Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Best Rapper Alive by VIBE

Although you may already be familiar with this but, Vibe magazine has taken the liberty of creating an NCAAesque bracket for the B.R.A. or best rapper alive. The setup is slightly silly and almost railroading a preferred answer but nonetheless its water cooler conversation (who really sits around water coolers though). My quarrel with the whole thing is there is really no criteria and we all know that individuals view music differently, so although it's one question it is virtually a different question to almost every fan which will lead to a bogus answer.
However i guess its all in fun. But they better not make another bracket with Big Boi as a 6 seed and 50 Cent a 3 seed. I expect some hip hop heads to be upset because sometimes people get to wrapped up in fictitious and irrelevant contests that don't mean much at all. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Apology Accepted....?

This comes on the heels of a previous post but perhaps CNN's "black in america" was portentous due to the fact that now the House of Representatives is poised to pass a resolution to apologize for slavery and the era of Jim Crow. The resolution was introduced by rep. Steve Cohen who represents Memphis, TN. According to the report there have been states that have apologized but never has a body of the government acknowledged definite wrong doing.

Once the pending document transitions to active the House plans to commit itself to "the occurrence of human rights violations in the future." However the resolution will not address the controversial issue of reparations. This will not be the first time lawmakers have apologized as Native Americans, Hawaiians, and Japanese Americans have also received the gracious honor of accepting an abstract apology.
While this maybe a positive step it is clearly ambiguous concerning what this will now change. The current precedent suggests that an apology will change and/or neutralize nothing, but we shall see. Interesting to say the least.

What a sentence...How bout a paragraph?

Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy received sentencing today and was awarded 15 months in a hotel, i mean prison for his involvement and orchestration of a gambling ring. Donaghy's lawyer said the camp is thrilled with the sentence received which is in large part due to Donaghy singing like his life was in jeopardy, perhaps it was.

The NBA is vivacious about Donaghy being a rogue official and considers him an isolated case, despite his 130 phone calls to another referee who has yet to be questioned. These are loose ends that remained tattered and need to be fused together. Let me say this first, the NBA has relied on the government investigation to find and analyze info up to this point. So far everything Donaghy revealed has been the truth even regarding details that have nothing to do with his plea and/or case, so if this man says that there are other officials then it would behoove the NBA to take a look. We shall see how the NBA mends this creeking and weak bridge with its fans, especially after Donaghy also stated the NBA has a proclivity to help large market teams. I think one man is breaking into the NBA mansion through the back door while everybody is looking out the front window at the nice flowers; point blank he is hurting them.

For my latest trick i have to ask which is worse, organizing a gambling ring and undermining the integrity of a billion dollar business or organizing a dog fighting ring on your personal property? Yup, we gon dialogue today! Vick=18 months, Donaghy=15 months, not that either is a heck of a long time but...

We shall see what ensues. Wallo for president in 08'

Friday, July 25, 2008

Black in America

What does it mean to be Black in America? CNN, courtesy of Soledad O'Brien took a stab at it and merely illuminated the the lives of blacks from one end of the spectrum to another, nothing more and nothing less.

To put the discussion in drive i will start by saying this, there are a myriad of "reasons" and depths that were not explored in this documentary but being as pragmatic as possible i realize that the show would have taken hours upon days to outline and detail the many catalyst and causes for the current state that blacks in America are in. For many blacks this served as a gratuitous reminder and reassurance for a lot of facts that we already knew, especially if you've lived these stories. An important thing to remember is that CNN is a potent national network and attracts many audiences; the airing of this documentary gave other races brief insight into what it is like to be black in America without actually living it (every little bit helps). In an effort to ease the tension among racial lines it is paramount that BOTH sides take initiative to understand where the other side stands in order to help better present solutions, reasons, and formulas to make things better. If dialogue is to happen and both sides are not privy to how the other side views the subject then you could be debating and in essence not even be talking about the same idea. So from that perspective it is good to see what kind of ideas other races are exposed to concerning us. Now lets move on.

I didn't see all of the first day so my commentary is limited for the women and families portion. For the women one of the points talked about dating outside of their race, and with so many black men restricted by bars, dead, or leading an unproductive life its a wonder that there aren't more black women dating outside their race, especially those women who have achieved a substantial amount of success. One of the things that hinders relationships is the lack of roles, traditionally women have played a more of a supplemental role for the man and been the foundation of the family. When everyone follows the formula everything is simple, but now with women breaking a lot of barriers and excelling more than ever black men have been slow and/or tardy matching their excellence and this has caused a void that it is often left vacant. What is a women to do if as she progresses professionally there become fewer and fewer black male counterparts in her circle, she is sure to relate to those that are on her level and those that are in her circle which can easily become exclusively another race. The scenario does not always happen like this but it is an example. Black men need to excel not only for the women sake but for the sake of the race. Just so we are clear i don't think that dating outside the race is problematic but at least give the ladies some more options to choose from.

For those who feel dating outside the race is detrimental you have to consider a few things, if you harbor the same ideas some of our ancestors held then we will continue to be stuck in their same situations. What im saying is that older black generations as a whole probably feel stronger about interracial dating than younger generations do, but they have a right to because of the reality that they lived. But if European Americans hold on to their same p.o.v. then you have a lot of potential fights coming, so if we are all going to live together than we have to be willing to move pass the past and try to reconcile, and not just live in two different realities but want everyone to be treated the same, that contradiction won't work.

This paragraph should tie into male and female and cover a lot of ground, hopefully. Let's put this out there, some people are forced into situations by the way society works and they don't have any options, that needs to be acknowledged. They sell cocaine, crack, weed or whatever to support the family members they do have and they're forced to carry guns to protect the dope and it becomes a vicious cycle. Some folks do have options they just choose to ignore them because the illegal route seemed like a better solution to their problems. With the laws set up against black (as CNN reported harsher penalties for crack rather than cocaine while cocaine is a purer form of the drug) a lot of people dabble in that game to long. Its nothing to sell a few bricks, keys, ounces whatever to get yourself in a better position to make other moves and put yourself back on the playing field but we don't do that, we milk the drug game for everything we can until we get caught. Now at this point we are no longer doing it out of necessity, it is out of greed which will eventually do anyone in. In the "hood" you can have countless transactions take place and the police won't be on to anything because its nothing major happening and lets face it, the majority of the "hood" ain't saying nothing! So everything is copacetic. The other problem that compounds this societal injury is that we don't have the education or societal acumen to know how to do anything else because we have dropped out of school and if we were going we weren't learning anyway, which brings me to another point that a lot of inner city schools are already behind the eight ball as far as resources and class sizes. Where most suburban schools have adequate funding which will allow children to do things such as take the books home and give them additional learning time, as opposed to being in school and whatever you don't learn in class you have to chalk it up as a loss because you don't have the luxury of taking the book with you. Not to mention on a standardized test particularly in the english section a lot of the jargon can be ethically biased. I could get into affirmative action here but i digress, so now you are stuck and where do you end up? Like Kanye said "its only two places you end up either dead or in jail". Then this puts the pressure on the women once again, so while we thought we were "man-ing up" we are really running away and putting the burden back on the women. With all due respect it can be extremely hard for a women or any one person to raise a family. You don't have the time and usually scarce resources, so who ends up raising the children? You know the answer. And with so few leaders there is nobody for the youth to turn to. Children literally can not be accountable for themselves unless they are taught to be accountable. They are at the complete mercy of the parenting before them. And with so few people willing to step in and help the saga continues, remember it takes a village to raise a child.

A lot of the problems that people have been screaming about concerning hip hop is all redundant and almost irrelevant. It is true that a lot of those messages guide the youth and heck even some grown folk. But the most effective way to alleviate the problems in hip hop is to build stronger family units and values. As horrific as this may be some of hip hop is just reporting and observation, if we create better realities then hopefully we create better messages. Unless we continue to let record execs feed us foolishness and we okay that agenda. As hip hop started out it was a creative expression of a deprived voice. How can those that are not connected with hip hop at a fundamental level dictate to those that are what is good hip hop and what is not. With stronger values one is able to determine the difference between real and fake, what is right and what is wrong. And another problem is that nobody is ever willing to speak about anything they feel is wrong because most blacks have a "cant knock the hustle" mentality, and i think a lot of that stems from the truth that most blacks have done some dirt and who is to say my "hustle" is more legit than yours. But there is nothing wrong with imparting knowledge upon others if you have learned otherwise throughout your travels, once again a lack of accountability.

The point is we have to do better and stop accepting the status quo as good enough. There are so many more topics and directions this could go but i have to end it somewhere. I just ask that you hold us down and try to do better everyday and as long as we do that then we will be ok. Although black in America was only a snippet for those of us that know, we get it, and this is just a reminder to us that we need to get on our game and take this thing further than we have before. Hopefully this wasn't excessive chatter but i just had to come back with a bang.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

They don't make em like this...seriously

For the guys out there having a little trouble among the ladies, they are working on your solution. There is a new humanoid robot debuting next fall, called EMA, "Eternal, Maiden, Actualization". Im not sure why they named it that. But this is coming from Sega Toys out of Japan, perhaps its the same company that produced the video game system in the 90's.

According to a press release the robot can sing, hand out business cards, and walk "like a lady". However most impressively it has some kissing feature that is activated when the head gets close to the robot, apparently it goes into love mode. Its a battery powered robot and also uses infrared sensors to get around obstacles. I don't know exactly what you would do with this but i just thought you should know, should be available next fall if you need one.