108 years later The Chicago Cubs are the 2016 World Series Champions

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Chicago Cubs celebrating the final out in 2016 World Series – Photo Source: Instagram @Cubs

The Chicago Cubs have broken every curse that has been placed upon them over the last 108 years. They can now call themselves World Series Champions. After 10 long fought innings against the Cleveland Indians right after a rain delay a simple grounder thrown to first base for an out shook the world. After being down 3 games to 1 they made it happen.

As a Chicagoan, a South Sider and a loyal Sox fan this win is one that can be shared with the entire city. The biggest day in Chicago baseball history has culminated into the Cubs finally becoming World Champions.

Social media is on fire, friends are texting me and the excitement is genuine and infectious. “To love the Cubs is a true love because they will kill your soul, crush your spirit and never say sorry…but the love is unconditional…because, to be a Cubs fan takes love to last…and finally….I feel like I been loved all along…it feels amazing!” said Victor R. Moore II.

Next year has finally arrived. It arrived at 11:47 local time at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The Cubs won 8-7.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement, saying:

“From Opening Day in April to a historic November night, the Cubs championship season united the city of Chicago and fans around the world behind this incredible team. The Chicago Cubs winning the World Series is about more than a game, more than a team, and more than a sport. It is about the families who have passed down a love for the Cubs from mothers and fathers to their sons and daughters, and from grandparents to grandchildren. It is about generations who have come together around radios, televisions, and within the friendly confines of Wrigley Field to root for the home team and share triumphs and defeats. Cubs fans have never given up hope that this day was possible, and this young team made it happen. Congratulations to the Ricketts family, Joe Maddon, Theo Epstein, and the players, staff, and fans who together broke the longest drought in professional sports and made history this year. Go Cubs go!”

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GZA is sharp with ‘Liquid Swords’ at City Winery in Chicago

GZA at City Winery – Photo credit: (Eddy ‘Precise’ Lamarre)

GZA brought himself and the spirt of the Wu to City Winery in Chicago. When you think City Winery, a certain aesthetic comes to mind. The clanking of wine glasses, jazz horns and a sultry singer paints a traditional picture of what can be expected. These days, it’s a little different. As hip hop matures, tastes change and so does the expectation of what you will see.

The band came out to introduce themselves, then the intro from GZA’s first release played. The mood was instantly changed. Lyrically, GZA is a reminder of what rap is. As he runs through his album Liquid Swords, you can feel his skill grow with every song. His wordplay is mesmerizing. The fans soak up every second only to release it in wave of love and reciting his rhymes. “It was a great show. GZA is my favorite rapper. My favorite part was when he did his acapellas. He is a great lyricist and he as great metaphors and has more substance than anyone else out there. I got my album signed too, that was the highlight of the night.” said Will K

Fans soaked up every second, some reciting his rhymes. “It was a great show. GZA is my favorite rapper. My favorite part was when he did his acapellas. He is a great lyricist and he has great metaphors and has more substance than anyone else out there. I got my album signed too; that was the highlight of the night,” said Will K.

GZA did not just stick to his discography. He managed to sneak in a few verses from his Wu-Tang brethren. To see him run effortlessly through his rhymes speaks to the bond that the Wu has and the impact they have made over the past two decades.

Check out a few pics below.

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Brooke Mackie hosts 2nd annual ‘Empire’ Hallo-Ball with Taraji P. Henson

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Brooke Mackie, Taraji P Henson, Ashunta Sheriff (Photo Credit Eddy “Precise” Lamarre)

Taraji P Henson, Brooke Mackie and Ashunta Sheriff were all present and in full Halloween regalia at the second annual Hallo-Ball. The event was held at Room Seven on Chicago’s Gold Coast. To say it was the party of the night is an understatement. Taraji was rocking a beautiful Egyptian Queen costume while her co-star Bryshere Grey wore his Rick James wear. The VIP area was packed to capacity, drinks flowed people danced and embodied the characters they chose to dress as. One of the most original costumes was Che “Rhymefest” Smith as Black Panther. Jeezy was also in the building celebrating the release of his latest album Trap or Die 3. As Monday nights go this was one for the history book. Check out a few pics below.

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Jean Grae joins forces with Marvel for Black Panther Soundtrack

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Jean Grae a Hip-Hop superhero of sorts has partnered with Marvel and released “What You Came For” The track is epic and is totally fitting for Marvel’s upcoming movie Black Panther written by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Grae sounds inspired over the Quelle Chris produced track. This dynamic duo has been churning out some creative stuff lately. I’m looking forward to see whats next.

Jean had this to say about the collaboration with Marvel “The amount of things recently that have made my heart soar are very minimal. It’s been a traumatic, gut-wrenching time. Getting the call to be a part of this project did make my heart soar. Getting a call from Marvel to do anything should do that, and it does—but it’s Black Panther, and Ta-Nehisi is writing it. I can’t think of any other artistic contribution that I would have wanted to do right now.”

-Eddy “Precise” Lamarre

The day I met ‘The Greatest’

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I remember coming from the Watertower with Chris Rice headed to a studio session and as we were walking down Chicago Ave I looked to my right into a hotel window and The Champ was sitting down talking to a few people. We immediately went inside to meet him. I turned into a 10 year old instantly. We went over and was like HEY CHAMP and he stopped his conversation stood up and shook our hands. I am not too proud to say how geeked I was. I was on a high for the rest of that day. I’ve met many a “celebrity” in my day but the day I met Muhammad Ali was one I will hold dear for the rest of my life.

Very few people have impacted the world in the way that he did. When you spoke with him you knew the spirit of the creator was with him. I strive to have that type of light. We all have that light. Ali was the example of what it looks like. God Bless THE GREATEST!

-Precise

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Chicago vs. Chiraq it’s not Spike Lee’s fault

The name Chiraq just kind of popped out of thin air. No one staked claim to it. Based on statistics as it relates to the deaths of soldiers in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it made sense. Chicago, which is compared to Iraq in the popular moniker, has always been riddled with violence. “Chiraq” is not some new phase that is happening because of the youth. It is in the nature of the city; it is in the nature of many cities across America.

When I first heard the term Chiraq, I didn’t like it. I knew what it meant to the city as a whole and what it means to the inner-city more specifically. The term promotes visuals of war, flying bullets, fire, fear and destruction. I was one of the individuals speaking against this moniker because I didn’t want people thinking those types of thoughts about my beloved city. Fast-forward and Chief Keef becomes the newest rap music sensation promoting a new genre of rap music called Drill. Drill comes off as a dark and eerie form of production with tales of murder, drug use and oddly enough celebration (“turnin’ up”). So, the marriage between the terms Chiraq and Drill seems natural, especially with rates of murders and shootings escalating everyday in Chicago. It truly is a war zone, not in the sense that you would say people are fighting for some political end, more in the sense that disenfranchised people and misguided and impoverished youth are at war with who they are with regards to their identity. They don’t know who they are at the core, so the thought of taking the life of someone else seems trivial and almost acceptable until it hits home.

Recently, Chicago’s violence has been especially polarizing. Tyshawn Lee, 9, was lured into an alley on his way to his grandmother’s house and killed. He was shot multiple times in the back and the head. Rumors are circulating that this is the result of something his father did. Tyshawn suffered the consequences. The same day, Kaylyn Pryor an aspiring model was shot and killed near the same neighborhood where Tyshawn was killed. The very next day, Spike Lee dropped the trailer of his newest film, Chi-raq. The internet caught fire. Many thought Spike was making light of the situation in Chicago. Spike has since made a public statement saying that this film is not making light of the current situation in Chicago. He also released an alternative, more serious trailer.

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Chi-Raq movie poster – Photo credit: Lionsgate

I had to ask myself a few questions after witnessing all of the uproar directed toward Spike and the lack of action with regards to Tyshawn and Kaylyn. When is it time for us to take responsibility? When is it time for us to remove any thoughts of fear and reclaim our neighborhoods? When do we start exercising economic empowerment? These are real questions and really it’s up to us to make a move. The Black community can no longer point the finger at scapegoats and wait for saviors. It is up to us.

They call the neighborhood I grew up in “The Wild Hundreds.” There is another neighborhood called “Terror Town” and another called “Murder Town.” The list can go on. The point I’m making here is that no “name” is going to make us who we are. We make this choice as to who we are and how we are viewed.

I live in Chicago, affectionately known as Chi-town. Some people know it as Chiraq, because between the years of 2003-2012, 4,265 citizens were killed in Chicago, almost identical to the number of American soldiers who were lost at war during that time. We are at war in Chicago right now. It is a war of social standing, economics and equality. Spike Lee created a movie to shine a light on this battle zone. This battle zone exists, he did not create it, but we can fix it.

Eddy “Precise” Lamarre

That time Precise was on “Empire”

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Gail Rastorfer – Terrence Howard and Eddy “Precise” Lamarre – Photo by Chuck Hodes

Now here is the story. I just landed in Chicago after an epic trip to NY. I went to see Brandy in the Broadway production of Chicago and she was awesome. Anyway, I just landed in Chicago and I was invited to an event featuring a new artist by the name of Matt Legrande. He was doing a single release of song that featured Twista at the Vertigo lounge. I go and do my thing like taking pictures, posting to social media and networking. A few days later I get a call from a casting agency (I assume I handed my card to a casting agent) inviting me in to read for a role on Empire. For those of you who don’t know Empire is currently the hottest show on television now so imagine how excited I was. I immediately called my sister for some pointers for the audition; I was up for the role of Moses. Moses is locked up with Lucious and wants Lucious to give him a record deal. I went to the audition did the best I knew how to do and waited for a call back. I never got a call back.

Precise at Simon Casting

Precise at Simon Casting

A few days later a friend of mine posts that Empire is looking for extras. Considering I didn’t get a call back I figure it couldn’t hurt to apply. I followed the instructions, shot an email to the casting agency and the next day they sent me an email saying I was accepted. POW!

So the day comes when I go do my extra work. I pack my black suit, white shirt shoes and tie in my K&G garment bag and head to set. Once I get there I immediately get nervous. This was my first time doing anything like this and I didn’t know what to expect. They round up all the extras put us through wardrobe where I get a tie then take us to where everything is being filmed.

My role as an extra was a Federal Marshall. We get propped up and taken over to the court room we walk to the back and Terrence Howard (Lucious) is there in an orange prison jumpsuit. It all gets so real in that moment. There are three Federal Marshalls. We are instructed to walk Lucious into the court room and stand him in front of the judge. His lawyers are there waiting on him. We walk him out and do as we instructed. The entire cast is there and Taraji is there looking just like Cookie…lol. Lee Daniels the creator of the show is there directing this specific episode. He looks at the scene then moves one of the Marshalls who is standing next to Luscious to the side and put me in his place with one of his lawyers on the other side of him. BOOM!!

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Precise – Terrence Howard on Set

When we headed back to the extra gathering area, everyone was reminding me how I really lucked out to get that look. I knew I did, but I know how television goes and I had no expectation of even making the cut. We filmed the scene like 30 times. I was happy to have had the experience and ready to go home after a long day of filming.
Fast forward a month or so and I am a seasoned extra at this point. I’ve been called back twice and I’m looking forward to see if I have made the cut. I get an update to my Facebook page from one of my friends that says “Did I miss something?” So I go see what she is talking about and it’s a picture of me, Terrence Howard and Gail Rastorfer in a promotional picture for the upcoming season of Empire. I YELLED AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS!! WOOOOOOOO!!!!!! It was so surreal. A few days later I find out the same picture is in Entertainment Weekly (who got my name wrong by the way) and again in Rolling Stone and again in the New York Post and again in the NY Times and again on Spotify!!

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Precise On Set of Empire

I want to taper my excitement and play it down a little because I didn’t have a speaking role and who knows how long I will even flash up on the screen, but I can’t. I feel so very fortunate and it feels like a sign for me to keep pushing forward and following my dreams. This is exactly what I intend to do. I want to thank God for this opportunity, I am so grateful. I would also like to thank the Academy in advance for my Oscar **wink**.
Hope you guys watch the season premier of Empire tonight and if you see me hit me up on twitter and instagram @Precise_chi or my Facebook fan page Precise.
Stay Focused Positive and Productive
-Precise

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NEW MUSIC! – We ILL by Precise and G.R.A.C.E

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“We ILL” performed by Chicago emcee’s Precise and G.R.A.C.E. speaks to the social ills of society and offers solution with regard to looking within. ILL is a play on the state both rappers are from (Illinois) and the state or world is in and how amazing they are as rappers ILL. A triple entendre. Take a listen, buy and share. We ILL.

-Precise