The Bud Billiken Parade celebrated its 90th year of existence on August 10, 2019. The back to school affair has been a staple in the community and continues to signal hope and happiness for the upcoming school year. Check out … Continue reading
Landon Buford is precisemuzic’s newest sports correspondent. He has written for Forbes, USA Today and The Bleacher Report. We chopped it up with him recently about his thoughts on the NBA and the future of the league as it relates to a few teams and this years championship.
Talk about the absence of LeBron this playoff series. What does it mean for the league?
From a playoff sense, not having LeBron James in the postseason dance doesn’t help their bottom during this time of the year. However, as far as relevancy, He is still being talked about whether it is from his show The Shop, in the media, or for what he is posting on Instagram and Twitter.
What are your thoughts on Magic Johnson leaving the Lakers?
I think Magic saw the writing on the wall and decide to remove himself from the situation. He doesn’t really need the reported 10 million dollars per year salary he was getting paid by the Lakers. He is reported to have a net worth of $600 million and with Magic leaving he can participate in things that are limited to individuals that are employed by NBA teams. That’s what he said he was missing out on when he was Lakers President of Basketball Operations.
Who do you have winning the championship this year?
I still have the Warriors three-peating. I don’t know if KD will return this season, but I still have them winning because of the core group of players such as Draymond Green, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Iggy. There is a possibility the DeMarcus Cousin could see the floor before the end of the Blazers series. So, we will have to see, but the Warriors are my pick to be the champs you have to beat the champs.
Who will win the MVP?
My pick is Giannis Antetokounmpo because he was able to lead his team to the best record in the NBA. Also, I feel he is more valuable to the Bucks due to his around game on both sides of the ball in comparison to James Harden and the Rockets. Also, James Harden won the award last year and you must have a stellar season after you win the award to be crowned back to back MVPs. There have been some exceptions with Stephen Curry and Steve Nash. Some will argue Nash should only have one and Kobe or Shaq should have been award the other one. It just based on the person‘s opinion. If you swapped Harden for Antetokounmpo, I feel the Rockets would have benefited more in comparison to Bucks and Harden in my opinion.
What teams do you think will emerge next year?
I think the Sacramento Kings are going to shock a lot of people next season. They barely missed the playoffs this season and they added veteran leadership with Harrison Barnes and Corey Brewer, who both have won championships in the past.
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The manhunt has ended for Nipsey Hussle’s suspected murderer Eric Holder aka “Shitty Cuz”. Nipsey was murdered 2 days ago in front of his Marathon store in Los Angeles. Many theories and conspiracies have arisen sine his murder. There is a group of those who feel that this was a way to silence Nipsey because he planed to release a documentary about the famed holistic doctor, Dr Sebi. However: the cameras and witnesses tell the story.
According to witnesses Holder came to Nipsey’s store and was told by Nipsey to leave his store because he was a snitch and he should never come back around. Witnesses claim and the video show Holder coming back and shooting Nipsey along with 3 others,.
Eric Holder evaded the police for 2 days and was finally captured in Bellflower Los Angeles.
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Nipsey Hussle, born Ermias Ashgedom, 33, has died. The rapper was shot outside his Los Angeles store. Two others were wounded and are reportedly in serious condition. The suspect remains at large.Multiple media outlets have reported that rapper Nipsey Hussle was been shot six times outside his store in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. His store, Marathon Clothing Company, opened in 2017. Hussle’s connection to the Crips is no secret, however, that did not stop him from crossing the line to do business with rappers like YG, who is affiliated with the Bloods.
Hussle was recently nominated for a Grammy for his debut studio album, Victory Lap. His rise in the industry has been unorthodox. In 2013, he released his mixtape Crenshaw and sold 1,000 copies for 100 dollars per copy. He sold every copy within 24 hours.
He released another project in 2015 titled Mailbox Money. He pressed 100 copies and charged $1,000. He sold 60 copies of the project.
Hussle has been a proponent of reinvesting in your community and owning a business. His store in Los Angeles is a culmination of his efforts.
In the song “Last Time I Checc’d feat. YG,” Hussle raps:
“It was visionary, either I’m genius or you ni**as scary-Maybe it’s both and this balance I deliver daily-For every n—a in the streets tryna feed the babies-The single mama’s workin’ hard not to miss a payment-And dirty money get washed on royalty statements-Black owners in this game of powerful racists-Young n—as in the set that’s doin’ it makeshift-Out the garage is how you end up in charge-It’s how you end up in penthouses, end up in cars-It’s how you start off a curb server, end up a boss-it’s how you win the whole thing and lift up a cigar-With sweat drippin’ down your face ’cause the mission was hard”
Earlier this year, Hussle announced that he would be doing a documentary on famed holistic healer Dr. Sebi. Sebi was said to have cured people of AIDS and cancer using his alternative medicines.
Stream/Buy “Speak Life” by Precise on all streaming platforms.
Cardi B (Photo credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre)
Cardi B, one of America’s most popular and ubiquitous rags-to-riches stories, has placed her foot in her mouth. An Instagram Story that Cardi posted three years ago has surfaced in which she admits to sleeping with men, drugging them and then robbing them. Cardi, who is well-liked because of her candor and bold disposition, is now in hot water because of it.
In the video Cardi speaks passionately about her past life.
“I did it myself, n—s must of forgot my n—a. The s—t that I did to mother—— survive. I had to go strip. I had to go oh yeah you wanna f— me? Yeah yeah yeah, let’s go to this hotel and I drug n—-s up and I robbed them. That’s what I used to do. Nothing was mother—- handed to me.” she said
In today’s #MeToo environment and the court of public opinion, it should be expected that Cardi B is called on the carpet because of such criminal acts that have helped her along her journey. Bill Cosby is currently serving a jail sentence after being found guilty for drugging women for the purposes of having sex. This is something he has vehemently denied, yet the court of public opinion, the #MeToo movement and the comedic memes helped to paint a picture of a man who was once viewed as America’s dad as a dirty old man.
We all love the story of someone lifting themselves out of poverty into success.
Cardi B’s rise has been meteoric. She has turned a stripper pole into Grammy gold and shows no signs of going back. However, we find ourselves at an impasse. Should Cardi be held accountable for the actions she admitted to three years ago? Of course, she should be, but most likely she won’t be because she is the world’s favorite type of ratchet.
Hypocrisy is running rampant in the land. Some are celebrated for the same things that others are punished for. If we allow ourselves to continue down this path, the grey between what’s black and what’s white becomes greater and our ability to make wise judgements becomes questionable.
Cardi has not left this latest scandal totally unscathed. A hashtag, #SurvivingCardiB, was created and many have voiced their displeasure and disagreement with Cardi’s past criminal acts.
Cardi obviously felt the heat and has issued a statement via her Instagram page.
She wrote “So I’m seeing on social media tray a love I did 3 years ago has popped back up. A live where I talk about the things I had to do in my past right or wrong that I felt I needed to do to make a living. I never claim to be perfect or come from a perfect world with a perfect past. I always speak my truth I always own my sh—. I’m apart of hip hop culture where you can talk about where you come from talk about the wrong things you had to do to get where you are. There are rappers that glorify murder violence drugs and robbing. Crimes they had to do to survive. I never glorified the things I brought up in that live. I never even put those things in my music because I’m not proud of it and feel a responsibility not to glorify it. I made the choices hat I did at the time because I had very limited options. I was blessed to have been able to rise from that but so many women have not. Whether or not they were poor choices at the time I did what I had to do to survive. The men that I spoke about in my love were men that I dated that I was involve with men that were conscious willing and aware. I have a past that I can’t change we all do.”
Cardi’s statement is one where no accountability is taken and she seems to place the blame at the feet of hip-hop culture and rap music. This is problematic because once again hip-hop culture is blamed for the criminal decisions of an individual.
How do we move forward from here?
Leave a comment below.
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I am so excited to join all of you as a host of Bantu Fest on July 28, 2019.
Bantu Fest is a summer festival in Chicago that includes food, music and all this African. The festival runs from July 27th to July 28th on the campus of the University of Chicago.
The African diaspora is represented with countries from all over the globe. You can grab some Haitian grio and a roti from Trinidad all in the same day. Prepare for the culture.
I look forward to seeing you for this 2 day festival.
Stream/Listen/Buy “It’s On Me” by Precise
All charges against the Empire actor Jussie Smollett have been dropped with relation to the masked attack that Smollett claimed to have happened to him in February. Smollett was under intense scrutiny as different pieces of his story seemed to be inconsistent and after two Nigerian men were questioned and were suspected by CPD that they were hired by Jussie to commit the crime. As a result of these inconsistencies Jussie was arrested and charged with 16 felony counts stemming from falsifying a police report. The Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson took to the airwaves to reprimand Smollett for wasting the resources of the police department for and event that seemed to materialize as a hoax. Todays turn of events raises an eyebrow and sets yet another spotlight on the city of Chicago which is currently set to elect it first Black Woman as Mayor of Chicago.
“He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgement.” Said Smollett’s attorney Patricia Brown Holmes
It still is not clear why the charges were dropped or if the Chicago Police department is admitting to a rush to judgement. A statement from the Cook County States Attorney reads “After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago,” the statement continues “we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.”
Smollett forfeited his $10,000 bond to the City of Chicago; however his attorneys stand by the position that Smollett’s charges being dropped are not the result of a plea deal but an agreement. This decision was made so Jussie would not have to fight and to get this over with.
“I want you to know that not for a moment was it in vain. Ive been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mothers son if I was capable of one drop of what I had been accused of. This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worst of my entire life, but I am a man of faith. I am a man who has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family our lives or the movement through a fire like this.” said Smollett as he exited the court.
Stream/Listen/Buy “Keep It Going” by R.A.P.
It’s been a while since Ive posted anything here. So much has been going on. 2019 is officially 3 months in. Jussie Smollett may or may not have lied about an assault and R. Kelly has finally been charged for allegedly pied pipering all of these little girls over the years. Needless to say 2019 has not been uneventful. When it comes to what Precise has going on it’s a bit less dramatic but a whole lot more dope.
I’ve partnered up with super producer Rkitech from NY and created a group called R.A.P (Rkitech and Precise). Our project Album of the Year is coming soon. In the mean time we released A side and B side singles. “Keep it Going” and “Get to The Bag” are streaming on all services for your listening pleasure.
Let us know what you think! Check out the singles below.
Roy Hargrove the prolific jazz trumpeter and Grammy award winner has died at the age of 49 due to cardiac arrest. Hargrove’s death is a blow to the music industry. Over three decades Hargrove managed became an elite Jazz musician and helped to enhance the flavor of Black music with his broad and elaborate horn arrangements. The best examples of this are in D’Angelos Voodoo, Common’s Like Water for Chocolate and Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun.
Many of his music industry cohorts took to Twitter to provide their condolences.
Hargrove was born on October 16th 1969 in Waco Texas. He attended Booker T. Washington High School for Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas Texas where he was discovered by Wynton Marsalis. He continued to study music at Berkelee College of Music in Boston. He released his first album Diamond in the Rough in 1990. In 1998 Hargrove won the Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album for Habana with the Afro-Cuban band he founded. In 2002 he won his second Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Album Directions in Music: Love at Massey Hall that also featured jazz impresarios Herbie Hancock and Michael Brecker. In 2003 Hargove release the RH Factor that was recorded in the famed Electric Lady Studios. RH Factor showcased Erykah Badu, Common and featured George Clinton.
Trumpeter and composer Theo Croker took to twitter to share a feeling that may be universal with respect to anyone who worked with Hargrove. “My heart is completely broken. The passing of legend #RoyHargrove is a huge loss to the entire music community. No one single musician has ever represented the scope of Black American music with as much integrity as Roy. Simply put he was the greatest of all time. REST in POWER” he wrote
Hargrove was recently touring and was scheduled to perform at Bethany Baptist Church in Newark New Jersey at the TD James Moody Jazz festival.
Hargrove is survived by his wife Aida Barnes, his daughter Kamara Hargrove, his brother Brian Hargrove and his mother Jacklyn Hargrove.
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Leon Robinson is known by the world as Leon and as with other celebrities who are recognized by their first name Leon has crafted a career that is iconic, impactful and genius. Ever since coming to life in Madonna’s controversial “Like A Prayer” video in 1989 Leon has remained a bankable artist in Hollywood. His roles as JT in The Five Heartbeats and David Ruffin on the VH1 miniseries The Temptations have become cultural staples and stand as an example of his range as an artist.
As of late Leon has been touring with his band Leon and The Peoples and he demonstrates how deep and profound his skills are when it comes to music. I spoke with him recently during rehearsal at 35th Street Studios in Chicago. He explained his staying power, dignity his passion for music and why love is a necessary subject in his work.
What is the origin of Leon and The Peoples?
We are all from New York City. I originally was part of this band called the Young Lions which was a bunch of really great musicians that played with Steel Pulse, Sting, Bruce Springsteen you name it. We were playing cover tunes and I wanted to do original music, so I started my own band called The Peoples about 11 or 12 years ago. Then I had to pull a David Ruffin on them and changed the name to Leon and The Peoples cause we got better gigs. We play a mixture between Reggae and Soul Music and people love the music. We have a good following especially with the women.
We are trying to move the music forward. We sing about thought provoking topics and things that are just fun
Talk about your most recent release Love is A Beautiful Thing
Our album Love is a Beautiful Thing is about all aspects of love. Not just the kind of love where you slob on the same pillow with somebody for years and go through deaths families and holidays and just because you didn’t sleep with them you don’t know where they are in the world. We not talking about that kind of love. We are talking bout the kind of love you have for your brother, your sister you mother you aunt. You made hate them some days but you still love them. We have a song on our new album called “Happy and Sad.” Let’s face it that’s what love does it makes you happy but it sure enough makes you sad, like nothing else in the world.
We have another song called “Beautiful” that has charted on billboard and it’s about telling people in your life that they are beautiful. It could be your mother, your sister your friend your baby mother, just letting people know that you find them beautiful. Not just on the outside but on the inside and letting them know what they mean to you. It’s about how important love is in our lives and not just in the romantic sense. It’s the way we educate our kids it’s the way we make our mark on the world, the love for ourselves and our love for others.
Why is love the common thread? Why is now the time to stress the concept of love?
Love was an obvious choice for us to talk about on our second record. Love is such a big influence in our lives in general and in my life I have never been in a world or in a country that needs love more than we need love right now. We are in a time right now where we are fighting to have our own dignity. We are trying to keep the things that we thought were commonplace. The love for our fellow man and our fellow countryman is something that is going away and it’s ridiculous. We should be moving forward instead of moving backwards.
When you mention the concept of dignity it resonates. Talk to me about how you are able to preserve your dignity as a Black man in these days.
Keeping your dignity is something that comes from within. I was very lucky to have parents especially a dad who instilled a great deal of pride in me. They always made me hold my head up high and always made me feel good about myself. I was very lucky to have that. So many Black men grow up without fathers, so they don’t have that male figure encouraging them telling they can do whatever they want to, they can accomplish anything they want and be dignified about it. When you don’t grow up with that kind of background sometimes its hard because you don’t have that self love. The first love is the love for yourself and if you don’t love yourself you can’t love anyone else.
One of the songs I had to make sure to ask you about is “Sometimes I Wish I Was Single” The concept of this song blew me away. Talk about your intentions behind this song.
I like to do songs that almost anybody can identify with. One of the things that everybody can relate to no matter how successful a relationship is even if it’s just for 5 minutes out of the day, or one day out of the month or every other day you wish you were single. Not to get with someone else but just to be free to do whatever you want to do without affecting another person. Once I came up with the concept I wanted it to be a love song, so it’s like a love song disguised as a bad boy song. It’s about going back to the days when you first met. There is a lyric that goes “I wish we were single, so we can go back and meet again.” Everyone know the beginning was the s–t, it was before the kids, the house notes and the struggles. Those were the days when you first started feeling somebody and you realized they were feeling you. After being with someone for any length of time you lose a lot of that.
Some people told me couples wouldn’t like this song, but this song is for couples. The chorus mentions all the things I would miss if I were single.
We play a mixture of soul and reggae music. In my house my dad was always singing and his favorite singer was Nat King Cole. Motown music and soul music was always playing. I remember when I was 12 years old I heard out a friends window the Natty Dread album by Bob Marley. It was on repeat and I learned it right then and there. I was mesmerized. I hadn’t heard that before. That drum and bass became the back beat of my life. I would hear songs that would be a soul song with the drum and bass of a reggae song. That’s where you get that sexy reggae and that soulful reggae. That music made me want to sing.
You are a cultural icon. What is next for you creatively?
I have so many things going on right now. It’s kind of hard to balance them all. We have a production company called Motion Mob and we produced a short called “Make America Black Again” Its about a candidate named Lamar Johnson who is running against the Trump administration in 2020 with the campaign slogan of Make America Black Again with an entirely white campaign staff.
People have asked me why I made this short film. I consider myself as part of the resistance, but I can’t walk around mad. I only have one life. Nobody in office is going to make me walk around sad. So, I can create something that will make us laugh but also address the issues and the struggle and make it clear that we are against what is going on right now.
I’m also starring in a movie on BET Her during Breast Cancer Awareness month called “Her Only Choice”. It’s a real tear jerker about a woman making a decision between her life and the baby she wants. I also have a TV series that just recently debuted in LA, called “40 and Single”. It’s an international series shot in the motherland in Ghana. It starts airing on UMC on October 18th.
How does it feel to still be relevant after decades in the entertainment business.
That’s one of the hardest things to do in this business. I talk to young acting students and college students all the time about having a career. Right now in this world of social media we have a lot of over night stars, but they don’t have a career. In order to have a career you need to stay relevant you need to stay on people’s minds and consciousness. In order to do that you must keep creating things and doing stuff.
I’ve been very lucky to do memorable work that people want to see over and over again and yet its allowed me to make new work that still captures their imagination. There is no formula for it, you just have to do it.
Take a listen to Love Is A Beautiful Thing below.
Check Out Ladies Love Mixtapes by Precise on Spotify