Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Last Day Of School

Today is my last day at work before the holiday break, and it feels like the last day of school. The office is occupied by folks who ran out of days off and we have to work. Jokes are flying everywhere and sexual innuendo is in the air (which is normal I suppose). I'm planning a day of finishing my work and having a grand lunch with the crew.

I'm taken back to the days of skipping class to go to lunch just because it's the end of the semester. The order of the day was playing spades with my friends at the lunch table, and rhyming until the period was over. I would have an hour long discussion on who was gonna make the playoffs in the NBA every December as early as it was. Some folks would bring small radios in and we'd jam while we at those cheeseburgers (I loved those cheeseburgers) and fries. The rest of the day would be split between going to class and roaming the halls dodging security. That's exactly what I feel like doing today.

I just want to walk the halls with some of my co-workers and cause mayhem. A few hours to go and there's still a bit of work to be done. But lets be honest we've all checked out. Nobody is mentally here, I hear laughter all around and people with luggage next to their desks. All in all I have a warm feeling inside and I feel that today will be OK, but that could just be the chili from last night.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jay - Z Forever Young (Official Video)

Not my cup of tea but you may enjoy it. I can feel what he's trying to get across Maybe this will get played on top 40 radio? And for the record I don't think this is a hip hop song at all. It's pretty much a pop rap single. Nothing wrong with that, just making an observation.

Carry On.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Old School Mondays

I feel like paying respect to some of the best to ever do it. The hip hop group, the legends RUN DMC.


My Favorite Run DMC song.

My second favorite Run DMC song. Wish it was synced better.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Drop The Bomb: Majora Carter

This beautiful woman from the South Bronx (south south Bronx) has a lot to say. I'm not gonna say much because Majora Carter says plenty with eloquence and an urgency that demands your attention. She's an inspiration to me and I look forward to learning more about her. Here's her website so you can read up on her works.

As far as this video, enjoy and learn.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Black Atlas aka The Site I Always Wanted

Journalist and author Nelson George in association with American Airlines has started a site I can really get behind. is a website dedicated to viewing travel from a Black perspective. I am a person who can enjoy traveling pretty much anywhere, however I do love seeing my people in different settings. Black Atlas affords me the opportunity to see how a the folks live in different environments before I board the plane. It's truly a genius site and I commend Mr. George for getting it going.

I'm going to register right now and you might want to do the same.
I'm currently looking for a small vacation to take during the winter break. This site is just what I need!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Roses and Why You Shouldn't Cut Them.

This is the first full song I've ever heard from Georgia Anne Muldrow. I've heard of her many times but it took for Mos Def to place a song of hers on his album for me to take notice. I really like her voice and presence on this song. Take a look at the official video for the original (sans Mos Def) version of Roses and listen to the Mos version.

What do you think?

OG Version

Mos Def Version

My first Furniture Purchase

Today I finally made a decision and copped a dresser for my bedroom. Since moving into my new apartment I have been in need of a spot for my pounds of t-shirts and other summer gear. Today in between doing laundry, Shino and I took a trip to a local furniture store. After walking around for about 10 minutes we decided on on dresser that was a decent height and cost less than 300 bucks. I didn't realize it until we were leaving and Shino asked me "have you ever purchased furniture before?" It then hit me that for 30 years I've been getting by on hand me downs!

Since I left my mothers home years ago I first took over an apartment that was my father's first. I moved in furniture that was my aunts before me. The only thing I'd ever purchased for myself was electronics. I am now living in my first apartment that I really had to move things in and buy new furniture.

This is a new beginning, causing me to step out of my comfort zone.
There are times in life where you have to step back and see the whole thing moving like a movie. I feel this is one of those times. I am thankful to all those who helped me to get to this point in my life. I feel as though there is something big on the horizon for me and I am clearing space for it to have a place in my life. I eagerly await it's manifestation and hopefully it will inspire me to write.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Harold's Chicken Shack Appreciation

Photos by Shino Yanagawa

To my fellows out in Chicago, (you lucky dogs) I salute you. It was maybe three years ago the first time when I touched down in the beautiful city of Chicago. Like most new places in the US, I immediately went into my hip hop trivia bag to figure out what to eat. One thing that I heard about was a hood spot called Harold's Chicken Shack. So after a two days of being in the city I took a drive with my friends to the Harold's in Hyde Park, close to where I was staying. It was there that I had a truly great Chicago experience.

I met a young man who straight went crazy when he saw my sneakers. He saw the Creative Recreation sneakers I had on and noticed they were a colorway he'd never seen. We then got into a conversation about what kind of sneakers his peers wore out in the Chi. As our conversation concluded I was next up to give my order. In Harold's, chicken is sold by quarter, half, and whole portions. You can also order wings but I've yet to do so. There's an art to placing an order at this establishment. I asked the brother ahead of me for some assistance siting that I was a New Yorker and a novice with Harold's. He told me a 1/4 should do me fine if I wasn't completely starving. After our cool conversation was done, it was my turn to order. I walked up to the window 90% confident. However that 10% caused me to ask the woman behind the bulletproof glass for help. I asked her what size order should I get. She told me "well you ARE a MAN so you should get a 1/2 chicken." In order for me to keep my manhood intact I had to order the half chicken. My official order was 1/2 chicken white with mild sauce, bread (I'll get to that) and fries.

Now about that mild sauce. Harold's "mild sauce" is the stuff of legends. Nobody actually knows what's in this concoction. Some think it 's hot sauce and ketchup mixed together but NOPE I think that's not enough. At Harold's they pour this stuff all over your chicken and fries. It's something I crave back here in NY to no avail. The last time I flew back from Chicago I ate some Harold's on the plane. I knew I was wrong and I probably set my people back a few years for that act alone but dammit the chicken is THAT GOOD!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mos Def - Supermagic (Official Video)

Continuing to push forward with his "The Ecstatic" album Mos Def drops a new video for Supermagic. This is the opening track and it's full of energy. I wish I could get a video to "Life In Marvelous Times" though.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Headed To The 2nd HHK Championship

On December 4th 2009 (Ether Day) I joined a number of really dope karaoke performers at the Mercury Lounge. The goal was to have the most fun on stage and possibly gain entry to the 2nd HHK Championship. The performances ranged from top tier to cringe inducing. However we all went to have fun and that was indeed had by all. The judges ranged from underground MC Pack FM to Label CEO and Manager extraordinaire Dru Ha. To offset those two was a vet in the show promotions arena (lets call him Mr. Schwartz).

What I loved about last Friday was that as a crowd we were so into being supportive that the judges named a group of us the FUN BUNCH! There was a time when a guy did Nas' The World Is Yours and forgot when to start. I stared the first two bars for him and then he was off and running.

Here's a few videos from the big winners on Friday. Come out and support everyone on January 29th at Irving Plaza as we go big for the 2nd annual Win The G contest!

The Kid

Robert Downey JR

Doni D


Monday, December 07, 2009

Dock Ellis & The LSD No No Headed To Sundance!!

I'm damn near shaking as I type this entry. My brother James Blagden has reached a new height as his short film Dock Ellis & The LSD No-No has been selected to play at the Sundance Film Festival next year. I can't even front, I smell a trip coming along. I've never been to Sundance but I might think this is a big enough reason to go. The film was chosen from a group of 3,504 short films from the United States. In case you missed the previous post where we discussed this short watch it below and tell your friends to tell a friend about it. It's that good.

To read the Sundance breakdown of all the films and see Dock Ellis listed click HERE.
And to the Lovable Old James... "you got a No-No going."

Friday, December 04, 2009

Happy Ether Day!!!

About 8 years ago a young man from Queens bridge decided that he would not lay down and give up. With a radio show named after an attack on his character and career airing daily, Nasir Jones finally said enough is enough. He finally took his shots at the Champion at the time Jay-Z from mixtape level to the center stage with the historic song Ether. This song would reshape the way people would view battle rap records. The phrase "ethered" was born.

So on this day we celebrate the underdog. The person who against all odds defies the critics and comes out on top, even if it's only temporary. This holiday is for you.

Celebrate Ether Day and let the world know about it.

The anthem (explicit lyrics)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Court Says No To Columbia Land Grab

Thank goodness somebody still cares about the people of this city. Columbia University (which already has a pretty large piece of land in upper Manhattan)recently took action to gain a bigger piece of the Harlem pie. Fortunately the citizens of Harlem did not take this news lying down. The court ruled that Columbia could not claim eminent domain to gain more land.

If only we could get that type of ruling in Brooklyn regarding the Atlantic Yards. Maybe then Brooklyn could have a reason to be in the season. For now my people in Harlem would should enjoy this victory they've had it hard these past few years getting pushed out by gentrification and a housing bubble. At least some of yall get to stay.

Hands off Harlem!

The Full Story

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Not Like This Tiger, Not Like This...


I've done my best to not follow this damn story but it seems to follow me wherever I go. So dude is married and has apparently been caught cheating on his wife. I have no sympathy for the guy because to me, if you take the vow of marriage you stand on that vow. Perhaps if you are worth as much money as he is one woman just isn't enough for you. Hell who am I kidding, if you go from making 25 to 30 grand one might not be enough. However if that is the case... don't get married! OR if you must get married for appearances sake or enforcements don't get caught slipping so hard! This guy is clearly so far from a pimp or a player it's ridiculous. And to these women putting their business out there, eh you sleep with dogs you get fleas.

So now dude is dropping out of his own tournament, getting tossed around like a rag doll in the media PLUS he currently has no woman to lay up with and get his head straight. To quote one of my favorite skits ever from a rap album, Tiger "needs some help, he needs to go to the Mosque or something."

Oh and to you news outlets who can't get enough of this fool and his antics, we are diving deeper into a war with no real goal post, people are still out of work and young people are not graduating from high school. Lets get focused please.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Yall Must've Forgot! Race Still Matters At Work

In reading this piece written in the New York Times regarding racial gaps and the effect of a college degree, I was reminded of something that has haunted me since I graduated college. What if I didn't know the people I know? Would I have been afforded the same employment opportunities as some of my peers with less connections? Would my skin color play a larger roll in the employment process if I didn't have white co-signers? How much weight does my degree really hold?

I guess I still don't have an answer yet, but this article does provide me with some food for thought.

The Full Story