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.