Friday, May 29, 2009

Even Black Cops Aren't Safe From Cops

I woke up this morning and started my normal routine. Hop in the shower to get refreshed. Get my clothes and things together and load up twitter on my phone. On the train ride in I read an update which says Black Cop killed by white officer in Harlem. Immediately I'm filled with anger and resentment. I feel as thought I've made this post before on the MotherGreen blog.

This time an off-duty cop with gun drawn is in pursuit of a possible car thief. Another two cops in an unmarked vehicle see the chase and join in. They yell for the gun holder to stop. He does and as he turns they shoot him dead. This man was an officer of the law who happened to be Black which was his fatal mistake in my opinion.

Please show me the instances of white cops shooting white officers by mistake. "I'll wait" (c) Kat Williams. This only happens to my people and I'm SICK of hearing about training! No amount of training is going to erase generations of discrimination and hate which has festered within the NYPD. I'm starting to think people need some blood in the streets in order for these cops to wake up. We are not walking target practice nor are we all criminals. There are plenty of white criminals just the same. *smh* DAMN!

Daily News Story

I'm DONE! Now for some theme music.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Weekend Warrior pt.1

What a weekend.

I got to ride my bike through the streets of Brooklyn with the sun kissing my face. I went down to Dance Africa on Saturday to start the weekend off right. The fish was in full effect. So many beautiful people out in the streets. I loved seeing all my Brooklyn representatives showing out their best outfits and smiles for family. There was a group of women having a double dutch set going on right in front of the Brooklyn Acadamy of Music. This was right across from the steps to BAM which was filled with people (including myself) chowing down on some tasty outdoor grub. My favorite bakery in Brooklyn Abu's had a nice presence along the street fair.

At one point I bumped into the Afro Mosiac Dance Collective at their booth. My boy Scott straight pulled my bags out of my hands so I could join both he and his brother dancing to some house music. After a few moments of heavy duty vibing there was a whole crowd around us watching. I saw one of my dance partners Rachone in the mix and pulled her out to cut a rug (or asphalt in this case). While in the mix my childhood friend James Mills pulled me out of the circle to see another elementary school friend I haven't spoken to in YEARS. After that it was back to the circle.

There were so many BBQ's going on that I didn't know what to do with myself. After the first day of Dance Africa and enjoying the day with the beautiful Shino and our comrade Stephanie I joined some friends for some chilling and grilling. I met up with the loveable old James and Alma to get some turkey dogs and watch their hometeam lose to LA (sorry guys).

Sunday was the major day for the weekend, with Shan's BBQ on deck I couldn't wait to hit the streets. After getting lunch at Dance Africa again I met up with Shino, Stephanie and her family in from Seattle to take in the scene. When I returned from a run to the store I found Shino talking with a friend of my family, the great photographer Jamel Shabazz. We got a chance to talk about the history of some of his photos and the impact his work has had on people (including myself). If you haven't purchased any of his books PLEASE run to get A Time Before Crack.

After that we scooped up Lorraine and made our way to Long Island CIty for the super dope deck BBQ hosted by my man Shan Boogie. The music was on point as well as the food. Tons of beautiful people from the window to the wall. The MotherGreen team was in full effect shaking hands and kissing babies (well not the latter but definitely the former). The party was rocking until ...

Pt 2 coming up (c) ODB but peep the pics for now by the kid.

Some Black Men Stole My Child!!...Just Playin?

Down in Philly the city of brotherly love it seems a "brotha" can't get a fair shake. A mother wants to take one of her three children to Disney Land. Fine. There's nothing wrong with that right? However once you cook up a story to the police regarding two black men kidnapping your daughter that's when the record skips.

This woman told authorities that the two men rear ended her truck with a 1990's Cadillac (yeah two cats are gonna mess up their ride to kidnap your daughter for no reason). The men then physically hit the little girl and threw her in the trunk of their car. Pretty elaborate story eh? All a lie, yes.

It turns out the woman just wanted a private getaway with her daughter to Disney world and did all of this to throw cats off her scent. Are we that disposable people? This makes me look back to Susan Smith who said a Black carjacker kidnapped her sons. The reality of the situation was she killed her children herself. Why make a Blackman your go to criminal to throw the police off your scent? There is plenty of history in this country of whites accusing black people of crimes they didn't commit and the results being much worse than an undue prison sentence. I'm glad that in this day and time a case like this can be quickly debunked and justice (hopefully) served.

Let's be glad we don't have to add this to another "fit the description" tragedy tale.

For the full story click the link below.
The Full Story

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Even Iron bends under such tragedy

Growing up in Brownsville I never had much to be proud of regarding my home. It was ALWAYS one of the most violent neighborhoods in Brooklyn (which I guess you COULD be proud of). There were crack addicts everywhere during the 80s. The overall education level was low and we had very few people come from the neighborhood and "make it". That all changed when Iron Mike Tyson stepped on the scene.

Here was a young cat from my neighborhood that took the world of boxing by storm. At age 20 he won a heavyweight championship belt, setting a record for the youngest to ever do it. His left hook was the stuff of legends. To top all of this off, Mike came back to the hood. He would often come and visit old friends from his childhood and overall share his love with his old neighborhood. When I was a young lad in summer camp Mike showed up in a red Porsche (something I never saw in real life at that point) to greet the young folks. I mean this was the Heavyweight champion of the world in front of me (not that much taller than me ha!). Not too long after that his life hit a downward spiral that we are all familiar with and I feel no need to revisit today.

In the aftermath of a documentary showcasing his life as it stands today Mike is hit with another low blow (pun intended). His 4 year old daughter meets an early death from an accident on a treadmill. I'm sending my prayers out to Mike and his family. While this is not a man who was seen by many as someone to admire, I always felt sorry for him. I knew where he came from and saw the heights he was able to reach. It seems like as he now pushes past age 40 and is starting to get some clarity about his life something like this kicks him. I hope he is able to maintain and grow from this grief.

Here's a tribute to one of my childhood heroes who has long since fallen on hard times.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mos Def - Casa Bey

Brooklyn's own Mos Def is getting ready his new project The Ecstatic. This will be his first album on new a new label. If this song is any indication of what's to come, the boy might be back on his deen. I love the experimentation being exhibited on this song. Just seems like a real cool jam session that was captured and put out. Sometimes jam sessions should remain jam sessions but when the result is a song like Casa Bey I say go for it musicians. The album is due to release June 9th on Downtown Records (home to Santigold & Justice and others).

Mos Def - "Casa Bey" - The Ecstatic - 6.9.09

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day and it's time to play

The moment we've all been waiting for is here. Three day weekend and all the sunshine you can shake a stick at. There are soooo many things going on I don't know where to start.

First things first, I hope you have a BBQ lined up (or two). A BBQ is a must for a weekend like this to be truly epic. There's nothing like getting some good grub outdoors fresh off the grill with a cold side and a cold beverage to match. BBQ's are the perfect opportunity to get reacquainted with old friends, run into old girlfriends/boyfriends and listen to some good ole music from back in the days. I have two on deck this weekend but that's just part of the plan.

Next up you need to look for a street fair. In Brooklyn this weekend is the illustrious Dance Africa festival. Outdoor and indoor even located at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. This happens every year rain or shine where tons of vendors come together for the love of mother Africa (and money). The food there is always on tilt as well as the ladies. Fellas if you are rolling dolo from state to state these days you might want to pay a visit. Dance Afrika is happening all weekend starting Saturday thru Monday. Enjoy

Dance Africa 2009

And last but not least there's the late night parties. On Sunday this year there are gonna be a gang of events in the city. Down in Brooklyn there's the regular reggae party at Deity. In the city DJ Scratch is having his birthday party over at SUTRA. Rich Medina and Bobbito are having their yearly summer party series Happy Feet start up at Le Poisson Rouge. So if you're like me I'm sure I'll see you out and about at something. Let's get it!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What do you know about Getting Lite / Jerkin?

Now that I'm 30 (which is not old!) I find it interesting to see what teenagers do amongst themselves on a regular basis. When I was in high school the internet was just becoming mainstream. Windows was still in it's 3.0 stage and was literally making usage of "windows". Compuserve was an actual contender in the ISP game. Well times change and now there's cable modems, youtube and world wide messageboards. Teens of this day and age can communicate with one another with one click across the world. I had to rely on rap music to learn about what my peers were into across the country. It was through Twista that I learned about people in the Chi loving Pelle Pelle jackets. It was through Gangsta Rap that I learned about LA gang culture and California slang. Now these kids can go on Youtube and see what their peers are into right as the movements begin. There is no lag, nor any filter really to stop it. 

In my search to see what's going on these days I learned of two forms of dance. One is kinda old in NYC but it's called "getting lite". I liked this from the first time I saw it just because the kids really look like they are having fun and coming together for that one purpose. What's so dope to me about getting lite is you don't even need music. There's a hand clap sequence that can be done by the kids on the set for the dance to be done. Here is an example of some kids getting lite in NYC. (I can't vouch for the skinny jeans though.) 

*I apologize for any extra language in the video below, kids will be kids I guess.*

Now on the west coast there's a similar yet completely different dance being done by the teenagers called "Jerkin". Like the "Get Lite" scene there are crews which roll together and dance together. This youtube generation have found a way to use the internet and their peers to create stars on their own without tv or radio. Jerkin actually does have music that goes along with the dancing. This music is original and sounds similar to early 80s hip hop with an electronic feel added. Peep this video of one of the most famous Jerkin crews out, the Go Go Power Rangers.

 I like both of these forms of expression for the kids and as long as they are dancing and not fighting I'm with it.  (Again I can't rock with the skinny jeans affair.)

*Please note there is some language in this video (and jerkin music) that I wouldn't use but the kids do, view with caution.*

Monday, May 18, 2009

Chin Chin and Friends in Brooklyn

What a weekend people. The day after loosing my mind at another installment of Keistar's Wonderful party with Bobbito and Spinna, Park Slope has a street fair. Now this isn't just ANY street fair because the good folks at South Paw put together a stage set up on the street and my boys Chin Chin got to perform.

However before that performance I walked along 5th Ave to see some beautiful people and energy. My first focus was to get something to eat and I wasn't really feeling walking while eating. Shino, my boy Richard and I met up and grabbed something at a new spot right above Union St. My Sunday lunch involved fish taco's, complimentary flavored popcorn AND garlic fries. All were quite tasty and appreciated. By the time we were done eating we had about 20 minutes to kill before the Chin Chin performance a few blocks south.

We were now a group of four as the lovely Stephanie joined party (Ali you were missed). As we walked down 5th there were all kinds of corn being cooked, Thai food for sale right on the street (which didn't look bad at all) and some really REALLY good smelling burgers on the grill. There was not a frown in the crowd at all.

Once we reached South Paw I ran into my boy Torbitt (drummer for Chin Chin) and got to catch up briefly before the performance. At this point my good friends James and Alma joined us and the crew was complete. Chin Chin rock shocked the house. The crowd was dancing along and a group of kids walking by just started breaking right in front of the stage along with the music. An older cat even got in on the action but bit off more than he could chew (he hurt his head doing a spin).

In case you didn't know Brooklyn is the place to be this summer. make a note of it.

The pics below were taking my Shino and myself.

Brooklyn is so Wonderful

This year even more so when Keistar Prod. decided to move their beloved Wonderful party to my home. The day was plagued with uncertain feelings of possible rain and humidity that just made you feel sticky. On my way to the designated place for the designated time (c) Shonuf I ran into my homie Herbie picked up my homegirl Harue on Flatbush and walked down. It felt good being able to party in my own borough with great people. The line was redic stretching from corner to corner (literally going from the middle of Waverly Pl around the corner down Fulton). I was fortunate to have the loveable Old James and Alma already on line for me. Once we got inside (after an hour and a half wait) the vibe was sick. The space was large enough to hold 2000 people and we kept it crazy in there.

For those of you who have never been to Wonderful it's a party played by DJ Cucumber Slice (Bobbito) & DJ Spinna. They spin all Stevie Wonder music which includes originals, covers, and songs inspired by Stevie. People from all over come out to dance to the sounds of Wonder. From Another Star to For Once In My Life everything is touched on (even Part Time Lover much to my chagrin). We danced the night away and ladies this is not a party for heels (ask Shino). Early on there was a Soul Train line started and as soon as I told Spinna he let Bob know and BOOM they were out from behind the turntables dancing down the line. Greatness people, pure greatness.

There were two floors, the bar ran out of water, the floor began to sweat with so much heat and none of that stopped Savior from dancing hard and doing floor work. If you missed it you missed it but if you were there...

The following pics were taking by a few folks. We had such a good time the camera passed through some hands. It was good partying with Lorraine, Hilda, Roni, James and Alma , Tall James and Baruch James all the same place.

See you next year.

Party People in the place to be

John rockin out!

Tah and Dancing Savior making a statement

Good Times w/ James & Jordan

Zawadi doing his best to hold a note

Rasu and nice.

Big Brian

The Lovable old James and Alma

Spinna and Bob Soul Train Style

The man the myth the legend

We had fun

So did Toru and Harue

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Don't Sleep on the West Coast Please...

For those who don't know, I'm a huge fan of the homie Kurupt. I love west coast hip hop in general (shouts to the homies Born Allah, and QDIII). Every since I first heard the Dogg Pound I knew Kurupt was a serious spitter (pause). Well there was a rumor going around that out of the long dormant West was an album on the way from Kurupt and DJ Quik together. For those that don't know this is a big deal because both are dope artists in their own right but also Quik is blood and Kurupt is a crip.

This is the first record / video from the album. Peep the heat that's on the way. West West Yall!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tanya Morgan Album Release For Brooklynati

Tuesday night at the LES hot spot Sutra, the homies Tanya Morgan (We Be!) had their album release party. The good folks of Rare Form Promotions did an excellent job putting this event together. Normally when you go to Sutra you are treated to the musical treats of one DJ June followed by Tony Touch (and whoever else decides to fall through). I normally keep it upstairs but this week downstairs was where all the action was early on. All of the Tanya Morgan fans and supporters were downstairs getting it in. I ran into a couple of friends in the place both old and new. The alcohol was flowing and the music was right. I kept going in between upstairs with June and her 90s R&B set and the downstairs underground hip hop sound. Ran into my homeboy Kenshin (shouts to Rocksmith) randomly in the place to be. It was good seeing the boy.

As for the members of Tanya Morgan they were in good spirits. When I walked up to Sutra I saw them on the side with a camera in their faces being interviewed. Damn it feels good to see people up on it (c) Biz Markie. There were too many friends in there to name them all but it was a good to see you all. The lessondary was in full effect as well as my fellow Okayplayers in general. After reading a nice review on the boys in Time Out New York I expect great things from TM. Keep up the momentum guys.

Much respect to all of the work that went into releasing this album. This is clearly a labor of love for all involved. I haven't heard the full album yet but I'm gonna cop (I sill like physical cds). What I heard so far was a step up from the last album. Go cop that new Tanya Morgan album Brooklynati. It's available in stores and on iTunes. Now we just need to get them in some MG gear.

Check the pics below taken by yours truly to remember the occasion.