Tag Archives: IMO

IMO: Choosing Leaders

Maaaaan I watched live as Trump went off the rails today. I was just gonna tune into MSNBC when I realized my regularly scheduled program had been interrupted by “You Know Who”.  I just wish I had some popcorn. I don’t work in politics but DAMN SON! Even I know not to say THAT. I assume you’ve seen it.  ANYway I was on twitter watching the “shock and awe” when I came across this tweet from Joy Reid, its a quote from Octavia Butler.  After watching 45 last week and this week I think it”s so appropriate.

“Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought.
To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears.
To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool.
To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen.
To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies.
To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.”

― Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Talents

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IMO: 19 Again

EDITOR’ S NOTE – This post is actually a comment we got about Gods’Illa’s single, You Don’t Have To Be A Star.  The comment was so insightful that we wanted to make sure everybody had a chance to read it.  BIG shout out to seanzbrother; glad to have brought you some music that reminds you why you STILL love hip hop.

From seanzbrother:

Not too long ago, I was watching ‘Tupac Resurrection’ with my 16-year-old son. I pointed out, when they showed clips of Black Panther and SNCC activities, that young people were always catalysts for change in our communities.

Although my generation benefited from the struggles of the 60′s and 70′s, we were children of the 80′s. Our revolution was televised. We expressed our activism, our culture, our frustrations, and our dreams through the music and art of hip-hop culture.

Those who were there know what crack did to the Black communities of NYC during the 1980′s. Hip-hop’s heroes like Tupac, and Sister Souljah, broadcast the daily triumphs and struggle of a youth that felt voiceless. For that reason, we loved ‘Pac as we loved Hip-Hop.

As an adult now, I miss Hip-Hop. I miss Hip-Hop that truthfully conveys the beauty of the Black community; a beauty that shines through, despite the best efforts of those who foolishly presume to wield power. I want to thank Gods’ Illa for ‘You Don’t Have To Be A Star’. I mean, I’m definitely gettin’ my grown man on. But that true love has a way of making you feel nineteen again. Peace.

Check the song below.

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Yeah, I STILL Buy CD’s

I was just reading a post by Manifesto over at Blackvibes.com, lamenting the pace of technology and how fast things change.  As a grownhead, I truly feel him when he says: 

“I didn’t realize I was in the midst of a media medium shift until about a year and a half ago, when I referenced on Facebook the compact disc wallet I keep in my car, and several friends responded, ‘Who the hell still listens to CDs in their car?’ The concept of only listening to my iPod in the whip was foreign to me then, and remains as such now. 

“I suppose I’m turning into my father — the man who only grudgingly embraces new media; I always make fun of him for just graduating from dial-up Internet less than two years ago and still using as his primary television the one that belonged to his mother-in-law who died in 1994. But am I really much different from a man who still speaks fondly of the 8-track player on his old Buick Century?” 

"What you mean cassettes are out?"


My “Nobody Told Me” moment came about 9 years ago, when I was passing out 15-minute mix tapes to showcase my finesse on the two turntables.  I gave it to one club owner and he looked a little funny, then said, “I gotta find a tapedeck to play this in.” 

Manifesto isn’t alone in bemoaning the death of CDs.  A download is convenient, but there just isn’t that sense of permanence that comes from holding the CD of the artist; reading the liner notes, peeping the cover art. MP3s just don’t give you the same level of knowledge of the album.  

Even artists seem to be leaving the format behind.  Talib Kweli only released his new CD Gutter Rainbows in digital format (at least, here in the States).  I was kickin it with our own Hip Hop Purist a while back and he was telling me his misadventures of trying to get an actual hardcopy of Blu & Exile’s debut album “Below the Heavens.” Long story short, he downloaded it.  

Like Manifesto, I just gotta say I’m fighting the good fight–but things aren’t looking so great for our hero. 


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The Hip Hop Purist: In Search of….Music (back in the day)

I was a fiend…

Back in my college days at Alabama A&M University, I became the Internet junkie I am today. I started out chatting on wbs.net. I even battled on thalandz.com and argued in the forums on davyd.com. But the thing I was most interested in was hearing hard-to-find music.

I would scour campus looking for the best computers with the best connections. I hated when my wbs chat sessions were halted because of ram or connectivity issues. Eventually I found some computers that were worthy of my time. They were in one of the chemistry labs and in the physics labs. I knew some people so I would stay in there after hours, continuing my argumentation sessions. These computers were nice and fast. And I soon discovered they had some software installed on them that the other computers did not have. Something called RealPlayer.

During this time of my life, I was a serious Freestyle Fellowship fan. These dudes could do no wrong. Around this time I just got my copy of “All Balls Don’t Bounce.” I remember the excitement of having the cassette tape in my Walkman for the first time. But what was even more exciting was being able to listen to the unreleased stuff that was out there.

The name of my favorite site has escaped my memory, but I had daily sessions with RealPlayer listening to obscure underground music from the West Coast. Every time I saw “buffering” show up on the little interface, I got angry. These computers were fast enough to let me chat freely and they zipped from site to site with lightening speed, but my songs had to pause because of something called buffering.

So one day, I go to this site and it has been updated with a Mikah 9 song. My eyes widened as my mouse clicked — more buffering! I had to have spent an hour listening to “The Fruit Don’t Fall” in bits and pieces. The sound quality was terrible (mad hiss and mad static). All of this did not matter. For the longest, I devoted time to try to listen to it daily.

Mikah impressed me probably more than any other Fellowship member (Mikah and P.E.A.C.E. are probably tied in reality). He was the one always trying to be different. He would sing a song (“Park Bench People”), mix singing and rapping (“Mary” — where Bone Thugs got their style from), then rap fast while still remaining lyrically potent (“Way Cool”).

“Fruit Don’t Fall” had no video, no radio play. It was not for sale. I could not listen to it on my headphones or in my 88 Ford Tempo. My only access to this song was via an Internet-connected computer with RealPlayer software on it. I don’t even think I actually heard “Fruit Don’t Fall” uninterrupted in it’s entirety until I bought the Timetable album years later. Guess what? Worth it.

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Top 25 Tweets from NAACP Image Awards

DAMN!!!!! lee daniels won’t leave!!!!…i guess he believes CPT
9:58 PM Feb 26th

“Lastly I wanna thank the precious girls everywhere! This is for you.” Gabourey Sidibe we love you!!
9:54 PM Feb 26th

Van Jones: “I love you” Glenn Beck? Good, you can peel the rest of us off him when he takes the wrong exit and winds up in the hood.
9:48 PM Feb 26th

Tarantino’s ghetto pass just got knocked down to a learner’s permit.
9:37 PM Feb 26th in reply to jmerriman

And John Mayer is performing the next musical selection.
9:34 PM Feb 26th

Oh heeeeellllllllllll naw! Who else “Heard Dat?!” Tarantino just got entirely too common with Black folks. I’ve been sayin it for years yall
9:31 PM Feb 26th

Monique gets an image award for portraying a sexually, physically abusive she-beast of a mother? Or am I missing the point of the honor? -RA
9:29 PM Feb 26th

DJ ASEE still feels weird checking out Tatiana Ali.
9:27 PM Feb 26th

Everybody rolls out their funkiest music for Image Award commercials. Home Depot got a dam house mix!
9:24 PM Feb 26th

FreedomReeves – For the record, I admire Tyler Perry’s hustle. But I always thought Image Awards were given for not embarrassing black people.
9:17 PM Feb 26th
Retweeted by you and 2 others

Tyler is preaching up there! But they playing the Wrap it Up music on him.
9:05 PM Feb 26th

Continue reading Top 25 Tweets from NAACP Image Awards

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Jerry Craft Got Issues

Jerry Craft Has Issues! Black Comic Strips Do, Too

Black Panther, Luke Cage, Falcon, Black Lightning and Black Goliath are in studio at a talk show taping. Though seated, sweaty faces, fidgeting fingers and shaky knees betray their nervousness. Why? Because they’re appearing on a segment called ‘Confronting the Black Superheroes of My Youth,’ and cartoonist Jerry Craft is cutting them no slack.

He slams them on wack origins (ex-convict), pathetic abilities (faster than a jungle cat!), corny outfits (a helmet with an afro wig on top? really?) and excessive chest exposure, then sums up his real beef: They didn’t have any real powers, so young black kids wouldn’t think, even through their comic books, that they could grow up to wield any power either.

As the flash animation on www.mamasboyz.com says, Jerry Craft has got issues, but he’s working them out with a pen and a pad.
Craft is more well-known for Mama’s Boyz, a family-oriented comic strip that follows the lives of single mom Pauline Porter and her two sons, Yusuf and Tyrell.
In a graphic novel world of compromised heroes and fiends, Mama’s Boyz can look deceptively soft. Characters have semi-colon eyes, sport high-top fades, and the humor is never as caustic or biting as, say, Boondocks.


Jerry Craft says that’s all according to plan. The gentle-voiced 46-year-old, who has two young sons of his own, believes it takes more balls to try to help kids do the right thing than shock jaded Gen Xers.
“Of all of the black strips, Boondocks is definitely more political and hard-hitting and more, uhm, you know, there’s a lot of cursing, and that tends to sell because it’s what’s expected of us,” Craft explained. “Whereas the family-type style of what I do would really take someone bold enough to say let’s see if we can break some ground and have something with a moral connection catch on.”

But the Porters aren’t the Cosbys: sometimes money is tight and Pauline worries about  male role models for her sons. Craft is portraying a family that wasn’t dealt perfect cards, but is functional and successful anyway, and he feels that’s more important than reflecting his own two-parent background.  
“When I was coming up, most of my friends were being raised by a mother or grandmother. I was one of the few of my friends who had both parents living at home,” said the native New Yorker. “Pretty much, the dads were nonexistent, so I wanted to do a comic strip that paid homage to these strong moms who were raising these kids, as bad as me and some of my friends were.”

Jerry’s first book, Mama’s Boyz: As American as Sweet Potato Pie, came out in ‘97. He tried to follow the Fat Albert school of comedy, where there’s a lesson in the humor without beating kids over the head with it.
Craft spoofs Where’s Waldo on the book’s back cover, with Yusuf asking readers, “Can you tell how many people are watching me and my brother Tyrell as we try to shop?” The sketch is filled with undercover officers peeking over counters and around doors. The title? Where’s Security. It’s indicative of Craft’s work: a seven-year-old would just count the number of guards and laugh, but a 12-year-old might start making connections between their own profiling encounters.

Continue reading Jerry Craft Got Issues

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IMO: It Takes Balls to be a Boss Chick

By Yo Jeff! Carroll

Pop culture is fascinated with the role reversal trend in dating. The number of women making more money than their male counterparts is increasing every year, and the cougar craze looks like it’s here to stay. There are cougar conventions and even a cougar TV show. Well, for all of the women who are considering being in an “on top” black business womanrelationship, or as the Tantra would say, A Pair of Tongs, I have a few tips. Whether you’re looking at a younger man or one who makes significantly less money than you, here are some suggestions that could improve the success and harmony of your relationship.

First off, it’s important to remember that the woman as senior breadwinner is a relatively new arrangement.  This option originated from strides made by the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s, and is less than 30 years old in mainstream American culture.  Therefore all of the kinks have not been worked out yet, emotionally speaking, for many of the men and women who find themselves in this situation. Get your mind right about what you are willing to give and what you expect, and learn his positions too.

Be mindful that financial success—or the lack thereof—isn’t directly tied to someone’s work ethic. In other words, just because someone doesn’t make a lot doesn’t mean they’re lazy. Next, not everyone wants to be rich. Some are happy being comfortable, and what that is varies from person to person. Finally, age or income does not equal maturity or intelligence. This is important to understand whether there is a woman or man on top.  Those three tips will give you a good mindset for approaching your woman on top relationship. 

Communication can be a minefield in a role-reversed relationship—but it doesn’t have to be this way. Think about your man’s personality. Is he an alpha male, a supporter, easy-going or quiet? This can clue you in on how to approach an issue without arguing. Communication can be a minefield in a role-reversed relationship—but it doesn’t have to be this way. Think about your man’s personality. Is he an alpha male, a supporter, easy-going or quiet?
Alpha Males want to be in charge, so make sure you have a logical and thorough explanation for your idea. It doesn’t hurt to stroke their egos a bit as well. Supporter men like to make decisions cooperatively, but as they’re a little more nurturing, a few more “I feel” statements can strengthen your point. Easy going men are willing to conform to your wishes, so explanations are not as necessary, but they do help build the Easy going man’s understanding of your decisions.
Sure, you can bully your way around with Supportive and Easy going men, but over the long run that builds bad habits in you as the leader. Decision-makers should always understand their own reasons for their decisions, because any type of man can question your thought process.
A final note on personality typesa: Never automatically assume a Quiet man is an Easy going man. They can be either Supportive or Easy going; the tricky part is to figure out which. I suggest you treat a man who does not talk a lot as a Supportive man and get in the habit of explaining your decisions. Not having reasonable explanations when you are asked about your actions can erode trust in your leadership.
Another aspect of communication is how you talk to your partner, especially in front of other people.  Do not humiliate or be condescending with him. Remember, you are not at the office and he is not your employee–he is your partner. Explain the dynamics of new environments before you bring your partner to them. Sure, the corporate shindig has an open cougarbar, but can he limit it to two drinks since you’re gunning for that promotion? It’s okay to coach him, but you want to make your partner feel as though he’s your teammate, not your inferior. 

These last three tips are generally good for any relationship, but especially those with traditional gender role reversals.
Don’t act like Archie Bunker or the way chauvinistic men did before the ERA movement. Be considerate and thoughtful, the way he should be towards you.  

— Consider the sacrifices your partner makes to do things with you. It may be much harder for him to get a day off from work than it is for you, and he may have to promise some extra commitment down the line. This is very important to remember when it comes to vacations and holidays. 

Finally, love is an emotion expressed through actions, not by the price tag of the gifts you get.

Cougars and female breadwinners are truly liberated women. Having control of your relationship puts you in the drivers seat, but you also have the pressure to fulfill the both the traditional woman’s role as emotional caretaker of the relationship, and the male role of “fixing” or resolving problems that occur, so take your position seriously. The person on top has the power, and with that power comes great responsibility.

Yo Jeff! Caroll is the FIRST hip hop dating coach for men and women for questions and advice email: RBGWORLD@aol.com

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Parenting 101 – It’s Motivation

Parenting 101 — Grownhead Style. by Shonda Tillman

Lately I have been trying to think of new ways to build confidence and drive in my children and I have come to a conclusion: the quickest way to build self-esteem in a black child is through a positive hip-hop song. Dr. Phil be damned – sometimes that “professional” stuff just doesn’t work. But a good beat that helps them walk around like they are the S**T never fails.

But I had to be careful. As a grownhead, I wanted to dig in my crates and grab a song that got me through hard times, but these days kids are not easily impressed. You gotta bring something fresh and new to the table. I decided to ask my black parentsold friend Shan B (who himself is a music artist) for a suggestion, but before I had the chance he unknowingly handed me the perfect song – “Gon Get It.”
Pray for the best, but prepare for the worst…

Bam, the first line of the song hit it on the head.

Now mind you, I have been saying the same thing in my best mommy pep talks all year, but now my kids instantly understand. It’s momentarily irritating, but I digress.

When it comes to my faith, I’m gone get it, when it comes to my fam, I’m gon get it, when it comes to my life, I’m gon get it, gon get it, gon get it…

This hook epitomizes everything that I want the children to remember. In addition to being armed with the WHOLE armor of God, I want them to step out each day knowing what they want and determined to get it – the right way. In our busy lives, there isn’t always time for long pep talks and hugs, and we all know that sometimes a mother’s words just don’t get through.

But a hip-hop song can be a quick injection of inspiration to ‘make good choices’ (mommy speak) and say it in a way I never could.

My choice is to live and learn or be a fool in a hearse… / work hard daily, even though they hate me, I stay doing me being all I can be…

He’s hitting them hard, and I don’t have to say a word. It’s best if I act like I never heard the song before in my life! “Penitentiary time is not on my checklist…” – awww, they’re two-steppin now! It’s time for me to step in.

So kiddos, what about that A we need to see on your test today? “I’m gon get it,” they bop. And what about that part in the school play? “I’m gon get it,” she dances. What about your promotion at work mama? “Gon get it, gon get it, gon get it.”

So #1 on my mommy checklist – build self-esteem and drive in my children – DONE! And all it took was 5 minutes and a hip-hop song. Now that’s how a real mama does it – grownhead style!

CHECK IT OUT! Bennetti – I’m Gon Get It

MySpace Playlist at MixPod.com

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IMO: Who Dat Is??

NEWCATSRookies of the Year: Break-Out Stars of Rap’s Freshman Class by Big Rob E

It seems for a minute now, I’ve heard peers around my age tell me how “Rap doesn’t have anybody good anymore,”  ‘cept for the veterans we grew up loving. Though ish’ ain’t never gonna be like it was once upon a time ago, I do see some of these new cats doing they thing.

Drake has had the big buzz for some time now. Even Ma$e jumped on his song to announce his back-to-back comeback.  Hopefully, he’ll be able to come with that album that’ll justify his hype.

I’m diggin’ this West Coast run that Cali’s own Jay Rock is on, reppin’ his projects to the fullest. There’s an authenticity he brings that’s real refreshing compare to folks now-a-days. I was late on B.O.B., aka Bobby Ray, aka B.O.B. again, but I’ll tell ya he’s pretty good. I was hating at first, but after giving a mixtape or two the time of day, he’s somebody that can hold his own—reminds me of homeboy from Field Mob (what’s goin’ with them, they was nice wit it?).

Asher Roth is another one that can do his thug thizzle (minus the thug part). I don’t like everything he’s got, but the ones I do are just fire and you know he’s not going to give you the stereotypical rap song, which I’m all about.
Kid Cudi: I’m still on the fence about him but I’m sure he’s goin’ to produce that joint that wins me over one of these days or nights.

Another cat I still consider on the new, Joell Ortiz, is just undeniable. Not only is he with this sick squad known as SlaughterHouse, but for those of you who miss the old days and want to hear something new, Mr. Ortiz’s mixtape Covering the Classics is something you cannot allow yourself to sleep on. He does justice to old skool hits in a way that lets you know that he was right there with us, going through the same experiences.

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