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Monday, August 10, 2009

Not Gonna Cry... (Blogger Exclusive)

In an effort to maintain self-censorship, I'm not going to bitch about my entire weekend. When too many adults are together in confined settings, certain tribal and territorial instincts kick in. That's a diplomatic way of saying some people get along in a very heated way, which actually isn't "getting along" to an uninitated observer. Families fight. As do packs, prides, pods, mobs, and murders.

I do love that. Anybody else know that a group of crows is called a "murder"? My friend dream hampton called herself a "word nerd". If there is such a thing, I am one.

(I should tell the story of the Locked Bathroom Door and the Green Apple Splatters, but it lacks a comedic finish and mostly is a story of frustration.)

I briefly touched on my outrage at Twitter's outage, I'm sure we all were caught by surprise with it. It has shown me that while some are jaded with it, I love it even more. It is truly a weapon/tool.

There is much talk about the way people can fake who they are, or conceal who they really are through the anonymity of the Internet. While I won't argue the merits of that perspective, I will say some things to provide balance.


We can put forth exactly who were are just as easily as we can try to conceal, and the truth of it will be just that. There's a guy I've met through Twitter that I can kinda tell that working with him might be fun, @K4s_Ent. Like I said, we haven't met in person, but the detail he provides on his FollowFriday recommendations show me that this guy understands people, and relationships. Would we be successful? I don't know, but knowing what I know about him makes me believe that it would start off right. I daresay he reminds me, of me...

If I were a total ass, that would be bad. But if you have two people who are 1) worried about getting the job done and 2) don't care who gets the credit, you start off way ahead in the game. It's about the job first. We'll make sure the credits get printed properly when it's all done.

What I'm saying is, going into a situation you have to have the right mindset. G.I.G.O. = Garbage In Garbage Out. There is an annoying little shit of a producer in town that I used to work with, and I used to go out of my way to send business his way even when our association had passed, but I don't do that anymore because this dude is obsessed with me and mine, and no matter how much time passes, he hangs on to the negative from the past. I knew he was talented, but I always overlooked the personality differences because I thought he might change. Being around talented people helped him find his talent, but being around confident people when you have none made him bitter. I thought that maybe other people could work with him when I couldn't, but then people started to come back to me telling me their own stories of personal conflict. So while some people love to say "Business is business" and I can agree, "family businesses" works because of connections, and if I can't connect with you, I ain't doing business with you...

I'm making connections on Twitter that will hopefully bear fruits later on, and part of it is because I put out exactly who I am. Is some of it "censored"? Yes, to a degree. But no one can say that what you've read is a misrepresentation. It's what I saw, and how I saw it. How I felt. What's to hate about that? Disagree? Fine. I like that. But hate on it?

This was a little freestyle, but I just wanted to touch base with my readership. Yeah, I'm getting a little following. I see the H8ters too. I actually love y'all, because of a definitions someone gave me:

"Haters are confused admirers that can't figure out why everybody else likes you."

There used to be a time when I would say "Aw, man, you talk so much about hating, and ain't nobody hating on you."

Not anymore.

When you leave your house, your picture is taken probably 20 times in a host of places.

You don't even have to leave the house, and that many people hated on you somewhere.

Better learn to enjoy it.

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja


Thursday, August 6, 2009

TwitterHolic Withdrawls Are Savage...

Wow. The World without Twitter.

I only wish I was blissfully ignorant as those that don't use it. I miss the HELL out of it.

But it's let me know that no matter what happens with MySpace, I'll NEVER go full-fledged to FaceBook. Why?

Well, the generosity I feel and the connections I make on Twitter are far more useful and fulfilling. Twitter "feels" real.

Yeah, Mark Zuckerberg, your nifty little site has made it as a flavor of the month, but you've made one fatal error: You assume that we actually LIKE our family members and people from high school... what if we don't?

The irony of this post is that it will feed directly to Facebook, where it will sit unread. If I post it to MySpace, I would have 20 comments on it in no time.

The people you're related to tend to know the least about you... when people get killed, they don't ask family members who was in their life: they ask FRIENDS.

But then me and mine do put the "fun" in "dysfunction", keeping it 100.

It's not all genetics, though...Part of it is that FB is not the easiest place to navigate. For the longest time I just wasn't sure of the mechanics of FaceBook. Now that I know a little more, I don't know if I even care for it.

Geez, I hope Google will hurry up and work the bugs out of GoogleTalk and launch THEIR social network. Yeah, they got one coming, they're building it right underneath you. It started with GMail, and Google Profiles, and GoogleTalk is the next piece. They can give you one phone number that will ring ALL your phones at once, and when you don't answer, they can give you a voicemail that can be checked from the web/CrackBerry (but probably not your iPhone until they can figure out who's @ fault for blocking the app). They can make national/international lines disappear (I talk to my Baby for nada, she's in England. If I had a phone with GTalk and so did she?), and that's why they are going to bury anything that looks like them. Twitter isn't under any threat, they'll seamlessly integrate into your GoogleProfile.

MySpace might have been flavor of the month, but at least I liked it.

Facebook is flavor of the month, and I don't.

And God forgive me for using this trifling Attack-Vagina as an example, but you really don't See Tila Tequila declaring herself the "Queen Of Facebook", do you? Nope. She's staking out her "claim" there. This girl is a digital cock-roach (wait, hear me out), she was on Friendster, they kicked her off there for having "too many friends" according to her. Mark and Tom invited her to MySpace, she gets a million friends and a couple of tv shows, and now she's the HotSpot (literally) for NFL Players and recording artists.... (Yeah, I said it.) What happens to Friendster? How many of you even know what the hell I'm talking about? Tila got instincts. She can sniff out a social media opportunity like a hog roots truffles. So now she sees that the MySpace boat might be leaking, it's hemorrhaging badly, she's on to Twitter.

I don't want to sound like a "fan" of Tila, I hate her version of Twitter, I'm only speaking on the fact that as many people "hate" on Twitter, there's some that have had proven and unparalleled success in social media that are working that way.

I dig my Twitter. FaceBook is a very distant third. I hope they don't close the casket on MySpace just yet. Google, step it up people.

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Something Wicked This Way Comes


(Pictured: "Show Me", the Orange Bomber eliminated from RCOL2)

My bad, my bad, my bad. I must confess something, True Believers.

Before I wash myself of sin, let me tell you that I am attempting to refine my oft-randomness. I have created another blog, I am calling it Reality Bytes. While not everyone enjoys my musings and rants at VH1 (the channel that airs most of my favorites reality shows), there is a group that does. So I'm going to siphon off all my Reality TV related bloggings there, and keep this one more about my musical and personal journeys. This advice comes from @problogger on Twitter. If you're on Twitter and a blogger, this guy is an excellent resource. I'm going to see if I like running multiple blogs on specific subjects instead of one blog on every subject.

So this blog is my last reality-tv-related blog here.

The other day on UStream I got a chance to ask @riskybizness23 if she thought I should watch the new "Real Chance Of Love 2: Back In the Saddle". She was a lady, she didn't badmouth them, but she didn't give them a ringing endorsement, either. So I thought about it, and decided that I would check it out just to see if things were really going to be as bad as I thought they would.

Oh-Em-Gee. Let me tell you, this makes Charm School 3 look like a tea party, and we are only one episode in.

I watched the first season intently. I had my favorites right away. Well, in all honesty I had my most contemptable right away, Ms. Ki-Ki. I strongly disliked her and Bay Bay Bay (all opinions have softened since, the girls really used the notoriety to become better people, especially Bay x3), and I felt immediately invested because I thought Real deserved a "real" shot (that opinion has also turned). It's pretty clear this time around that we are not supposed to like Real or Chance. They are pretty committed to the asshole character much like Megan (we'll come back to her).

Let's not beat around the bush here... The Stallionaires (back-of-throat-vomit) make no secret about their love for wrestling, making the girls put on a show for them in season one and repeating it again in season two (what did Don Cheadle's character in "Ocean's Twelve" say? "You don't do the same gag again, you move on to the next gag...") and that's what this show is from jump.

I stated previously I would question the intentions or intelligence of a woman who would go on that show knowing the men they were dealing with. Everybody on this show should automatically be enrolled in Charm School 4 on default, especially the winner. These guys have their 15-Minutes up against the headboard, ankles behind the neck, literally. They don't want relationships. They are on the groupie/hootchie/skeezer/bopper trail, And the casting directors did not disappoint.

I can't remember the nicknames yet, but there were those who made theirs known by being the auspicious first two eliminated. The regular reality-show format is the mass-eliminations on the first night, but before the Gonad Council, "Vegas", the sassy-mouth chick from (wait for it...) Vegas decided that she was going to push "Show Me" (yeah, the girl from Missouri. These guys don't waste brain cells on nickname creativity) by calling her a transvestite and throwing a drink at her.

In certain circles, you can expect certain behavior. In my city, you throw a drink in somebody's face, be ready for the chairs to start flying. If you are from the South, well-known fighting words are "Hey, I'm From Missouri." Which means, "You gon' have to show me." As in "Bitch, I'ma beat yo' ass" "Oh, yeah? Well, I'm from Missouri." Somebody should have told the stupid Vegas girl.

Show Me gave Vegas the drunk girl headlock and showed her why some girls down here wear over-sized rings... it's like a brass knuckle, people. Old school. Homegirl got her domepiece split, drew blood and all. Well, unless you're on The Ultimate Fighter or the Contender, that's the Ultimate See-Ya-Wouldn't-Wanna-Be-Ya Move. In what I considered an attempt at gaining "control" (in this case, that word is so relative), Real and Chance decided that they would eliminate them both, Show Me for throwing the punches and Vegas for (very obviously) baiting her. Might keep some of the more out-of-bounds drama (like KiKi calling Lusty's deceased mother a "...bitch when she had you...") to a minimum.

This show, is bad. I mean, really bad. I thought "Tool Academy" was going to be bad, but it immediately became an "Oh-Shit"-Fest (like "Hi, I'm Sean's Girlfriend of six years..." when he's sitting there with his 'girl' of 6 months? Oh shit!), and it was fun(ny). Ain't none of that going on here. Right after this show was over (I really felt like I needed a shower after), "Megan Wants A Millionaire" came on and I very nearly ran screaming from the room. There are millionaires out there who actually want to date Megan? I'd hoped she might disappear for awhile after the (way overdue) beatdown @ the hands of Sharon Osbourne at the "Charm School 2" reunion. During Risky's UStream the question was posed about the CS3 Reunion and she said they decided not to have one. Could that be why? People wanting to get at Brittney Star that bad? Real and Chance have managed to do in 1 season what it took Flavor Flav took two seasons to do: be reduced to bad wrestling. Yeah, wrestling is fake, we know this, but guys like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson made you enjoy it. When it's fake and it bad... Ooo. Get some Febreze, ya' stinkin' up tha' joint.

Anyway, that's enough from me... Got music to finish. What, you thought all I did was watch reality tv?

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Obama Is A Pussy



I'm sure some of you might be taking issue with my title, but I'm sorry, I gotta keep it 100.

I'm sorely disappointed in our President for backing off the Cambridge Police Dept. and letting them sorry redneck crackers get any breathing room, because as soon as he did, you see how they act. What am I talking about?

Well, I'm not going to go into the Dr. Gates vs Sgt. Crowley section, because Obama let 'em ride. He gave them a pass when it was OBVIOUS what the hell was going on. Come on, man. The cop didn't like the Prof. telling him what was obviously true: He didn't like a Black man standing up to him. I've seen cops do this shit a thousand times for anything. It's a weak excuse, and they use it whenever it suits them.

When the President took the stand, he let up off the racists and they got emboldened. How do I know? Well, check out the story of the email by Justin Barrett.

I'll give you the quickie highlights. Just like Sgt. Crowley, Officer Barrett declares that he is;

"not a racist but I am prejudice [sic] towards people who are stupid and pretend to stand up and preach for something they say is freedom but it is merely attention because you do not get enough of it in your little fear-dwelling circle of on-the-bandwagon followers."

Yeah, that's what people who stand up to racism are. "Fear-dwelling circle of On-The-BandWagon Followers."

If you are a white person out there, don't fall into the trap of Race-Guilt. White people are guilting other white people into the "see, it's THEM, not US." You're playing the game, it's "The Hate Of The Hate that Hate Made."

Racism caused the mistrust, the fingerpointing. The behavior of that police officer is like a thousand others out there, and those who backed that up, should be fucking ashamed of themselves. Why?

Because by backing it up, you made Justin Barrett feel like it was okay to write an email calling Professor Gates a Jungle-Monkey. So, in effect, you supported a racist.

I still love Obama, but he's said it, he's not a "Black" president, he's everybody's president. He's gonna say and do some shit I don't agree with.

But you can't stand as a symbol on one hand and then cowtow to the Racists on the other side. You said it was stupid, stick with it. Don't be a pussy, Obama. If Sgt. Crowley isn't a racist, then neither is Justin Barrett.

Because when you pussy out on us, you expose us to shit like this.

But I'm calling it like I see it.

"Oh, Officer Barrett is an abberation, he's not the norm." Get the fuck outta hear...

And Rick Sanchez can kiss my ass if I ever watch his show again.

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Real Rekkanize Real



What's up, True Believers? Yeah, I'm speaking only to the True-Believers. The fake can't feel this. Turn back now, nothing here for you to see.

I did a blog just recently about "Real Chance Of Love 2", and not watching out of respect for my girl Risky.

Wait, let me hit the rewind for a second... I got a few things to get off my chest.

First, we've discussed me and reality shows. I dig 'em.

Tonight, I saw and heard something that AGAIN raised my faith in reality tv.

This season of "Charm School 3" with Ricki Lake, Stryker (from LoveLine), and Mrs. Carmelo Anthony, better known as LaLa Vazquez has been a step above. The second-to-last challenge involved the girls going to New Orleans and doing volunteer work, turning the focus back to the fact that N.O. is still reeling from Katrina. Props for that alone. But the individuals who went into the process with a totally open mind came out better people. My opinion of Bay Bay Bay completely changed when I watched her engage in several acts of total selflessness and generosity. But this isn't about her.

I want to congratulate Ebony Jones, @riskybizness23 for winning this semester, and for even more, opening up and confessing something on national tv that was as real as it comes.

Risky has been "through a lot", we've heard it before. The scary thing is, how close to being her could some of you be? I've had friends and relatives locked up for different reasons. We've known this entire season that Risky's brother was in prison, but nobody ever knew why.

Well, she told us. Risky's brother is in prison for doing something to the person that molested her.

Hearing that ripped my heart out. Because I know the wrath that would overcome me to know someone in my life had to experience that, and the possibility of exacting my own revenge on the individual would be too much to bear.

I know this because I've experienced it already. I've had to let it go, and I hated the taste of that. Bitterest fruit you can imagine. And once, I didn't have to let it go.

I remember being 16. I was around 165lbs, all muscle, right around the peak of my martial arts training days. My little sister was playing in a fenced park directly in front of my house, she was 9, I think. My mom was at work, it was me, my older brother Locc and my brother Tza. I realized I hadn't heard my sister in awhile, so I sent Tza after her. He and Locc returned shortly after at a full-speed run. Some dude around the corner, actually a couple years older than me, tried to lure my sister away from the other kids and into a secluded area of the college (the playground was next to Edward Waters College Science & Mathematics building).

Me and my brothers together back then were a force of nature. We would swoop down before you realized what was happening. Hyenas had nothing on us. My sister knew the dude, at least where he lived, and took us to his house. I knocked on the door while Tza and Locc hid in the bushes. I asked his Mom to ask him to come to the door, and as soon as he did, I snatched my nunchakus from under my shirt tucked in the small of my back, wrapped them around his neck and dragged him off his front porch. Me and my brothers beat the shit out of him while his mother screamed for us not to kill him, and only through her being there did we not. I explained loudly as my brothers pounded his ass into tapioca that if I ever saw him near my sister again, no amount of begging on his mother's part would save him. It was kinda like the scene from the Sopranos when Tony caught the guy outside the bank with the baseball bat? Oh yeah. Pedophiles are squishy.

I'm older now, but I don't know if I have the restraint to forgive this kind of transgression easily. When Risky confessed the reason for her holding her pain in, I felt my heart sank. Her face was just pained, you could see that she carried much guilt, because she probably felt that she was the reason her brother was locked up. I'm willing to bet he doesn't feel that way, because I wouldn't have felt that way had I gone to jail for my sister. I would have held my head up high and told the CO "if somebody does this again, you might want to keep me a bunk ready, cuz best believe, I'll be back." I would never want to be away from my Boo and my Girls, but if someone hurt them, God please help me find mercy, I will lose my way.

But this isn't about me, it's about trying to keep focus on what means the most. Risky is going to take her winnings and open a program for girls, and I'm so happy to hear that. If she's doing it in Atlanta, that's what's up, because ATL is rough like Duval. I know, I've seen it. The cutthroats up there have it just as rough.

Risky, I hope you find ways to affect lives with your winnings and with everything you learned. You said it, new start, new day, you've brought light to the darkest corners of you. Nothing can stop you now, Ma...

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Forecast: Real Chance of Bullsh*t-storm

Looks like I'm gonna haveta' bang out another one today.

Those that know me (@theonlyEL being one!) know that I have a guilty pleasure of Reality Television. I'm a guru. I started with "The Real World" and have become a connoisseur of sorts. "The Amazing Race", "Survivor", "America's Next Top Model", just to name a few. Hit me on Twitter, I'll give you my full resume.

I admit, I watch this garbage. It is the Cult Of Personality grinding out douchebaggery in epic portions. I love it.

So back in the day, I got wind of "Flavor of Love" after Flavor Flav's stint on "Surreal Life" and that other bizzaro-show with Sly Stallone's ex, I didn't follow New York (the runner-up from FoL) to "I Love New York" (cuz I detest her), but kept up on the highlights through "Talk Soup". From ILNY, there were a few standouts, for different reasons. The two douchebags pictured above (Chance on the left, Real on the right) being a brother duo who came for New York (ugh, vomit in the back of my throat). We next saw them on "I Love Money", where they ended up with their own show, "Real Chance Of Love."

I'ma take a second to shout-out Risky and Cali, two girls from the show that are big-time Twitterholics. Ironically, these are the two girls who were the final choices for Chance, and he chose neither. This is the impetus for my blog.

As I said, I've been watching reality tv for awhile. Unlike a show along the lines of T.I.'s "Road To Redemption" (which was absolutely fantastic in focus, authenticity, and intent), these shows have no 'redeeming' value. The televison equivalent of nachos, or Twinkies. I watched the show because I thought Real, was real. He came off as very earnest when he was on "I Love New York", and on "I Love Money 2" we felt for him when his romantic overtures were rebuffed by Hoopz. So going into "Real Chance of Love", I wanted him to come away with a good girl. His eventual selection was Cornfed, or Abbi Noah as she is wanting to be called these days.

After going through the trials and tribulations of the entire season, to make it to the end and have the guy completely get the big-head (no pun intended) for all the chicks that come out of the woodwork is a real booby prize (again, no pu... ah, whatever). And when I say a hard-fought victory, for some people that was literal. There was some emotional investment on the part of myself, my Mom and my sister, we watched ardently. We had our favorites, at least as far as Real was concerned (I thought any girl who would knowingly commit themselves to Chance should commit themselves). To hear CornFed's version of events, you feel really bad for her. I want to quote a bit of what she said in her blog:

"I had an amazing time on Real Chance of Love. I made some amazing friends and I fell for Real. Anyone who says that reality tv is fake or the people are acting, well that's your opinion. But I was NOT acting! I am NOT fake! Very very far from it infact. What I felt for Real was sooo real. I will always hold this experience very dear to my heart. "

Doesn't sound to me like someone was faking. She's admitting that she developed real feelings for him. I don't need her words to know it, I saw it, but this confirms what I always knew to be true. "Reality" tv is not literal, but you are who you are. If you're real, you'll be real. If you are fake, the camera shows that too. Yes, things can be edited, taken out of context, but after enough time on-screen, who you truly are will reveal itself.

It takes ten seconds of on-screen time for you to realize that Chance is a Grade-A, Full-Blast, Dead-On Jerk-Off. Very simple. But Real turned out to be anything but what he appeared to be. Or he was real, and now we see that he has completely been seduced by the fame of the show and is now something other than what he started as. That's sad.

If given a choice between true love and fame, I'd take love over and over, because we all know fame is an illusion (unless you're believing your own press releases). Same thing make you laugh, make you cry, and if fame and vanity are your motivation, you are in for a fall most predictable as it is assuredly painful. Watching "Curse Of The Lottery", I heard a quote that stuck with me, "You are the same person you were 5 minutes before winning the lottery as you are 5 minutes after." If that's the case for millions of dollars, then it's most certainly the same for a reality show. Real now has thousands of reality-groupies throwing themselves at him, and rather than go with the girl who fought through that warped Funhouse to be with him, he's going for a second run into infamy. Guess 15 Minutes of Fame is worth a lifetime of happiness.

I feel a little like Jerry Springer trying to shine redeeming light on this Circus, but I am a romantic. I believe true love can exist even in undue scrutiny. But Real and Chance have whored themselves to the Cult Of Personality, reaching beyond their station of E-List Stardom and believing themselves worthy of playing with people's lives. If one believes in karma, we can only imagine what's to come of these two. Chance was the brother that was most cringe-worthy when he came on, but now it's Real that makes me shake my head in disdain. Chance didn't portray himself to be anything more than Emperor Douche, and the women who go on that show (in the new season) and pledge their "love" are getting what they deserve. I just wish Real had the same decency rather than playing the "Good Guy" role. And 'decenct' probably isn't a word I should be trying to apply to him.

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja

PS With all that being said, I'm going to avoid "Real Chance Of Love 2" like MRSA out of respect for Abbi, Risky, MILF, Bay Bay Bay, and Cali.





Blogging, How I Love Thee...

Ugh, feels good to stretch beyond the contraints of 140 characters and blow off a little steam. I'm typing and I'm not worried about my character count.

I'm not complaining, mind you. I have come to appreciate Twitter very much. Twitter is like conversational haiku to me. But I'm sure it would become annoying if someone were to speak to you only in 5-7-5 syllable paragraphs after awhile.

You read what I write. I write whatever I please. I hope you enjoy.

See? Another sentence like that, and I think my skin might crawl.

No, I do enjoy my Twitter. I love even more that my better half is there also, although she doesn't have my zest or zeal for it. I do secretly wish she'd tweet more. Or, not so secretly.

I'm writing now because someone paid me a high compliment. Rob Dougan, a really nice guy and a musician who contributed to "The Matrix" and "Matrix Reloaded" soundtracks actually took the time to read through my posts and said "that guy can write." He's not the only person who's told me that (I hear you, Boo!), but he's a person who a) doesn't know me from Adam and b) is extremely talented in his own right. (My future Mother-In-Law also thinks I'm a helluva writer, and for those of you married you know what it is to have your in-laws think highly of you. Or to not think highly of you! =) )

I mean, seriously... the "Lady In Red" scene in the Matrix? When Morpheus was training Neo? That's "Clubbed to Death". That's HIS joint. They used it in the trailer for "Ultraviolet" too.

So I felt like that was a blog-worthy occurence.

The other reason is I stumbled upon the blog for Mike Choi. For those unfamiliar with who he is, he's most famous for his work on WitchBlade and X-Men. I thought I had a mouth. I love this guy's blog. He really gives you a peek into the inner workings of his mind, and it's an entertaining romp. I liked him before because he created X-23, I like him even more because I think that we are kindred souls, at least as far as expressing ourselves through writing is concerned.

I miss blogging when I don't do it.

I guess I understand the difference between those born to blog, and those who choose to blog. I've said before that I would do this if no-one read these. I'm not blowing smoke up anybody's ass when I say that, I mean it. The reason being just because nobody is reading them right now doesn't mean they won't be interesting to someone else later on. I used to journal when I was a kid. Due to my nomadic existence (I've actually had occasions in my youth where I went to multiple elementary schools in one calendar school year), I don't have those anymore. Had there been an internet when I was in school, I might have chronicled some of those stories here for the world. Trust me, some of the things I've done would have been perfect scenes for movies like "Superbad", or even "Menace II Society".

But I do love blogging.

Someday, I won't be here. I will move on to whatever comes next... and when I do, I'd like to know that my words, my pure unfiltered thoughts and beliefs will remain, and anyone who cares to know what I felt, how I thought, will still be around and available for anyone who cares to know. I don't know what they'll think or how they'll feel about it, and that's not really for me to know or concern myself with. It will be what it is. Hopefully they will glean some understanding of what it was to live in what feels like quite remarkable times. People all over the world are a part of this digital tapestry. Never in our history have people been able to connect in the ways we do today.

I haven't blogged about the events in Iran, or the changes in the Gaza Strip that are taking place right now, but I do watch them intently. They are echoes of the changes on the horizon. Iran doesn't want to be cut off from the world anymore, and the leadership of their country seems dead-set on holding them back in a period when the thought police held them in check. Iran's youth (in comparison to the spiritual leaders, people all around my age and younger) don't see the world as their leaders do. Their blogs will, or should, be a part of the story years from now when people talk about the digital uprising, the revolution that took place on Twitter.

I don't want to overestimate my own dignitas (thanks for that one, Mike), but then again, I don't want to underestimate it, either. People like myself are the reason we changed history in electing Barack Obama, through word and deed (you best believe I vote), and we continue to shape the world everyday by simply choosing to speak.

The people of a democratic society are unique in that they have perspective on what one voice means. Afghanistan is experiencing that for themselves through "Afghan Star", their equivalent of "American Idol" (or "Pop Idol" from Britain, if you want to be technical. They came first). Not only are some of their women "voting" for the first time, women are risking their lives participating as contestants. Literally risking their lives. When the Taliban was in full swing in their country, music was outlawed. Now people are singing in the streets, and I don't think they are going to be able to put that genie back in that bottle. These changes are powerful events to those of us who are scholars of history. Why do you think it was illegal to teach slaves to read and write? I'll put this in a term that's used in the Hood: You'd do better if you knew better. Ignorant people are easily controlled. Those with knowledge can envision better.

So in an effort to make my ramblings coherent, let me attempt to sum this up: I love blogging because it's my voice amongst the din, and someday someone will tune in to my frequency and maybe find the courage to say what they think and feel. In the event that my Life-Plans come to fruition, I will be of moderate interest to people I'm not related to in any way, but will impact nonetheless. If you're reading my blogs, I hope you see yourself in the same light. I'm reading your blogs and being inspired all the time. Just like others, I'm not always commenting, but I'm reading. Like the sign in the Oracle's kitchen, I hope you "Temet Nosce", because that's the only way others can share in what it was to be you, because there's truthfully no one like you.

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja


Monday, July 6, 2009

Talk Is On Clearance, It's Cheap

One of my fellow artists in Duval, the young Urban Champ says in the nicest way that I tend to be "opinionated". I take it as a compliment. I've been pretty consistent on the Duval Scene (and I use the term 'scene' loosely) in my music, personality, and writings. If you know me, you know me through my writings as well as my music, or maybe even a face-to-face conversation. I've worked with many on the scene, and some I consider family even when my behavior hasn't been the best. Bluntly put, I have been an asshole at times, no other way to put it. But I'd like to think that I'm consistent and honest. I mean, there's a lot of different ways to be a jerk, but being blunt and saying too much is preferable to someone who says one thing and does another. I abhor hypocrisy. But something I have said in my blogs before: I would rather be hated for what I truly am than be loved for something I'm not.

Relationships change over years. Duval is not that big, and after time your reputation will precede you in certain situations. I am not the most popular person in any given room, but in most rooms you can find someone that I've helped on occasion. One of my closest and longtime friends, David Robinson (@fromduval), we've not always seen eye-to-eye. We are both headstrong individuals, but we've learned to work together over the years. I truly appreciate the differences between us now and learned the benefits of having someone around that has a different opinion from me.

My brother @tza_unlimited wrote a blog about wanting to bring together like-minded individuals and help the music scene come together. This is something we've attempted on different occassions, and it's not easy. You'll fail more times than you will ever succeed, but it's still a noble cause. Part of why I'm able to work with D.R. is that I realize that I'm not always right and that sometimes someone else is going to have a better perspective than I might. I am not infalliable. It would be nice if some other people would or could realize that themselves.
I'm being very roundabout in what I'm saying because I don't want to call anyone out, that's not going to bring the scene closer together, but I gotta point out that actions speak louder than words. If you really want to help people, you'd do it. If you have a bunch of bullshit you want to sit around and argue about, you'll do that too. Tza summed it up very succintly:

"I personally don’t have any reasons not to reach out or this blog would not have been posted, persons such as yourself or anyone else taking the time to read this and interested in having a go at it should take steps to clear up any concerns if truly interested in working on something. Otherwise continually commenting on the complexities is no more than an effort to hinder what I’m trying to do."

Some will come under the guise of helping you, but have their own personal demons they need to exorcise. I've worked with dozens of artists in Duval over the years. The truth is I've never had a problem going back to work with people for professional reasons. I'm good at what I do. David Robinson, DuvalPhatt, Ms. Chanel, Aaron Jr., and Grizzly (the artist formerly known as Blakhart) are people I think will publically vouch for that. The people I've had personal relationships with, well, that's a horse of a different color. I don't make a secret of my life. Failed marriage, cheating, and everything that comes along with that. Anyone who will take issue with you for personal reasons is someone who you really should be careful of, because that's someone with something to hide. People hate in you things that they see in themselves.

Those artists out there who are trying to get ahead, realize that there is strength in numbers. One or two artists can leak out, or we can nuture and develop our own scene and lift us all. If you're a selfish, weak, scared little artist who can't stand the thought of someone else getting more shine than you, continue your backstabbing, back-biting ways and we'll see how far you manage to get. I believe that if people can't find a way to survive in the Duval Scene (which is treacherous at best), you don't have what it takes to survive outside of Duval, because the view only gets worse as you go up, not better. Soon there will be "journalists" who will talk shit about your music, trolls who will stalk your boards to post hateful shit about you to fulfill their own sense of self-worth, and haters who will hate on you for nothing more than the fact that you have what they want.

I have learned to appreciate the people that hate on me, because infamy is the same as fame to me now. Hate is my battery acid. It powers me. I've accomplished much in the past few months because I ain't addressing the hate, I'm recycling it. Turning it into something useful. If you're wasting time hating me, I'm going to give you some serious advice: don't waste your time. Go find your Dharma and move on. Spend more time accomplishing your goal instead of trying to block someone else from theirs.

And if you really want to help the scene, put out the best music you can. Work with those you can, and keep it moving. Don't waste a second trying to pick fights in blogs. If you're done, be done. It's disappointing when you know people are capable of so much more.

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Thrill Is Gone

Michael Joseph Jackson
August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009

There will be literally millions of blogs about Michael Jackson written in the coming days. There are probably thousands already going up. Some people will probably get tired of hearing his name. Well, guess what? Too fucking bad. Go dig a hole and climb in it, because the Greatest Performer In Existence just passed away.

My mind is in a million different directions right now. I guess right now many from my generation are reeling, trying to understand that Michael is gone. Now, there are a lot of people right now who can't help themselves, they are compelled to point out the controversy in MJ's life. We all know the story. The truth is, he was acquitted. Beyond that, we don't know what the real story was. No, I am not excusing it. What I am saying is that now, it doesn't matter. Because no matter what actually happened, that will not change the things that came before.

As I said, I'm a little angry right now. I wish there was an internet around when Elvis died so we could have blasted people for crying when he passed away, the big, fat, drug-addicted vampire racist that he was. Nobody was there to spit in the face of his musical accomplishments. His music that was symbolically and literally stolen from Black people. But I'm not trying to go negative. I got too much on my mind.

My Lil' Ace Killa Bill hit me up today, he couldn't understand what was going on with his mom. He said to me "She's crying like she knew him." He really couldn't understand what the big deal was... sadly, most children from nowadays will never be able to get it, because the very nature of celebrity has changed. Before all the drama of the past few years, there was no-one bigger than Michael. There will never be another like him. Michael could premiere his videos on national television at a time when there WAS no MTV. Hell, if there was no Michael Jackson, there might not even be an MTV, not in the scope that it is now. People forget there was a time when MTV wouldn't play Black artists. They WOUDLN'T. Hard to believe, huh? Until BET came along, we had no outlet. Michael was the person that made MTV change that policy. MTV had to play "Billie Jean", and play it a LOT. They couldn't afford not to. Every emcee who has a dream of seeing his video on MTV, you owe that dream to one Black man. Michael Jackson snatched the "No Coloreds Allowed" sign right off MTVs door.

I've listed my HipHop influences many times in my blog, and I've never mentioned MJ. There's a reason for that... nobody has to mention Michael, because he's a foregone conclusion. He influenced us all. I was shocked when I heard about his death, but as the day has gone on, I have become increasingly more depressed when I realized just how significant his music was in my life. The very moment I decided that I wanted to perform, that I wanted to sing, I was sitting in front of a record player, listening to a Jackson 5 album. Puff said it himself, "Michael made me believe that I could see the music." Michael Jackson started perfoming when he was five years old. His entire life, as soon as he was able to communicate, he did nothing but perform and influence. Without Michael, there would be no Beyonce, no Usher, no Justin Timberlake, no Ne-Yo, no Ginuwine, no Lloyd, no Missy Elliot, no Puff... no New Edition, no New Kids On the Block, no Danity Kane, Day 26, I could go on for days. The man influenced an entire generation of performers, literally by the thousands.

So many memories of Michael.

The night he totally wrecked the American Music Awards.

His "Motown 25" Performance.

The first time he Moonwalked.

The video for "Billie Jean"

The first time we heard "Beat It".

The premiere of the "Thriller" video.

When "Moonwalker" came out.

I remember being 11 years old, being in the 6th Grade, and having a crush on Kathy Driver. I had my first Walkman, and I had the "Thriller" album (on cassette) which I'd replaced for the 3rd time. I remember sitting on top of the church garage next to my house, I would climb up on top of it by climbing the tree in my yard and walking the 6-ft fence, then climbing up on the roof. I sat up on that roof and sang "Lady In My Life" and "Human Nature", just singing my heartache away. In the 8th Grade, my chorus class sang "Man In The Mirror", and the very first part of the song was a solo. "I wanna make a change, for once in my life.... it's gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference... gonna make it right." I fought like hell to get that solo. Never cared about any other solo before that, even though I was the best in the class, I knew it. Just didn't care about any other solo until that one came along. I wanted it. I got it.

Another good friend of mine who accidentally killed himself (shot himself in the head with a gun he didn't know was loaded... I had to carry the sofa to the trash pile with his brains on it), Eldridge Cleaver. Huge Michael Jackson fan, and one of the most naturally gifted dancers I've ever known @ the age of 13. (That's a big statement, because I'm a former b-boy. I knew a lot of dancers. Hell, I can still moonwalk as good as Michael right now). He knew the entire routine from "Smooth Criminal", down to every hand gesture. I used to love to watch El do that routine. I'd make him do it for everybody, he was so good at it. Whenever I saw that video, it reminded me of him. I hope that Eldridge is doing that routine with Michael somewhere right now, and I mean that dead ass.

I loved Michael Jackson. I hated Michael Jackson. I was proud of Michael Jackson. I was ashamed of Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson was a superstar. Michael Jackson was human. Michael Jackson was the soundtrack to my youth. The kids nowadays don't "get" it because they've been raised in a fast-food, on-demand, text messaging, point-and-click-gimme-dat society. Nothing can or will endure the way that "Thriller" did. Nobody will ever do what Michael did. 750 million records sold worldwide. Michael Jackson was a sacrificial lamb for the Cult Of Personality. His father beat success into him and his brothers, and then the world crucified him for his actions later on. Sins of the Father? Could be. We'll never really know. But right now I'm mourning the loss of the Man Who Would Be King. That's what I'll call him from now on. Fuck you, Elvis. Michael gets that name now.

The King is Dead. Long Live The King.

"If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change."

-ere'bodee's favorite mega

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jay-Z On D.O.A.- Holla If Ya Hear Me...

Okay, this is going to be a decidedly HipHop blog, so if this isn't your thing, you might want to stop now. But good music is good music, and sometimes a song is more than just a song. That's what this culture is all about...



Me and my lil' bro were talking Hiphop. He's been raised on it, and has a pretty good ear for the culture. We started to discuss Jay-Z impact on the game. While Hov is the poster boy for Hate, the man has distinguished himself as one of the All-Time-Greats. Some have their criticisms, I don't even consider myself a rabid Jay-Z fan, but I know a great record when I hear one...

This record just ended the careers of a million wanna-be-rap-fakers, and I ain't even mad at that. This record is a cautionary tale for those who are using technology to compensate for a total disregard of craftsmanship, and sometimes talent.

See, those like me who have been raised on Soul Food like Rakim, KRS-One, Wu-Tang, Notorious, Pac, Big Pun, J-Dilla, Digital Underground, Public Enemy, Ice Cube, N.W.A., D.O.C., Pastor Troy, Outkast, Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony, Above The Law, Geto Boys, Scarface, U.G.K., 8-Ball & MJG, Slick Rick, Run DMC, Bo$, Suave House, 3-6 Mafia, Hot Boyz (when Wayne & Turk were good, and "Weezy" knew his fucking place), Juvenile, Poison Clan, I could go on forever. These people did THEM. Every one of these acts are different, but each one of 'em kept it 100, as we say now, and I'm just not seeing that out of many artists now. Rhymefest, P.O.S., B.O.B., Kid Cudi, Wale... I see that in them, but they are a part of a precious few. I'm sure there's a few more, and hopefully I'll find them, but they are buried in a din of shit. I have 7 pages of friend requests from bands on MySpace that I just refuse to accept until I at least give a cursory listen to their tracks. I'm just not in the mood to support bullshit.

(I didn't include Jeezy because sometimes his subject matter is something I find objectionable, and too many follow his example, but he's doing him. Him and Gucci need to get off that beef shit before somebody catch a toe-tag, and best believe in ATL it can happen. That place is every bit the treachery that is Duval, and that means the weapon of choice is the chopper. Only takes one round to send you to the Level 3 Trauma center and you become an episode of "ER".)

But I'm off-topic. The Death we should be talking about here is AutoTune. The reason I'm making a big deal about this is that a local artist put up a link to check out and support their song. I consider myself a fan of this artist's work, so I went to check it.

Wow. It was such a departure from what I had previously heard from them, it just threw me. I'm all about growth, but not about regression. I don't want to call anybody out, but truthfully, once Jay dropped this, HE called them out. He went on Hot 97 with Funk Flex and Mister Cee (more on that later) to expounded on it further. He said that he liked what Kanye did with "Heartless" (as do I) and he said that T-Pain comes up with some strong melodies that probably would stand on their own without the AutoTune (I can agree there, some people are good at writing pop hooks, a la Nate Dogg, and T-Pain is pretty much the Down-South Nate-Dogg Pied-Piper of AutoTune), but too many people nowadays are using it as a crutch. If you're an artist, writing melodies and lyrics, start there. Listen to the great hooks of years ago, find out why they are as infectious as they are. WORK ON YOUR CRAFT!! If you love your music, act like it by making it better! If you respect this culture, put something out that moves us to the next. It's like being a pro quarterback. You don't aim for where the receiver is, you aim for where he's going to be, you lead him to where you want him. If you aim for where he's at, he's going to have to reach back to catch the ball.

It's time to move on. Artists, unless you're paying homage to the originators like Lil' Kim did with "Download" (but for real, pump ya' brakes on the plastic surgery, Ma. Fo'real fo'real...), no more autotune. Every time you THINK about auto-tune, you go back and listen to this song. "Only rapper to rewrite history without a pen, NoID on the track, let the story begin... begin." Did you catch the intro to the 2nd verse where he says "This ain't a #1 record/This is practically assault with a deadly weapon/I made this for Flex and/Mister Cee, I want people to feel threatened..." The man practically told y'all "This is an underground record, strictly for the headz, the ones who know the real... the auto-tune crowd won't feel this." I'm like "Whoa." Jay-Z is seriously a living Icon in this game now. He can speak and turn the whole culture back into what it's supposed to be, that boom-bap... He went and got NoID, one of Chi-Town's great producers and made a beat that's just cerebal pal-sick. And he deaded the dreaded Auto-Tune for anybody that wants to be relevant.

As a true HipHop Head, I'm feeling the kcuf outta that... Pause.

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja

Auto-Tune is the 21st Century equivalent of the Jheri Curl. And I never wore a Jheri Curl.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I Tried To Be Nice... (Blind Item)

There was a nice blog that I was trying to write, but I've labored over it for three days because I felt like I wasn't saying what I really needed to say. Sometimes things just get stuck in my damn head like a mental logjam, and until I let go of the first thing, nothing else of any real use is going to get through... so I'm just gonna go freestyle on this shit and try not to hurt too many feelings on the way to what I gotta say.

But dammit, sometimes the Truth Just Stings Like A Bitch.

Let me tell a quick story about how I ended up in New York...

I was in the county lock-up, and I met a dude from Bradenton. White guy, but was obviously a Hood cat. Not the kind that's trying too hard, the ones that have grown up in a predominately Black neighborhood. He was keeping to himself (what you do when you're from out-of-town and you end up in jail), so I asked him if he needed a book, or if he wanted to bust some spades, whatever. Anyway, we started talking music, I found out he was an artist. He was on his way to NY by Greyhound and ran into a problem in the Duval terminal (they ran his name and found a warrant in Bradenton, so they have to hold him until they find out what it is...), got arrested. He was working on a development deal from Epic and needed to get out of jail or risk losing his deal. Problem is, you can't bond out in Duval if you don't have a Duval County address. I was like "Wow. Totally coincidental that I ended up in a dorm with a dude that does music. Maybe I was put here to help this guy? I think I am. Win or lose, I'm going to be his blessing." I told him that I would see if I could bond him out once I got out. I knew I was going right in and right out. Once I got back to the Zone, I had Locc and Tza, once I explained the situation and the reasons, they would have my back (and they did).

Me and this dude really got to know one another in a short period of time, but I could see that while he liked me, he didn't know if he could trust me. When I said I would help, he looked me straight in the eye and said, "Man, are you serious? You're really gonna help me?"

I said, "Hell yeah. I know what you're saying... and I'ma be dead ass with ya. This ain't no jailhouse promise."

That man asked that question 1) because he really wanted to believe me and 2) so I would acknowledge the fact that we both knew:

A jailhouse promise ain't worth a motherfucker.

People will tell you all kinds of shit when you're in lockup. Dudes become kingpins when they got pulled over with a dime-sack of weed and a gram of blow in the center console. They know every hard-rock, dread, killaz, goons, etc. when we know they might stay up the street from them dudes but ain't said "boo" to then no way, no how. And if someone tells you they are going to do something for you, it's usually to get something off your tray or get a hit off your rip, or some of your commisary... but I didn't ask him for anything. Truth is, I didn't want anything. I did what I did with the full knowledge that he could walk away. But I think that's why he wanted to believe me, because I stuck my neck out first.

The JailHouse is a Pool Of Lies. You are treading water in lies. It's hard to find one grain of truth in there, but he was lucky enough to come across somebody who threw out a lifesaver. That's how I live... I do what I can, when I can. But he really had no reason to believe me, and to be honest, I'm the rare occurence. If somebody makes you a promise in jail, accept it as a lie first.

This really isn't an indictment of people who get arrested. Jail is a funny place. It's most certainly created to fuck with your head, and that's exactly what it does. You will say anything to get through that experience, and you will tell people exactly what they want to hear when you are there. This is where your character comes into play.

There's a tendency to feel sorry for oneself when you go to jail, and you reach out to those who you hope will not forget about you. In the system, you feel the disconnection. So you say a bunch of things. Whether you have any intention of following through with those things is totally up to you. Are you really learning a lesson where you are, or will this just be another rung on the ladder of your descent to your personal Hell? Are you really going to find the lesson in the experience?

Doing the right thing is as simple as making the decision to do so. Happens in a moment. You know if you're full of shit. You know when you're talking to someone who's full of shit. There's a light that goes off, your internal 'Bullshit-Detector'. Just listen to it.

In the words of Goodie MOb, "You don't wanna hear the truth, so I'ma lie to ya', make it sound fly to ya'." Lies feel good like sex. The truth comes hard like medicine. Lies slide down your throat like alcohol. The truth sticks in the back of your throat like you swallowed a cactus and cut all the way to your stomach. Stop swallowing that lie. You know it well. Let it go.

So if you got somebody that you know is lying to you, just stop listening until they start talking some truth. You'll know it just like you know the lies. It might not be what you expect. They may start saying some pretty mean shit. That's the truth. That's how they really feel. Take it. Accept it. And move the fuck on.

And stop hating on motherfuckers who been telling you the truth. Like I said, you know it when you read it.

Like the person that's reading this now saying, "Is he talking to me?" Yes. I am. I ain't even gotta say no names. That's the thing about the Truth. When you spit it, it sticks where it needs and applies.

So what do you want to do? Take the Red Pill To see how far the rabbit-hole goes, or take that Blue Pill and go back to sleep?

And I am exactly what I appear to be... the Keep-It-Real-Redpill-Souljah-Out-Of-Zion. Who the fuck are you?

-ere'bodee's favorite mega

Friday, June 12, 2009

Why Is Sarah Palin Stupid?




Okay, apparently I'm jumping into the recent controversy with My Favorite Yukon Hillbilly, Sarah Palin. I make it a point to follow people that I wouldn't agree with all the time in an effort to see the other side of things on some issues, but there are just some issues that I don't know that seeing the other side of is even possible...

@DarkKnight3565 accused me of being a Palin-Basher, just going after her and insulting her because it's easy. Okay, he might be right... a little. But I'm at a loss to understand what it is that people can look at in her and say "Yeah, that's something I can agree with."

I'm going to go at my single-biggest Palin-Point, the thing that really makes my blood pressure go up about her, and I dare anyone to come up with a reasonable explanation for this that doesn't involve pointing out similar behavior by a liberal. This is all on Madam BeautyBunny Of the Vapid Holy Yukon.

You are an ardent Pro-Life supporter, you teach abstinence... and your daughter gets pregnant. Your daughter is impetuous enough to get pregnant, but smart enough to say "abstinence doesn't work". Why? Because that much is obvious. She got pregnant. End of that argument.

Later on, after you've managed to torpedo the hopes of John McCain and everybody else by bringing the Circus that is your family down on the '08 Presidential Bid, you're trying to shore up your defenses later on when you decide to return to the political arena. So, you put your now 18-year-old daughter back out there as a part of an abstinence program, and she looks just as stupid as you did sitting in front of an interviewer going back on what she previously said. "Abstinence is the only way." Meanwhile, her Baby-Daddy, who is not a part of your Politico-Machine, speaks common sense "We need to teach kids more than abstinence." It's so refreshing to hear people who speak without political aspirations, and can expose Bullshit in all it's forms.

This, DarkKnight3565, is why Sarah Palin is stupid. She is holding on to a misguided belief that contributes to the further decay of our country, by believing that teaching sex education in schools is a bad thing, that ignorance can protect us the same way it protected her family. It didn't. God didn't keep her daughter from getting pregnant... and God wouldn't have kept her from getting an STD. But she will cite God as her reason for denying vital information in schools. And the problem is on her DOORSTEP, and yet her aspirations as potential presidential candidate mandates that she hold the party line. Abstinence is everything... teaching kids about condoms will make them have sex. If you don't see that as stupid... then... well, you're stupid.

At the rate she's going, David Letterman might have been prophetic if that joke would have actually been about Willow. I wouldn't be surprised...

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja

Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Homeboi Is Retarded

In a Good way... This is Big Grizzly, The Artist Formerly Known As Blakhart. This is one of my closest homiez, just retarded on the mic. Thanks to Chad Hendricks for laying the vocal over one of his performances of the track.

PLEASE just listen to this and be honest.... My Dude is Nice.


Find more videos like this on FromDuval.com

Friday, May 29, 2009

Letters To The Pen



So back in the day my Man Keith Murray caught a case for some dumb shit that went down in tha' club. For those of you that know me, Def Squad was and remains as one of my major influences. I was a huge EPMD, Das EFX, Redman, K-Solo fan, and when Mr. Murray came down, I just knew that there would never be another crew harder than them and I wanted to be down. It hurt me when Keith caught that case, real talk.... so I had never written a fan letter a day in my life (who believes the actual people intended to read them ever sees them?) but I figured that my man being on lock was a guarantee that he would read it. I don't recall what I said exactly, I basically told him I was a fan, I enjoyed his work, and to take the time inside to work on his craft, he could only get better by doing that. I kept it 100, I ain't a groupie, I'm a fan. I guess he appreciated what I had to say, because he wrote me back. I kept this letter in my backpack as an inspiration to remind me that this game is always about just doing what you feel is right, speak strong, speak honest. Do you. I appreciated it and I keep it around so that when I do see him, I can remind him and say "Yo, I appreciate you writing me back, yo."

So everybody know T.I. just went away for his bid, it's supposed to be a year, and I know we think "Aw, it's just a year..." but we ain't the ones going in there. T.I. is doing FED time. It's kinda like this: Me, I've been to County. It's hard to come to Duval and stay your ass out the county. Trust me when I tell you, stay here long enough, you're going to jail. If it ain't some young dickhead making you do something to him, it's an asshat cop who's got a short dick and a bad attitude. Or a chick cop with something to prove... anyway, you'll go to County. Ice Cube said "The County, you know it's like a party... cuz in the County, you know everybody." You're guaranteed to see somebody you know from somewhere, or meet somebody new. You can still get your ass drug in there, but if you know a few hood cats you should be aiight. Next step is prison, state level.. we call that "Up Tha' Road", cuz they ship you somewhere way the hell away from where you are to make it hard on you... and it works. Prison is some shit I want no parts of. I've done jail... I can handle jail. I don't want to have to handle prison. I will end up with more time, I know it. Florida jails put you in the hands of some redneck ass correctional officers who call you "boy" and "nigger" to your face, and you betta not say shit. The next step up from that, is federal prison. This is a whole different world, because you dealing with cats from everywhere. At least in your state you can clique up. Fed don't offer that. Fed, is no joke. There's more crime going on in the Fed than some people see on the outside.

I'm going on and on, I know I've had two jail-themed blogs back-to-back, sorry about that. (Truthfully, when I have the occasional nightmare, I have nightmares about jail. You'd think those are bad... yeah a little, but not really. The dreams that you are free and when you wake up in jail? Those are worse). But the reason is I asked people to write to somebody you knew in jail. Well, now I'm going to ask you to write somebody specific. 

I have gained so much respect for T.I. since he's been going through everything... first, he lost his friend in what amounts to dumb shit. Had that been me and someone shot my best friend, y'all would see me come out with more guns than Neo & Trinity in the Lobby before they went to save Morpheus. Sorry, I'm Old Testament. But that don't make it right. So that means I probably would have ended up in a similar position as T.I. Actually, I wouldn't, because something I fought hard to keep was my right to vote, and bear arms, so I can legally own weapons (maybe not silencers... that's automatic federal for getting caught with them). But I can't blame him for getting caught up. And now he's come to the realization that he needs to change, and everything he's done has exhibited to me that he gets it. I loved his show "Road To Redemption", to me it was the realest shit on television and an example of how reality shows can actually be real. T.I. did a PSA that was a true reality check.

So now he's going to do his bid, and I plan to support him throughout. Just because. I might get a letter back out of the deal, maybe I won't, but I hope he continues to do what he did going in when he comes out, and maybe hearing from someone he doesn't know can help him do that. I just want to keep his spirits up. If anybody else wants to do it too, here's his address:


CLIFFORD J HARRIS
REGISTER NUMBER: 59458-019
FCI FORREST CITY LOW
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
P.O. BOX 9000
FORREST CITY, AR 72336

So that's what's up. And if you don't, don't worry, I will. So I want to get on to writing my man.  I'll get up with y'all later. And remember, the best way to get a blessing, is to be a blessing.

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Randomness From Ere'bodee's Favorite

Now, I don't really think I'm really going to be "random", per se. I have a friend of mine on Twitter, her name is @Dioracat, she's a pretty nifty blogger (did I just say 'nifty'? OMG, no more "Happy Days" on Nick @ Nite!) and I've enjoyed reading through her blogs and how she embraces her geekness. Geek is actually been very kewl for a long time, the rest of the world just wasn't in on it. Who brought you all the things we do here? Posting online, leaving comments, etc? This came from Bulletin Boards. Most of you out there haven't the foggiest notion of what I'm talking about. Anyway, she can be quite random when she writes, but very stylistic in her randomness. 

I'm all about the structured blog, so to speak, but sometimes it's ok to just let it flow naturally. It's a different rhythm. It's like... jazz for blogging. Yeah. I like that.

Anyway, she's kinda the inspiration. I've got several things on my mind. None would fit for one 'structured' blog, and probably would be quite boring. But this way, I can run through a few thoughts. Hope I don't lose anyone.

Okay, I'ma start with the not-so-serious-but-ever-so-irritating stuff first. Last weekend MTV ran the entire "Star Wars" saga from TPM to ROTJ (that's "The Phantom Menace" and "Return Of The Jedi" for those that don't speak Lucas-ese), and it's got me thinking about the MMO of Star Wars: The Old Republic. I've blogged about it before, I won't bore you with the details again (unless someone specifically asks) but I was on the message boards and saw something that again drives me fucking nuts. 

If you hate something, unless it is a bill that you are trying to keep from passing, what the hell is the point of going to that site of the thing you hate to argue with the people who don't agree with you? Hating is really a full-time job for some of you sad-ass individuals. Wouldn't you be better served doing something maybe you like instead of ripping down something someone else likes? Like Rush Limbaugh. I do hate him, but I don't go to his site to talk to people who think he has something worthwhile to say. I stay the kcuf away from them! They suck. But I'm not going to go after them, that's a waste of my time.

Some people are upset that Knights Of the Old Republic 3 isn't being made, and they just can't help but go after people who don't agree with them. Playing video games is not sad. That shit right there? THAT'S sad. Trying to have these pseudo-debates about how something that looks really good can only "suck" immediately identifies you as a resident of Haterville in Hate-topia. Even if SW:TOR only steals from SonyOnline's Galaxies and gives us thousands of Jedi, WHAT'S THE PROBLEM? Anyway, that's not even really the point. If you don't agree, go and create a site where people like you can co-mingle and interact and share... positively. Stop making Hater-Cakes In your Easy-Hate Oven.

So this week I am writing to one of my homeboys on lockdown. This guy is an amazing talent, one of the best producers in my city, in my opinion, and he made a mistake. Yeah, I know, everybody makes mistakes... but this guy was just not that type. I don't go around flaunting street cred, I don't need to tell y'all what I've done because 1) that's not what real street ninjas do and 2) I don't want nobody testifying against me for a damn thing, but I've known this dude all my life and most of the trouble he got into, *I* was the one that got him into it. But sometimes people who have been around me and my clan when we did dirt think that they can go out and do the same thing, but we had an understanding when we did things together: Loyalty over all, except Honor. If you follow that rule, you can never go wrong. Loyalty means nothing without honor. There's a huge difference between doing wrong and being wrong. I've done much wrong, but I tried to do it for the right reasons. If you saw me beating someone with a baseball bat, it wasn't because he stepped on my shoe. If you saw my nunchakus flying, it wasn't because I was bored and decided to pick on someone helpless. It was because dude tried to rob an old lady in my neighborhood, or some sick bastard tried to lure my sister away from the playground. Police didn't give a shit about me and mine, they'd shoot us just like they'd shoot the actual perpetrator, so we dealt with our own. I'll be honest with you, if I called the police on somebody, I was only building my defense in the event I got caught. I wanted documetation that I was "...doing the right thing." In the event I found myself in the witness box, I wanted to say "Look, I tried to get help from the police.... they took 'x' amount of time to come, and this time, they were too late." See, response times in my hood are probably 10x what they are in your hood, unless they get a chance to shoot at somebody. Then, they are in a hurry.

Geez, this is going all over the place.

Anyway, getting back to my Fam... I'm writing him, because really that's the only thing that makes your time go faster. If you don't do the time, the time will do you. If you know somebody locked up, write 'em a letter. Don't let them feel like they are forgotten and life goes on out here. Yeah, we do have struggles to overcome, but words from home mean a lot. They sometimes can be the difference between someone coming out ready to change and someone coming out bitter and more hateful. Jail is senseless if people can't ever reach contrition. One mistake, we lock you away forever without hope of redemption? 

Now don't get me wrong. Some people are just institutionalized, and they need to be in a dark hole somewhere. But no way everybody deserves that.

Well, that was enough randomness. I'm gonna post this for my enjoyment and hopefully someone else's.... 

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Journey Of Hajj



Today is the birthday of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, Detriot Red, Malcom Little... or a name you might know from the Spike Lee Movie or the Autobiography, Malcom X. This man was a very unique, intelligent, powerful, inspirational individual, and everyone should be familiar with who he was for a number of reasons. He shaped race relations in this country for a very long time. 

I can't hope to tell the entire story of his life, but he had his story told first in a book, "The Autobiography of Malcom X", then later in film, "X", directed by Spike Lee. The book should be required reading in all schools for young men around the age of 10. I needed this book earlier in my life and I might not have made some choices I later came to regret. I was at the opening night, November 18th, 1992, and I was nervous. I so wanted this movie to not be bad. I thought that there was no way they could go wrong with Denzel... and I was right. I sat and watched the story completely riveted, knowing what was going to occur, giving Spike his latitude as a filmmaker to interpret the vision. It was masterful. When Malcom rallied the brothers to go save a brother Muslim, I think I actually cheered out loud. And when it came time for him to take that fateful trip to the Audobon Ballroom in Harlem, I almost pleaded out loud for him not to go... and when they shot him, I cried. I knew what happened, but I felt like I was there. I knew only too well what they were losing. 

I don't want this to be all Doom and gloom, but Malcom journey paralleled my own so much. He actually directly influenced mine. As I read the book and I saw what the Nation Of Islam did for Malcom when he was in prison, I began to wonder how might it help me? I read up, I looked into, I went by the Temple over on 8th Street (next to I-95). I gotta tell you, they were very glad to see me. Made me feel very much at home... I don't want to be immodest, but I think they saw my potential, the fact that I was articulate and handsome, I could convert a lot of people. I thought this was it, but I didn't have the whole story at that point. When the conversation turned to Brother Malcom, one of the brothers said some things that struck me as very negative. I decided that I might have rushed my decision to join and read more into the story of Malcom. I got my answers, and decided that the Nation wasn't going to be the place for me, either.

Malcom X became an Orthodox Muslim and made the Hajj, it's a journey that all Muslims should take at least once in their lifetime to pray in the Holy City of Mecca. There Malcom saw Muslims of all colors calling each other brother and praying with one another. He determined that Islam was the only religion that would allow for the complete elimination of racism. The indoctrination of the Nation Of Islam was so strong that they couldn't believe that whites were allowed into the holy city, they didn't think it possible. 

Malcom reversed his position on working with non-Blacks, and it began to set the stage for an event that I think J. Edgar Hoover was simply not going to allow: The union of Malcom X and Martin Luther King. The whole idea of the COINTELPRO program of the FBI was to "identify, surveil, and eliminate any leader(s) that could polarize the Negro Community". I don't think my Caucasian friends can fully appreciate what it means when you think "my government wanted to make sure we stayed down." This is the mythical "Man", J. Edgar Hoover, doing surveilance on the Black Panther Party, Stokeley Carmichael and the SNCC, Martin Luther King, and Malcom X. I hold the FBI responsible for Malcom's death. There is no (direct) proof that they killed him, but there is evidence provided by them that they knew of the death threats against him, and either they assisted or stood by and allowed it to happen. The scene in the movie where Malcom freed the brother brutalized by the police was a metaphor for the fear many felt about Malcom. Captain Green, the police officer said: "That's too much power for one man to have." He didn't think like King, and truthfully neither could or would I. I wasn't raised that way. I couldn't afford to.

I'm pointing out the truth about Malcom and the impressions of Black people when it comes to "The Man". Sometimes the Man is just a metaphor, but sometimes the man is very literal. "The Man" had a name in this case. This was a government entity that worked from a position of power to hold down a specific group of people for their own personal 'shortcomings' (Hoover was secretly gay and liked to dress as a woman), he was driven to oppress an entire group of people. My own interpretation of other events lead me to believe that Hoover may have been instrumental in most of the major assassinations of the 60's. Both Kennedys (John and Robert), King, and El Shabazz.

I have another blog I want to do today because someone is playing the Race Card and I think it's very trife and unfair that they are, but I didn't want to have that be my first blog on El Hajj's Birthday. So I'll wrap this up here and say Thank you El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, because you lived I am the Man I am today, I wonder what I might have become had you lived and I could have worked at your side? Because the person that you were, I don't think I could have resisted going to work beside you, because your mission is still my mission, and while you worked within your religion, I work within my culture of HipHop. A culture that was built on the Spirit of individuals like you.

I Am Malcom X. 

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ice Cream, Sex, and "Melting Pots"

(Yeah, I've used this song before on my MySpace blog, but this will be cross-posted on Blogger.com, it's one of my favorites, and it fits the theme again)

Vanilla ice cream is not my favorite. I'll eat it, but it's just not. Chocolate is pretty good, but it can be too much. My favorite flavor has always been Fudge Ripple as a child and as an adult. Something about the stripes side-by-side and the flavors together just worked for me.

Me and a good friend were hanging out last week and came across a book title that instantly intrigued us both, "Why Black Men Love White Women" by Rajen Persaud. It piqued our interests so much so that she balked at the $25.oo hardcover price and bought it (I would have read the whole book in the store, but I read 500wpm and can get away with that). We then swung through Starbucks, grabbed a caramel frap & I read two chapters out loud.

As I stated, I've only read two chapters of the book, but I've juggled the subject in my head ever since because I came across another book while searching to tell someone about the first. The second book is entitled "Why It Ain't All Good: Why Black Men Should Not Date White Women" by John Johnson. I only read an excerpt from it, but from the outset Johnson steps into the turbulent waters of Sex and Slavery.

Nothing leaves me more incensed than to hear young, stupid (yeah, I said it) white kids say "Slavery was so long ago, we need to forget it." When they say that, I say "When Jewish people forget the Holocaust, I'll forget slavery." The slightly smarter ones stop at that point. The really stupid ones keep going. Now, I'm not walking around with a Nat Turner I-Just-Saw-Roots hard-on ready to lay waste to anything W.A.S.P-y, I'm saying we need to keep it in historical context. Forgetting about it means to misunderstand the dynamics of interracial relationships as they exist right now.

See, even though we rarely see Black women and White men together, it does happen, and actually I will go on record and say that historically there have been more White men/Black woman unions than Black men/White woman unions. Before you trip, think long and hard about how long this has all been going on. For 400 years in this country, Black women had no choice but to do whatever their slavemasters told them. Some statistics show that back then, all Black girls by the age of 14 had at least 1 sexual encounter with a White male. As recently as 60 years ago, a young Black male around the same age by the name of Emmett Till was murdered for just allegedly whistling at a White female store clerk. Every Black NFL, MLB and NBA player in the US would have to screw night and day for 100 years to catch up. We'd have to throw in the European footballers for good measure.

The subject has always plagued/intrigued me because of my own history. When I entered elementary school, Duval County was just beginning to bus students from Black neighborhoods into White ones in order to comply with Brown v. Board of Education. I remember vaguely my grandmother and mother conversing about me and my younger brother going to school with White kids, I heard the concern in their voices. The first crush I had on a non-Black girl was in the 1st Grade. The girl that I liked was the only girl in my reading group, my only intellectual equal in my class. This is they dynamic I was speaking of. In the Black community (due in part to Willie Lynch-ism) we have the stigma of Intelligence = white. It's 'cool' to be stupid, and 'square' to be smart. To speak intelligently was to speak "White", so I was a nerd. Now, growing up in Grand Park and New Town (aka Pakistan), I was in the truest hood in Duval, so later I became what I like to call "The World's Most Dangerous Nerd", but this was how I was viewed by the Black women. I was a nerd, and therefore unattractive to many of my own race.

I would be remiss to say that this didn't affect my choices in woman at all, but I have always been open-minded in my choices of relationships. Although one can look and say "You only date White girls", the existence of my oldest son (who is Black) totally discounts that sweeping allegation. My criteria has always been to date those that appeal to me on multiple levels: physical, mental, and spiritual. There was only one period of my life where I was exclusionary, from the time I was 18 until 20 when I dated exclusively Black (I briefly considered joining the Nation Of Islam). After that I came to the realization that all women were crazy, and cutting out one race over another was only going to limit my possibilities. (I'm not saying I was right, I'm saying this was my rationalization...)

I may have spoken on this in some of my previous blogs, but my first encounter with the Black female over my dating choices occurred in the 8th or 9th Grade. Around that time I was competing in taekwondo tournaments, helping one of my good friends practice for the wrestling team, and sparring with another friend who was boxing. In other words, the brother was in shape. Good shape. I remember sitting in class and three sistas were together whispering and one was giving me the stink-eye. I asked her "What the f*ck is your problem?" She looked at me, rolled her eyes and said "You date White girls."

Since I haven't read both books in their entirety I can't speak on all parts of their premise, but one thing I did notice in what I did read was the overwhelming negativity associated with the reasons for interracial dating. In "Why Black Men Date White Women", the author talks about the desire of some Black men to make "pretty babies" and provide an opportunity for their child to not endure the same prejudice they encountered. I think this is the entire premise for the 2nd book in reasoning that Black Men should not date White women at all, that it somehow 'disrespects' Black women. I personally find that whole idea to be a big steaming pile of bullshit. 

The whole identity of the Black Family in the United States has been fractured and dysfunctional at best, and while we have endured and some even prospered, it's a history fraught with rape, murder, humiliation, incarceration, and dehumanization. As previously stated, any Black or White person who tries to use the Illusion of "racial purity" is most certainly delusional. The Institution of Slavery changed all that. I am a proud Black man who celebrates the genius of W.E.B. DuBois, the oratorical prowess of Malcom X, and the courage of Harriet Tubman and Mary McCloud-Bethune. I know my Black History, but I don't believe that somehow all of that will just vanish because I have a child that is mulatto, octoroon, quadroon or whatever useless term you want to label them with. Halle Berry is celebrated/vilified depending on who you are talking to, but her mother is an idol of mine. When Halle was faced with the dual racism of being of mixed heritage, she asked her mother "What am I?" Her mother told her "You are a Black girl with a White Mother." This was an oversimplification, but it provided Halle with the tools she would need to succeed. When children of mixed heritage face the world, it's better for them to view themselves as Black to prepare them for the eventual racism they will face. To not do so is to line them up to be knocked on their ass. 

The woman I've (very happily) committed the rest of my life to is not only White, she's British, and actually has a very strong opinion on racism (hates it like Luda hates O'Reilly). I celebrate our differences, but our differences are not as much racial as cultural (American vs British) and we celebrate those differences. It provides the most balanced relationship I've ever had. The part of my relationship I enjoy most is my relationship with my (future) mother-in-law. She loves me, and I love her back. She knows that I want nothing more than to make her daughter the happiest she can be, and doesn't care about my color, only about how I treat her daughter. There was nothing I hated more back in the day than meeting the family of the women I was involved with. It was a game of "Find the Racist", because there would invariably be one. My ex-wife's family threw her out when she got pregnant, actually tried to talk her into abortion (and ironically I had to go to my son's confirmation with them... what makes a Catholic family reconsider abortion? Their daughter pregnant with a Black man's child), and her father told her "I'd rather you marry a poor white man than a rich Black one." Good times, I tell you, good times.

I'm anxiously waiting for my friend to finish the book so I can write more about it, because it's something that's not going to go away. I hope that one day it is much like Hillary Clinton said about her run for President, that it will be quite unremarkable. The one hope for the future that I have is that most of the hardcore Racists are dying out, and the people who want to live together will not have to deal with their toxic and divisive perspectives. Keep dying, you sorry sons-of-bitches, keep dying... and whomever you choose to love, just love them with everything you have and celebrate the differences between.

So anybody willing to share their own experiences with interracial dating, please feel free to comment. Do you think there's a 'reason' for you dating the person (or persons, LOL) you are dating? Have you ever considered it? Why, or why not? What myths have you heard, or maybe you have a question? Feel free to comment (and if you're reading this on my MySpace Page) and kudos, while not required (yes, IkeDiggety, you no-kudo-giving-dude you) they are appreciated.

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja