Sunday, August 31, 2008


Where my real men at?

If you said, "right here!" Take a good look at yourself and ask that question again. What constitutes you as a "real man?" How society sees you and dictates you to be? Because your wife or girlfriend says you are? Or is it truly how you see yourself? Because if you don't feel, see, or think of yourself as a real man, it doesn't matter what you do, or what other people think or say about you, in your eyes you are not!

For a long time, I thought I was a "man." Because I had a job, took care of my responsibilities, in a sense, had a car and a house. However, I never "felt" like I was, because I didn't have the job I wanted, I wasn't making the money I wanted, nor was I where I wanted to be in life. It's easy to put on the "Man Mask" and portray what you think a man is, but eventually you have to take the mask off and look at your real self in the mirror. Face the demon that has consumed your soul and then ask yourself that same question.

I decided that being a man is not how society, my wife, my friends, co-workers, etc see me, but how I see and feel about myself. Depending on others for self esteem, doesn't make it yours, and depending on others to help you stand, will only make it that much easier to fall when they let go. So, GET UP, STAND UP! Be your own backbone, your own support system, put your faith and trust in God, be obedient to his word and allow him to guide you. That way you will have no doubts when you are asked, "Where my real men at?" For God made man in the image of himself, and he's as real as it gets!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Why I Did Get Married...

In a previous blog, I pondered the question, "Why Did I Get Married?" I said because I maybe wanted to be a player again, or marriage was out of obligation. Then I asked, "well if you are going to have a wedding, vow to be with the person in sickness and in health, and then years later want to leave them, WHY THE HELL GET MARRIED IN THE FIRST PLACE?" Now a few months later, I have been through an experience that has helped me to answer said question from before. Why Did I Get Married? Simple, because the woman I married is the woman I knew I loved and wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Point blank. Nothing else. Granted, throughout the marriage we all feel that it's getting too hard to maintain, or use "I don't want to be married anymore, I don't think I love you anymore," as an excuse to want some imaginary "freedom" from the tyranny of being with one person for the rest of your life.

In speaking with several married couples who have been together for 10 or more years, they have all told me the same thing: "Every couple goes through a period when they either wish they weren't married anymore, don't want to be married anymore, or feel they don't love their spouse anymore. But you learn to deal with that, knowing it's just a temporary effect because you miss the single life, having been tied down for a few years and you get tired. But marriage is a job, and if it were easy, everyone would do it, and the divorce rate would not be as high as it is now." Interesting. We, as young married couples, feel we are missing out on something in life when we settle down with one person, wanting to go and find a "bigger and better" thing after a while. But that's not what marriage is about. It's about commitment, a promise to God that is sacred and viewed by HIM as such.

It is not something to be taken for granted and then after you feel you have had enough you want to end it and move on to the next, thinking he will deliver, once again, to you the man or woman of your dreams. If you spit in his face, metaphorically, why would expect him to bless you again? You didn't take care of the first gift he gave you. So you must at least try to figure out and work at taking care of what he has in store for you. IF you pray for your mate to do what they should and for your marriage to get better, because things aren't going as you planned, he will make it happen. But you must remember HE works in his own way. He sometimes interjects with situations that challenge you, he takes you through a storm, so you can be better and stronger afterwards. HE wants his presence to be felt when he moves, so you can better appreciate it afterwards and know he is truly in charge. But if you refuse to take the challenge, what are you saying about God and your prayers? That you don't believe he can do it all? That you're giving up on God? This is not how you should approach marriage.

As I said before, most couples are geared up for the "Wedding" and don't realize that after all the glitz and glamour of flower throwing, bridesmaids, and cake cutting, the real marriage now begins. That was just the "orientation," if you will, now the employer expects you to now do what they hired you to do. What you said you would do. However, we get to a point where we are tired and don't want to try anymore and decide to just quit. Yet we don't take into consideration what the other person is going through and what they are putting them through. Our generation has become content with being labeled as "failures" when times get rough. We don't want to work through our problems, instead just shut everything and everybody out, forget about it and move on like it never existed just to please our own selfishness.

I got married for the long haul. I took every vow I said seriously. "In sickness and in health, for better or worse, till death do us part, keeping only to him/her." So I'm expected and dedicated to holding down my part. Now if the marriage is so bad, are we supposed to ignore that and deal with it? Depends, is the guilty one willing to make an effort to change? If so, then yes we should. Our parents went through much worse in their marriages and most of them are still together to this day. The couples who have been together 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years did not quit when times got hard. And after all that time, I am sure they felt some form of resentment towards each other, but they still worked it out. Some got married for the wrong reasons, and sometimes it wasn't for love, but they worked at it and made it happen.

When we get married we need to realize for it to truly work, there must be open communication between the couple and not everyone else. They must be willing and able to speak to each other about what ever problems they are having with each other. It is through this communication that a marriage will work. How can you expect someone to change if you won't tell them what problem you have with them? How can you expect your mate to be what you would like them to be if you never tell them what that is? How can you expect for your spouse to love and respect you if you aren't taking the time to do the same?

I got married because I was and am willing to take that challenge. The challenges that are expected in a marriage. Granted, I, like many others, went through a selfish phase where I felt I didn't want this. We think there may be something better out there, and second guess what we have done. In Tyler's movie he referred to the 80/20 rule. You only get 80% of what you need. The other 20% is expendable. We think we can get that 20% elsewhere and for a while it seems like it will do. But in the end you realize 20% is definitely not sufficient and you miss having that 80. Marriage is by no means going to be all "roses" all the time. God challenges married couples and put them through trials and tribulations, so that they can get closer, stay closer, get and stay closer to him, realize how important they are to each other and in the end make them that much stronger. Scarred hands heal best.

Marriage is meant to be a lifetime, but if after a few years of problems you are ready to throw in the towel, how can you ever expect to be committed to anything else in life? Jobs are stressful, life is stressful. So do you just quit every job that challenges you? Do you just commit suicide because life has gotten too hard? A Godly person would not.

Bottom Line: Love, Commitment, and a Partner for life, is Why I Did Get married. So before you decide to take the job, research the job description and be sure you are ready and able to do the work.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Where were you, When this was brand new?!

What's Happening? Old School, New School?

Hey! Hey! Hey! How many new generation kids know where that came from? Give up? "What's Happening?" A show that starred Roger Thomas, now playing on "Everybody Hates Chris," as the mortician.

I work in the retail industry with a lot of young heads, mostly in their early 20s. I sometimes quiz them on music, movies, and television shows, and realize they don't have a clue about history. Well not the history of television and music. So I decided to enlighten the younger readers a bit and I implore those of you who are now considered "old heads" to add comments of some of the things I may have forgotten. So here you go younguns. A list of things you may not have known about people you now look up to and like.

Hmm where should I start, ok:

Janet Jackson's first album was not "Control." She had two flops prior to that. She also starred in "Good Times," "Different Strokes," and "Fame." She was taught how to dance by American Idol's own, Paula Abdul.

Paula Abdul started as a Laker's girl. Later, choreographing many of Janet's videos, and having her own career as a subpar singer and great dancer.

LL Cool J's first song was "Radio." Not "Phenomenon" or "...they call me big L'ey" His ass is old. He just looks young. He also had his own t.v. show, "In The House."

Rev Run was not always a Reverand. He was actually one of the members of Run DMC, way before Run's House. Actually Run's House is named after one of his songs. "Who's house? Run's house." He sings it in the beginning of the show.

Russell Simmons founded Def Jam, way before he found Phat Farm and Kimora Lee.

R Kelly was discovered on Gladys Knight's show called, "The Big Break." He and the Public Announcement, Kelly's first group, won the contest and the rest his history.

Before Crocs, there were Jelly's. Clear, plastic shoes worn only by women.

Robin Thicke's father, Alan Thicke sung the opening song for "Family Ties," a tv show that starred a young Michael Keaton. Who's first movie was "Back to the Future."

P Diddy, Puffy, Sean Combs, was a back up dancer along with Jermaine Dupri. They danced for Father MC. Whose hit song, "Treat em Right," was sung by Jodeci, and Mary J sung on one of his other songs. P Diddy can be seen in the video. He also produced and wrote Jodeci's first album, "Forever My Lady."

Jermaine Dupri founded super rap group Kris Kross, whose hit, "Jump" was a success. On a later album they had a song called "Da Bomb," which introduced rapper Da Brat, who is also the first female rapper to go platinum.

Busta Rhymes started in a group called, Leaders of the New School. Group members included Busta, Dinco, and Charlie Brown. One of their hits was "PTA" and they did a collabo with Tribe Called Quest called, "Scenerio."

Destiny Child's group originally had four members, one of which was not Michelle. The other two members were Latoya Luckett (had a couple of hits last year)and Latavia Roberson. They were dropped right before the "Bills, Bills, Bills" video was released. However, the song still had Latoya and Octavia singing on it. Farrah Franklin was one of the replacements that was dropped.

Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean were in a group called the Fugees. They had one of the best rap albums ever entitled, "The Score."

Denzel Washington got his start on the t.v. show "St. Elsewhere."

Adam Sandler got his start on "The Cosby Show."

Jamie Foxx was first seen on "In Living Color." Wanda: "I'll Rock Yo World!"

Will Smith's first hit was not "Summertime," but "Parents Just Don't Understand."

Laurence Fishburn's first role was not on "School Daze," or "Boyz in the Hood," but in "Cornbread, Earl and Me." A 70s flick about an aspiring basketball star who was killed accidently by police right before he was going to college.

Martin Lawrence got his start on "What's Happening Now!"

Michael Jackson was once black. And looked normal. He had a big nose, no clef in his chin and a gheri curl, but he always had the soft voice.

Raven Simone not only played in the Cosby Show and That's So Raven, but she also played in Hanging With Mr. Cooper. And her first song was "That's What Little Girls Are Made Of"

Bobby Valentino got his start with a group called MISTA whose only hit was "Blackberry Molasses."

Static Major, (Lollipop video), was originally in a group called, "Playa" whose hit was "Cheers 2 U."

Before Crunk or Snap music, there was Florida music and Go Go music, led by 2 Live Crew and Uncle Luke and EU and Rare Essence. (Doo Doo Brown, Doo Doo Brown).

The first rap song was "The White Horse." Artist unknown. Followed by SugarHill Gang's "Rapper's Delight."

Eve really was a stripper, so was Trina.

Lil Kim got her start with Junior Mafia.

Faith Evans used to be on Bad Boy. She and Lil Kim had beef. Lil Kim was never on Bad Boy, she was on Undeas.

Lil Bow Wow was first seen on Snoop Dogg's Gin and Juice. He was actually discovered by Snoop, who passed him on to Jermaine Dupri.

Alicia Keys once appeared in an episode of "The Cosby Show."

Before Backstreet Boys and Nsync there was Menudo, New Kids On The Block, The Jets and New Edition, of which Bobby Brown is an original member.

Whitney Houston was not always on drugs and was THE best singer of her time.

Get Smart is an old t.v. show.

Ella from Tyler Perry's House of Pain, got her start on School Daze, she is the one who said, "Because your face is already cracked and on the ground." Allen Payne got his start on "The Cosby Show," and his first movie was "New Jack City." "Am I my brother's keeper?" And he acted a lot better. Robin Givens, his girlfriend on the show, was once married to Mike Tyson. Miranda, Calvin's girlfriend, is none other than little Rudy Huxtable, and all of them got their starts on "The Cosby Show." Except Ella.

Kirsten Dunst, from Spiderman, got her start from the movie, "Interview With The Vampire," which starred Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. Tom Cruise's leading role movie was "Risky Business."

Well that's all for now, I could go on for a while. If you think of anything else, please feel free to add. It would be great to see what you all come of up.

So youngsta's learn your history. All your idols got their start somewhere.

Honorable Mentions:

Nice and Smooth's "Hip Hop Junkies."

Before Lean Wit It Rock Wit It, there was the Wop, the Prep, the Mike Tyson and the Cabbage Patch

Jay Z was a member of Hawaii Sulky Fame along with Jaz-O before he became Jigga/Hova. Jigga was a nickname actually given to him by Biggie.

Cross Colours, Karl Kani, Used Jeans were the hotness.

Before Madden, there was 10 yard fight and Tecmo Bowl. Before Halo, there was Metroid, Zelda and Contra. Before NBA Live there was Double Dribble.

Before Ladanian Tomlinson there was Barry Sanders

Before "Heroes" there was the "A-Team" B.A. Baracka was Mr. T's first television role. "I pity the fool."

Boiling Crabs!


I have written several blogs, and none have been in relation to the upcoming election and the historic event that took place when Sen. Barack Obama became the first black nominee for President of these United States. Granted, I have many opinions about this, but I have chosen to hold those comments until later. However, the recent actions of one Rev. Jesse Jackson, known to his non supporters as J.J., have prompted me to remember an old adage about crabs in a bucket.

For those who are too young to know to what I am referring, when crabs are in a bucket, they continue to pull each other down in an attempt to get out of said bucket. This observation has been used in life in regards to when people try to keep their own from reaching the top, by doing whatever possible to keep them from achieving that goal. This is where J.J. comes in.

As many of you know, Jesse Jackson went on the conservative Fox News (first mistake), and made an ass of himself. Supposedly, he did not know that his mic was still on while he was in the green room and he made some comments about Presidential Candidate Barack Obama. Loosely speaking he said that Barack speaks down to black people and he would like to cut his balls off. Wow! Are you kidding me? And what does Fox do, what they were expected to do, air it as soon as they could. First of all, as an alleged black leader, he should not, on air or off, make negative comments about another black man who has made history. Secondly, as a Reverend he shouldn't even think about cutting any body's balls off. Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord! This is a classic case of crabs in a bucket. Ever since Obama began his race for the presidency, he has received ridicule from both blacks and whites. The first group is a shocker to me, and one of the main reasons we as blacks in America will never, EVER, succeed. These are the reasons, if he loses, Obama may not be president.

Blacks are so busy trying to sabotage, kill, degrade, abandon, each other that we can never come together to do something positive that will benefit us. Honestly, we would probably be better off as slaves, and we won't stop until we are again. It seems that this is the only time we can come together and move in the same direction. As slaves our ancestors sung, prayed, and ran together. During segregation, they sung, prayed and marched together. Now, we argue, curse, and fight each other. All while white america looks at us with a big smile. What's the easiest way to get rid of a problem, let it kill itself off. And that's what we are doing. Degrading our own by organizing such groups as black republicans against Obama, (yes it does exist).

Jesse Jackson, an opportunist, not a leader, is apparently jealous of Obama's success. Obama was able to do what Jesse had been trying to do for years. In the 80s Jesse tried to become the first black presidential candidate elected by the Democratic party and failed each time, losing twice to Michael Dukakis. Years later, here comes Obama who not only gets the nomination from Democrats, but is getting support from Republicans as well. Go figure. This is not an isolated incident involving J.J., on several occasions, Jesse has made it a point to try to pull Obama back down in the bucket with the rest of the, *pardon* niggers. First, saying he is not black enough, why, because he doesn't have outside children that he doesn't take care of? Next, saying he was wrong for his father's day speech, why, because he was telling the truth based on his personal experience?(Struck a nerve did he?) Now, saying he talks down to blacks and wants to castrate the man, why, because he has been successful at what you have failed at? I wonder what Dr. King would have to say about this? Since he wants to follow in his footsteps. No matter what Malcolm X did or said, Dr. King never responded negatively, because, although they didn't agree with each others tactics, they were still fighting for the same cause. Take notes J.J.

Black people, open your eyes, take off the shackles that bind your mind and realize that we will always be frowned upon, degraded, embarrassed, and treated unfairly, because it's easy to destroy a chain when the links are not strong. We need to come together and concentrate on rising together. Doing it separately has not worked thus far, when will we realize that it won't?

And for those who think that Obama is speaking down to blacks, realize if he is, he's only doing it to try to get you to rise up to the level he knows we should and can be at.

Bottom line: Stop being monkeys and start being trainers. It's hard to kill the word "nigger" if we keep resurrecting it and proving they still exist.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

So High...Yet Your Feet Are Still On The Ground

Check, Check, Mic Check, One, Two, One, Two,:

I told myself that I would not blog about the BET Awards. I believed that a degrading of the show, which I probably would have, would not be in good taste for a channel that, in the past, has done a lot for black artists and black music.

Saying that, my complaint about the BET Awards is the lack of support from said black artists. It seems that every year, we see less and less of the mega stars that make up black music, unless they are winning an award, and now it seems they refuse to show for that. This year I was very disappointed in the high society that BET made a household name. Now, I understand that prior engagements, scheduling conflicts, etc, make it hard to attend the show every year, but it's funny that they all seem to adjust their schedules to make sure they attend the Grammys, The American Music Awards, The MTV Movie (which makes no sense) and The MTV Video Awards. You have never heard one of their presenters say, "I'm sorry, Missy couldn't be here tonight, so I accept this award on her behalf." Instead they have a live video feed where they accept their award and make this big speech explaining why they weren't there and how sorry they are for not being there. What do they do for the BET Awards, The Soul Train Awards (which made Mary famous), and the now defunct (Vibe and Source Awards)? They just don't show. No explanation, no video, no respect.

I will admit that since the Source Awards are now cancelled, the "thugs/goons" have no place to go and vent and dress like they just rolled out of bed, so they have to do it at the BET Awards. Still that does not constitute an excuse to just crap on the channel that gave most of them careers. MTV and VH1 wouldn't and don't play most of their videos. Except on MTV 2, which most viewers can't catch. Kanye's outburst last year at the MTV awards show was justified. They were willing to put a cracked out Brittney Spears on before a grammy award winning artist. Yet this is who we choose to support? They have gotten so high on the hog that they forgot what chicken tastes like.

Mary was a no show, why? What was she working on? Shopping? Taking care of Kendu's outside children?

Kobe was a no show, why? He practically lives next door. And with the things he has been through he should be proud to have won the awards he has. Shaq: "Kobe how my ass taste?" sorry.

Missy was a no show, why? Well I can see why. She was nominated for a album she did over two years ago.

No Beyonce, no Jay-Z, no Denzel, no Will and Jada, no Bob Johnson (negro it was your channel). Babyface, Eddie Murphy ( you need all the publicity you can get, it seems you have another flop on your hands with that robot crap), Jamie Foxx, Eve, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Joe Jackson, Rebbie Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Tito Jackson (I know you weren't busy), TI, Dream, Ice Cube and so many more, all no shows.

The Soul Train Music Awards was cancelled for lack of participation, but the Grammys won't be. And they support and honor less black people than the Klu Klux Klan. I have yet to see them profile/honor greats like Berry Gordy, Quincy Jones, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross even. Why? They don't care about us. They focus on the white audiences and our high class ghetto asses don't fit in their plans. So why support them? I keep alluding to Kanye because he makes light of what we are blind to. He had a multi platinum selling album, and they didn't give him an American Music Award. He spoke up, and because they probably didn't want to be brought out, the Grammy committee gave him one. Still he makes it a point to be at every BET Awards Show.

When will black people stop sucking the teet of white America and stand up for and on their own? They come in droves to the Oscars, but won't attend the BET Movie Awards show, or any black movie awards show. As soon as they can buy a platinum chain they forget where they got the money from. I say again, it's this kind of thinking that will keep Barack Obama out the White House and why black businesses hardly ever succeed. When are we going to stop being crabs and start being crab meat eaters?

Bottom Line: Don't get so high up that you don't realize your just standing on your tippy toes.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Blame It On The Rain...Not The Man

Greetings and Salutations,

As a man, I endure a great deal of crucifying and criticism from women. When I speak to female friends, I am often asked the proverbial, why do men cheat? Why do they treat women so bad? Why do men lie? Why is a good black man hard to find? My answers to them are simple. Most men do these things to you, because you allow it. Now, after this I may be labeled as a traitor to my gender, but I feel that in order to save the black man from constant ridicule and torture, and to help our black women, I must reveal some of the secrets that women, as smart as they are, don't seem to know. Which is funny, since they claim to know us so well.

In my past I have found myself being the big brother, cry on his shoulders, guy for quite a few women. I would rather not have been, but they sought comfort in me. All crying the same thing: "Why? I loved him." Well, that was your first mistake. What women fail to understand is that most men don't love with their heart. Women by nature are emotional beings, and men are physical. It's a fact. Don't believe me, ask your husband or boo, what first attracted him to you. He will try to not seem insensitive and say something like, your eyes, your hair, your walk. (Actually it was your butt, breast or looks). But it will more than likely be something physical about you that caught his eye. Your voice, your smell. Because quite honestly when a man first meets a woman, his first thoughts are usually about having sex with her. Ask a woman the same question and she will more than likely say, "well you looked very handsome in your suit that night, but I was really turned on by the way you carried yourself. You spoke well, you had a great sense of humor, and a wonderful attitude." Emotions.

And that, unfortunately, is what makes the most dominate being in the world, vulnerable. When you put your heart into something it hurts like hell when it ends, fails, or just plain ole disappoints. And most men use that to their advantage. When a man knows that he has a woman's heart, he knows he has her. It is not until the woman realizes that this man is not for her, and completely looses all sense of emotion for him, that she can walk away. Fellas realize that when a woman doesn't love them anymore, they are done. Think about it ladies, that man that had your heart, maybe your first love or your first, you felt like you couldn't live without him. You often caught him cheating, lying all the time, in some instances hitting you, and you still take him back. As soon as you woke up and got tired of his mess, seriously tired of it, walking away from you was as easy as breathing. No matter what he said, or did or how good the penis was, you could get up, wash, and leave as if it were nothing and not care about the girl passing you in the hall that was going to his apartment. That's emotion. That's a woman's strength and weakness. The emotional strength that could allow her to walk into the fiery pits of the man whose sex had completely turned her out, lay with him and leave without feeling nothing more than I got mine. And the emotional weakness that will have her crying after he came to her house, hit it, and left to go be with that other bitch. That is what will have you outside his job, hiding in his bushes, going to all his favorite spots, checking his phone, checking his computer, going through his wallet. A man on the other hand, when he has a beautiful woman that has turned him out, he can't get enough. Yeah, he may still go out and get others, but his heart is with you. But don't get it twisted, he may and more than likely will go out, men need variety at times. Chicken everynight can get boring. Because if he can get your fine behind, he definitely has the confidence to get somebody as fine or finer than you. It's in a man's nature to conquer as much as possible in as little time as possible whenever possible. Now I am only speaking for some men. Not necessarily all.

Example: a young lady I know started dating this boy. Prior to her meeting him, she was independent, self confident, and virginal. This young man used this to his advantage, the virginal part. After he got her to give him her heart he was able to transform her from a woman of substance to a woman of substance abuse. He did not want her to make herself pretty, i.e. make up, pedicures, manicures, etc, he had her believing that no one wanted her except him. And she started to believe that. She began comparing herself to the girls he was cheating with, believing that they were better than she was. She often said, "I can see why he wants her, she has this, and I don't, or she has that and I don't." He took her heart, broke her down, and used that to his advantage. He did several other things like, cheating, ruining her credit, keeping her away from her family, etc. However, she still can't find it in herself to leave him. She keeps using excuses like, "I don't want to inconvenience him, or put him out on the streets, he has no place to go. I love him. I can't stand to know that he is going to be with her if I leave." Then turns around and cries because he is leaving their house to go lay up with another girl at hers. This is the thinking of most women. Are you kidding me? Now to most he would be seen as the bad guy. And as true as it may be, however, who is really at fault? If I am a crackhead and you tell me to stay at your house and watch your stuff while you go out, then I in turn steal your television and pawn it, who is the fool? You knew I was a crackhead when you asked me to stay there. So am I wrong for doing what is expected of me? Or are you for giving me the opportunity?

Ladies, please stop bashing men for things you know and expect us to do. You congregate with your lady friends and talk about how trifling we are, but in reality, apparently, obviously, that's what you want. You have identified all the faults, admitted the problem but you go home and lay right next to this same man. And get mad when he wants to leave you. But, five minutes ago you said I was trifling and wasn't shit, but you don't want me to go? I've decided to no longer feel sorry for women. I refuse to. If you allow yourself to be mistreated than you deserve it. No real man would act this way. Women pray for good men, but they pass them along for the thug, that will dog them. Why? Because he hit the bottom? He keeps you in place? Honestly, that's the woman I want on the side, not the woman I want to marry. And I consider myself a good man.

Men it starts with you. You need to be a presence in your daughter's life. She needs to know that she does not have to depend on a man for comfort, support, or just for his presence. She needs to see that a man can love one woman and treat her like the queen she is. My younger brother has three daughters, and he tells them he loves them everyday, he tells them how beautiful they are, and that they don't need a man for anything. I admire him for that. When they grow up they won't have to rely on a man to tell them they are beautiful to make them feel special, they won't have to rely on a man saying he loves them to feel secure in their relationship. They will already know that. And that's what we as men need to do. No we aren't the blame for the mistakes that women make in relationships, but in a sense we are the source of the mistake.

However, that is not an excuse ladies. Never put anyone else's feelings above your own. Trust me he won't put yours first, if he did he wouldn't cheat. Depend on yourself to know you are beautiful. He may only tell you that to get some. Build yourself up financially and don't feel you have to use your finances to keep a man. A real man won't allow you to or need you to. Don't categorize all men in the same boat. True we are physical beings, but sometimes its the physicality that binds us emotionally. Realize that he may be hitting the bottom, but at the same time you have also taken all he can give, use it to your advantage for once. Take charge of the ship.

Bottom line: Ladies, don't say there aren't any good men in the world, if all you do is keep breast feeding boys.

Do The Music Industry A Favor: Please Recycle

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your eyes,

I don't claim to be a connoisseur of fine music and art. I mean I can probably recite or recognize music going back as far as the 1950's, (mainly due in part to my mother exposing me to every single genre of music, except country) but I am in no way ready to compete on "Don't Forget The Lyrics." But is it me or has the music industry gone GREEN and started recycling everything from beats, to content, to lyrics? I know, I know, my last two blogs have been about music, but music seems to be the universal language of the world at this moment. Hip Hop, excuse me, please forgive me REAL Hip Hop fans, I mean, Rap has corrupted what was once a glorified invention of rhyme and sound, R&B has gone "gangsta," and country has gone hip hop. Right now if I want variety, uniqueness, creativity, and realness, I have to put on a classic 70s CD or old school hip hop CD. I definitely can't listen to the radio. Why? Because everything sounds EXACTLY alike.

Don't believe me? OK, example: Irreplaceable...Chris Brown's song, I need you girl, or whatever. Damn that beat sure sounds alike. As a matter of fact, every time I hear it I want to say, "To the left, to the left." Instead I hear, "I need you boo, I need you girl, and something something something all over the world tonight." Huh? They did not just give him the same beat and expect us not to notice. Are you hearing this little girl with the goo goo eyes, staring wildly at the radio as if she is watching his video? Hello? I guess not.

Along the same lines, NeYo, (by the way I am a big fan of his) wrote "Irreplaceable," and Rihanna's "Take a Bow." Correct me if I am wrong, but are they not the same song with a different beat and lyrics. I know that doesn't make sense, but think about it, both songs are about a woman who has caught their man cheating, he is trying to get back in and ask for forgiveness, but they have wised up and moved on. Now they are bragging about all the stuff they gave him and how much he has lost. Both are hits, don't get me wrong, but c'mon NeYo. Really? And I guess no one else has noticed this.

Well let's see if you agree on this then, rap music, why are all the songs today still focused on the same ole, one, two snap? One, two, snap. Why the hell are we still snapping? Laffy Taffy, OK, that was unique. A breath of fresh air after we all got in shape and had heart attacks from being Crunked to death, but damn. Now I have worn my index finger and thumb to the bone snapping to every rap song. I never thought "thugs" were the snapping type. Fooled me. It's bad enough most rappers sound alike now, (Rocko, Young Jeezy), now they are recycling each other's beats, content, and features. C'mon, I know he's talented, but if I have to hear T-Pain's distorted voice on another rap song or R&B dance record I am going to...hell probably listen. Is it that hard to get a hit that you have to have the same person on each song? Between him and Lil Wayne they could have done platinum albums off just their features (that probably would have been a better album for Wayne than the Carter III). Which T-Pain made apparent at the BET Awards when he orchestrated his string of features for his set. He didn't have to perform not one of his songs. As a matter of fact for the best rap song category he was featured on all except one of the songs that were nominated. Same for the best male R&B songs. REALLY? And if I have to hear Lil Wayne's half freestylin self again... Seriously, it has gotten so bad that I was happy to hear and look forward to hearing more from Hot Styles (Lookin Boy). At least it's different. Even if their beat is the same as Laffy Taffy, I Bet You Can't Do It Like Me, and I Think They Like Me.

Before the late 80's all music was different. An R&B singer could swoon any girl off their feet with a love song that was totally different from the guy before him. If you went to a concert then, you got a show that was all different. Now you might as well put them on all at the same time because they are basically using the same beats. Just keep the same record going. The music industry is lacking on creativity, (thanks Diddy), and interest. R&B singers are talking about screwing in the club, are you serious, you really want to screw in the club? Wow ladies if you really think that's sexy. They don't know anything about love. Chris Brown thinks it's sexy to gyrate the stage to death while he takes his lady down. They want to be pimps and rappers now instead of making songs that babies are made from.

A ray of light is at the end of the rainbow, at least they have The Dream, Kanye, NeYo (when he is not bored), Trey Songz, The Neptunes, Timbaland, etc to provide a difference.

Until next time, remember, don't throw away your trash, one artist's hit is another one's hit, and another artist and another artist and another...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dr. Cornel West: Hip Hop Phenom?

Last year Dr. Cornel West released a hip hop album entitled: "Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations." This album has not hit the mainstream markets, apparently, probably because it lacks the negativity of most rap albums today. This was a brilliant idea by the Honorable Dr. West to reach out to the mainstream rap artists and show them that their records will still sell, even if they stop cursing and degrading women. Dr. West was able to conjure up such great lyricists as Talib Kweli, Rhymefest, KRS One, Rah Digga, Andre 3000, and M1 of Dead Prez. To further compliment the album he also added Prince and the Great Jill Scott. The album had street artists as well, who were able to express the problems they faced growing up, without using the dreaded N-word or calling out our black women. They expressed themselves both lyrically and matter of factly and still their message was received. Which brings to point a previous blog of mine. Rap music can still exist if the rappers decide to make a change. In the beginning rap lacked all this negativity and it sold.

People will buy what "their" role models persuade them to. If all rappers decided to only put out positive music, it would sell. Promise. If you don't believe me, check out Dr. West's album. He was able to put together reputable artists, with surprisingly good beats, that compares to what is out today. And guess what? You listen to it and almost forget it's positive.

You find yourself rapping to Talib's "Bushonomics." "Plus we don't have no universal health care/and who the hell care about crack mothers and welfare. They called President Clinton a whore monger/voted him out and replaced him with a warmonger." In "Still Here," Ambassador proclaims, "Doesn't matter what you been through in you're life, you still here/ even though you feel like giving up the fight, you're still here" He was able to express how hard his life was, but never did he mention he wanted to kill niggas, f*&k bi*&hes, and so forth.

Dr. West also has a discussion with Michael Eric Dyson and Tavis Smiley about the use and ban of the N-word. This 12 minute debate was very enlightening as all three expressed their concerns and use of the word. They make the argument that corporate america has taken a word that blacks use as a means of reminding them of the struggle and strife in life, and used it for profit. That is what makes the word wrong to use.

This is a very positive and enlightening piece of work by Dr. West and its contributing artists. A must listen. This album is truly a message to mainstream rappers that the use of negativity in music is not a guaranteed sell. Especially when all of you sound alike. Change is what attracts attention, ask Outkast, Goodie Mob, Ceelo, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, KRS One...

This album proves that corporate america is controlling OUR music. It's time we take it back. Starting with BMWMB: Black Men Who Mean Business!

Thug, "What's My Motivation," The New Actor

I grew up during the time when rap music, nay Hip Hop, was born and began to prosper. The lyrics were quick, witty, and meaningful. Songs like "Self Destruction" educated the youth on how we were entering into a society where black on black crime was beginning to run rampant. Drugs were taking over our neighborhoods more so than before and violence was on the rise in black communities. Run DMC gave us music to bob our heads to, laugh to, and relate to. Special Ed spoke about how he had it made. Rakim and KRS 1 gave lyrics that made you say, "Damn, you heard what he said?" L.L. gave the ladies someone to love and swoon over, while Biz Markie and Dougie Fresh hyped the parties. Hip Hop was about the music, teaching, and entertaining. In no song did the lyricist kill a bunch of people, unless it was lyrically, beat his woman or call her a bitch or ho, glorified the drug game, bragged about how rich they were and how broke you were. Life was just as hard for them, but they found a way to express that in a way that showed how good it was to leave that behind and not bring it with you. Life was hard enough without having to hear it in every song on the radio as a reminder. That's like having a life threatening aliment and having somebody remind you of it everyday.

Today "rap music" has taken over the airwaves and the "thug" is the new face, well has been since the early 90's. It all started with a group called N.W.A. (Niggas With Attitudes). Myself, along with the rest of my generation and those to follow, embraced the new hardcore lyrics of "F, the police", "Bitches aint Shit," and "She Swallowed It." It was new, it was different. It was the new Jordans. It became so popular that now, suburbanites are creating the image of having a rough life, selling drugs, not having their father around, mother on crack, whoa is me mentality and making what they call, music.

Now our youth are brainwashed into believing that everything they hear on the radio is real. News Flash, this just in: 99.9% of the rappers today are merely rappers pretending to be thug rappers. Most of them went to and graduated from high school, never sold aspirin at a gas station, let alone crack on the streets, had curfews, and was raised by both parents in good neighborhoods. They even respected women before they got a record deal. Rappers have now become actors. Violence, drugs, being disrepectful to women, etc, it sells. The corporations have determined this is what makes them the most money, and like our president, they don't care who is killed in the act. Artists like Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, Common, Mos Def and so on, are labeled as conscious rappers and don't receive as much of the limelight as the "thug" rappers have obtained. "Major" labels rarely sign them, with the exception of Common, Mos Def and Outkast.

Rappers today like Lil Wayne, Plies, Young Jeezy, T.I., etc, lack the lyrical skills, creativity and talent of the aforementioned rappers, but unlike them they get more coverage, limelight, and attention. Why? Because they glorify what's destroying the black community? They believe that killing their enemy is a better option than talking it out? Our youth flock around them and praise them as the new emergence of what they call hip hop. It is this kind of thinking that will make it difficult for Barack Obama to become president, but that's another blog.

I, however, do purchase the music of the mainstream rappers today. I take caution on who I buy. I tend to stray away from one hit wonders, or rappers who use gimmicks to sell records. I recently purchased Lil Wayne's "The Carter III" and Plies' "Definition of Real." As highly anticipated as Wayne's cd was, I believe it to be a complete failed attempt at trying to prove you are the greatest rapper alive. Most of his lyrics don't make sense, he stumbles over rhymes, since he attempts to freestyle everything, and it makes for a sorry excuse for a record. Plies on the other hand, chooses to focus on the profanity that has elevated rap. I am no saint and have used my share of curse words, but wow! I listened to one song in particular with my wife, and we had to close our ears! Every other word was negative. If it was on the radio, it would sound like this: "Beep, beep, beep beep, yeah, beep beep beep, ok, beep beep beep. Know what I'm saying."

They can't tell their woman they love them without having to degrade them first. "Bust It Baby is what I call you." And the young girls are eating this up. They see this as a term of endearment. What does this say about the future of our women, our future mothers? I understand you must maintain your thug mentality, but does that constitute having to tell her you love her with abusive language? Last I recalled love was sensual, not violent.

Does everything have to be so hard? When we start praising rims, jewelry, cars, and clothes over what matters. Does anyone realize there is an election going on where we may make history? Our neighborhoods are run down? Children are being passed through school? Black fathers are rarely seen? But this is what makes you a better rapper? I have to listen to my nephew say he wants to be 50 cent when he grows up. Which means I have to prepare for a call saying he has been shot 9 times, beefs with every rapper to sell a record, is lyrically imcompetent, and lacks self confidence? Not a bright future for our youth.

Bottom line. Most of the so-called, "thugs and goons," are merely wannabes. They take what they have seen on the streets, incorporate it in their ryhmes, act like it was part of their life and sell records. They are merely actors who take their roles off screen. They can't fight, won't fight, won't shoot basketball let alone a gun, never been to jail except to visit a family member, aint scared to die until they get shot and are about to die, both parent having, school educated, church going, respectful young men who only curse on record. Parents need to raise their kids, and let them know that Thug Rappers are as fake as Santa Claus. Beeyach!

Monday, June 23, 2008

To Dress or Not To Dress...

Hello mild mannered friends,

Earlier this month I was privied to attend the wedding of my uncle in my hometown of Orangeburg, SC. This was to be the wedding of the month, the most illustrious occasion the Garden City had seen all month. However, this expected extravagant affair, was turned into a ghettofabulous event. The outfits were striking, ghettorgeous, mag...well you get the picture. With camera in hand I began to document what would be the greatest segment of Hot Ghetto Mess to date. The participants were decked out in matching silk short sets with sneakers, backless dresses that exposed the ever so decorated and artistic talents of that great ghetto artist "Catball 'chicken' Pox." The artist's handy work was displayed all on the open backs of several young ladies. Picasso could not have sketched a better sequence of black spots and scars from childhood past. Mid drifts that showed the talents of Sir Stretch Marx, a great exhibitionist during the prenatal days. An array of gold teeth that far surpassed the decorations of stain glass windows and gleaming chandeliers. What an event. Then came the reception. Oh, did they loosen up there. Children decked out in the latest playground gear. White, soiled t shirts with the ever so loose neckline, gym shorts, and white socks with the graffiti from some historic playground. Girls who decided their high class gear was far to good to wear to a "reception," changed into boy short ensembles that showed their butt cheeks and high thigh scars. The gentlemen dressed it up with basketball jerseys, and flip flops.

Ladies and Gentlemen they managed to turn this high class affair into a decked in all white, old fashioned, cookout.

Another example: I was watching Wayne Brady's "Don't Forget The Lyrics." Now this is not a game show where you need to be on your best dressed behavior, however, knowing that millions may be watching you at any given time, may prompt you to make sure you are not a candidate for the ghetto hall of fame. I digress, there was a young man, who happened to be black, that was competing on the child edition of the show. One of his back ups was a friend of his, who, by the way, seemed too old to be hanging out with an 11 year old. The young man had on a nice button up shirt, tie, jeans, and sneakers. This was all fine until he stood up and revealed that his shirt was not tucked in. It was just hanging there. So, I ask, what was the purpose of the tie? Boys II Men kind of started the whole jeans, dress shirt, tie combo, but they did tuck it in. Which left me to believe that the kid was a slow dresser and the producers of the show refused to wait five seconds while the kid tucked his shirt in.

Then there was the adoption event I went to recently. It was a formal affair attended by local celebrities and potentates ( I guess I spelled that right), candles, fine dining, and music by a popular Latin jazz band. walked a brother decked down to the bone in a red suit, with matching red hat, two pairs of red sunglasses, red now and later gators and a red "Flash" (yes the superhero) t-shirt. And to top it off he was about 30 minutes late. He entered during the acceptance speech of one of the honorees, having to pass directly between the path of the speaker and the audience. WOW! How we maintained is beyond me. Needless to say he was the buffoon of the evening, appropriately taking pictures with the white folks there who thought they only saw this kind of thing on BET.

Well today I would like to discuss the fashion statements that we, more so Blacks (African Americans, Negroes, Afro Americans), choose to make at events that require a more suttle approach.

As a gentleman of fine habertachery...haberdatchery...haber...Clothing, I would like to give you the don'ts of casual and formal affairs:

1. Just because you throw on a pair of slacks and dress shoes, does not mean you are dressed up. If you decided to throw on a thermal shirt on top of that, you just defeated the purpose.

2. As shocked as some of you may be (this should have been number 1), Dickies, although they come in sets, are not formal wear! I repeat Dickies are not formal wear. Not even the all black or all white ones. It's something about that little red tag on the shirt and pants that read "Dickies" that make this outfit not so formal. No matter what shoes you put on with them. Not to mention the hard creases that make it look like you just took them off the hanger. And just because you have on dress shoes, does not mean you are formal. Especially when you are wearing a silk short set, cowboy hat and sunglasses. There is a reason the Nation of Islam does not have muslim short sets.

3. A reception, though it may turn ghetto after the cake is cut, does not mean it is a cookout. Your kids should have on, at least, a nice polo shirt, khakis, and maybe sneakers. All of which can be brought at your local walmart for under $20. They should not look like you swung by the playground or pool to pick them up on your way there. Now they are dancing with the wedding party in dirty white fruit of the loom shirts, shorts, ashy legs covered by brown socks that use to be white, now exposing their big toe and no shoes. Now they have all the attention of the reception because they know the latest dance and are in the middle of the dance floor showing off for you, who by the way is shouting, "Go Nay Nay!"

4. Speaking of which, Fruit of the Loom, Hanes, etc., although widely known, are not famous designers that should be the focal point of your outfit. They are called undergarments for a reason. So unless you are one of the fashion models being paid to advertise at one of their events, we don't need to see them. And that goes for Flash as well as any other superhero attire.

5. Basketball jerseys, shorts and sneakers are made for just that, BASKETBALL! Enough said.

6. Ladies, if your breast look like your are toting your two offspring on your shoulders, then you need to keep them covered. I know it is hard to find a good bra for humongous breasts, (note: Jill Scott released the butterfly bra for you on June 1), still we can see you are blessed with them covered up. Believe me, men will still take notice. With them out you risk turning a well organized formal event into Dollar Bill's version of the Mulan Rouge. Risking complete nipple exposure and the possibility of knocking out your dance partner.

7. Socks are not the new loafers! Enough Said!

8. Alert! Guess, Tommy, Polo, FUBU (if you still dare), Perry Ellis, Dolce and Gabana, Sean John, and even Rocawear, all make suits! Just because you paid a lot for your shirt and jeans, does not mean it is considered formal attire. No, a $175 Ed Hardy shirt, $95 Rocawear jeans, and Tims, does not make you look dressed up. Just stupid! P.S. And throwing a gold or platinum chain over it doesn't help either.

9. Crocs, although very comfortable, are not dress shoes. And neither are the knock offs in walmart and the chinese store.

10. A dress, normally, goes to at least the knees, and should fit. Just because it was in your closet, and you are proud of your body, does not mean everyone else is. Wear a dress that fits and doesn't make your back look like butt cheeks. Or one that you can leap to get the bouquet in and not reveal that you also thought g strings were appropriate outside the strip club and bedroom.

Well those are some key points to remember when attempting to dress casual or formal. Remember a nice shirt that dons the designer's name on the inside tag (people who are use to things don't have to show everybody they are wearing a expensive designer, and real designers keep their names on tags), pants not made of denim or by Dickie, Shoes that cover the foot and have a hard bottom with a shine, may not make you stand out, but then again, sometimes that's a good thing.

Dress Well.

Honorable Mentions:

1. Outfits should color match. Only Rainbow Brite got away with wearing multiple colors, and you see how long her show lasted.

2. Gold teeth are a sign of tooth decay, not wealth.

3. Excessive jewelry only makes you a target. It does not accentuate your outfit.

4. Bright colored weave? No, it does not make you a trendsetter, just an upsetter. It does not have to match your clothes.

5. Durags are not proper head attire. Just sleep wear.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Bucket List

Well a friend of mine saw the bucket list a couple of months ago and decided to create her own. Now she has challenged all her friends to do the same. So world, here is my bucket list. I now challenge you do create one for yourself. Although you may never get to do all, if any, of the things on your list. It is still good to make a plan, hey, you never know what may you may be able to accomplish in the future. You only have one life, you should take full advantage of it. Don't go wondering what if, why didn't I, I should have...

Here Goes...

1. Meet Jill Scott and have a personal conversation with her.

2. Hug Jill Scott and receive some of her positive energy.

3. Visit Africa, especially the Ivory Coast.

4. Participate in the creation of a child.

5. Help to make The Kelly J. Hunter Group a success.

6. Write/Publish a best seller.

7. Visit the final resting place of Malcolm X.

8. Visit the Audobon Ballroom where Malcolm X was killed.

9. Get the body I always seem to stop working on.

10. Take an exotic vacation to an exotic island besides Jamaica.

11. Climb the Eiffel Tower.

12. See the Pyramids.

13. See Jay-Z perform live.

14. See Michael Jackson perform live.

15. Actually see/visit a beach of Jet Black Sand.

16. Read the Bible in its entirety.

17. Ensure my family is financially secure.

18. See The University of South Carolina Football team win a National Championship.

19. Own/buy a brand new car.

20. Trace my entire family tree.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

How Come...Hmmmm

This is a dedication to all the faux pas that are in today's and old school television shows. Things that make you say, "How Come...Hmmm." Questions about why certain things were allowed to happen in a show, things we were not supposed to notice.

Let's start with one of my favorites: Good Times

How come: They lived in one of the most violent and dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago, yet they never had their door locked? Wilona walked in at will, the kids ran in and out of the house. No one ever had a house key. James had to knock every now and then. He worked all these jobs, paid the bills, and couldn't get a key to his own house. Talking about scratching and surviving.

How come: James was J.J.'s father, but in real life they are almost the same age. J.J. may be older? And Florida was married to James, but in real life she was old enough to be his mother. (Evidence in the episode she made James give back the money, her dye was running all down her face). Explain that at the next family reunion.

How come: Florida always prayed for God to help them get out of the ghetto, but everytime he provided them with an edge, she talked them out of it? I.E. James found the stolen money. The pastor even said it may be God providing. Or when James wanted to go to Alaska for a year to make $500 a week. WOW! She made him feel guilty. Which leads to my next how come,

How come: Florida didn't want James to go to Alaska to make $500 a week, but allowed him to go to Mississippi? Hell he would have been back in a year, he never came back from Mississippi!

How come: Thelma dated her uncle? Louis Gossett Jr. played her 40 year old boyfriend in one episode, but came back a couple of episodes later as her uncle Hubert. EXPLAIN THAT AT THE FAMILY REUNION!

Enough of the Evans family, lets move on to the Golden Girls. (Yes I'm addicted)

How come: Rose could not remember how long her husband Charlie had been dead? In the first season he was dead for 15 years. Later she was heard saying he had been dead for 5 years. Was Charlie faking his death for 10 years? Was he in a coma and they were assuming he was dead?

How come: Rose had sex for the first time since Charlie died, TWICE? In the first season, she had sex with then dance partner Arnie, (who later came back as Miles, how come she didn't remember that?) on a cruise ship. She was worried because she had not been with a man since Charlie died. Later that season she brings a mysterious visitor home whom she sleeps with, alledgedly for the first time since Charlie died, and he, the mysterious visitor, dies after sex with her. She told the girls the last time she had sex was with Charlie and he died. She thought she had killed this guy as well. Did she have the "white liver?" What happened to Arnie after that fateful trip? He never came back again, but reappeared in new form to come back for his revenge of the killer pu...

How come: None of the Girls had caring family members? When Blanche's daddy died, where was the youngest sister Charmaine? She did not come to the funeral. Neither did Blanche's gay brother. Only Virginia showed up. Where were her children? Wouldn't they want to come to their grandfather's funeral, especially since he was such a great man. Where were Dorothy's kids when her brother Phil died? Didn't care about their uncle huh? Where was Phil's 10 kids? Only the wife cared to see her husband buried. Even his cross dressing poker partners came. But his own kids couldn't.

How come: Dorothy never got that grandchild from her daughter? If she knew that wasn't going to happen, she could have kicked Dennis' butt when he cheated on her daughter.

How come: Only Dorothy and Rose wrote the "Miami You've Got Style" song, but Blanche and Sophia joined in and finish the song off as if they were co-writers?

How come: We never find out what happened with Stan's third marriage to the woman Dorothy confronted in the bar right before their wedding? The next thing we know, Stan and Dorothy are preparing to re-marry. Bigamist?

Wow, moving on to Tyler Perry's House of Payne:

How come: Allen Payne has forgotten how to act? He was great in the Cosby Show, New Jack City, not to mention the foot wash of Jada Pinkett in Jason's Lyric. It's like he got actor's amnesia.

How come: Ella throws her hands to the side everytime she says something?

How come: Curtis' hair is not as gray as it used to be? He started using that Walt Frazier hair dye?

How come: The mortage for the house that was burned down was only $20,000? What kind of sub prime loan did they get? And how long does it take to pay that off? Most cars cost that much and they are on a 5 year plan. How much does CJ make as a fire fighter. You would think that uncle Curtis would give him a raise or something.

How come: Calvin's catchphrase: "Be Breezy!" hasn't caught on yet? I don't hear people shouting it out as they leave the room. Not like "Dynomite!" or "What you talking about Willis?"

Here are just some random how comes:

How come: the guy dies off of Dallas and they bring him back as if it were a dream? I know the fans wanted him back, but come on.

How come: on the Cosby Show, Martin was first introduced as the guy Cliff wanted to take Sandra out so she would break up with Elvin, then later came back as Denise's husband? Sibling rivalry?

How come: Cockroach and Theo wanted to fly, and the next thing you know Cockroach is gone? Where did he disappear to?

How come: Judy goes upstairs on an episode of Family Matters with the little boy, but only he comes back down? We never see Judy again! Did he kill her?

How come: The youngest daughter on My Wife and Kids goes upstairs older and darker, but comes back down younger and lighter? The same thing happened with Aunt Viv on Fresh Prince...hmmm...

How come: Weezy on the Jeffersons was so ghetto and so nonchalant about their success in the beginning, but soon turned bougie and couldn't stand going back to the ghetto? Wow money sure changes a chick.

How come: There weren't any black people in Mayberry? Yet it was such a friendly town.

Well that's all for now, if you can think of any more, feel free to post them. So, Be Breezy, this has been Dynomite! Huh, do more? What you talking about Willis?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why Did I Get Married

While watching Tyler Perry’s best movie to date, "Why Did I Get Married?" (not saying the others weren’t entertaining,,but this one was more on the serious note). I digress, the movie had me thinking, why DID I get married? Not clear on the answer, I turned to Chris Rock who also shared the same dilemma as I. I THINK I love my wife. Hmm. No I KNOW I love my wife. Maybe. Definitely. Possibly. After almost five years of marriage, I sometimes lie next to my wife and wonder why did I get married? I was living the bachelor life with ease. The next thing I know, I’m in Florida, working for FedEx Kinko’s. A friend of mine and I were talking the other day and we were discussing this problem. Is it the fact that as an Aquarius I tend to not want to be in long term relationships, secretly wanting to dwell in the fantasy of being a 31 year old player, hopping from house to house, screwing chick after chick that will let me turn her from a woman of substance, to a woman of substance abuse? In this debate of the ever wanting to be single minds, we came to the conclusion that most men and women, are in love with the idea of being married, not marriage itself. As children we were taught, if you had decent parents, that you should go to school, get a good job, find a suitable mate, get married, and have 2 1/2 children. (That half one will need special attention).
So, as the decent ones, we try to live up to the lessons our sensai’s taught us. And after we secure the school, the job, sometimes the child, due to unforseen circumstances, we find that we are over 25, and still not married. Women, tend to then tolerate the mate they are currently with because they feel this is their last chance to get married, and they don’t want to be another single, unwed Baby Mama. So they deal with the cheating, lying, abuse, or whatever, in hopes of completing that final task, achieving that last medal, right before obtaining the GLOW! When you got that glow, you feel the...Sorry, Last Dragon memory.
FINALLY, he asks her to marry him. After 10 years of begging. They plan and have the big wedding, and 10 days later they are divorced, or she realizes that she just made the biggest mistake of her life. She was just in love with the idea of being married. Lulled into a falsehood of being with someone for the rest of her life, till death do you part. That was all well in fine, in the 50’s and 60’s. Then came the 70’s, the beginning of the end of monogamy and the death of us not being part.
As men, we sometimes feel that we just need to be married, either out of responsibility (kids), or obligation (she stayed around despite all the bullshit we put her through, or she helped us get to where we are today). So we break down, buy a cheap ring, (which she will take back later) ask her to marry us, and seem sincerely interested in the wedding plans, hoping we run out of money and the whole thing gets called off. BUT, somehow, that aunt, uncle, missing father, or hardworking mother who has been saving since the day she was born, mysteriously comes up with $10,000 to cover the wedding. We reach the bachelor party, forget there is a wedding the next day, then snap into reality when we fuck up and say "I Do." or "I will." Will what? Honor, cherish, in sickness and in health, TILL DEATH DO US PART! In front of God and all these witnesses.
Wow! They threw God in there, so now you have another obligation. We are talking an eternity here. Now it’s a month later, she is getting on your nerves, because she keeps you from going out with your boys, won’t let you watch the game in peace without asking, "hey why do they have to hit each other so hard?" Not wanting to give you Piece/Peace in either sense. All while your personal room is covered with lace curtains, paintings, and a rather nice chair that seemed to replace the comfortable recliner you had. You no longer have ME, its now WE, MY is now OURS, I is now US! We are sharing and compromising so much that we never stop to realize that the compromise and sharing is one sided.
It all seemed like such a good idea a year ago. So how can you end this without breaking the heart of the woman that has been loyal to you, or had your kids? Not to mention the razor blade carrying mother who put her whole life savings up for this little house party.
Now five years later we are sitting in a room, trying to find some solitude, some peace, or a piece, and ponder, "WHY THE HELL DID I GET MARRIED?" So why go through it in the first place? Why tell God and all the witnesses that you will devote your life to this person till death do you part. Suicide. Murder. Missing person. Sorry, mind wondering...It’s the fascination of having that big wedding, the moment being about you and her. The honeymoon to Hawaii, all the preparations, not realizing that we still have to live with this person after the glitz and glamour of the $10,000 house party decked out with ugly bridesmaids dresses, endless lines of the electric slide, waiting forever for the wedding party to arrive so we can eat, cutting the cake, the drunk toast from your best man, the beautiful sex filled honeymoon...Then it all ends. NOW the marriage begins.
Now if marriage was just the bachelor party, the wedding, and the honeymoon, marriages would be more popular and successful than ever before. But we get lazy after the week of uninterrupted screwing and loose the desire to put in the work that’s needed to actually make a marriage work. We still want to go out when we please, not answer to anyone, screw who we want, and be who we were as singles. Hence, marriages in today’s society are just momentary dream sequences, fantasies screwed up by the matrix, perfect scenes depicted by divorced or never married film directors, illusions if you will of what can be, but possibly will not be. It’s not Donna Reed, Mickey and Mallary, Harold and Maude, or even Ozzie and Ruby Dee, but what you make it. And sometimes, most of the time, we choose to make it a mess.
The solution: Wait until we retire, in our 60’s, tired of running around and REALLY ready to settle down. Then get married. Then the answer to the question, "Why did I get married?" Will be "Hell I’ve done everything else."

What’s In A Name?

What’s in a Name? Well plenty, since this is the new form of job discrimination, along with credit checks, that employers are using to keep our more than qualified offspring from having a future at their company. We all say that we want to provide our children with a better life than we had, all the opportunities they need to be successful in life, all the tools, all the hopes, and yet we curse them with a title that limits their success unless they plan on being strippers, porn stars, rappers, hookers, etc. A young lady I know recently had a child. So she pondered the many illuminous, illustrious names to choose from. She thought long and hard, created numerous beads of sweat on her head, went into labor and after several epidural shots she came of with the greatest name ever: *in a ghetto tone* "Ameretto Alize Brown! That’s hot! That’s it right thurr!" Well that prepares her for her future as an A.A. adviser or participant.
So what is truly in a name? Have names like Akbar, Mustafa, Kareem, become to hard to spell and pronounce? No, but they are putting a bullseye on the backs our people. Are we really trying to make our children so unique (no that is a not a sign for a name), that we make them as common as most Blacks, African Americans, Negroes etc...? As much as we try to deny it, this stereotypes our children who already have several strikes against them. When an employer looks at resumes you better believe that names are the first way of filtering out those who they do not want in their company. It’s the easiest form of job discrimination that is the hardest to prove. Now some of us believe that names should not be a determining factor in our child’s future, but we must realize the society in which we are living. Racism is more hidden now, yet rapidly becoming more prevelant, especially in today’s election between Obama and Hilary.
We are providing them with more ammo to keep our children out of work and in poverty. Is it really necessary to name your child after your favorite car, food, alcohol, a movie character, and expect them to be unique? Kind of defeats the purpose. We are limiting their success. I am for keeping what’s left of our heritage, our roots, our ancestory, but we can hold onto all of that in other ways. Now some of you may say we have to keep some identity for ourselves. Well for the majority of us, our last names are just as white/american as would be the first names. Check your last name with one from Africa and see how close you come to a connection.
*history lesson* When slaves were brought over from Africa, they were given the last name of their slave masters. They were also stripped of their origin names and given a caucasian name. (I said your name’s gon’ be Toby boy!)
So unless we are already celebrities and have millions for our children to nest on, making it almost irrelevant if they get a good job, we need to choose better names and provide our children at least some leverage in getting a job. I was one for naming my child something "different" to establish their identity. Then I joined the workforce and saw how many employers are not hiring people named, Shawnquesha, Elexus, Chardonnay, Chamomile, Epiphany, or the infamous Clitoria, (yeah they did) you get the point. When a name like Shawn, Elaine, Charlene, would help them gain an advantage, or at least get an interview.
Let’s face it, not many of us are starting our own business, and if we did, the stereotype of dealing with black people, usually cause the business to fail, so we have to practice so we can be mvp’s in the game. Granted we may never own a team, or coach it, but we can be stars in it.
So what’s really in a name? Would a rose by any other name still smell as sweet? Well it all depends on what garden it was grown in. Give your child a chance, their identity will still shine through with what you instill in them.
This blog is dedicated to my girl, TaTa Talicious! Keep your head up!

What Happens to a Dream Deferred? A Message to the 2008 Enslaved Negro

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore-- And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over-- like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

This is the question that Dr. King is probably asking right now: What happens? Simple, catastrophy. 40 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and we as a people are still stuck in a dream world. A sequence of events once again created by the matrix. What Dr. King and many others before him fought and died for, we continue to take advantage of are subjected to the fantasies of the trap they warned us about. In his last speech Dr. King said "Together we will get to the promise land, I may not get there with you, but we will reach the mountain top." Wow, powerful, touching, yet if only he knew how far we are from the top. Yeah, we have reached high peaks, steep plateaus, bumpy hills even, but the mountain top is still quite a climb. Especially when you are looking up from the bottom.
We have taken advantage of every single opportunity alloted to us and pissed them away. They fought for our right to vote, yet we still walk past the polls as if there is an invisible sign that says, "Whites Only!" They fought for our right to go to school where we pleased, yet so many of us are still not gradutating from high school, let alone college. They spent numerous days and nights in jail, so we would not have to, yet we are the majority of the population in today’s prisons. They fought for our unity, yet we remain divided, they fought for our freedom, and yet we still remain enslaved in our minds. They fought and died through struggles, so we could live in peace, yet we solve our disagreements amongst one another with violence. We live in fear of each other. We lock our doors, roll up our windows, clutch our purses and check our pockets whenever we travel through our own neighborhoods. The same neighborhoods that were a place of santuary when the outside beat us down.
And now we degrade one another, we kill each other, and for what? Respect? Because the "man" is holding us down? Because it’s hard out there? Do we even know what hard is? Are we being beaten down by clubs, attacked by dogs, sprayed with water hoses, lynched, mobbed, spit on, shackled, whipped? YES! Just not in the physical sense. However, they were, but they marched on, they sang on, they fought on. And WE have been spoiled by the fruits of their labor. We are allowing the mental aspect of lynching, shackles, whippings, to tear us down and apart. Why? If we inherited anything from our ancestors it was strength. They tell us that once you take a person’s mind, everything else just falls apart. The body can not survive without the mind. So we have got to learn how to stay strong mentally, and release the shackles that bind us, MENTALLY! Realize that the only "man" holding us down is us. We have so many opportunities but we have gotten so complacent in our old age that we never look past our own neighboorhoods for answers. So we lean on the streets for support, and not each other.
If selling drugs is your way of beating the system, hell, become a pharmacist. We need to teach our children that the images they see on television are not the way of life. And those on television need to realize that although they had a rough life, it is not to be glorified. Many criticize Kanye West for being arrogant, but learn from him. If you aren’t your biggest fan, who else will be? Take what you have been through, turn it into a positive and reflect on it only to teach others what not to do, so their life will be better. Stop glorifying death, drugs and sex. Is that the dream Dr. King spoke about? He dreamed of world where we would not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character. Either way, today, we are still going to come up short. Our characters are in serious question, and we could not be the witness for our freedom. Right now we would be tried, sentenced, and locked away. Still enslaved, still degraded.
We are all victim to this. If you degrade your brother or sister instead of helping them, you are no better than them. If you sit successful, yet refuse to help others reach your level, you are no better than them. A house negro, a porch monkey, a token, a sell out. And, unfortunately, in some way, we all fall in one of those categories. We shake our heads, point fingers, turn our backs on our own people, commenting on how stupid they are, how ignorant they sound. When in actuality we are all the ignorant ones. They fought for our freedoms, they were granted, but other tactics were invented to continue holding us down. They now do credit checks in order for you to get a good job. Knowing this, what do we do? Get credit cards, cars, furniture, etc, and never pay our debts. Ruining the same credit that will keep you from owning a home, or getting that dream job. Affirmative action is gone, so that adds to the trouble of getting a good job. And since many of us are not receiving college degrees, or obtaining the proper training for such jobs, we remain without. In our efforts to remain different, we are naming our children outrageous things. Wow! Give them more ammo! When they look at your resume and see your name they know from the start if you are black or not, and that opens the door for job discrimination.
Yes! It’s still out there. The fight is not over. Nobody said it would be easy. Nobody said it would be fair. Contrary to what we may believe, we are still far from the mountain top. WAKE UP! We are still fighting for our freedom. It is not a law, or a right, but take a look at the books. It’s an Act! Meaning at anytime it can be taken from us. We need to realize this is not our game, we are merely players, some of us MVPs, but none of us coaches or owners. It’s hard to defeat the inventor of the game, especially when they reserve the right to change the rules. We just have to learn how to adjust with the rule change, become better at the game, and continue to strive. We are no good if we are riding the bench.
They say that history repeats itself. If you stop and take a gander at the world we are living in, how long before we are physically shackled again?
So what happens to a dream deferred? Take a look around you!
Dedicated to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Medgar Evers, and all others who fought and died so that I may have the many advantages that I take advantage of.