Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm NOT Kanye!!

I'd be the first to admit that I'm a big fan of Kanye West's music. I mean HUGE. "College Dropout", "Late Registration", and "Graduation" are ALL astounding masterpieces with an assembly of timeless ditties that draws an array of emotions that I thoroughly empathize with.

Laced with soul far pre-dating its years, the music speaks to me - the regular Black dude that's tryin' to do a lil' sumn' sumn' with the talent he was blessed with. The lures of being raised in a major metropolitan area that thrives on materialism and status - I share that in common with Kanye. Having a behemothic love for music and being from a city that has such a rich history in undeniable musical acts - I share that in common with Mr. West also. I'm emerged in the Hip Hop culture whether I like it or not and the influences that it has on me are seen in many aspects of my life. Kanye West is too. And just in case you missed it the first time, like I said, Kanye and I are both young Black males.

These are all facts that are irrefutable.

However, with all the similarities, I am NOT Kanye West.

I'm sure you've seen or heard about Kanye's incident at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards in which he alledgedly (I say "alledgedly" because the whole thing may have been staged by MTV and the artists involved) snatched the limelight from country singer Taylor Swift who had just received an award for Best Female Video". Kanye took the microphone from the bewildered Swift and said, "Taylor, I'm really happy for you. I'll let you finish but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time."

Although very inappropriate for the time and place, what I find more appalling is the reaction and commentary his diva-esque action has resulted in. The Black community never cease to amaze me with how personal we take shyt. When I witnessed the spectacle last night and throughout today, I have heard and read countless numbers of Black people talk about how Kanye's actions was such a bad representation of our race. Everything from "He set us back centuries with that bafoonery" to "See, this is why they look at us the way they do" comments have passed through my ears or have crossed my eyes today. Why do we always do this?

Kanye West is NOT I and I am not KANYE WEST!!

Barack Obama gets elected as President of the United States and all of a sudden, we (Black people) feel like WE did it even though the majority of people who voted for Obama was un-Black. What.The.Fuck. are we acting like that's OUR President for when he's America's President? I have a great deal of respect for President Obama, but he isn't necessarily representative of our race as a whole and neither is Kanye.

Kanye does something that can only be classified as...well, "Kanye-esque" and all of a sudden he's a bad misrepresentation of HIP HOP or young Blacks or Blacks in general??

C'mon now. As I said, I'm a die-hard fan of his music and we share some similarities, but what that nigga did ain't got shyt to do with ME...nor my race...nor my culture. There's a great separation there. We don't share the same bank account and I love my mother enough to tell her, "Ma, you're don't need any plastic surgery to keep up with the hollywood standards." I'm not Kanye.

Ok, maybe that was wrong, but you get my point...I'm NOT Kanye West and he is by no means a representation of me or my race.

As much as Black people don't wish to be seen as one-sided, we constantly generalize ourselves by raising certain public figures and viewing them as examples when they are just a mere portion of the whole. Kanye West and I have a lot of shyt in common but he doesn't encompass all that I am and neither does Barack Obama or any other public figure. I'm deeper than that. And WE have more layers than what's presented to us on a one-dimensional television screen.

I do believe we ALL have a little Kanye West in us. *waving my finger like young Tre' from "Boyz 'N Da Hood" in the classroom. All of y'all. At times, we all desire the ability to just truly speak how we feel with no regard to how others feel about it. There's a little bit inside us in which we all wish we didn't always have to be politically correct and we can say what's on our minds and hearts no matter who's in our presence. Don't front, you know you do.

But to say that that type of behavior is exclusive to one race is ridiculous and very laughable.

I don't hear white folks or even gays saying Lady GaGa made THEM look bad. Why are we?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Children Are The Future, But What About NOW?!?!

While everyone is trippin' off the controversy and/or how "good" President Obama's speech was to the children, I find it sad that the poingnant points can be applied to many (if not most) adults.

I didn't tune into the speech (I had shyt to do), but I did take the time to read the transcript online. Although there isn't anything in the speech that is new or ground-breaking that hasn't been said countless times, I guess it's kinda cool for the kids to hear it from someone who's not their parent or teacher. They probably could've gotten the same message from listening to R.Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" or even Nas' "I Know I Can" though. Don't hate me, Obama dyck know it's true.

As I said before though, the speech is definitely not exclusive to children as our society is filled with grown ass adults who can definitely learn a thing or two from it. Who the hell am I kiddin'? If we ALL (no exemption of myself) was to seriously do a serious lil' self-evaluation, I'm sure none of us is completely living up to our absolute greatest potential. Lie to yourself if you want to.

Although I can rehash many times in my personal and professional life where I have slouched off a bit on this blog and have you all read them, I rather not. Instead, I'll just turn to my inner-self, do the evaluation, and correct any ongoing issues that I may still have. And instead you reading my laundry list, I suggest you just do the same.

Some kids may take something extremely inspiring and motivational from Obama's speech, but many won't. And even though I'm not the President of the United States, similarly, many adults won't even take the time to seriously evaluate their own life and see how they can improve, but if my "Presidential" blog here encourages at least one, I guess it serves its purpose.

Just Do better.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hip Hop Quotable - Dom Kennedy "I Apologize"

*"Fuck being real wit' you, I'm just being real wit' me / We can make a home, Love, you just gotta build with me / I don't need that loud shit, you just gotta chill with me / If life's a bumpy road, it's a lot of hills with me / Never let 'em see you sweat, it's a lot concealed wit' me / I wanna do it the right way, it's a lot instilled in me" - Dom Kennedy "I Apologize"

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Life Is But A Beach Chair *No Jay-Z*

"Speed of"
- Ice-T

Tracy ain't never lie when he spit those simple, yet introspective lyrics some 21 years ago at the start of the classic tale of "High Rollers". Life is fast; extremely quick-paced where at the blink of an eye, one's world may be shattered and turned upside down with no prior warning or even a premonition. Life is so quick, our loved ones are often here today, gone tomorrow leaving us reminiscing on the cherished times we've shared with them mourning and celebrating all at the same time. Life races by at such a rapid pace that time flies when you're even having fun. *No Janet* The speed of life is so damn fast it doesn't even seem like it was over TWO DECADES when I first heard Ice-T rapping about the speed of life being So. Damn. Fast.

People die every day all day. Although this is no revelation and it's the one part of life that is inevitable, death remains one thing that many people have a mixed array of emotions surrounding. Those who believe in an afterlife believe that it's a transitional period to (hopefully) a better existence. Those who don't, see it as just the end of the road. *No Boyz II Men* Regardless, life's a bitch and then you die. *No Nas* And the old me is dead and gone. *No T.I.mberlake*

Okay, where was I?

Oh yeah...

We're all gonna die.

Not to sound so morbid or anything, but my lady and I was discussing funerals and how different people conduct themselves during them and how we would want people to react to our deaths.

Happy topic, right?

Actually, it is. Fortunately, for the both of us, we love laughing and shyt so although neither of us want people dancing on our grave talkin' 'bout "Ding Dong, the witch is dead...", we also don't want people falling out, in classic over-dramatical fashion, boo-hooin' and hollerin' making the spectacle moreso about THEM as oppose to the folk in the box (or churn). I, for one, don't want to be remembered as a saint who can do no wrong 'cause Lord knows, I'm not perfect. Thus far though, I've been a pretty good dude (if I do say so myself...and I do) and I pray that I have impacted the lives of many already in an extremely positive and inspirational way in regards to all people I have come into contact with.

With that said though, I've decided to make a list of things that I DO want people to do in remembrance of me instead of locking themselves in a room and crying a river and shyt. God forbid, I pray that that time isn't coming soon (I've got shyt to do), but I don't want folks to steal my shine with all their crying and shyt.

1. Take heed and share my wisdom.

Even though I hope cats remember me as an all-around cool guy who always had something funny and entertaining to offer, I do drop gems that may either save or change your life if attention you pay. My personality, whether I'm being humorous or serious is often laced with subtle jewels and words that you can take with you (free of charge) and I'd say 94% of people I encounter don't realize the wealth that lay before them.

By no means is that meant to sound cocky or egotistical, it's just actual...and factual. *No TLC*

2. Rejoice in my art.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm an artist...and I'm (admittedly) sensitive about my shyt. *No Erykah* Whether it's visual, written, or audible, I take my arts pretty darn seriously and I feel you should too. And I do not have a big ego. *No Beyonce and No Kanye*

I just think my shyt is dope. Maybe I'm biased. I'ont know. From all my writings, film and video projects, recordings, photographs...I just want my work to get its proper due. I'm not saying I'm the dopest who ever done any of these things, but I'm damn sure talented and want people to appreciate my art for what it is. Dope.

3. Respect my loved ones left behind.

Although I may be in pre-production for a "We're All In The Same Gang"-esque type video featuring Pac, Aaliyah, Big Pun, Biggie, Left Eye, Eazy-E, Big L, MC Trouble, dude from Millie Vanilli, and Jam Master Jay, I would still find time to haunt your ass on earth if you fuck with my folks. So don't do it.

4. Play that funky music. *No white boy*

I haven't started and God-willing, I'll have ample time to complete a music playlist that will serve as the quintessential soundtrack of my life. I'm talking about a multitude of musical masterpieces that span across a number of genres that will encompass different stages of my life. Every song will have it's own significance that some people may understand and connect with, or maybe not. Nevertheless, it's all ME.

This collection of tunes should be made available by free download on a website dedicated to my memory which will also contain other works by yours truly.

5. Party like it's yo' burfday. *No 50 Cent*

This is self-expalnatory. I encourage everyone to celebrate in their own special way, but when folks do gather together in my memory, I want everyone to thoroughly have a blast. I'd have it no other way. Not in a "dancing the night away" type of good time, but talking about how great I am/was, relishing in my accomplishments and legacy, eating, drinking and listening to my soundtrack. See #4. Don't pour out any liquor for moi, drink it up...or at least throw it up in the sky for me, sheesh.

This list is not all inclusive, but it's all I can think of right now.

In short, celebrate and cherish life RIGHT NOW. Find joy in the good and don't focus on the negative cause no matter how cliche-ish it may sound, life IS too short *No Too Short*...and the speed of life is indeed faster than a muafugga.

***SIDENOTE: This is the first and only post you'll hear me using the "No (fill in the blank)". Thank you.***