Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rap music...

I haven't bought a rap cd in a long time. To be honest, for the most part, i'm disgusted with most of what I hear. It's not the lyrical content that disgusts me, it's the lack of creativity. Everybody can't be selling drugs, killing people, screwing thousands of women, and making millions before their first single even hits the streets. It's boring.

I don't really watch videos anymore either. Do all rappers lay around the pool at their mansion while half naked girls roam around for the viewing of their crew? Once again, no originality. It's so annoying.

There are a few that break the mole like, Lupe Fiasco or Kanye but if you look at what you see on television and hear on the radio they are few and far between. I know that's not really the case, but i'm 40 years old and I don't have the time to be digging around for good rap. Common's an actor now so we probably won't be hearing anything from him for a while. Lauren's a bit nutty and i'm not even sure she's rapping anymore.

Some would wonder why a 40 year old woman even cares about rap music. First and foremost, i'm a lover of all music. I listen to it all. Mostly, I remember when this phenomenon called rap music first took off. I lived down the block from Kool Herc. I remember going to jams in the park where the deejay had to steal electricity from an apartment to get his equipment going. I remember me and my friend, Bena, going to Skate Key to see The Cold Crush Brothers, The Zulu Nation, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Funky Four Plus One More, and so on. It was a beautiful thing and it felt so real and so genuine, and we had so much damned fun.

It saddens me to see a culture that the people I mentioned worked so hard to build is no longer fun. It's so damned materialistic and violent. It hurts me. Some of them are so young. Then again, you have those like Fat Joe who shows no growth from cd to cd and wants to be Joey Crack forever. What are you bringing to your community by constantly rapping about being a drug dealer?

My daughter and I were watching Hip Hop vs. America on BET and David Banner was on the panel. He was constantly saying it's not his job to raise people's kids and he's a man and a father first but rapping is his job. I call bullcrap (still keeping my promise to Auntie Ann)! If your number one job is to be a father, then isn't it your responsibility to raise your own kids? Is it okay for them to listen to some of the crap that is out there?

Another point David Banner made that is really sad, but unfortunately true, is positive music doesn't really sell. It's true. Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, and a host of others should be platinum, if not diamond, selling artists. Fortunately, they do it for the love of their craft and not money. They all have loyal fans who believe in them and support them to the end.

Why is our culture so violent and negative? All attention is paid to bad things and not enough to good. Paris Hilton is famous for being a partying whore, but you don't hear much about Raven Symone who is a wonderful example for young girls. It's disgusting.

Like I said, I haven't bought a rap cd in a long time but I plan to buy the new Nas cd. He's saying things I want to hear. I might even buy two copies just to support him.

Nothing really

This is one of those blah days. I don't really have much to say. I'm feeling tired and i'd love to be home in bed. It gets harder and harder to get up for work in the morning. I cannot wait to finish my book and start the publishing process. I know it's going to be hard work, but it will be worth it. To see my words in print is my dream.

I'm really not feeling this day. I don't even want to finish this blog.

I'm done.....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Brother Barack

Has anyone seen the cover of the New Yorker?

What the hell is wrong with them? There is no way that cover is acceptable. They claim it was "satire," but then they didn't explain that on the cover or in the magazine. Is it racist like some people believe or sensationalism to sell more magazines? Satire my...(keeping my promise to Auntie Ann).

I voted for Barack, I love Barack, and I have his back. I want him to win, but it's going to be crazy if he does. He's going to be under the largest microscope the United States has ever seen. Everything he does is going to be researched and scrutinized. The poor man won't be able to eat fried chicken and collard greens anymore! His basketball playing days are over.

Look at all the things our alcoholic president has gotten away with. Can you imagine Barack doing some of the same things? Oh boy, the outrage would be crazy. The impeachment process would have started years ago. Republicans and democrats alike would have been picketing to get that crazy colored man out of office.

Imagine Barack Obama choosing Oprah Winfrey as his vice president and have her on television giving away cars, "You get a car," "You get a car," "You get a car," and then taking her best friend Gayle shoe shopping, running her over with her electric car, and forcing Gayle to apologize to her. What would happen? Oh the horror!

So, Sheik Barack Hussein Abdul Muhammad Obama you and your wife Angela "Black Power" Davis have fun running for office. The world awaits your election. They're all cleaning those microscopes and getting them ready for dissection of every move you make.


Monday, July 14, 2008

The art of selflessness

I just got an email from someone who is very important to me who did something very selfless. I won't go into detail about what was, but it's something that I don't think I could ever do. It's not easy to put others before yourself in certain situations. Something happened to this person that could have destroyed not only her, but her child. She sucked it up and did what may not have been right for her, but may have been right for the situation.

I've made sacrifices in my life and I regret none of them. They weren't always appreciated, but when things come from your heart you don't look for praise, or even appreciation. Most of my sacrifices have netted wonderful results.

This will not be a long post, but I hope that the person I spoke of reads it. I want her to know that I admire and respect her for the decision she made. It's been a long time since i've known anyone who put their needs aside and did something they probably didn't want to do, but knew was necessary.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

Happy Sunday!

Instead of being home on the day of rest, i'm at work. I have no complaints about being here. I need the extra cash. Living in the Big Apple is no joke. Everything's so doggone expensive. (I would have said something else, but I promised my Auntie Ann I wouldn't curse). I love New York, but it's almost like the city is turning into a place specifically for those who are well off. That led me to try and find some things to do in the city that are either free, or don't cost much. The goal was to find 20 things. Here's what I came up with:

Take advantage of free or "pay what you wish" nights at the city's finest museums, including:The Whitney Museum of American Art (Friday nights free, 212-570-3676)The Solomon R. Guggenheim (Fridays 5-8 pay what you wish, 212-423-3500)The Museum of American Folk Art, free (212-977-7170)The Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design, Tuesday evenings free (212-860-6868)The Steuben Gallery, free (212-752-1441)

Catapult into the future at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab, where interactive exhibitions thrill children of all ages (212-833-8100).

Let African-American culture inspire you at Harlem's Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture (212-491-2200).

Taste the Big Apple at its sweetest at the Union Square Green Market, where you can sample fresh fruit, vegetables, baked goods, cider and much more (212-477-3220).

Explore the greenhouses and gardens of Wave Hill, a 28-acre former estate overlooking the Hudson River in the Bronx (free during the week and Saturdays before noon, otherwise $4 adults, $2 seniors/students, 718-549-3200).

Browse for bargains at the famous Sixth Avenue Antiques Market, between 24th and 27th Streets (free, weekends only). Other markets include the famous fleas at Columbus Avenue and West 76th Street (Sundays only) and the weekend market on Houston Street between Sullivan and Thompson.

Catch the breeze even in August on the Battery Park Esplanade, complete with spectacular views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. In nearby Hudson River Park, the Battery Park City Authority presents a "Sounds at Sunset" summer series of poetry readings, cabaret and classical music (212-416-5328).

Stop and smell the roses at The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and learn about botany and garden lore at special exhibitions in the conservatory (718-622-4433).

Enjoy the best classical music, drama, opera, dance and jazz New York has to offer--including the New York Philharmonic, City Opera, Shakespeare in the Park, and much more--at free warm-weather concerts in the city parks (information 212-360-3444).

10. Every Friday and Saturday night the Brooklyn Academy of Music opens up its BAMcafé free to the public. Jazz, world beat, and experimental artists keep the crowd rocking.

11. If it's free blues you're after, you can't do any better than the gratis shows every Friday and Saturday night at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill. Shows start at 9 p.m.; get there early for good seats.

12. Visit the Studio Museum of Harlem and watch contemporary artists hard at work on their newest masterpieces. Plan your visit well, though: It's only free the first Saturday of every month.

13. Remember that favorite TV show from your childhood? Well you can probably find an episode at the Museum of the Moving Image. Free admission to the galleries is from Friday evenings from 4 to 8.

14. Join a free yoga class beside the Hudson or relax at the scenic gardens, all inside Riverside Park. A limited number of kayaks can be borrowed for free.

15. The annual Broadway on Broadway show offers skits and musical numbers from every major show playing. Admission is free, but highly coveted, so book early.

16. Theater buffs start lining up at 6 a.m. for tickets to Shakespeare in the Park, presented free each summer. Tickets are distributed at 1 p.m. the day of the show at either the Delacorte Theater in Central Park or the Public Theater. There are two productions each summer, five weeks per year.

17. Every day dozens of deals are posted on for the discerning drinker. Often this involves a certain promoted tipple for the entire evening, but most commonly involves free "well" drinks (the standard ones - not the fancy shelved ones) for a certain amount of time. Who cares, it's free booze. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the bars aren't all grotty dives … decent venues in SoHo, Brooklyn and the Lower East Side frequently pop up. (I actuallylike a grotty dive now and then).

18. In the west of SoHo, SOB's is one of New York's most prestigious Latin and Hip Hop clubs. Each Friday from 7pm they offer free salsa classes lead by a dance master and his twirl-a-minute lady friend. Men have to pay the obligatory $10 entrance, which covers the rest of the evening (after the class, the nightclub proper begins), but women go free. The distinctive New York salsa technique of "breaking on the second" levels the playing field between newbies and intermediates.

19. There are several sightseeing and party cruises around Manhattan. Some are reasonably priced and others cost a bit more. You can buy tickets at

20. Harlem Meer Catch and Release Fishing - This a popular family and community activity. The Dana Center provides free poles, unbarbed hooks, and instruction booklets. Located inside the Park at Central Park North (110th Street) between Fifth Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard (Lenox Avenue). (212) 860-1370 is a good resource for free activities in New York. They list events by day as well.

Hope these suggestions are useful