Tuesday, March 31, 2015

#FearandRace The fear of Black Men in America

    Today NPR is taking this discussion to Twitter with NPR/CodeSwitch correspondents Gene Demby and Michel Martin, inviting listeners to join the conversation using the hashtag #FearandRace.
    It is easy to say that we are targeted, especially Black men. Earlier today I was asked "How do you preserve when you're black and the world lives to see you perish?". My response: This is something that I would actually like to have a forum on. I've noticed Black girls say that they are afraid to have children more specifically boys, and that is sad. Personally, I am the exact opposite. I hope the lord blesses me with TEN nappy headed brown skin boys. In a society that is trying to kill us all we have to do is live, and be great. But that all comes from within, it is self love. We have to love and believe in ourselves and support one another. Racism is trying to kill us but racism is also trying to convince us that we are expendable. Trust in this life that has been given to you and believe that you are here for a reason, we all are. 
     However when it comes to the racism against us what we can really do is talk about, make sure everyone is aware of what is happening. Which is exactly what Michel Martin did on MPR in two interviews this week. 
       Here Martin talks to author and Georgetown University Law professor Paul butler about his experiences:


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

When that Kendrick Lamar album is the greatest thing you've heard since that last Kendrick Lamar album

      Just two weeks ago Kendrick Lamar announced the release of his third album to be March 16th, and at that point it was "Untitled" *cue eye roll*. But listeners were surprised on March 16th at midnight to see Kendrick's album has been released digitally with no promo, though we knew of this album it's safe to say he "pulled a Beyonce`". Twitter was swarming with #ToPimpAButterfly tweets commending its introspection, innovation and musical progression. By 12:01 hundreds of hip-hop heads were convinced that this album is a classic. Kendrick done did it, two classic albums.

      Just a few months ago this album's first single "i" received a lot of mixed feelings. The "Who's That Lady" sample and "I Love Myself" chant make up a funky upbeat positive record, which some people(including myself) just could not get hip to. A few weeks ago he released "The Blacker the Berry" which received harsh criticism as Kendrick refers to himself as a "hypocrite" for taking part in gang activity and killing other Blacks, as if that is suppose excuse racist acts against us. This made me quite reluctant in listening to the new album but upon it's release, and all the buzz, I had to add this to my library and give it my ears.

     This album is a funky, prophetic, and an unprecedented peek into Kendrick's mind; as well as an opportunity to evaluate one's self. It is not about Kendrick more than it is about all of us. Kendrick did this for the kids, for Black people everywhere, for young Black men everywhere. I don't sense a change as an artist but progression. Standout tracks include the intro "Wesley's Theory" a look at America's capitalism and Black people in debt(like Wesley Snipes), "King Kunta", "Alright", and "Complexion". If I was to rate those tracks a 5, then every other song on this album is a 4/4.5. It is a solid body of work. "i" makes so much more sense while listening to "To Pimp A Butterfly" in it's entirety, especially as a first single. This album is everything Kendrick was reaching for on tracks like "The Heart pt. 2", "HiiiPower", "Sing About Me", etc. It is everything we love about Kendrick, he constantly raises the bar. 
      If you haven't listened to this entire this project, straight through, in one sitting; I'll just assume you are incredibly busy and haven't had the time yet. But anyway, lets get into this final track. "Mortal Man". "Mortal Man" challenges exactly what the title states as Kendrick sings "When shit hits the fan will you still be a fan?". On this track he references Michael Jackson and all of the controversy that followed that man stating "He gave us Billie Jean, you still think he touched those kids?". The end of this song is the cherry on top, an interview between Kendrick Lamar and Tupac Shakur, a conversation rather. The Tupac soundbites were flawlessly sampled and spliced with questions/responses from Kendrick. This jaw-dropping, eye opening, tear jerking conversation is the perfect close to this project. (More info HERE)

     Now, with all that said here comes the big BUT. I don't particularly favor this album. I get it, and I am appreciative but I don't love it. It doesn't have the effect on me that good kid m.A.A.d City did, but maybe it isn't supposed to. Maybe this album just lacks the car bumping, brainwashing repetition and sophisticated ignorance we all flock to so often. This album is social commentary, this album is Black Love.

#ToPimpAButterfly is for us and it is necessary.

Friday, March 6, 2015

1 year Loc Update

Recapping on what I've done with my hair over this time and what I plan to do


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