Woke up this morning with love on my heart and mind. Spread love today.
Woke up this morning with love on my heart and mind. Spread love today.
When I was growing up I would hear the name Malcolm X and immediately think radical revolutionary, “By any means necessary” and that he was the total opposite of Dr. King. What many of us fail to see is that Malcolm X is an example of growth and spiritual awareness. His journey was public and he was brave enough to share it with the world.
We do a disservice to the legacy of Malcolm when we liken what he has done or his stance to fictional characters. In the spotlight of the Marvel blockbuster Black Panther there are those who liken the anti-hero Killmonger portrayed by Michael B. Jordan as a representation of Malcolm. Killmonger may have a passion for his people but he is fueled by vengeance and is a murderer. That was not Malcolm.
Upon his return from Mecca, Malcolm became enlightened and recognized that spiritually we are one under the umbrella of the creator. This did not make him less adamant about fighting for freedom for our people, it provided insight and made him aware that this fight for freedom is for ALL people.
50 years ago Malcolm X was murdered in Harlem. We remember this day with reverence and insight. Physically he is not with us but the spirit of his enlightenment, his courage to challenge the status quo and stand by his ideals will always be with us. We honor him for this. Thank you Malcolm.
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As fireworks and gunshots fill the air to bring in a New Year I need for the world specifically Black people to understand the significance of this day with regards to our freedom.
On January 1st 1804 Haiti became the first and only Independent Black Republic in the Western Hemisphere. The Spanish and French armies were defeated handily as slaves armed themselves ready to die in order to realize freedom. Great Haitian leaders like Toussaint Loveture and Jean Jacques Dessalines are celebrated but not as they should be.
Since reclaiming their freedom Haiti has descended into third world status. They have been paying a debt to France because of it. In the 1824 Franco-Haitian Agreement, France agreed to recognize Haitian independence if Haiti paid a large indemnity. This kept Haiti in a constant state of debt and placed France in a position of power over Haiti’s trade and finances. Almost every nation has set up some type of post there. Since America’s occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934 the country has remained destabilized. America has always had an interest in Haiti even before the occupation. The earthquake in 2010 and the essential robbery by the Clinton’s and Red Cross has added even more despair. All of this has happened under the nose of the diaspora. Let’s be clear, there is no diaspora without a free Haiti.
Haiti, often described as the poorest country on this side of the earth is also one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The resilience of the Haitian people serves as an example that even when the world continues to turn a blind eye to your suffering our dignity will not be erased.
Black people all over the planet should take notice, and honor the contribution Haiti has made to their lives and then do something about changing the circumstance of the country that opened up the door to the idea and reality of being free.
White supremacy can and will be defeated. Haiti has already proven this by defeating two world powers in order to reclaim their freedom. Check the records.
“La Union Fait La Force”
Together we are strong.
Happy Haitian Independence Day.
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This year was great for the culture of hip-hop via rap music. We witnessed the emergence of women who rap, an increase in social commentary and an all-out assault on depression with an emphasis on living your best life. The five projects that made the top 5 best rap album list for 2017 encompass all of that and more. Check out the list. Let me know what you think.
1. Jay-Z – 4:44
Jay-Z continues to hold the torch and consistently moves into space where it can be argued that he is the best to ever do this rap thing. 4:44 is viewed by many as Jay’s response to his wife Beyoncé’s telling release Lemonade. Jay mentioned in an interview with Elliot Wilson on Tidal that they were working on both projects at the same time and Beyoncé’s took precedent. Regardless of how it happened, 4:44, in this writer’s humble opinion, is Jay-Z’s best work. He speaks clearly to his peers. He challenges his own sensibilities and is as vulnerable as a bragging rapper can be. The production provided by Chicago native NO ID provides a bed of lush samples and rhythms that pull the listener into the insightful bars. The most ingenious aspect of the project was the rollout. Every week a new visual was attached to one of the songs on the album tackling racism “The Story of Oj” and Black men’s mental health witnessed in the title track “4:44.”
2. Rapsody – Laila’s Wisdom
Rapsody is nobody’s female rapper. She an emcee’s emcee and her project Laila’s Wisdom forces you to take notice. The 9th Wonder produced project is a Golden Age nod with a millennial vision. Her project has been nominated for “Best Rap Album Of The Year” at the 2018 Grammys and she has a legitimate chance at winning. Rapsody does everything right. She can be miss rappity rap, give you a love song and a complete story filled with irony and metaphors. Her song “Ridin” featuring GQ feels like a ride through your nearest hood on a beautiful day. As the song rides along, Busta Rhymes comes out of nowhere to continue with the feel-good vibe. The Jamla artist has been prevalent in recent years on many of her peers’ releases and she always represents solidly. Her wordplay and the way she can stretch out a metaphor is uncanny.
3. Tyler The Creator – Flower Boy
Odd Future impresario Tyler the Creator delivered a project in Flower Boy that is sonically above his peers and musically continues to stretch the boundaries. This is not new to Tyler; however, this project feels like a culmination into what could possibly be his magnum opus. The gritty song “Pothole” featuring Jaden Smith on the chorus harkens back to the original odd futuresque style that is irreverent and bold. The song “Boredom” that was featured on Issa Rae’s hit show Insecure opened a door into Tyler’s production skill. The track takes its time and allows Tyler’s gravely deep voice to live between the sounds. The song itself is inspirational in that it compels the listener to get off their ass and get busy doing something. Live your life.
4. Kendrick Lamar – Damn
Kendrick followed up his undeniable revolutionary classic with an introspective, honest and highly personal release in Damn. He has firmly held his ground as the thought leader of his generation. He boldly tells his peers to be humble and gives insight into his deepest thoughts when it comes to religion and love. “Element” stands out as a song where he just let’s loose and makes it clear who he is and where he comes from. “DUCKWORTH” is the most telling song on the project, as it basically tells the story of Kendrick’s life before his conception. It speaks to how life can conspire in your favor when you pay attention.
5. Big Sean – I Decided
Big Sean has been able to deliver witty bars since his emergence in rap. His project I Decided is a spiritual experience. The album starts off with an elderly man lamenting on his life and feeling like he should have taken another direction in his life. Big Sean open on “The Light” saying, “I spent my whole life trying to find the light at the end of the tunnel / I should have realized that it was inside.” Chicago crooner Jeremih fills up the space of the sparse track with a falsetto soul reminding all that no one can stop your shine. Out of all the projects that made this list, this is probably the one (with the exception of 4:44) that spoke to me the most. The Metro Boomin produced “Bounce Back” is a reminder to keep pushing even after taking a loss. Big Sean is about shining that light and spreading that positivity, and that’s what’s up.
That’s my list. It’s dope, right? What are your top 5 for 2017? Share in the comments
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This is me, Precise rocking the mic at an Olive Harvey talent show 25 years ago. This show is the day I decided I could do this rap thing and consequently was the same day I met one of my best friends and producer Chris Rice, May he Rest In Peace. As I watched the video I felt myself being reenergized as if I was being reminded that it is time to claim my spot and do what I was sent here to do, Live in My Purpose.
What does it mean for one to “Live in their purpose?” How does that benefit the individual and the universe as a whole? All of us have been given tools and talents that are provided to us to open up doors and add value to this world. When we neglect these talents our growth is stagnated and we never fully realize why we are here and what we are here for.
We waste time in fear and doubt. It is a disservice to the creator when we don’t honor our gifts.
We find ourselves at the time of the year when we take an assessment of our lives and look to catapult ourselves into a better circumstance. We must understand that the better circumstance is waiting for us.
I recently received word from two people very close to me that they have accepted their purpose and hearing that from them paired with the surfacing of this video is a message that I hear loud and clear. GO FOR IT! God got you and you will not be forsaken.
Let this message serve as a reminder not to bury your talents. Allow these talents to grow to make a way for you and live in the fullness of your purpose.
God is Awesome and so are YOU!
Now what you gonna do?
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“That Ol’ Boom Bap” is track number 13 on Dj Tekwun’s release The Boom Bap Project Vol 1.
Precise provides an even handed reflection on where Hip Hop is and why the roots of this culture should be respected. “I ain’t tripping on the golden age music changes all the time in a growing stage, and I ain’t hating on the drill and trap but it wouldn’t be here without that Ol boom bap.” -Precise
Precise provides a clear and concise viewpoint that does not isolate perspectives.
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The video is almost here and we are EXCITED!! Check out Precise and his son Nasir in the current promo. STAY TUNED!
Check out the song “That Ol’Boom Bap” ft Precise produced by Dj Tekwun for his project The Boom Bap Project Vol 1 below.
“Got to get it together forever got to get it together for brothers, got to get it together for sisters, for mothers and fathers and dead niggas, for non conformers one hitter quitters for Tyson types and Che figures. Let’s make something happen.”
The world has shifted and we got exactly what we needed to lift us. A Tribe Called Quest dropped a new album after 18 years. The quote mentioned above is from the first song off the release We Got It From Here … Thank You 4 Your Service called “Space Program”. The words are a call to action to a segment of the community who felt crippled and damaged after the current election cycle. It’s a shot in the arm a reminder that the mission for improvement and freedom is not over with.
To say that this album was highly anticipated is an understatement. This release continues a trend of amazing music that has dropped in 2016. In March of this year one of the members of the group Malik Issac Taylor aka Phife passed away from complications with diabetes at the age of 45. It was a blow to the hip hop community. Hearing his voice on the project is somber, fulfilling and amazing. When Q-Tip mentioned that the album was coming he made it a point to mention that these were not not old Phife bars “No this isn’t filled with old Phife bars…this is that pure, unstepped on pure.”said Q-Tip
That is the best description of this project. It is pure in a way that the production and the verses are nurturing to the soul. Jarobi White who has been called the glue of the crew and plays the background laces a few tracks with rhymes no one was expecting and son got skills yo! Andre 3000 , Kendrick Lamar, Busta Rhymes Consequence, Talib Kweli, Jack White, Anderson Paak, Elton John and Kanye West add their voices to the project. As diverse as this guest list is you never get the sense that this is not a Tribe album. The track Mobius featuring Consequence and Busta Rhymes has no original Tribe members on it but it still feels like Tribe.
It’s refreshing to hear real voices with annunciation, definition and substance. All the tracks are produced by Tribe as a unit. This is fitting being that this is their sixth and final studio album that includes all of their original members. “Lost Somebody” is an ode to Phife and celebrates his life as Q-Tip and Jarobi lament over their relationship with their brother. Q-Tip and Phife issues were very public and on some level caused for the the group to break up. Q-Tip admits to being overbearing and appreciates the fact that they were always honest with each other and never pretended.
We Got It From Here … Thank You 4 Your Service triggers an emotion that seems to have been untapped in rap music as of late. Knowing that Phife is no longer with us and status that Tribe holds in the world of hip hop makes this album more meaningful. Hip hop heads are rejoicing all around the world right now because Tribe delivered a classic right on time.
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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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