BOUGIE – Bougie girls hit roadblocks, too

“A setback is a setup for a comeback.” –Willie Jolley, motivational speaker.

Right now, I’m grappling with a setback. I scrapped and scrabbled my way out of Detroit in order to move to Atlanta, and got a two-month sublease in a complex I’ve come to love that’s ending June 1. It was assumed that I would simply get a new lease in June, but we all know the result of making assumptions. So after waiting for my landlady to get the approval for me to rent her unit, she told me she won’t be able to rent it, but she’d be glad to negotiate a price for me to purchase it.

Ummm — not gonna happen. I’m not ready to buy, and even if I were, I don’t know that I would want to buy this unit. The high of moving to Atlanta temporarily retreated in the shadow of possible homelessness.
But there are always positives in the midst of trials. These are some of the key concepts that are carrying me through this trial and could possibly assist you during yours.
· Each One, Reach One
Fortunately, I had already connected with a classmate who is a realtor and retained her services to prepare me for buying property in Atlanta. Her passion for helping me find someplace to live almost exceeds mine, and she has been the key advocate in my negotiations and research for a spot to move to. The fledgling network I’ve built here has resources that should ensure that I’m not homeless or forced to move back to the D. If I had barricaded myself in a new-city panic attack or kept mum about my situation, I wouldn’t have been able to act so quickly to secure another place.
· Let It Go
I have also learned through past adversity to just watch God work. Even if you’re not spiritual, you have to agree that some situations in life have strange ways of working themselves out, without your “help.” When we relinquish control of an outcome, it oftentimes turns out better than we could imagine. The apartment I’m looking at moving into is directly above my current one and in compliance with all of the condo board’s requirements. Had I stayed where I am, I could have been in for a nasty surprise—like finding my stuff out on the curb!
· No Shame in My Game
It’s funny how some of your closest people point out the negative when you’re going through some shit. I fail to see how warning me about credit checks, shady landlords and massive security deposits is helpful when I have to move NO MATTER WHAT. If friends voice their fears when you’re at your lowest point, the best thing to do is keep it moving. Keep your own counsel and play things close to the vest. If people really want to help, they will offer support when they recognize what you’re going through. Just don’t feel obliged to soothe them or make their fears your own. Nothing shuts up haters like success.
Playing for high stakes will always mean shouldering risk. The bleaker the cliffhanger, the more exhilarating the escape. Stay tuned…         

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MIX of the WEEK: The Day After My Brothers’ Birthday Mix

Another mix from DJ A-See. Guess what? Surprise!!! No playlist. just sitback and enjoy the mix no need to worry about the name of the songs and who did what. Anyway the playlist will be forthcomimg, until then embark upon this listening adventure.  And oh yeah, Happy Birthday to my 2 younger brothers, they might be bigger than me now (is this a common malady that happens to all older brothers?) but I’m still the big dog though

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BOUGIE – Who Ya With!!? or Why You Should Pick Smarter Friends

Quick — do you have any friends who own property? Businesses? Stocks, bonds, money markets? If you’re truly bougie, you can answer yes to all of them. But if you’re the only bougie one in your set, you’ve got a problem.

I won’t even bother quoting the stats on how many more people who are successful hang with other successful people. We all pretty much know that. But think about how hanging with the wrong crowd can pull you down — Mike Vick anyone? And since we’re not in high school anymore, we can’t blame our misdeeds on our friends. Think about how the company you keep enables you to continue to waste time. And how being around people who are on top of their game inspires you to up yours.

I don’t have a TV. Of course I miss my Law and Order: CI and Style Channel (sorry if your eyes glaze over, guys). But I remember how watching one episode turned into 4 episodes — don’t let there be a marathon on. Or how you have to catch up on all the preceding episodes of Top Chef that you missed before you could see the new one. If you have any extra poundage, every time you even THINK about sitting down to flip channels, you need to take a damn walk!

But what’s really interesting is the reaction people have when I tell them I don’t have a TV — it’s like I’ve said I don’t have running water. They swear I need the news, videos, and DIY shows to have a life worth living. But I know that TV is my enemy, one that sucks time and energy from my master plan. What’s your enemy? Blogs? Blunts? Booty (male or female)? Maybe I went a little too far with that last one, but I’m trying to make the point that certain social situations encourage us to stay right where we are.

Do you have friends who cut you off when you call, because they’re too busy to talk? People whose homes you can’t just pop up over and expect a warm welcome and lengthy chat because they are otherwise engaged in something PRODUCTIVE? Don’t take offense, learn from that person. Just maintain the balance to set aside time where you give people 100% of your attention and they’ll love and admire you so much more for it.

The admiration comes when you start making money, acquiring investments and amassing real estate. The love comes when you invite them over to watch a game on your super gigantic big screen!

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Hip Hop’s Daisy Age

By Ta-Nehisi Coates | Book Excerpt

I was a chubby kid in West Baltimore. Crack addled the streets; De La refused to scowl. How the summer of ’88 became my generation’s greatest.

My older brother, Big Bill was a disciple of the Golden Years—a kid who knew the difference between Jock Box and the original DMX, a kid who could speak on the wonder of Jazzy Jeff pulling transformers and bird-songs from black vinyl. In those days, to be a black boy was to beg your parents for a set of Technic 1200s turntables and an MPC sampler. Failing that, it meant banging on lunch tables and beat-boxing until you could rock the Sanford & Son theme song and play.

Deep in the basement of West Baltimore, Bill stood in his homeboy Marlon’s basement holding the mic like a lover. They called themselves the West Side Kings, which meant Marlon cutting breakbeats and Bill reciting battle rhymes he’d scrawled in a yellow notepad. He would come home with demos, play them for hours, and rap along with himself. This went on for two years before I saw the West Side Kings in action. By then the game had changed, and brothers had gotten righteous. That was the summer of 1988—the greatest season of my generation.

I was so much softer then, all chubby and smiling. My skin was clear and brown. My eyes were wide like my name. My style-less haircut was the handiwork of my father, my widow’s peak crawled out like a spy. Amidst the tangle and chaos of West Baltimore, I was a blue-jay. Rapacious jaguars clocked my every move. I spent my first year of middle school catching beatdowns and shrinking under the patent leather Jordans of live niggers out to make their manhood manifest. It was not my time. I was all X-Men, polyhedral dice, and Greek myths. Bill was of a different piece. He was tall and smooth as Kane touching “All Night Long.” He pulled shorties with all the effort of a long yawn, and, like so many, believed that he would make a living off his jumper. He spent loose-time out on the block laced in puff-leather, Diadora and Lottoes, packing a tool and clutching his nuts. When bored, he gathered his crew and brought the ruckus, snatching bus tickets, and issuing beatdowns at random. They gave no reason. They published no manifestos. This was how they got down. This was the ritual.

Click here for the rest of the story.

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ALBUM of the WEEK: Murs – Murray’s Revenge

The thing about undrrground artist is that they can be hard to find sometimes. Not Murs, you probably have skipped by his CD while looking thru the “M”‘s and didn’t really stop hopefully I will be giving you a reason to. Murs is evidence that a rapper can have a striving (I assume) fulfilling career on the underground. Murs started recording in ’93 with groups, most notably 3MG and the Living Legends (they will be another album of the week post). He finally relesed his first solo album in 1997. This is his sixth solo record and his 2nd colloboration with 9th Wonder (from Little Brother). Since I’m trying to get to work I can go on and on (a grownhead has bills to pay). As always these are not the complete songs just clips of the songs, long clips (about 90 sec) so you can get a feel for the music. If you like what you hear BUY THE CD. If you want real hip hop or at least different hip hop to flourish we gotta support the artist.

1.Murs Day (FULL TRACK)
2.Murray’s Law
3.Silly Girl
5.Yesterday & Today
8.Love & Appreciate
9.DSWG (Dark Skinned White Girl)
10.Murray’s Revenge

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5 Rappers who could be Dropped from the Group And Only their Moms would Care

Prof. Griff (Public Enemy)
Although Griff makes the live show more interesting to watch, he’s not exactly essential personnel in PE. In fact, he was so nonessential, he actually did get kicked out for almost 10 years after making some anti-Semitic remarks back in ‘89. All’s well on the Black Planet now, but if Griff gets the boot again? It’s not going to keep me from seeing PE when they come to town.

Danny Boy (House Pain)
Even though House of Pain no longer exists and lead rapper Everlast has gone country (?!), in their hey day they made being Irish look awful gangsta. Even when “Jump Around” comes on today, a little part inside of me feels the urge to, you know — jump around. We all remember Everlast and DJ Lethal (who went on to spin for Limp Bizkit), but alas, poor Danny Boy. HOP’s third member wasn’t really a hype man (of course, I never saw them in concert and so can’t really verify that), and his most memorable moment was one line on the group’s second single “Shamrocks and Shenanigans.” That’s it. So if House of Pain does a reunion tour and Danny Boy doesn’t get on board, will all be lost? Will the House of Pain Nation be outraged? Methinks not.

Sen Dog (Cypress Hill)
Just before Dre and Snoop blew out the doors for West Coast hip hop on the national stage, Cypress Hill was making inroads in the notoriously territorial east. In fact, some headz say it was hard to tell that they were a Left Coast group. Muggs was on the beats and turntables and B-Real stayed loco with the vocals, but a big morenito called Sen Dog kept the group anchored with an all-important job — echoing the end of B-Real’s lines. VERY important, mind you! He added emphasis, lest listeners miss the insight buried in those final words. And he made the group look little bit more intimidating — always important in hip hop. When Sen Dog left the group to record his solo album, I pictured him in the studio booth looking a little sad and a bit lost, forlornly waiting for the prompt from B-Real that never came.

Quick test. Recite one of Pras’s hottest lines. Okay, just a good punchline.* Alright, ANY of his rhymes. Kinda hard, ain’t it? I once read a review that said Pras would have to accept his status in the Fugees as forever being the 3rd O’Jay — you know, after Eddie Levert and Walter Williams. The third O’jay has been replaced three different times to date and you know what? Nobody ever even noticed. But to be fair, it just wouldn’t have been the same without Pras, otherwise there’d have been no distraction from hearing how lame Wyclef was next to Lauryn.

(* = see end)

Those other Wu Dudes
(U God, Masta Killah, Cappadonna, Killah Priest, and nem)
Picture this: The radio station announces that the Wu-Tang Clan is coming to town. You run out and buy tickets, maybe even a new outfit (do grownheads still do that?). The day arrives: it’s show time! The lights go down and you hear “From the slums of Shaolin: The RZA. The GZA, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon the Chef, Ghostface Killah and the Method Man will NOT be performing this evening.” WHAT!! The curtain comes up and out walks U God, Masta Killah, and Cappadonna. What would you do? Hell yeah, the same thing I would, step on three feet to get my damn money back!

*OK, in the interest of fairness, Pras did have two good lines in his career. Both from The Score (of course), the first was heard on “Ready Or Not”: I refugee from Guantanamo Bay / Dance around the border like I’m Cassius Clay.

The second was Pras’s uncharacteristically ironic, droll verse in “The Mask”: See cops got two faces like two laces on my Reebok / My knees knock, as I step back for a clear shot / Yo, Did you shoot him? Naw, kid I didn’t have the balls / That’s when I realized I’m bumping too much Biggie Smalls. Wow, if we’d seen more of this Pras, maybe he wouldn’t have been so expendable.

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