Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Am


Class is In Session Muthafuckas

Course Objective: The course objective is to enlighten students not so much about what Hip Hop is but what hip Hop is not (as it is fraudulently prepared, packaged, and presented for commercial radio and television).

For example:

Can we say raw? So, I've been meaning to put this post up for a week now. Long story short, I'm taking a class called Hip Hop: A Race, Gender, and Class Perspective. All that sounds nice, but it's a class on hip-hop, period. Hype, much? You wouldn't even know the half. By the time I left the first class, I was amp beyond reason (the result of this amp'ness was When 2 Poems Collide). The sun don't shine forever, but as long it's here- then we might as well shine together.

Anywho, I'm just here to kick some random and out of order knowledge to ya'll that I was intrigued by in class. I'm a poet, of course I was writing random things down... quotes, fun facts, the teachers descriptions, etc. Don't expect order. Just expect substance. Ready?

For starters, the teacher walked through the door in a dope pin striped suit, wearing RocaWear glasses, and carrying a Louis Vuitton brief case. This in itself was bananas to me.

I digress.
Let's kick some quotes:

"I'm not a hater cause I hate you.
I'm a hater, simply cause you're wack." -Common

Hearing this made me giggle. Yes, giggle. It's so true though. Some people assume they're big sh*t, just because someone's hating on them. Six times out of 10 (because I admit that some people are just jealous), someone's hating on you for whatever you lack but are fronting on like you got it. Common hit that over the head.

Cause you went platinum doesn't make you good.
It just means there's 1 million muthafuckas stupid as you are.
-Immortal Technique

Enough said.

I added muthafuckas so you niggas would hear me.
-Lauryn Hill

This line hit home with me simply because, sometimes you feel like you have to get ignorant or explicit for people to pay attention. Lauryn Hill demonstrates that perfectly.

I'm ill literate.
You illiterate.

Just read it til' you get it.

Alright, I'm done with the quotes. Just wanna share some things Mr. Teacher said, and then I'm done. For starters: He truly thought that Chris Rock and Dave Chapelle were wearing wigs and doing a hip-hop skit/joke the first time he saw Ying-Yang Twins performing. Ouch. Secondly, he mentioned how Puffy was the anti-Christ of hip hop. Why? Because he commercialized and prostituted it. Hurts, don't it? Oops, I lied. One last quote. The teacher said this one himself: If jazz and blues had a baby, it'd be hip-hop.

So true.
Last but not least: 50 cent is not a real gangster. People have been debating this for years, but our teacher really put all his business out there- and as a journalist, it's my job to inform you. So... for the record, the real 50 cent is a gangster who was imprisoned and actually sued 50 for slandering his name. Why? Because he was a poor representation of it. Furthermore, 50 got shot AT nine times, but was actually shot 3 times. I'm not chopping 3 like I could take em', but it's a big difference between taking 9 bullets and taking 3.

Wait. There's more. You know how he raps about doing a bid for 3 to 6. That 3 to 6 is a reference to months, not years, and this time was spent in a juvenile detention center because he snitched on a 17yr. old female. And the worse fact of all (no, not the fact that he's from Connecticut and not New York): He filed a restraining order against Irv Gotti.

Stop the madness.

You've Been Schooled,

Monday, September 29, 2008

You Should be Here.

For those with bad eyes:

This Thursday, October 2nd
Patters Palace- 1621 Cecil B. Moore Ave.
Doors Open at 8pm
Show starts at 9pm

The feature?
Amanda Diva:
HBO Def Poet/
Former MTV VJ/
Sirius Satellite Radio Personality...
all of that!

A sample?
Why didn't you say so?

You Could be Anywhere in the World
But I'd Prefer to Have You There With Me,

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How I'm Feeling

I don't want nobody giving me nothing.
Just open the door and I'll get it myself.

-James Brown

Quit Your Worrying,

When 2 Poems Collide

I finished this literally 2 hours ago.
It's kind of my sequel to my piece on hip hop and 'He, Me, and She'.
You figure it out.
Heerreeee we go (said in my best possible Slick Rick voice):

Baby girl
It's undeniable that you were my first love
But I'd been feeling like we were falling off
To put it plainly, and I'm sorry ms. lady
You didn't move me like you used to
And poet to poet, your words no longer sounded sincere
You had so many niggas disrespecting you
If they couldn't see you face down with your ass up
Most of them wasn't checking you
But I loved you... never wanted to see you unhappy

And there were a few who tried to honor you
Remind me what you stood for
Help people come off their cool, find forever
But there were others, no respect for big brothers
Had you open
All if took were games of call and response
Too easily, you lost focus

I think you got caught up in the hype
But I didn't take it lightly when I labeled you my wife
Stars would re-align, you'd come back to me
I just had to study your ways

And that's when it happened
Sitting in class
I ran across ya boys from 4th St.
Turn T, Graf, Break D, and MC
They reminded me where you came from
Brought my soul back vibin' to throwbacks
Put some patience back in my system

And this had me thinking of the person I never minded sharing you with
Normally, I was selfish
But he got you
Don't be mad when I say this
But he kinda got me too
It was our love for you that brought us together
Unlike us, I let him go sometime back- however
Kicking it hard with you again
Had me thinking about him
And he, me and she- being you
Wasn't sounding so bad

Hadn't spoken in a while
Wasn't trying to reclaim love
Just wondered if he was still as loyal to you as I was
Missed you like I did
Love you like I do
Since you were the only one I could ever say that he was faithful to

But I'm not tripping
I already said patience was back in my system
All bad deeds forgiven
At least on my ending
Silly me, cause like before
He's still caught up in old feelings
I called-no response
He wasn't willing
Made it clear that he'd rather forget my existence
And just like that- you regained my attention

See, when other falter- you're always there
Might not be saying what I'm trying to hear
But you've never neglected me
Always made it easy to get at you
That's probably why so many thought they could spit at you
I've heard you say 1,000 times
It aint tricking if you got it
But you and I both knew
Most these cats come out of pocket
And what you got aint for everybody

We... got a love thing
By no means perfect
Other people get in the way of your good intentions
But you've always stood by me
Even when I didn't find you worth defending
You were wit' me
So like ya boy says:
Let's stick up the whole world
And split it 50/50

The Word 'Great' Doesn't Even Do Justice to How I'm Feeling,

You should definitely take a listen:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Baby, Don't Go.

Last Friday, Travis Barker and DJ Am were involved in a plane crash. Of the six people on the plane, there were the only 2 to survive. Earlier, it was said that they were in critical condition but stable.The names not ringing any bells?

If you were a fan of Meet the Barkers (like myself), you're probably more familiar with Travis Barker and the likes of his family:

I don't normally do much news, but for some reason this really bothered me. I guess once the TV gives you access into a persons home, you feel like you know them a little better. It's irrelevant that Blink 182 was the first rock band I picked up on. The point is it's Travis... I'm just saying.

Hope You Aren't Too Busy To Pray,

Monday, September 22, 2008

Let's Be Clear, He is From Largo

It's been a while since I've updated you on the happenings of Largo's finest- Sock THE Rapper!(And it's no longer a blog related opinion, he's very much making a fact out of this statement)

Seriously though, if you ever doubted him, it's about time you switch sides and become a believer. The moves he's making are what most consider major. Am I proud? Duh. Who wouldn't be? You (SHOULD) always want those in your circle to succeed. I know I do ::cough, cough:: Hi, haters!

I know, I know... I'm talking too much. What's he doing? Well, for starters he's opening for Wale at Temple's Swagger vs. Style Fashion Show (Tuesday, the 23rd). However, as said by him, this is a "warm up". Some of you might try and play it like Wale is basic since less-informed ones outside of the DMV area aren't as familiar with him. Nonetheless, all is well. He did say it's a warm up. Why? Because, on Friday, the 26th- yours truly will be opening for Nas at Temple's Homecoming Concert. No, I didn't make a typo. You read correctly. He's opening for "Mr. Don't You Wanna Be A Nigga Too".

And since promotion's going so well, let me add that Isaiah Little, the designer of Black Cloud, will have some of his fall designs featured in the fashion show mentioned above.

Too Much,

As Jay said: "It's a money marathon. If you coming, come on... "

My Ancerstors' Old Resume

I received am email today with the main topic stressing the urgency and importance of voting. it instructed me to "stand for those who came before us and those who could not stand up for themselves". The wording isn't all that catchy, but the visual was what got me. Have you started your resume yet? Funny to think that (not so) many years back, some of our listed job qualifications would have been based on our duties as slaves. Click the picture to be directed to a larger (readable) version:

Mary Said It Best:
"& The only hope I have to help me deal with the drama
Is that maybe in November I'll be cheering for Obama",

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Today marks the day that this blog first began. I should've waited til' the actual time to post this so it wouldv'e been an actual year, but I'm a full time college student and I'd probably be busy at that exact moment. Geesh, I wish I had actually put the counter on this blog from the moment I created... who knows what the number would be. I know where my readers are.

Hey you guys!

Any expectations for 09'? Let me know. This time last year, I was being put up on some songs I never heard (as a result of not being from the DMV area and moving to Philadelphia)... O, how times have changed. Anywho, this song's a reflection of that. Do me a favor? Just take a little minute out to stop and think about where you were this time last year. When I say time, I'm not referring to the actual clock, but just around this month... what place were you at in life?

Things are still a tad shaky over here, but I can look back and see the good things that came out of every situation I rid myself of for one reason or another... craziness. If you weren't at Philalive last night, what are you doing with your life? Next Show (October 2nd) will be featured by Amanda Diva. Name doesn't ring bell? Google her, baby. We're talking HBO Def Poet in the house.

I Woke Up This Morning
The Sunshine Was Shining
I Put on my Happy Face,

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tonight's the Night

Come help us celebrate-
Happy Belated Sock!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Overdue Book Review

I've finally updated the listing for "Currently Reading" and "Just Finished". Yeaahhh Me!

Seriously though, that has been wrong for longer than I can or care to remember, I've been too lazy to fix it, and I've misplaced books or just stopped in the middle of ones I was reading. Because of this, I didn't know what to put under "Currently Reading".

However, I'm reading Persepolis for my International Women's Writing Class. It's one of the few books that I've ever been assigned and actually read ahead of what was needed for class. Imagine that. The words (you may not be able to read) underneath the title say "The Story of a Childhood". It depicts the life of a young girl growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. The catch is that it's written inside the boxes of comic strips.

Believe it or not, it's an interesting read.

Lastly (and waaay later), I wanted to post some of the things I've had saved in my phone since reading I Say a Prayer for Me by Stanice Anderson. So, in no particular order or special presentation (the first one is first, however, because it's the most random and seemingly unrelated to the rest of the novel):

35 people try to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge every year, most because of broken hearts.

The Lord loves you so much that He'll leave you to yourself. [reading this part was a hard pill to swallow]

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrightousness. (1 John 1:9)

It brought me comfort, for unlike man, God not only forgives- He forgets. My sins go into "the sea of forgetfulness."

Holding resentment is like stabbing yourself over and over and waiting for the other person to bleed.

Sometimes it's better to understand than to be understood.

I became who I am- in spite of it all- through it all- because of it all.

I've learned that God created a pair of shoes that only fit me.

Some people have answers for everyone except themselves and their own.

Help us to forgive those who have hurt us and help those we have hurt to forgive us.


Prove It

"When a person shows you who they are, believe them the first time."
-Maya Angelou

So... I'm fully aware that we live in a time where words aren't taken for their worth and face value is basically the equivalent of a lie, but what happened to genuine sincerity the first time you meet a person? (Run-on sentence, much?)

A bit random, I'm sure. However, my thinking is not completely out of a whack. What had happened was... a friend picked me up from the bus station tonight (I was in NY this weekend visiting my best friend and God daughter. Yes, visiting with them made my life. Who could be anything but happy at the site of this face?)

Anywho, the friend who picked me up had a friend with her in the car. No biggie. We decided to stop at this Malaysian restaurant for fried ice cream on the way back to campus. As a result, we all indulged in (not so great) food and (possibly) good conversation [dependent upon your definition of good]. Whatever the case, a lot of our conversation left me feeling interrogated or as if I had something to prove.

Example? Anyone who is anything in my life knows I'm a Jigga fan. I don't know how this came up in the conversation, however I'm not surprised it did. Once this was brought to his (my friends-friend's) attention, he asked me what the first few words to Can I Live were. I wanted to be a complete jack and say, "Do you mean the intro where he's just talking and says, [Yeah, yeah, Rocafella- We invite you to something epic]..." or the part where he actually starts rapping and says, "While I'm watching every..."

Why didn't I? Prior to this, I was on the phone with my best friend speaking Spanglish (battered and thrown together Spanish and English). Upon hanging up the phone, this guy asked me to carry a conversation with him in Spanish. This all just felt too extra to me, and after being questioned about the Jay line, it hit me as to why. He was one of "those kind of people".

When I say "those kind of people", I'm referring to the ones who want you to prove yourself from the very beginning. We've all encountered them. Are they wrong for their nature? Not entirely. I can understand a person wanting to test the worth of a persons word. However, until someone shows lying or exaggerations to be in their character, what's with all the post tests?

It came off a tad pushy and overly aggressive to me. Needless to say, I wasn't feeling it. My response to him was, "I'm not one of those type of people. I don't really feel like I have something to prove." In short, responding to his little propositions would have made me feel like I was playing a game. I don't know. The situation just felt dumb and unnecessary. It's my belief that the proof is in the pudding.

It's the 21st century, and technology is a beast. If I wanted to carry on a conversation in Spanish and didn't really know how to or didn't know the lyrics to a song I was questioned about, it's nothing I couldn't figure out within 10seconds by logging online from my phone. However, the principal of it all is that actions speak louder than words. In situations like these, I think it's best to let a persons actions prove the truth behind them, and things like that take time.

Don't just ambush a person on your first encounter. Third degree never got anyone anything but burns.

Think About It,

Hit Me in the Heart

I need you
You need me
We're all apart of God's body

Stand with me
Agree with me
We're all apart of God's body

It is His will
That every need be supplied
You are important to me,
I need you to survive

I pray for you
You pray for me
I love you
I need you to survive

I won't harm you with words from my mouth
I love you
I need you to survive.

It's So Much Easier to Sing It,


Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 Hold Up, I Live Here

I don't even know where to begin this post. Starting with the basics, I didn't realize what today's date was until I looked at the chart in class telling us what we'd do today and saw that reflecting on 9/11 was one of the topics.

Can I be honest? When The Twin Towers collapsed I was in 7th grade, and I had never heard of them prior to their destruction.With that being said, it wasn't until seeing a poem performed by Suheir Hammad that I realized the real significance of the event (no worries, the poems posted below). The irony in this is that she's Palestinian, and her perspective on the issue was different compared to what most of the "part-time patriotic" Americans were experiencing.

Nonetheless, her poetic interpretation helped me realized in what way we were all affected by it. My feelings haven't varied too much since I wrote the post "9/11 It Was Needed", but it's weird to think that now I'm the one living through moments that will be in text books some years from now... my grand kids will consider times like these- "the old days". Random thought, if/when Obama wins the election- I hope they (the future generation) are still able to appreciate and realize the significance in having a black president.

Anywho, here are the poems. Hope this day wasn't too hard on you. I realize that some of my readers are friends from school, and are possibly from New York- I'm sure this day means something to you that I could never fully comprehend. Keep on keeping on, we're making it.


Random: The books currently being read/just finished are not up to date... if you haven't noticed (I've just been too lazy to fix it), and I've lost the actual book I'm reading. Not to mention, there's a lot of required reading for class, so I'm not doing any leisurely reading right now. Pray for me.

2nd Random (or should I say, P.P.S.): I FINALLY found a church in Philly. YEEAAHH ME! Only took about a year and some change, but whose counting?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

INTRODUCING... Labor Pains

For readers who weren't with me last school year, if you see "INTRODUCING" in the title of a post, than you can be sure one of my poetry performances will be displayed. It's been a while since I was able to put that in the title. A bit hype? I am. I performed and recorded some things over the summer but either wasn't able to upload them from my camera or they were recorded on someone else's camera and they never uploaded them... to those people, thank you. You suck at life.

:) Just kidding

Anywho, this was written towards the end of the summer, and it's recorded sideways. As usual, I tried to correct that issue but my attempt was not met with success. Sorry. Check it out though. Give me feedback. I'd say my writing and performance has grown, but you may think otherwise. You're entitled-share your thoughts.

Labor Pains on Vimeo.

Feels So Good,

Do You Miss It?

So, the Misses asked me this question today [do you miss it?], and it's been a while since I put much thought into it. I mean, when things occur and the situations left my hands or controlling it is beyond my grasp, I'm forced to let go.

It really has me thinking though. As with most things, when one event occurs- in your head, well (only speaking for myself)- in my head, I subconsciously plan out the events that will follow. It is only natural to remind myself that things may not pan out this way. Afterall, this is life, I can only control myself, and only God knows how all things will play out. However, when things don't end up the way I decided they would (silly me), I'm truly affected by the outcome- as if I didn't know that the possibility of things turning out as I had hoped was 1 million to 9.

Do I miss "it"? [It being what truly was there] Na... when things don't have truth, they lack substance and feelings are fleeting. Do I miss what I thought I had? Who wouldn't. Happiness is blissful, but so is ignorance, and I prefer to be in the know.

Whatever the case, I was witness to a really good church sermon this weekend. What was I told? Stop playing the role of the victim when God has already placed you as the victor. Why am I waiting on blessings and bothered by the amount of time it takes to receive them when I am certain that at some point, regardless if it's when I like, I will be blessed. Truthfully, I am already blessed.

That's All I Have to Say About That,

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tell Me Something Beautiful

(this poem is a MUST READ)

I posted this on The Konnoisseur Blog and realized I'm doing my readers a disservice by not sharing this:

So, folks- here you have it. Tell Me Something Beautiful by Jeremyah Payne (sidenote: this is the cut down version he plans to use for slams, I wish I could read/hear the original)-

We met by accident
as I boldly roamed
into the wrong hospital room.
Appreciative of simple company
"tell me something beautiful" she inquired.
Conversation blossomed like the fourth day of genesis.
We exchanged words more powerful than photosynthesis
and were able to fill the crescent valleys of the moon
with fresh water lilies, roses, and her favorite flowers
because Love has no boundaries.

At this point,
I might interject that it was hard for her to B Positive
and nothing about me was A negative.
So blood types don't matter when our souls match.
The doctors tell me
a special transfusion may save her
Though they lack the procedures.

And somehow,
if I can give her part of my soul
then she will live.
As I prepare to depart,
"tell me something beautiful" she whispers.
I’m held helpless while an incurable virus ravages my heart.
All I can muster is “I love you baby, Ill be back soon”

I scoured six different continents
searching for some material
strong enough to cut into my soul.
Try as I might,
even blood diamonds
turn to rhinestones
under the pressure to save her.

I keep searching
until I get a phone call,
"this is the hospital
There is a young woman that has requested
That you 'tell her something beautiful
Talk clearly you're on speakerphone."

But my tongue, does not cooperate
and my lungs do not participate
so this vocal exchange was limited to
“I’m coming home soon, and I miss you”

Distraught over my inability
to give birth
to the details of my peregrination,
I grabbed the only utility
available to me
on a transatlantic flight.

Stabbing my pen through my heart
my soul flows into artistic calligraphy
making love on these sheets.
No longer wearing a heart on my sleeve
but on the lines of this page
through pen strokes, I begin to
brush away any traces of pain.

I find tranquility in Soliloquies
forge Haiku’s in ten different languages
just to say that I love you.
Then moved into Jintishi and Sonnets,
Tanka’s and Rubai’s,
till I was writing narrative poetry,
lyrical poetry,
epic poetry,
but I’m no skeptic of poetry.

Because I found poetry
in poetry.
found poetry
and poetry.
I hope you go with me
to the ends of the earth.
Though I traveled the world
I found there’s no end to your worth
This isn’t easy to say every syllable hurts.

Because it feels like I arrived too late
and for all my efforts I may not change her fate.
But I’m pouring out my soul so that I can save her.
The heart monitor beeps.
I’m reading my poetry so that I can save her.
Her eyes fade.
I’m using the morsels of my soul that I have outlined
Too late, bodies flat lined.
Doctors rush into to revive her
Moving me out the room
While I’m yelling poetry at the top of my lungs
just so that I can tell her something beautiful.

They don’t understand that my poetry is useful.
So please, silencing these volcanic eruption of
Love inspired incantations are only putting her in graver danger.
Let me save her.

And with that
And I recounted every moment
from when I met her
until she died.
With such imagery
And passion
That even the x-rays became alive.

I realized
when some one makes the request
“tell me something beautiful”.
My answer must always be sincere and truthful.
And next time,
I’ll just let them know
who you are.

Wow. Don't Forget to Exhale,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Gonna Be A Good Day

So, my journalistic integrity wouldn't allow me to post this with yesterday's date on it, but I'm going to write this piece as I intended to. Meaning, I'm going to write it as if it was yesterday (which was the first day back at school-marking the beginning of my sophomore year).

*Been over a week since my last post, sorry*

(preface: this is a "tell you about my day" post)

This is pretty much how I felt after walking out of my first class of the day. Why? It was International Women's Writing, the students were really interactive (which guarantees great discussions), and Ms. Santiago was there. I didn't know we had class together, God's just cool like that. Her phone had been stolen, so I couldn't reach her since returning to campus, and walking in and seeing her smiling face was a pleasant surprise.

I had pretty much made my mind up that today would be a good day... then (as Alfafa says on Little Rascals), "God opened up the skies and said I hate you." I know that's a far a stretch, but I heard some very disappointing news regarding a close friend and a slow rain began to fall on my parade.

Deciding that I would not be defeated, I proceeded to my next class only to discover that my teacher was Asian, and I couldn't understand a word he said. I tried. Really. I did. However, just a few minutes ago, I withdrew from the class and (again, because God's cool like that) was able to enroll in a similar class for the same day and time. Yeaahh Me!

I also spent some time with my northern folk, which I haven't seen in a while... it was peachy keen. I told myself "Self, you'll have a good day". I had a few train wrecks throughout it (more than I care to describe)- but everything rounded itself out. One day down, who knows how many more to go.

New song? Yessuh. Kirk Franklin's the man for this one.

Hate if You'd Like
(But You're Wasting Your Time),