Thursday, December 16, 2010

Take a Bite Out of Public Opinion

For those who believe in the Heavenly Father, we have heard all of our lives to be prepared for "judgment day." This is said to be the day when we will be held accountable for our actions, whether good or bad. As I get older, I still believe everyone will face this ultimate day of judgment, however I believe that God judges us on a daily basis. Therefore, our lives must be better today than it was yesterday and tomorrow has to be better than today.

The words "Only God can Judge Me" is tattooed on rapper Tupac Shakur's left bicep, with a "image" of Christ and a cross surrounded by flames. In 1995/96, Pac release a song under the same name in response to those critics that were so quick to judge him and attempt to assassinate his character. In the early 2000's, 50 Cent rapped "I don't say only God can judge me, 'cause I see things clear. Quick these crackers will give my black ass a hundred years." While both of these young men are right in what they say, there is a third judge who acts as if they have more power than God or any Judge in our judicial system...the public!

The court of public opinion has the most critical, heartless, and ruthless judges of them all. If you don't believe me, then read any article on one of the greatest athletes in our era, Michael Vick.

I recently read an article in which Michael Vick stated he would one day love to own a dog. And of course, the comments that followed the article were horrendous. One comment stated " maybe a child molestor should adopt a baby, or a alcholic get a couple of bottles of whiskey for Christmas, what an idiot." Jane Dollinger, spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treament of Animals also stated he should be banned from dogs for life. Have any of these people heard of the Bible verse in which Jesus defended the woman by telling the people "he that is without sin, cast the first stone?"

Michael Vick is leading all players in the NFL PRO Bowl voting, is quietly mentioned as a MVP canidate he has paid his debt to society by serving the time that the "judge" ordered him to serve, and not to mention he is basically working for the Eagles for cheap labor as his debtors collect large percentages of his small contract.

My challenge to those who have anything to say negative about anyone who has paid his paid his debts to society and on the road to rehabilitaton and redeemption to do three things. Read and understand the book of Job(lost everything to only be blessed with more than before), learn to live and forget and finally until your day of judgment, shut the f@#& up!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

RE: RE:BET's Top 10 List...The R's List

Every year the BET Hip Hop Awards seems to get worse and worse. And every year Black people (myself included) complain about how bad the award show and the BET network are. But there is something about BET that has us all tuned in. We sit with perceived thoughts of how the network sets us back and makes us look "sooo ghetto" but deep down we hope things get better. Its like watching the Five Heartbeats. We want to see Eddie King sing with the group again, but the drugs have consumed him. And at the end, we take the DVD out of the player and put it back in the case, only to watch the same movie again and have the same hopes of Eddie King getting better...but it will never happen. Well, BET has proved this with their latest flop...The top 10 Best Rappers of the 21st Century. In the words of Jermaine Dupri, who was a panelist, "it was some bullshit!"

I will not waste time reposting that horrendous and insulting list that BET has compiled, but I will post the list of Hip hop artist that I feel should make up this top 10. Just as BET had 15 artist and made a list of 10.

10. Eve
  • Eve had a major influence on the rap game with her flow and style. The pitbull in a skirt was unlike her counterparts, Lil Kim and Foxy Brown whose bodies took our focus off of their lyrical abilities. Instead Eve was a ruff ryder with the boys on record, but a lady off the scene.

9. Nelly
  • Not only did Nelly introduce us to his "Country Grammar", he changed how we viewed music videos. Everybody and their little brother were fighting sleep to catch Tip Drill on none other than "BET" Uncut, which led to every female from pre-school to church secretary owning a pair of Nelly's "Apple Bottom" jeans and apparel.

8. Krayzie Bone
  • I know, I know! He was 1/4 of the multi platinum Group Bone Thugs -n- Harmony. But I figured if BET would allow Jadakiss who was the best out of the mediocre group the Lox, why not have Krayzie who dropped his first solo album appropriately titled "Thug Mentality 1999?" Krayzie bone has dropped 4 successful solo albums and has Grammy awards, a MTV Video Music Award and American Music Awards under his belt since going solo.

7. T.I.

  • This generation knows nothing about putting money in the bank because they want to be a "Rubberband Man." T.I is the self-proclaimed King of the South. He is not the best in the game from the south but his skills lands him on this list. Besides, who is that rapper that you see on BET when you wake up and before you go to sleep? Not Denzel but he has the potential to have acting skills to accommodate his rap skills.

6. The Game

  • No, I am not talking about rap game. I'm talking about The Game, the hip hop artist aka Chuck Taylor(not the sneaker). Drake, this guy's name is sicker than most lines you have spit so far. Just when people thought New York was taking the rap game over, The Game emerged out of the West under Dr. Dre's wing to prove the West Coast is still the coast with the most!

5. Fabolous

  • I must admit that I am biased towards the west coast and those who have west coast influence, however Fabolous earns his keep in the top 5 of this list. Dude has serious word play, lyricism, flow and had swag before it was an overused term. The radio hits and inconsistency on "Loso's Way" prevents Fabo from being higher on the list.

4. 50 Cent

  • Everyone wanted to know just who is this guy talking about robbing everybody in the rap game. Well, with "Get Rich or Die Trying," 50 not only jacked the rappers for their spot on the charts but he got rich in the process. 50 has 3 multi platinum albums, record label, awards, clothing line, acting career and while most rappers are under the influence of alcohol, 50 kept it healthy with his own vitamin water. Talk about positive influence.

3. Ludacris

  • Ludacris has kept the streets john blaze this entire decade and shows no signs of slowing down. Ludacris is versatile and shows how he has evolved as a hip hop artist going from rapping about ho's to the seriousness of the pain that children today deal with, and in between time his music keeps the party going. Sorry Drake, Luda is the "hardest light skin rapper since Ice-T."

2. Kanye West

1. Eminem

  • Even if Kanye West could not rap, his confidence will make anyone believe he is the best to ever rap. But Kanye has the skills to accommodate his cockiness. Kanye has not only released the most anticipated and successful albums(just ask 50 cent)but he is one of the best beat makers of the 21st century as well, so why is he not #1. Although I had no problem with Kanye defending Hip-Hop/R&B on more than one occasion at the award shows, some fans had an issue with it and in return, it made it harder to gain the respect of the "potential" fans. Influence is one of the requirements according to BET, therefore the #1 spot goes to none other than Eminem. You can hate on him and call him the "Elvis" of hip hop that only talks about gays and pop artist, the man did it with pure talent and rap skills. Eminem is the one of the most successful to do it being the first rapper to win 3 consecutive Best Rap Albums in as many LPs, 11 Grammy's over the span of his career, voted best rapper alive by Vibe magazine in 2008 and many other accolades. Eminem took 5 years off between his 2004 "Encore" and 2009 "Relapse" and never missed a beat. Eminem states that his influences are some Detroit locals such as Esham and more notably artists such as Melle Mel, LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, Run DMC, Boogie Down Productions and Rakim. With that type of influence, is there a question as to why he should not be #1? Ask any Jay-z fan or critique how Em murdered "Renegade."

Monday, October 18, 2010

RE: BET's Top 10 List...B's List

I was anticipating the day that this show aired as soon as I heard about it. Why? Because I know it was going to be highly controversial, and filled with sub par rappers. Alas, BET never ceases to amaze me.

BET had the bright idea of coming out with a list of the Top 10 MC's this century. In order to make the cut, you had to release your first solo album between 1999 and 2010. There was a panel of judges that based each MC on their "flow, lyrics, subject matter, cultural impact, dough, and as needed in the arsenal of a 21st Century rapper - digital skills (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, their own website, etc.)".

So here's their top 10 list

10. Rick Ross
9. Jadakiss
8. Jeezy
7. Drake
6. Ludacris
5. TI
4. 50 Cent
3. Kanye
2. Lil Wayne
1. Eminem

The first name that makes me scream FOUL is Drake. Why is he on here? Dude was in a kids/teen show most of this decade, drops one mediocre album and makes #7!? That's preposterous! Drake's inclusion on this list is a direct insult to every [good] rapper that came out during this period.

Then second time I scream FOUL is Jadakiss. What did his last LP do? Dude has lyrics, but who like 50 said "that's only in New York dawg, your a** is local." I also highly disagree with Rick Ross, who talks about nothing but coke (yet you were a corrections officer) and Jeezy who has yet to talk about anything but the trap, and talks throughout the whole song (same flow every song). What has hip-hop come to? Lryics don't matter, subject doesn't matter, only the hook and beat. I miss the 90s!

Here's my list:
10. Joe Budden
  • great lyricist, though more underground could battle any real lyricist to the end. Stayed relevant through and murdered the BET Cypher.
9. Eve
  • One of the best female MC's to drop this decade. Gotta represent for the ladies. Had flow, lyrics, charisma, and substance to her lyrics.
8. Nelly
  • Though maybe more pop than hip-hop made the band-aid and headband a fashion statement, as well changing your grammarrr. Had good lyrics and diverse about rap topics
7. The Game
  • Best out of the west this decade. Has bars for days (400, 300, 120 bars). Many of the artist on the BET list can not rap 300 bars and keep your attention.
6. TI
  • Versatile rapper with lyrics, swag, charisma and a record to match.
5. 50 Cent
  • He makes any list based off his first LP "Get Rich or Die Trying" ... classic that you can still bump today like it just dropped.
4. Fabolous
  • Most Underrated MC in the game. Witty punchline rapper with sick wordplay. Has ability to tell stories and can be versatile with his raps. Also killed the competition in the BET Cypher. O, and known for his twitter.
3. Ludacris
  • Best rapper from the South this decade. Crazy flow, crazy substance, crazy versatility, crazy charisma. Dude is niccce!
2. Eminem
1. Kanye West
  • Both Em and Ye are equivalent when it comes to flow, lyrics, subject matter, and creativity. They are both very versatile MC's that can make club hits, make fun of people, and bring serious topics and matters to light in their music. However, I give the nod to Ye because of his influence in the hip hop game...more importantly fashion. What this guy wears, people want. Dude has style, and people check him to see what's hot. Granted, it has nothing to do with lyrics, but isn't hip-hop about impacting a community (hopefully more positive than negative)? Hasn't dress and style always been a big part of hip-hop? That's what Kanye has over Em.
That's my rankings. Don't agree, comment. By the way, can someone please tell me why Lil Wayne is ranked so high? I don't know, maybe something's wrong with me cause he's garbage in my book.

Til then, B a leader, B different, B you...B easy!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stiff Armed!

In life you win some you lose some. A year after winning his first Super Bowl ring, Reggie Bush has lost his Heisman Trophy. After being found ineligible for the 2005 season and his former school, USC, losing scholarships and bowl game trips, the NCAA and others set their eyes on Reggie's Hiesman. Before the Hiesman Trust could vote or take action on what to do about this matter, Bush had decided to save them the trouble and return his trophy, becoming the first person in the 75 year history to ever to do so and leaving the 2005 Hiesman award vacated.

WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!? Reggie, you basically said you did what everyone has accused you of by making this move. Then may have brought this on yourself. Word is that the he was given goods from an agent with the intent that he would sign with that agent upon entering the NFL. Reggie did not do this so the agent wanted his money back. Reggie did not provide that money back to him, so the agent snitched. If this is the case, Reggie, you brought this on yourself. But thats just the word on the street.

But i'm not here to bash Reggie for this move, I want to know why this action was even considered by the NCAA and Hiesman Trust. Reggie was accused of taking money, gifts and what not, a direct violation of NCAA rules, and therefore deemed ineligible for that season, but why the Hiesman? This is an award that Bush won out right due to his athleticism displayed on the field. He didn't take steroids, performance enhancing drugs or anything else that would have given him an athletic advantage on the field. Yet, associations and others were demanding him to return an award that money had nothing to do with? So if I become valedictorian but took a few dollars from a TA to take my girl out, i'll be stripped of my valedictorian status, even though th money didn't effect my GPA?

I understand rules are rules and understand their reasoning for saying he should take back the Hiesman, but i don't agree with it at all! In 2005 Reggie Bush displayed dazzling moves, unmatched speed, an superb athleticism that led his team to the National Championship and him to be awarded the Nation's best player. And all that is trumped because he took a lil money to take a girl on a date (and his folks a crib, car, etc)?

Another issue here is why is he the only one guilty or being punished? What about the agent that was talking to him and offering him goods. Why doesn't he face any repercussion? What about the money the university gained from Bush's services that year? A lot of people say that we should pay athletes, making them less likely to commit these violations. Though I am against this move, I think that the other people involved should also be punished for their actions.

Here's a question I was asked that i'll ask ya'll, knowing the NCAA rules and regulations, is there anything morally wrong with Reggie taking money?

Til then... B easy!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

R.I.P. Aaliyah

Nine Years ago today, Aaliyah Dana Haughton, and 8 others, lost their lives when their plane crashed shortly after take off. Aaliyah was a great talent whether she was singing, dancing or acting. Her music touched many and her void is still felt, especially in hip-hop/r&b. Aaliyah had one of the softest, smoothest voices that was the perfect complement to Timbaland's thundering bass. It didn't matter if she was rocking a tom-boy outfit or a dress, her beauty was angelic. Though she may be gone, she will never be forgotten. Here are my top 5 no 7 no 8 songs/videos from the Princess of R&B!

8. Are You That Somebody - The beat was vicious! Tim's rap wasn't bad either "Babygirl, I'm the man from the big VA!"

7. 4 Page Letter - "When I write him, he better get it on time!" Brings back memories of those days when girls gave you letters in class and expected you to right them back the next period.

6. Don't Know What to Tell Ya - Another vicious beat by Timbaland. "Don't compare me to your last one. I can't help if she was a fast one, a sassy one, I'm a classy one!" Love classy ladies!

5. I Miss You -The video plus the song, can't help but get a little emotional.

4. We Need a Resolution - Babygirl's all grown-up! Great relationship song too.

3. Hot Like Fire -I like the smoother, original version better than the remix.

2. If You're Girl Only Knew - Fell in love at 2:33

1. I Care 4 You - "Hey sexy baby, why'd your girl leave you in pain? To let a fine man like you go, she must be INSANE!" Thanks for caring Aaliyah

- B

Monday, August 23, 2010

The N-Word

This word is still a topic of conversation and controversy today. Who can say it? Why can't I say it if you say it? Can a word be restricted to one race? These questions have once again been brought to the forefront, thanks to a well-known talk show host.

Last week, during a conversation with an black female caller,  Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who is white, said the N-word multiple times. And by N-word, I mean nigger. Now, she wasn't calling anyone a nigger, she was referring to black comics' use of the word. Since then, Dr. Laura has announced that she will not continue her show when her contract is up this year. Still, her "rant" has brought the word, its meaning, and its use back to the forefront.

I understand words have meanings and this word definitely has a long history. But it's 2010! We have our first black President [half] and are supposedly in a post racial America. Surely this word has taken on a new meaning by now... right? Depends on who you ask I guess?

When called the N-word, I've heard people say they would react in different ways. Some say that if a non black person said that to them that person would be carried away on a stretcher. Others argue that a word has as much power as you give it. By answering to this word, you are giving it and that person power. And some are desensitized to the word and shrug it off as if it were meaningless.

I'll admit, I'm guilty of using this word (mainly the -ga version). But, I have some rules and regulations to how I use it.

  • Only use it amongst peers (20 something's) that are African-American only - I don't want younger people using it, I don't want to disrespect older folks who may have actually lived in a time where all they were called was the N-word, and I don't want other races using it. If they don't hear me use it, they can't use the excuse "Well, you say it, so why can't I?"
  • Only use it when it's used by someone else first - I can gauge by reactions if that word will be acceptable during the conversation. I don't go overboard with it too(2-3x max)
  • Use it when I mean it - this is the only time I feel anyone can use the N-word is when they really mean it. In my opinion, if a person is acting real ignorant and stereotypical, I may say, "your acting like a N-word" (i.e. Waka Flocka).

But that's just me. When I hear this word used by other's of a different race, images of Emmett Till come to mind. It's definitely not being hypersensitive to feel strongly towards the usage of this word. The history of this word is ugly, and honestly, it's use should be deaded (I'm cutting back). If you don't want someone to use this word, and you hear them use it, check them. That's a big problem with our generation today, we see people doing wrong or acting out and nobody wants to correct them. Where's the sense of community (good topic)?

For those still asking, "I'm not black, why can't I say it?" Well guess what, you actually can. Here's the only time a non black person can say the N-word.  Still want to say it? Try this, go to where a group of black people are and pull a Jackie Chan.

So why do you still say the N-word? Should a word be restricted only to one race, and do you think Dr. Laura should quit her show for what she said?

- B

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

47% of Black Males Graduate High School

Yes, you read it right. This is according to a 2007-2008 school year nationwide study that states, only 47% of black males graduate high school...on time (with their entering cohort). I fail to believe the astonishing numbers in this press release, but as the saying goes "men lie, women lie, numbers don't."

Education is the foundation of success in life, and apparently the future of our young black children is looking bleak. What can be done to solve this problem? Closing down schools? Firing poor teachers? Longer school days? What say you crew?