Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Man The Myth The Maxwell is BACK!!!

(Found a Youtube version!!!!)

I went to ran into Maxwell last year around August at a Prince Vs MJ party (which was off the hook) and got to speak with him. He told me his long awaited album was really coming soon and that he was on tour. He told me I should make sure the check him out when he hit NYC. I did just that a few months later in November when he tore the house down way uptown. One of the best concerts I've ever had the pleasure of attending. With a beautiful lady on my arm (and tears in her eyes...Maxwell does it what can I say?!?) I saw this man run though his three studio album bangers along with some new material. The new material just seemed ok. They didn't resonate with me when I saw them performed. However now I have the pleasure of presenting to you all one of those records. This is the first single/video off Maxwell's new long anticipated album BLACKSummers Night entitled Pretty Wings. ENJOY!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Birth of a Nation

If you teach a woman you teach a nation. It is the woman who is the caretaker of the family by nature. We've all seen how a man can become when he is ill. Women however have the built in drive to move past illness and get things done and keep a house/family in order.

Two weeks ago I traveled with my father and brother to meet up with my extended family for a special occasion. My Grandmother was celebrating another year of life on this planet. She started her family at a very young age and from that point has maintained the position of ROCK in our family. We made the pilgrimage down to South Carolina (my father's family roots) to be with her during this special time. (And eat some Chik Fil A)

When family gets together hugs and smiles are exchanged as well as family dirt and opinion. I got to spend some long overdue time with my aunt Laurie and gain some interesting perspective on what it's like to have my father as a brother and not a parent. You see how family traits and DNA flows through us all and we share similar ways of being. My sisters joined us down in SC on the third day of my trip as well as my younger cousins. There were four generations of Simmons family under one roof that day. The children of my Grandmother presented her with a commemorative plaque representing the family lines which flow from her. She is our root. She is the person who gave me important talks when I needed them to make sure I finished college. She provided the blueprint for what it meant to be family and provide for family.

It was great to watch my loved ones play and get to know each other on our family land. It's a wonderful feeling to be able to call something your own and commune with your own people in that space. Though this particular birthday was not a "milestone", I think it's very important to savor the time we have and make family holidays. Start a tradition amongst your own if there isn't one there. Create a day for the children. Create a day for the elders. Create the day in your image, thought and energy.

The 4th Annual DashaunWorld Freaky Deaky Fun Fest

I'm 30! However I'm still being told my 20s looks are in effect.
The place to be last Saturday was definitely White Rabbit over on E. Houston. The good people were very hospitable to my guests and I. With DJ Tahleim on the 1s and 2s tearing the place down, I was in store for an epic evening.

As I walked up Houston ready to cross Bowery I discovered my boys from HHK K-Dot and Murray. This put the evening in motion as last year the exact same thing happened. While walking the remaining blocks we talked about expectations for the evening and some goofball who kept pulling up in his Benz at the corner of each block to continuously blast "Pop Champagne" by Ron Browz.

When we got to the venue we were let in with no problem. There were about 4 guests waiting for me and the time was 10:40. I was told they were forced to listen to Soulja Boy while waiting for the party to start (sorry about that). As soon as we got situated, I gave my selected DVDs for the night (Wattstax and Big Trouble in Little China) to Tahleim and the party started. A little Rene & Angela started the night off on the right track (no pun intended).

As more people flowed into the space the music kept getting better. Shino arrived shortly after me with her work camera in tow. I had friends from all areas of my life show up. From my best friend in high school to folks I just met two weeks ago we all had a blast. Some serious dancers like Mecca and Saviour were up in the place. There was even a lil battle between Saviour and this asian cat who got hyped off some break beats.

The two highlights of the night for me was when a beautiful woman on Wattstax synced up with the music and got everyone in White Rabbit going crazy with her ill groove dance. And speaking of videos... check out the LOVE your boy gets from my friends out in Japan. Much love to the FUNNY? crew.

The second highlight was when I got hit with the surprise DELUXE cheesecake (and cheesecake minis) made by the beautiful Shino and delightful Lorraine (thank you both very much). I felt a great sense of love and togetherness in White Rabbit that night. Shame my mother had to babysit and thus couldn't make it. My father overslept and missed the party (OLD MAN!!!!)

So to those who missed missed out (still love yall though). Those who were there, we did the kid n play, candy rain video dance, uprock battled and closed the place down. Thank you all for making a kid turning 30 feel like he just turned 13. I appreciate the love.

We are already live on another blog by the young lady Yumi. Peep game yall (lol in Japanese) Yumi's Blog

The pictures below were all taken by Shino Yanagawa (the great)

For the rest of the photo's check the link below.

You Be The Judge *smh*

There was a special on Popeye's chicken last week. I saw all the buzz about it on Twitter and However I don't eat Popeye's because they use Lard to fry their food and overall it's just not healthy eating. As I saw folks on twitter going crazy about the deal I also saw reports and worries that the chain would run out of food with the huge demand this deal would bring. I read about stores being out of wings, thighs, hell all parts (can you believe that?). Now below I have two videos of newscasts documenting this very phenomenon. I hope we can all agree that chicken is a delicious food. People of all races creeds and colors enjoy a nice piece of the bird (if you eat chicken that is). I've been in a Popeye's in New Orleans and the place was flooded with people who do NOT share my hue. Now you look at these news clips and you be the judge. What's the agenda here? And from me to you my people... it's just chicken, go home and cook yall. PLEASE!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The terminal...

Today is my Grandmother's 63rd (I know) birthday. The higher ups aka my father and his siblings thought it would be a grand idea if we could have a family get together for this occasion. Now my father's side of the family is from South Carolina and since the late 90s everyone besides my father and my immediate family has relocated back down there. So fine I agree to fly down to South Carolina with the family. My father makes the arrangements for my brother Lakeim and I. I work to get the time off from the J.O.B. 

Fast forward to this morning 5am and I'm waking up for a 8:05 flight out of Newark (was the cheapest direct flight). We leave the homestead at 6am and make some bad decisions along the way. Get off at the wrong exit... check. Travel in the wrong direction to make a U turn and get back on the right track... check. Get semi lost trying to find the proper parking lot... check. Get stuck with the slowest airline receptionist who completely bumbles our check in (that's a double check).

We are now within 20 minutes of flight departure STILL having to go through security. *smh* I go through security first. Get right and make a move to the gate to get the process going for us to make the flight. The gate attendant gives me a level 10 snark reception "You can't be here for MY flight!?!?!?". However he agrees to get me on the plane. I look back... no father and brother. I go to tell dude "my father and brother are right behind me." and that gives me the "I'm sorry my brother, you gotta get your own" reply. I got SHUT DOWN like my brown skinned co-pilot at every airport we hit right after 9/11.  

Defeated, I turn around to see my father walking to the wrong gate *smh* and still no brother. I tell him the situation and we go to get placed on the next flight. The attendant asks for my fathers checked bag receipt. He doesn't have one (see slow airline receptionist above). The attendant then informs us that the next flight leaves at 4pm this afternoon. I immediately walk away and sit down. At this point I'm ready to just go home and take my L for the day. A full 8 hours in an airport is just wrong. 

So as we pass this wait for our fateful flight to South Carolina Lakeim found some free internet (1st victory of the day). I found a diner in the airport to get lunch (2nd victory) and realized that there is NOTHING TO DO IN SOUTH CAROLINA. Therefore, I'm not really missing much by waiting this extra time in the airport. I just will have to have dinner with my Grandmother instead of both lunch and dinner. Eh here's to hoping the rest of the weekend picks up. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Prince Vs. MJ Spring 09

The only party I have ever actively taken a NAP to gear up for. When you go to a Keistar event you already know the energy is gonna be on tilt. Shino and I left Brooklyn about 9:30 headed for the party of the year (so far). We ran into DJ Spinna's sister in law on the train (what luck). After having a cool conversation about their male artist crushes we get to the venue (BLVD) at 10:30 and the line was going almost to the corner. Being with one of the promoters was a beautiful thing. We walked right inside and got our coats checked with no problem.

Once inside the place was still open for newcomers to fill the dance floor. Prince's own DJ Rashida was the special guest DJ rocking with Spinna this fateful night. She was playing some cool Prince joints was we got settled. I had to warm up a little bit to get in the dancing groove. The song that set it off for me was J5's "It's Great To Be Here".

As more people covered the dance floor I got to see old friends and family. Lots of hugs were given out. The music got more intense and the ladies were in the HOUSE! Fellas if you were not in the place to be you LOST! Women of all different nationalities and hues were in the place looking beautiful. Dj Rashida was playing some serious Prince jams. At one point DJ Spinna proclaimed that Prince was gonna "Kick Michael Jackson's Ass" that night.

At the midpoint of around 1pm I noticed a shift in the crowd. A couple of bigger cats who looked like security and as I looked closer I saw why. Mr. Making the Band himself Diddy was in the place. Among he entourage as he walked through I saw Q-tip right as Janet Jackson's "Got Til It's Gone" came blaring through the speakers. Then on the end of the vip conga line was Jay Electronica. I got to tell the boy Jay that I really dig his music and he was appreciative of my... well appreciation. At that point the crowd kinda split in half. You had folks who wanted to just stare at the new found celebrities who were sharing our party space and those who wanted to just dance. I of course were amongst the latter. Until Puff not being able to contain himself in his makeshift VIP booth on the side of the dance floor jumped in the crowd and started up a cipher. He was going hard over Prince's "Let's Pretend We're Married" with a white plastic glove on and an @iamdiddy t-shirt (follow him on twitter). Two brave souls jumped in after him to get busy. I then got pushed hard from behind into the circle. I got to boogie a lil bit until Puff tapped me on my back and let me know the let somebody else get in.

Around this same time some of our friends joined us inside the party after waiting on line for an hour and a half (I told them to arrive before 11pm but...). This was not a party to miss nor show up fashionably late for. I even saw both Fab 5 Freddy and Q-tip taking footage of the party goers. Bumped into my brother's Tahliem and I-Truth in the spot and they introduced me to the man they used to dance for years ago, rapper Grand Puba. I can't wait to see the pictures the Keistar crew come up with. Well another one for the history books put together by Keita P and DJ Spinna.

See you guys at the Wonderful party next.


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Bowling with the Lovable Ole James

I have a wonderful friend named James Blagden. He's one of the luckiest guys I know. Why? Because he got married to one of the most beautiful women I know. Now James and I have been friends now for about 6 or so years. He's been to many of my birthday Freaky Deaky Fun Fests and I've shared a bday cake or two with him. So it was a no brainer when I got the email from his loving wife Alma that this year's James B celebration was a bowl-a-thon.

Shino and I were in the house after I got to discover a "grandma slice" from one of her favorite pizzerias in Park slope on Union and 4th. We met up with the crew at Melody Lanes in Brooklyn and it was on like Popcorn. All of my favorite folks were in the house from Jake to Alex (missed you Branda). We had three lanes to get busy on and wasted no time doing so. Plus there was a jukebox so you know there was some good tunes care of the crew.

Now I know that Shino is a lil competitive because when we play connect four she gets TIGHT when she looses and goes crazy when she wins. Well this was on another level when a bowling ball came in the picutre. For one, she bowled better than me. I think her first game she bowled a 130. Not bad eh? The rest of us weren't so lucky. It was cool seeing James synchronize bowl with his friends and once Roni, Hobbs and the rest of the crew fell through it was a TRUE party.

Hobbs had the only 5 minute per release bowl. You could go and make a cup of tea waiting for his ball to make contact. They brought a ringer with them too who kept a spare in his back pocket. Many people took turns, strikes were bowled gutter balls were laughed at and a good time was had by all. It was cool watching Alex make the move of the night by trying to bowl on Hobbs lane, walk past the line and launch into the air with his feet 2 feet off the ground before hitting the wood HARD! We all collapsed in laughter.

So thanks to all the good folks who are friends of James B which makes you family. We are blessed to know such a man who hails from Denver and thus... takes Brooklyn a little higher.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Obama Fried Chicken. Where Do You Stand?

So when I first saw a picture of a chicken spot in Harlem being renamed Obama Fried Chicken I thought nothing of it. Maybe it was a joke or you know... maybe it was real. I honestly couldn't care less. Today I am on Okayplayer (my home away from home) and I read that there is more than one "Obama" restaurant AND there is one in my old neighborhood of Brownsville.

As one could imagine there are differing opinions regarding the renaming of this hood eatery. After reading the swipe posted on the Okayplayer boards it appears that my city council representative Charles Barron (who I'm a strong supporter of... though I'm still registered in Brownsville and can't vote for him because of it) is against the new name. He finds calling a fried chicken "restaurant" Obama Fried Chicken offensive as it reminds folks of some ugly stereotypes placed upon my community. While I see what he's saying, I can't stand with him on this one. Before this situation became a reality myself and many other Hood USA residents enjoyed many an unhealthy meal from Kennedy Fried Chicken, Crown Fried Chicken and Royal Fried Chicken (which this particular restaurant used to be called). I would get down on an Italian Cheeseburger(don't ask) from Kennedy Fried back in my teenage years.

A president is a president to me. Sure for the neighborhood this particular chicken spot is in they can relate to the president whose name graces this awning in Brooklyn. The owner seemed proud to have his restaurant named after the 1st African American President. I'm proud that it's in my neighborhood. I don't think it's offensive at all. This is no bullet through a monkey situation. This is a good business idea and something the people can smile about in Brownsville. Now if we can just get them to stop eating the terrible food that's cooked in there the real victory will be won (Pick up some veggies yall PLEASE). However in the mean time the Obama Snack Box will have to do.

Photo taken from