nothing to hide anymore. I am no longer afraid of things, situations and people. I have a lot of time on my hands and I want to be constructive and have my intentions have meaning under the eye of the Creator.

Hasan: Playing football, joining the Army and spending 7 years as a postal dock worker contributed to me getting injured a few times, the most serious was me losing my right knee in an accident at the postal plant in 2000. Had it rebuilt in 01.

Abdul-Halim: I used to spit at A Touch of the Past in Maywood, Jak's Tap, Jazz and Java and Some Like It Black back in the day. You know all but Jak's Tap and Touch have closed it's doors. I have participated in the Uptown Poetry Slam in recent months/years up at the Green Mill. I still drop by Morseland, I plan on being at the Negro League Cafe and the Spoken Word Cafe every weekend in 06! There are many venus that I haven't mentioned (Funky Buddah, Center for Cultural Studies, Cafe Luna), but I plan on dropping and debuting a lot of work in the next couple of whatever. Stay tuned, brother.

Insane In the Membrane: You know me well. You know that this is the calm before the storm, right? But you already told me that this past weekend. We need more convo like the last ones we had. Oh, and it's on.

Chubby Chocolate said...

Once again, good post.
I feel you on the insomnia thing. It's a true bitch.

Anonymous said...

nice to know who you are. i stumbled upon your blog while visiting another.

Brotha Buck said...

My regular diet – I ain't been on a regular diet in about three months – consist of tuna and greenbeans, mostly. Feel good post.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how you've never fallen in love in the past but you were in a 12 year relationship & a 5 yr one also. Were these not romantic relationships? Please explain. Thanks...

Anonymous said...

Hassan, thank you for introducing yourself. I enjoyed reading your post.I will definitely visit again. Be Blessed

The Brown Blogger said...

Anonymous: The intent of both relationships was initially based on romance, compatibility and the possibilities of great things. My longest was basically an off and on relationship with my high school sweetheart. The intent was to keep things together thru our years in the military and her time away at college by writing, visiting and calling. That worked, but when we moved in together and attempted to have a life with each other, the love and good intentions were there but we became so different after being away - we tried to force the relationship into working and failed at it. We loved each other, but I know now that we were not "in love" with each other based on the fact that we never wanted to get married or have each other's children. We existed in each other's comfort and familiarity until we could go no further. We were scared to get out there and find love, so we stayed together because no one objected to leaving familiar ground. Mutual split.

The 5 year relationship I experienced started out with great intentions and ended with me getting a phone call informing me that my pregnant girlfriend was being held for observation after attempting suicide. We struggled thru our differences and became great friends with a deep level of trust or so I thought. We also became roomates in that process, and near the end of us living together for about 3 years we agreed that me moving out and us dating again was the best thing. Maybe if we added distance and space as opposed to being on top of each other we could fall in love, right? Wrong. She used that opportunity to get with other guys without creeping and got pregnant right when our "re-courting" peroid was getting hot and heavy. Somone that will put your personal safety in danger (read AIDS, cooties and such) by having sex with another (unprotected at that) does not and is not in love with you. I wasn't a fool though. Although we cared deeply for each other, I knew she was having problems with exclusivity from the jump It wasn't hard for me to bounce after witnessing her not being able to deal with that weakness whe we lived together. I did enjoy the whole re-courting phase after I moved out, once again familiarity. I also knew that it would be hard to fall in love with someone that was distracted so easily but I tried anyway because I did love her and thought that maybe she would want to take things to the next level if this experiment worked. She loves sex and made decisions that forced her to deal with her actions in a very negative manner. That showed me what I thought shortly after we started dating, she has issues with loving herself. I thought that my influence, counseling, love and us working thru our various layers of issues would convince her that she should love herself and then want to recipricate that by showing me love. Yes, I loved her, but falling in love was hard knowing that there was so much work going on from the start. I really wanted to get deeper, but we had to get deeper with ourselves first. I thought that if we were able to get to the next level that I could open up and give her the rest of my life. That didn't happen, she cheated on me and I knew in the back of my mind that she probably would, so I held and maintained a distance until I could get a better understanding of her. I did in the end and am glad that I didn't fall...

Didi Roby said...

Well hello name is Dee~Dee. Its good to meet you. I truly enjoyed reading all these wonderful things about the man behind the blog...interesting.

So glad you decided against killing yourself...and what do you know we have something in common blog friend...I too am Diabetic...but I take meds...

Be safe young man:)

Abreu, Jorge said...

This was an interesting post brother... You sound like a kind hearted and humble dude. Good luck with everything man.

LadyLee said...

You are one eclectic brother, who has done more thus far than some have managed to do in a lifetime. You should be proud of yourself...

The Brown Blogger said...

Dee Dee:
I agree some of my life experiences are/were definately interesting, but after recent events I still do not feel happy or fufilled. I need to find one place, dig in and just be there and grow from that. This past Thanksgiving, I was invited to her family's gathering and I couldn't make myself go. I wanted to be with my family, but I could not be there either. So many things contributed to me thinking that taking my life would have been better than stewing in my own juices and feeling such a heavy pain on my heart. I still tried to get thru by wanting to celebrate Christmas and New Years, but I didn't get a chance to celebrate the way it was intended. Alls I know is that I'm blessed to have second, third and forth chances in this life and this means that God has intentions of having me here and enjoying what he has provided and doing that with others, so I an't going nowhere. Dropping from 460 to 245 (or so) helped me get off of insulin and then glucophage. I gave up meat (except fish) and now more pounds are falling off and thangs like sleep apnea and congestion is gone. That led to no diabetes meds at all. Thanks for hanging with me and visiting/posting over the months.

I thought I'd lay it all out there. I have nothing to hide and nothing to lose. I have no choice but to keep it on the humble. I am just a man and I'm still trying to figure all of this out. I have nothing if the Creator does not provide it for me. Hard lessons man, hard lessons.

Nothing to be proud of... yet. I attempt keeping my head above water - making a way when I can... Temporary lay offs. - Good Times. Easy credit rip offs. - Good Times. Scratchin’ and surviving. - Good Times. Hangin in a chow line - Good Times. Ain’t we lucky we got ‘em - Good Times.

Hasan Mubarak said...

I am no longer afraid of anything (used to be). Including death.

Speaking of such, I recently contemplated suicide. Luckily, I changed my mind.

Are the above two points inter-related??

The Brown Blogger said...

Yes, yes and yes.

Anonymous said...

LOL @ Insane in the Membrane, I was actuallythinking of changin my blog name to this........when I move to a new location.....

NeenaLove said...

i have learned so much about you from this post.

i suspect that you possess a GREAT deal of discipline and perseverance. you've lost a great deal of weight. you've failed at your own business but that hasn't deterred you. you've overcome serious physical ailments. you changed to a vegetarian lifestyle. etc. etc. i LOVE it!!! that has to be a wonderful accomplishment.

i would be interested to hear the story behind suicidal thoughts. you know, geniuses ride a fine line between sanity and maddness. however, i think you are fighting that wonderfully by implementing yoga and meditation, Christ, God, prophets and belief in a higher power. that is PRICELESS.

about true financial freedom... honestly, tell me what you're doing. i'm interested! email me at


Ms_SoCal said...

I am in AWE of you! Just beautiful your courage, strength and personal drive. Your words flow like water for me. I truly enjoy each and every read!