Thursday, June 30, 2005
Mind Blowing Volume 12
1. "Everything happens for a reason" - What if the reason is to benefit someone else?
2. "Someone else always has it worse" - How am I supposed to feel better because someone else is miserable.
3. "He never gives you more than you can handle."
Guess I will have to pull out the old saying by Clifton that says "If you can wake up the next day from it, it wasn't that bad". Even that one is stretching it right now. Lets just move on to the next thing and stop being so negative.
Mind Blowing Volume 12 Part II
"With the fourth pick in the 2005 NBA Daft, the New Orleans Hornets select Chris Paul from Wake Forest University!!"
- That was music to my ears when I heard David Stern say them. I'm glad everthing worked out in the top three so we got the best fit for our team. This pick cannot go wrong. We got the right kid with the game and personality for this city.
- Normally I would be pumped up to see Venus Williams beat Sharapova today in straight sets at Wimbledon. This is laying the foundation for Serena Williams to start working out and destroying everybody at the US Open. Richard Williams is a genius. Instead of defending his girls, he has been dissing their games publicly and has tapped into their willingness to please their daddy. Everyone on the tour should be afraid.
- After listening to Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush this week, I now realize that in five years we will have a military draft in this country. There is no way we can stay in Iraq as long as we will need to and not expect another country like Syria, or North Korea (the other countries in the Axis of Evil) to start tripping. The most fascinating part about the whole thing is that whenever they make a speech on a base, or visit the troops they find the most gung-ho, Rambo wannabes to make statements afterwards like all the troops think being Iraq is a cool thing. All the cats I know over there can't wait to come home.
- It's Essence Festival weekend in New Orleans. We are ready for good music, good food, increased prices on hotel rooms, increased cover charges at clubs, hundreds of cars getting towed away without any posted signs, more parking tickets being written than any other event and a bunch other moves that prove New Orleans is the most predujice city in the world even though 85% of the population is black. Lets just hope no one gets killed at Razoos because he has on the wrong shirt.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Breaking the Man Code....Things Women Should Know
Lesson 1 : We Don't Want to Always Share our Opinions Immediately
Ladies, how many times have you told your man a story and he just looked at you afterwards and started watching TV? If this happens do not be alarmed. He heard what you said and he understood. He just doesn't feel like commenting on the situation at the time. There are several reasons he may not want to comment. He may want to surprise you and take care of it for you. He may still be thinking over what you said and doesn't want to give his first reaction. Or, he may know that if he doesn't agree with you it will start an argument and the game is about to come on. It's better in our opinion for you to be mad from silence then mad from our opinion. The next time this happens, wait a few hours and then ask again. He should be ready with his comment by that time.
Lesson 2 : We Are Not Planning on Having a Relationship with Every Woman We Date
Ladies, sometimes a man sees an attractive woman and starts talking to her he is not looking for a wife or a girlfriend. Single men like to go out and have a good time with a good looking woman. There is no guarantee that he is going to take you out again or even call you the day afterwards. The problem some women have is that they assume that if they tell a man they are looking for commitment and he still takes them out that means he is looking for the same thing. This is not true. If you meet a man, and you are searching for a husband ask him what he is looking for. If he says he is just trying to have fun, don't go out with him. If you do, it is not his fault if you feel like you got played at the end. It's yours because he told you and you still went.
Lesson 3 : Sex Alone Will Not Keep Us Happy
All I will say about this is that you can't be mean, arrogant, uncooperative, offer no support, selfish, and lazy and think that just because you are good in bed a man is going to want to stay there with you. The physical need for a man is so great that he can be with you and detach emotionally. Don't think your skills will win his heart. You would do allot better waiting awhile and letting us get to know you as a woman and a friend. We are less likely to be able to just get up and move on at that point. Some dialog and time might even let you know if you even want to be bothered with him in the first place. If you are in a relationship with somebody, eventually you will have to have some other strong points besides the body.
Lesson 4 : Don't Take it Personal if We Want to Deal with Certain Things on our Own
We are men. We have been raised to be strong and take care of things. If we have a personal issue and close you out leave us be. If we need you we will tell you. I understand it's your nature to want to take care of us but respect our nature and give us some space. It doesn't matter if you have a better idea of how to handle something than we do. A man needs to try and fail every now and then to build some character. Just let him try to handle it first and then step in if the ship starts sinking. You ladies get too frustrated when you are trying to help or find out what's wrong and we won't let you in. It's not a reflection of how we feel about you. We are just trying to be strong for ourselves. When we need you we will let you know. Stay close by and ready.
Lesson 5 : If You Know What you Want In A Man, Get It From the Beginning Because We Won't Change
I saved this one for last because it's the number one problem I see. Ladies, if you meet a man that has never held a job, he probably won't become a CEO anytime soon. If you meet a man that has been to jail for domestic violence, it's a pretty safe bet that if you make him angry he is going to go out like Joe Frazier and knock you out. The point is that you need to find what you want from the beginning and eliminate the stress of waiting for the frog to turn into your prince. That only happened in the book. You might find this hard to believe, but men do this all the time. If a man is with a fast, wild woman that is what he wants at that time. He knows pretty much knows that she is not going to be a housewife. If a man dates a woman that works all the time and is not domestic, he knows it. I bet you he won't be buying her an apron for her birthday. The error women make is they look for a man that fits what they want externally and then they try to change him internally. Men have long figured out that sometimes when you want certain physical attributes in a woman, you have to let some mental and intellectual things slide. That's why we don't get hurt as much. If we dated her because she has nice legs and breast, we don't care what her reading list is. It doesn't even matter if she can read at all. We know what she is there for. Women go out and find the most sculptured, GQ looking man that is dumb as a bag of bricks and then turn around and expect him to write speeches and books like W.E.B. Dubois and Langston Hughes. Sure, there are some brothers who are both physically and mentally enhanced but find that out before you make the decision to let him into your world. You can't waste good years of your life thinking you have Cliff Huxtable and deep down you know you have Albert from the Color Purple. The signs are always there. You ladies just didn't pay attention to them.
These rules do not apply to men that have the following characteristics; tattoo tears, more than three gold teeth, two strikes on their record, pants that hang low enough to see their drawers, no knowledge of where their kids are and not knowing who the mayor, governor, or president are. The only rule for these fools is to stay away at all cost.
Monday, June 20, 2005
Mind Blowin Volume 11
You know how special America can be sometimes. Saddam Hussein was supposed to be the number one threat to the country and the most evil man in world. According to this article, he is living better than most tax paying citizens while awaiting trial. It was reported today that the US is delaying his testimony. I hope so Saddam gets up on the stand and tells of all the weapons he had purchased from the CIA when he was fighting Iran and how much money he has made from making secret deals with American oil companies.
Who in the hell gave Bobby Brown a reality show? The show is titled Bobby Brown show but you know everybody is going to be watching for Whitney. I hope she put on a few pounds and got that skin fixed up before the cameras started rolling. This show might be as bad for her as the Michael Jackson interview when he was spooning with that little boy was. I can't wait to see it.
Did the Runaway Bride just get a TV deal and half a mil for her story? Is her fiance still with her? This was one of the biggest hustles in American History. You make the entire nation go out looking for you while stereotyping the Latin American brothers and what do you get? You get rich and get to keep your man.
The best part about the final was this excellent article from Scoop Jackson on ESPN.Com about Ben Wallace. The problem with this series has nothing to do with the players. I like how both of these teams play. The problem is Larry Brown, Phil Jackson, and the refs. They have all taken away from this series with either their own agenda or bad calls. Game 5 was close because that was the first evenly called game during the finals. Both teams were on even ground and it came down to one shot. Lets see what happens tonight when the Pistons start playing project defense again since they are facing elimination. David Stern and his people need to go talk to Paul Tagliabue at the NFL office to find out how to handle his teams and media relations. There is no way that Phil Jackson would have did all those interviews and press conferences during the NFL playoffs. They just wouldn't have it. The entire focus should have been on the playoffs. It shouldn't have been Phil and Kobe, Shaq, Larry Brown or anybody else. You are basically telling the fans that what's going on in other places is just as or more as important as the game.
Friday, June 17, 2005
My 31 Favorite Hip Hop Songs That Nobody Ever Talks About
1. Freestyle Fellowship - Ghetto Youth
2. Beatnuts - Reign of the Tech
3. Odd Squad - Fa Sho
4. Brand Nubians - Wake Up
5. Freestyle Fellowship ft. Daddy O - Inner City Bounderies
6. Big Mike - Playa Playa
7. Naughty By Nature ft. Freddie Foxx - Hot Potato
8. Kwame - The Rhythm
9. Salt and Pepa - I Am Down
10. M.C. Lyte - Poor Georgie
11. Just Ice - Going Way Back
12. Trendz of Culture - Who Got My Back
13. BlackStar - Brown Skin Lady
14. Beastie Boys ft. QTip - Get it Together
15. D-Nice - Crumbs on the Table
16. Saafir - Just Riden'
17. Chino XL - Kreep
18. MC Ren - Same old Sh#@
19. Casual - Later On
20. Public Enemy - Ties Goes To The Runner
21. OC - Times Up
22. Black Moon - Buck Em Down
23. Saafir - Light Sleeper
24. X-Clan - Tribal Jam
25. MC Breed ft. Tupac - Coming Real Again
26. Above the Law - Black Superman
27. E40 ft. Ice Cube - Behind Gates
28. 2 Live Crew - Check it Out Yall
29. Channel Live - Mad Izm
30. Group Home - Superstar
31. MC Eiht - Heavyweights (from DJ Muggs CD)
Should have been Platinum, Hip Hop Classics that Didn't Sell
Krs One - Return of the Boom Bap, 1993: My Philosphy and Still Number One are my all time Krs One favorites but from top to bottom, Return of the Boom Bap was his best album from start to finish. There are no filler songs and no guest appearances. It's just Krs One ripping the mic. This album got lost in the G Funk era and nobody paid attention to how good it was. Dj Premier and Kid Capri on production set it off. If you find a copy of this CD, check out the song Uh Oh. He could perform this song in 2005 and it would still have the same meaning and hit you the same way.
Common - Like Water for Chocolate, 1997: I still own Resurrection and that's the bomb but for me this is Common's best CD. I guess it came along at a time when I was maturing and getting tired of all the gangsta stuff. It's best listened to straight through without any fast foward. It seems to flow it's best that way. This CD was released right around the Puff Daddy, shiny suit era so not enough people were feeling it at the time. The songs to check out on this CD is Payback is a Grandmother and Assata's Song.
Trendz of Culture - Trendz, 1993: This is just my opinion but if the hip hop community was half as smart and up on things as they say they are this album would have at least went gold and possibly platinum. I still own this one too. We have another selection that should be played from beginning to end without any fast fowarding. Most of this music from 93 was lost in the G Funk and gangsta stuff so it never got any press. Check out Who Got My Back and Old Habits.
Brand Nubian - All for One, 1990: This is a top five album in my opinion. I am a Grand Puba and Brand Nubian fan. Every song on this album is dope and the lyrics are on point. One of the best Grand Puba songs appears on this CD and one of the best and most positive hip hop songs ever appears on this CD as well. If you dig this type of music check for the songs Step to the Rear and Wake Up (Reprise in the Sunshine)
Gangstarr - Moment of Truth, 1998: Out of all the Gangstarr albums this was my favorite. Just a solid effort all the way around. Another one of those CD's that needs to be listened to from beginning to end without interuption. Royalty, Above the Clouds and The Militia featuring the legendary Bumpy Knuckles are my favorites. Guru and Premier should have really been bigger mainstream stars.
Brand Nubian - In God We Trust, 1993: Another G Funk era casualty that might have not been everybody's cup of tea. I gave it a 9.5 out of 10 in my opinion. This entire CD was great especially Love Me or Leave me Alone and Steal Ya Hoe. Brand Nubian have not sold enough records to match their talent.
Odd Squad - Fadanuf Fa Erybody, 1994: This CD was country and ignorant but it was good. FaSho is a classic song in my book and if someone from New York or LA would have recorded that song it would have blew up in my opinion. Also check for Here to Say a Lil Somethin and Coughee.
Bumpy Knuckles - Industry Shakedown, 2000: The fact that this album did not go platinum is proof that the majority of hip hop sales go to people who have actually no idea what real material is supposed to sound like. I actually bought this CD just to finish off a special at the record store and this is the only thing I listened to in the car for about 3 months. Is there a more underrated under appreciated mc in the history of hip hop than Freddie Foxx aka Bumpy Knuckles? There is no way cats like Nelly and Bow Wow are supposed to be on MTV Cribs while Bumpy is out here grinding. You have to give him credit for not being so angry that he made a few dis tracks and destroyed 20 careers and a large percentage of the hip hop mainstream. Part of My Life, Tell em I'm Here and R.N.S. are the best songs but don't sleep on any of this CD.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Two weeks ago a 16 year old was shot by sheriff's deputies when he tried to put the stolen truck he was driving into reverse. He was hit sixteen times. That is one bullet for every year of his wasted life. The news cameras were on the seen as his friends, dressed like they were going to a BBQ, carried his body to his final resting place. I couldn't help but to be overwhelmed by the words of his father looking into the camera and giving all young brothers notice that they were being hunted. That may be true, but he also should have said there is no way he should not have known where his son was that late at night. Where was his acceptance of responsibility in the matter? When I was 16 there was no way I would have been far away from home in a stolen truck that late at night. The reason is really pretty basic; my daddy would have killed me instead of the sheriffs.
Sunday is Father's Day and I am always intrigued at how little fanfare there is for it compared to Mother's Day in the Black community. There's good reason for it. Fellas, we are not taking care of business like we are supposed to. We are not reinforcing the image of a positive male presence. Sure, mom can teach you manners, and respect but it's ten times more powerful if you see a man that looks like you doing some of the things she is trying to tell you about. If she tells you to respect women and be an honest man, it does no good if daddy beats her up and steals the rent money to get high. Boys and girls feed off of what they see other people around them do. If there are brothers around to validate the words then the actions are set in motion. As a good friend told me this week concerning her son, "no matter how manly I tell him he is, it takes a man to activate that masculinity."
I had one of the best mothers a man could have. Allot of my characteristics are hers. She thought me allot about life and being a good man and a good person. As a man however, there are some things I learned were ok for a man to do without losing a hint of masculinity because of my daddy. I learned it is ok to be educated. It is ok to dance. It is ok to show affection. It is ok to play with your children and have a good time. Every now and then it is ok to be a little silly. It is ok to cook, clean and even sometimes follow your wife’s lead without feeling like less of a man.
teachers. They have no fear of anything. We can't wait until our daughters are 16, expecting their 3rd child and sliding down the stripper pole to try and step in to show her what real love from a man is supposed to be. It's too late by then.
We have too many excuses black men. Being a father is basic stuff. The notion you have to be a college graduate and make 50K a year tobe a good dad is not true. All of that stuff does is enhance your material possessions and has nothing to do with how your kids will turn out. Too many of us are sitting around all day feeling sorry for ourselves and punishing everybody around us for our own shortcomings.
My grandfather lived 89 years as a black man in the South with little education. He was married for 68 years and raised 5 children successfully. He passed away seeing all of his kids, grandkids and great grandkids living productive lives. In the 30 years I shared the Earth with him and got the privilege to talk to the man, I never heard him make an excuse for anything. He could have looked around one day at his five children, thought about the fact that he might need to work day and night to feed them since he only had a fourth grade education and just packed up and left. He could have been focused on all the personal things he wouldn't be able to do since he had to provide for them and left. He never did. As a matter of fact he raised some of his grandchildren too. The point is that a real man makes no excuses about being responsible. He just gets up and does it. Your reward is in the lives that your children lead, and if that's your only success in life that should be enough. We have let outside forces dictate to us what makes us a man. We don't walk as tall as we should because we feel the need to be validated by someone or something. We have to validate ourselves. No one can do it for us. Our women can't do it. Money can't do it. Television can't do it. Only we can do that. One thing we need to do is stop placing an emphasis on being cool with everything. Everything we do is not cool gentleman. We are now accustomed to being negative and ignorant. If you need some help distinguishing what is cool and what is not let me help you. It is not cool to curse around or disrespect the elderly. It is not cool to either have a baby and not take responsibility or have one and abuse it. It is not cool for grown ass men to prey on little girls and take their innocence. It is not cool to run around with your pants by your knees exposing yourselves to all the sisters. It is not cool to be violent or kill another brother over anything except the safety or your family. It is not cool to be a brother on the DL infecting the future mothers of our race; and it is definitely not cool to celebrate being uneducated, addicted or incarcerated. We are cheating ourselves out of so many great things that life has to offer. Many of us are so content with nothing it erases all hope in things getting better. Our flaws and shortcomings are not pre determined. Some are not our fault but it does not matter. Just like Walter Harris, all you have to do is get up and do it. Our women will help us if we put forth the effort. No sister wants to sit around and carry the weight of an adult male that is not making an attempt to carry himself like a grown man. We have to carry and conduct ourselves as men first and everyone else will give us the proper respect. That means taking care of our own homes and neighborhoods. As my daddy likes to say, in this world we live in, you will only be given a small space to rule and you have to do what you can to make it the best it can be. The bottom line is that until we take care of our own, no one outside our community will ever respect us for the kings we were born to be and there will be more fathers like that deceased brother's father trying to figure out what went wrong. Until we do better, the hunting continues.
Dedicated to my daddy, Clifton Joseph Harris
Rest in Peace Walter Harris and Leroy Baker
Monday, June 13, 2005
Mind Blowin Volume 10
Fear of chicken pox brought me and my daughter to the clinic this morning and for the first time since I have been taking her, there was more than two fathers in the building. Today was an all time high with a whopping total of six! That might not seem like allot to some people but here in New Orleans where men seem to be walking meaninglessly through life that is pretty good. If we could just multiply that five by 20,000 we will be alright.
Mike Tyson quit in the middle of a fight Saturday night against a guy who have needed medical attention if he fought Mike in his prime. Now, I don't feel sorry for Mike for blowing all his money and waisting his oppurtunity. Saturday night I was happy for him. The reason why I was happy was because he finally has perspective on his life. As an adult, the only way to grow is to review the past and see how others have effected you and how you have done things to yourself in order to learn. If he never would have realized that he needs to take responsiblity for what has happened to him then he would be on the verge of killing somebody by now.
In the last three weeks about 4 people have been shot locally by the police. None of these brothers were unarmed. Fellas, you've been watching too much TV. You can't win that battle no matter how bad you think you are. Just get out of the car and live to see what the jury might say. Stop making law enforcement officers paranoid. Someone innocent is going to get shot because of a wrong move due to all this.
Nothing gets your week off to a good start like a conversation so funny that when you laugh it feels like you are about to have a stroke. That subject will make you laugh all week. This is dedicated to the Davids and for the dudes dancing on the lake Sunday.
Well Well Well
Well well well,
I have a question. When black people celebrate a celebrity getting away with something, is it because we are rejoicing in the system working against the grain for a change or do we really think that somehow this is a victory for us? It's no victory that Mike went free. Regardless of his innocence or guilt, he is still one of the most tragic black men of all times. Between he and Mike Tyson alone (who quit Saturday), we could at least have some computers in inner city schools. I'm not celebrating.
Tuesday, June 7, 2005
30's and What I am Looking Forward To
- In my 30's I am looking forward to lots of things happening......
- I'm looking forward to finding the meaning and purpose of my life on this planet.
- I'm looking forward to watching my children grow.
- I'm looking forward to being a good man and a good husband.
- I'm looking forward to good health and prosperity for all of my loved ones.
- I'm looking forward to my professional life finally taking shape.
- I'm looking forward to good times and memories with my family.
- I'm looking forward to black on black crime decreasing.
- I'm looking forward to black on black love increasing.
- I'm looking forward to buying a jaguar.
- I'm looking forward to kindergarten graduations.
- I'm looking forward to somebody allowing me to write a column for a magazine or website.
- I'm looking forward to having my own magazine or website.
- I'm looking forward to enjoying some part of everyday.
- I'm looking forward to experiencing inner piece.
- I'm looking forward to my brothers and sisters finding their true passions in life.
- I'm looking forward to hip hop becoming more responsible.
- I'm looking forward to fathers taking back control of the community.
- I'm looking forward to the Saints in the Superbowl.
- I'm looking forward to applying everything my parents taught me into being a good parent myself.
- I'm looking forward to hopefully having a son and being as much of a man to him and daddy was to me.
- I'm looking forward to growing in wisdom and learning something new every day.
- I'm looking forward to watching the sun set over the lake.
- I'm looking forward to mastering BBQ.
- I'm looking forward to the day black men finally recognize the dignity they have inside.
- I'm looking forward to the day black women cherish that dignity.
- I'm looking forward to my 40th birthday and all of this has came through.
Friday, June 3, 2005
Five Things I Should Have Done Differently
I Should Have Left New Orleans for college. I think I would have did a little better if I had left. There wouldn't have been any girls, friends, or nothing else going on to distract me from just enjoying the college experience. I stayed home to spend scholarship money and take the easy way out. I should have just struggled in Tuskegee where I wanted to go and got the experience of being away from home and making it own my own. I will always regret not doing that because I really can't correct that one. Those days are over.
I Would finish college first instead of getting a full time job. I am still feeling the affects of this decision today. The job market is volatile as it is and its ten times worse when you don't have at least a bachelor's degree. As well as I have performed at jobs I have had, I have never made the money or gotten the advancement I feel I deserve. The reason is I am always started at the bottom because of the lack of credentials to get in at the top or the middle. When you have that problem it takes years to climb the ladder, especially when are not going to kiss up or play politics with anybody.
I would quit Autozone three or four years earlier. It took me six years of working day in and day out in a situation that made me miserable to finally get the nerve to step away and go in another direction. One thing I didn't have in my early twenties was the ability to see certain things happening before they did. I hung around way to long and fell behind about 5 years. Once again, I should have listened to my daddy. He told "quit now before they start paying you too much to quit". That's exactly what happened and it cost me three years off of my game plan.
I would not "date" half of the women I did. It was only fun on the day of the encounter. I am not going to elaborate too much on this one. I will just say that I wasted allot of time, energy, and money on breast and legs. I'm not blaming the women. Lots of them genuinely liked me as a person. I just wanted everything I saw that I thought I could get. Nobody told me to spend all that time trying to be a player. I will say it before and I will say it again the swinging bachelor's life is overrated and unfulfilled in the end. I met about 7 potential wives and I messed up every one of them trying to work my way into 70 potential booty calls.
I would try to talk to some of my friends and keep them out of trouble. Every man is ultimately responsible for his own actions but I had a little more insight then some of those brothers and I didn't share it. I sat back and watch my childhood best friend become and addict, one of my best friends is high school was murdered at 19, and one of my best friends now, was homeless and incarcerated for about 5 years. In each one of these cases I think I had enough respect from these people to talk to them about what was going on and offer my hand to them. I'm not saying it would have worked. I'm just saying I could have tried.
Wednesday, June 1, 2005
first; the first time I shaved, the first time I kissed a girl and so
on. I guess the only part about growing up a teen in the late 80's and
90's was watching allot of my friends fall to drugs and crime at a
young age. That was not cool at all. At least, I was able to stay clear
of that. I credit two reasons. One reason was the fact I love women and
eating too much to ever go to prison. The other reason is the total
fear of the wrath of my parents if I called them from jail.
Favorite Songs: Baby I'm Ready - Gerald Levert, Everybody Get Up-Salt and Pepa, Untouchable -Above the Law, Anything by NWA, Written all over your face-Rude Boys
Favorite TV Shows: Wrestling, In Livin Color, Apollo, and any program that showed a 2 Live Crew video.
Heroes : Daddy, Mama, Ice Cube, Rakim, Chuck D, Farrakhan
Favorite Activities: Basketball, Hip Hop, writing plans to build a new black nation, trying to find any girl who thought I was cute
Best Moment : Any family crabbing trip because there were no bad ones and June 13 1991......
Worst Moment: Seeing my homie Ryan get stabbed in the middle of Rampart St. and St. Claude CT. It would have been the worst moment of my life because I thought he was dead. At least we got to laugh about it 7 years later over a Jack and coke.