Verses: Knocking off the Nerves

Whenever I feel the heavy burdens of life I reach out to a hip-hop verse that I know pretty well.  It gives me a familiar feeling and I feel powerful because I know the verse so well.

Quick tip:  As I sat in the car waiting to interview for my current librarian position, I listened to this song and it totally put me at ease.  Worked like a charm.  It’s a great way to knock off the nerves.

One of my favorite verses from one of my favorite groups  –

What’s Yours?

Hiding like thieves in the night from life
Illusions of oasis making you look twice

Hiding like thieves in the night from life
Illusions of oasis making you look twice…

Mos DEF:  Yo, I’m sure that everybody out listenin’ agree
That everything you see ain’t really how it be
A lot of jokers out runnin’ in place, chasin the style
Be a lot goin’ on beneath the empty smile
Most cats in my area be lovin’ the hysteria
Synthesized surface conceals the interior
America, land of opportunity, mirages and camouflages
More than usually — speakin’ loudly, sayin’ nothin’
You confusin’ me, you losin’ me
Your game is twisted, want me enlisted — in your usary
Foolishly, most men join the ranks cluelessly
Buffoonishly accept the deception, believe the perception
Reflection rarely seen across the surface of the lookin’ glass
Walkin’ the street, wonderin’ who they be lookin’ past
Lookin’ gassed with them imported designer shades on
Stars shine bright, but the light — rarely stays on
Same song, just remixed, different arrangement
Put you on a yacht but they won’t call it a slave ship
Strangeness, you don’t control this, you barely hold this
Screamin’ brand new, when they just sanitized the old shit
Suppose it’s, just another clever Jedi mind trick
That they been runnin’ across stars through all the time with
I find it’s distressin’, there’s never no in-between
We either niggaz or Kings
We either bitches or Queens
The deadly ritual seems immersed, in the perverse
Full of short attention spans, short tempers, and short skirts
Long barrel automatics released in short bursts
The length of black life is treated with short worth
Get yours first, them other niggaz secondary
That type of illin’ that be fillin’ up the cemetery
This life is temporary but the soul is eternal
Separate the real from the lie, let me learn you
Not strong, only aggressive, cause the power ain’t directed
That’s why, we are subjected to the will of the oppressive
Not free, we only licensed
Not live, we just excitin’
Cause the captors.. own the masters.. to what we writin’
Not compassionate, only polite, we well trained
Our sincerity’s rehearsed in stage, it’s just a game
Not good, but well behaved cause the ca-me-ra survey
most of the things that we think, do, or say
We chasin’ after death just to call ourselves brave
But everyday, next man meet with the grave
I give a damn if any fan recall my legacy
I’m tryin’ to live life in the sight of God’s memory
Like that y’all


Check out the song…



Just taking a quick moment to vent…

So tired of the gunshots, especially when I know that the guns are not manufactured in the city – and aimed at one another; when I know the profitable makers don’t appear to give a damn; when the media images pumped into the minds of many are purposefully put out to be consumed and devoured mostly by unassuming, unguarded youth.

So tired of the so-called activists thinking they are making a difference.

OK, I sound bitter – I will move forward.

Last night I heard 5 shots on the next street at about 1am.  Tell me that wouldn’t bother you!  And we love to blame our children, while celebrating “cOlUmBuS dAy and rHoDes Scholars”.  Lies, lies, propagandist lies.  I’m done for now…

Urbanized – A Documentary Film by Gary Hustwit

I wouldn’t normally write a post on a single film, but this one moved me in a different way.  I can’t remember exactly who suggested that I watch it, but if you’re out there reading this and remember telling me about it, give me a shout!  Asante Sana!!

“Cities are the physical manifestation of powers at work”

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Mind Control: Empire, Fox, and other stupid sh!t

What is this Drip Drop crap?!?!? 

Is this a hip-hop spoof??  SNL?

We are dealing with some serious mind control… Stereotypical B.S….   Excuse, after excuse…  Stop the madness!

There are a number of us who are literally putting ourselves on the line, in harms way, everyday, to educate our children and their parents.  We advocate, we meet and plan and implement, all to rebuild our community – relentlessly!  We witness our precious youth destroy each other based on dysfunctional family structures and the garbage that is put out there in the media.  A young brother was murdered on Aetna, in Cleveland, OH – I knew him.  His sister is like family.  I used to give him and his sister rides when he was younger.  Shot at point-blank range, left in cold blood.

We’re not JUST listening to music, or JUST watching tv anymore.  Yes, we must take action, but I dare not proclaim that we have to blame the oppressive machine first, the oppressed second, forever, until things are right.  They strategically plant garbage to distract us and knock us down every time we work so very hard at building up our spirit of community.  We must demand better; we must take a stance.

Take a look at the puppet Lee Daniels and his ridiculous track record of degrading movies and shows (Empire, Monster’s Ball, The Butler, and Precious), and statements – he said “call me a sell-out” and then laughed (on CNN); look at the racist Fox Network, that all of a sudden wants to back a “black” show with all these resources; take a look at the financial backing Chief Keef received and not to mention that pathetic In Love with My Coco abomination backed by Universal Music Group.  (And YOU know that I am only scraping the surface here)

Note: When Chief Keef came out, the children we work with got wind of it and appeared to forget everything we ever taught them; same with the Coco song; the same with Empire – they all make our rebuilding process THAT MUCH HARDER.

cheef Who is he at War with??

I used to chalk things up to the “just tv/ just music” ideal by being entertained by the beefs between Pac and Biggie, Quik and Eiht, Cube and Common, 50 and Ja Rule, but I live in this world that won’t allow it anymore – the sh!t is out of control.  Newsflash – My brother Rayshawn Armstrong was murdered less than one year ago by someone steeped in this tragic subculture.

o.t.-genansis-wotsn  MTV, huh?  Jam of the Week?

So again, the children I work with on a daily?  There are some wonderful, amazing, bright and inquisitive minds that still fall into the trap and begin to worship this garbage on the tv and radio (and the video games – GTA was celebrated on CNN!), or they are bullied and often persuaded by others who do.  Many of them recite these lyrics and want to mimic the characters on these shows all day, the parents are too often disenfranchised, uneducated and weak from the daily beat-down to fight back.  In fact, they begin to mimic this mess as well – from Madea to Cookie!

I agree with Dr. Boyce Watkins and his strong stance against the music (and the REAL ‘Empires’ that control it) and certainly against the minstrel show Empire mainly because he admits that he won’t view it because he will probably be “entertained” and keep watching!  That’s the trick, and they know it.

Please everyone, stop supporting this show and the so-called music that is so incredibly negative and pushed and promoted by an oppressive machine.  At least think about it one more time and consider it.

Love to you all.  Respect.  Let’s build something better.

SOLUTIONS?!?  Think critically about the damage that is being done – become more selective with what you watch and listen to.  READ!!  Begin searching for better music (check out websites like OkayPlayer, Frolab, Afropunk).  Fight to get arts back in public schools.   Just a beginning…  (Check out the resources below)

Any other ideas out there?


Social Media Madness?

Most recently I had a friend state that she liked “men” that used social media sparingly.  Respect.  Funny thing is, she said it on – a social media site.  So, the problem is of course that sometimes we need to do one majorly important thing – sssshhhhhhh….

No love lost, my friend.

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