Thursday, March 5, 2009

Getting Theirs...Day: Jabari Johnson

In the spring of 2005, I had to come to Howard University's open house. My ex-girlfriend came as well, because her HU Alumni parents wanted her to carry on the legacy. She was not really interested in coming, but her cousin was. He was really interested in the music & entertainment & he felt that Howard University would be a great place to start up a career.

Literally four years later, Jabari Johnson has interviewed pretty much everybody who is anybody in hip-hop. From old heads like Russell Simmons, to individuals who are on top of the game like 50 Cent, to artists whose careers are growing with their best days ahead of them like Young Chris, Jabari has had one on one interviews with them, asking questions that reflect a true hip-hop fan's perspective.

If you regularly check hip-hop blogs, then you have seen his work. He has set up his own YouTube channel, "IamJabari," where you can watch all of his interviews back to the days when he was waiting outside of LOVE in the rain, waiting to interview the Clipse. If you ever get a chance to hear it, it's a great story by the way. Now he is getting sponsorships from Fresh Juice, Commonwealth and Orisue just to wear their clothing during interviews & he just signed a management deal with Creative Minds as a video journalist. He is currently putting together an album with all of the artists that he has become friends with over the years. He also has a role in the upcoming movie “State of Play,” starring Ben Affleck and Russell Crowe.

So yeah, first "Getting Theirs...Day" goes to Jabari Johnson. I remember when it was all a dream, now it is a reality & he's just getting started. I can't wait to see what he is going to accomplish without being a student with a full courseload.

On that note, here is a video of Jabari & Young Chris working on the upcoming album. It's going to be serious...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sometimes It's The Small Wins...Day

It's the first week of March.  Midterms to take, papers to write, grad school applications to fill out, beats to produce, etc., etc., etc.  With due date after due date, I am living my life day to day.  But sometimes you have to celebrate the small wins.  So from now on Wednesday is Small Wins...Day.  Today, my old Business Law professor agreed to write a letter of recommendation for my grad school application.  His rule is that he only writes recommendations for students that receive an A in his class, but I was only points away from an A, so he said reluctantly said yes.  All I was looking for was a yes, so I got a small win. On Small Wins...Day.  Go figure.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Good Things Come In Twos...Day: Cipha Sounds & Rosenberg

I am incapable of doing just one thing at once. I can not focus on anything without some noise around me. You would think that listening to music would help, but I start going through my vast iTunes library and playing DJ. Shortly thereafter, I am going through blogs trying to find random material that I do not have (last night I downloaded Crunk Juice & the Lil Scrappy & Trillville double disc...why? I am not really sure...). So in order to get my work done, I like to listen to the radio.

I know you're thinking "...but the radio plays music..." True, because it is love talk and slow jams time before I even start my work, but I am talking about radio podcasts. Entertaining talk, few songs, no commercials. I think the best in the business are Hot 97's Cipha Sounds & Peter Rosenberg. They upload their daily morning show (minus the commercials) everyday & it is great to listen to while trying to get something done. Topical humor from a Puerto Rican from the Bronx & a Jew from suburban Maryland. Gotta love it. Their diverse backgrounds would make you think that they have nothing in common, but at the end of the day, they both have cynical senses of humor & a love for hip-hop. Plus, they record special Juan Epstein Podcasts every now & then where they sit down with hip hop legends, such as Big Daddy Kane, Q-Tip, Mister Cee, Large Professor, etc., & ask in-depth eye opening questions about their careers. For example, Pete Rock going into detail about how he made the beat for Biggie's Juicy, but because he did not understand the business side of the music business, Diddy basically stole it from him. Yep, its true. Honestly, listening to Pete Rock's Juan Epstein & Mister Cee's Juan Epstein make watching NOTORIOUS almost unbearable becasue they give that much information.

Everyday's podcast is full of hilarious conversation between a Puerto Rican & a Jew from suburban Maryland. The Juan Epstein podcasts are like a history class that you would actually want to go to everyday. If you want to, you can subscribe & iTunes will automatically download Juan Epstein podcasts to your computer. Somehow their personalities work together. I have no idea how, but they do & that is all that matters to me. Cipha Sounds & Rosenberg, good things come in twos...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Once again, back is the incredible...Mixtape Monday

Hi haters, I am back off my hiatus. Been busy trying to get my life together, but I had to drop this off. My boy Ice the Villain posted his mixtape, "The L.@.Me Mixtape" over the weekend and its already at 500 downloads and counting...great lyricism + great variety of topics = great mixtape. And he goes to Howard University, so you already know its quality. I have been hearing his material since the classic freshman dorm mixtapes, but this is the first full project of his & it clearly will not be his last...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Black Love

In the spirit of everybody articulating what President Barack Obama's Inauguration means to them, my boy Ricosuave wrote an excellent piece about Black Love and what it means to him.

My Bad My Obamas...

My bad yall, the last few weeks have been crazy for me. Notorious came out on the 16th, Inauguration Concert was on the 18th, Inauguration was on the 20th, and my 21st birthday was on the 22nd, which dragged on to the 23rd, the 24th, the 25th, and so on and so I havent stopped, I just fell class now, I'll be back later...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Barack Obama's Letter To His Daughters

Dear Malia and Sasha,

I know that you’ve both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn’t have let you have. But I also know that it hasn’t always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn’t make up for all the time we’ve been apart. I know how much I’ve missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.

When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me—about how I’d make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn’t seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn’t count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that’s why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.

I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential—schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college—even if their parents aren’t rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.

I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you’ll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.

Sometimes we have to send our young men and women into war and other dangerous situations to protect our country—but when we do, I want to make sure that it is only for a very good reason, that we try our best to settle our differences with others peacefully, and that we do everything possible to keep our servicemen and women safe. And I want every child to understand that the blessings these brave Americans fight for are not free—that with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility.

That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.

She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better—and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It’s a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.

I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you’ve had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much—although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.

These are the things I want for you—to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That’s why I’ve taken our family on this great adventure.

I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.

Love, Dad

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bay Area Rapid Transit Homicide

Here is the video of the incident along with step by step commentary from the woman who took the footage...

Johannes Mehserle is the officer whose weapon allegedly "discharged" and Oscar Grant and all of those that loved him are the victims...