Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Good ole Boys in Blue...

Story is about 10 days old. Lesson is timeless. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. We need to start having serious consequences for officers who engage in this kind of psychologically traumatic, potentially dangerous behavior. Clearly this dude wasn't in the Christmas spirit...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Just in time for the holidays...

Getting in some last minute holiday shopping today (shameful I know), but before I descend upon the mean streets of NYC in hopes of copping some fresh, heavily discounted gifts for the fam, I figured I would send you all this early Christmas gifts. As I hope you all know by now, I may quite literally be one of the world's biggest Lupe Fiasco enthusiasts in the Tri-State area. Word to Big Bird. Straight up, the man is simply the most clever, complex writer the game has ever seen. If you don't believe me, peep this snippet from "Angels" off his Enemy of The State mixtape:

"Uh, said she was a fan of mine
Knew she was New Jersey, but said that she was Anaheim
Butterflies turn to suicides, now it's phantoms flying
Used to whisper in my ear, but now she tryna 'vander mine
That holy feeling (Holyfield) all gone, slowly feeling all wrong
None of this is satisfyin', pull it over, let me out
I'll just hitchhike back to mine
Nothing's really as it seems, yeah I shoulda known that
Thought I called a angel, devils had my phones tapped"

Stop. That's all ya'll get for today. Peep the above vid for more from the illest of the ill.

Blitzen? Really? Ya'll thought my man was going to embody Rudolph, but nah. He went all obscure, making sure you know your reindeer history. Classic Lupe.

Enjoy the holidays, ya'll. Keep God first.

Monday, December 21, 2009

All the hatin' stops here.

Some people apparently don't like James Cameron's widely anticipated, disgustingly expensive,soon-to-be-Oscar-winning film "Avatar". Those people are...foolish. OK, maybe that's a bit reductive. Let's try again.

Some people don't like "Avatar." While I largely disagree with many of these folks on the premise of their arguments (regarding the "shoddiness" of the storyline, plot holes, etc.) I can also understand some of their concerns. The whole "White man intervenes and saves the natives" undercurrent running through the film bothered me as well, I won't lie. So did Jake Sully's (and most of the human characters with the exception of the bloodthirsty ex-Marine commander) lack of charisma.

Yet, even these least two issues couldn't really take away the magic of the film in my eyes. It was simply too aesthetically robust, too masterfully told for my critical eye to ruin this particular trip to the cinema. There were points during "Avatar" where my eyes welled up with tears, either at the sadness of a particular narrative moment or sheer awe at the cinematic spectacle taking place before my very eyes.

This was not just a movie.

This was more akin to taking a trip inside the mind of the most hyperactive, imaginative 4-year old on the planet and not wanting to leave. I experienced immeasurable, uninterrupted joy during those 3 hours; losing myself in the pulchritudinous threads of an ornate web of sights and sounds that just wouldn't let me go, couldn't. It was quite honestly the most fun I have ever had in a movie theatre, hands down. I simply felt and thought things that I never had before. I was both uncontrollably excited and undeniably tranquil, caught up in Jake and Nyatiri's love story even as I fumed over the all-too-real warmongering, racist, xenophobic statements being made by the film's villains. By the way, while I'm on that note, the anti-war critique as well as the extended metaphor about climate change were incredibly well-done. Some of the most beautiful writing I've come across in a while.

OK, I'm done. Go see it for yourselves, people. It's time for me to pack and head home anyway. Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

For all my Harry Potter fans

Absolutely hilarious. Just what you need to get you through dreary Saturdays like this. Hang tough, better weather is on the way.

In closing, let me say: "We've only got one Hippogriff!"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Before I go...

Finals time has been drop-kicking me in the chest without respite. Enjoy this Mos Def video that essentially sums up the trouble with love, heartache, and the lack of vulnerability so many of us are trained into from birth with a brevity and ease that truly wracks the soul. Mos has always been a favorite of mine, but this one really takes the cake. Once I return home, their will be a hailstorm of posts. Promise. For now, I need to kick back, listen to music, and drink my pomegranate tea. Holla!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Reflections written on the salty air of New England

As I write this, I am sitting on a BoltBus from Boston truly floored at all that I thought, seen and felt over the past 24 hours. To be honest, this trip wasn't one I was sure I could make. Spoiled by a recent history of pre-paid transportation, stipends for food, and audiences large enough to fill my middle school gymnasium twice over, there were times over the past 2 days where I just didn't feel like taking two buses and a train needed to get to the small lounge in Boston (the Cantab) where I had my second-ever poetry cafe feature last night.

Sitting here now, I can't imagine having done anything else.

Not only did I get to see a number of my friends from the national collegiate poetry slam team, (shout out to the Gringo Choir) as well as the legendary Omoizele Okoawo (one of my personal faves), I got to hear one of the most incredible open mics I've witnessed in a long time. The pen game in New England is vicious. Brilliant material, rigorous editing, and honest performance. Can't wait to come back for CUPSI.

On a slightly different note, I've been feeling a lot of anxiety about traveling so much lately. With England looming, I have this strange desire to cleave a lot closer to my friends and family, who I know I will miss terribly. This is just something I have to do, ya know? The Marshall is a once-in-a-lifetime type of opportunity, and fear is no reason to call a blessing a burden. Still, I will miss this place. I will miss home. Guess this is the part of growing up people always gloss over. The letting-go. The whole, finding your own path (and health insurance) thing.

In times like these, I thank God for my friends. They've held me birthmark-close these past few months, and I can't imagine what not being around them for a year will feel like. What my brother's blossoming voice will sound like to the ring of 13 years old. The look in my mother's eyes when my degree comes in the mail. The plane ride to London, and the first time I touch a microphone on foreign soil. I hope to think on all of these things without breaking into pieces, to dare to imagine no matter how painful it may feel at first.

I said earlier this week that I was going to start digging deeper. Welcome to the first level. Feel free to sight-see while you're here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Derrick Brown gets it popped

If I could only explain in words how much I love this poem. This is for everyone who, like me, was a lover and a nerd at the same time who just couldn't seem to avoid the wrath of bullies. Sometimes losing is not only o.k., it's for the best. Shout out to the Elephant Engine Highdive Revival Tour, these cats are doing some great work out here.

On another note, I was recently inspired by my good friend Hasan Malik over at My Soul Itches to get much more thorough and personal with my posts. I've been cheating you all lately due to the intense academic rigor of my Senior Fall at Penn, but rest assured this space will be one of heightened self-reflexivity, honesty, and my innermost thoughts real soon. Love live life.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Looks like I may be blogging from London in the near future....

Frankly, I'm pretty hyped right now. The reason? Apparently, yours truly will be spending all of next year in the United Kingdom on one of 35 Marshall Scholarships awarded this year. Ya'll can check the write-up here.

I'm apparently the first African American in Penn's history to win the award. To say that this is a tremendous honor and incredible blessing are understatements to the umpteenth degree. God is truly doing a might work in my life, and the Marshall is merely the latest manifestation of my Father showing out. I'll be earning a Masters of Arts in Theatre and Performance Studies, so it looks like my dream of teaching both African American Literature and theatrical performance in a University setting may not be as far off as some folks seemed to think. It's all coming together, ya'll. Thanks for riding with me.

As far as the video, I love this song. No other reason, really. Pixies go in.

Monday, November 30, 2009

When violins vibrantly verbalize a versute vigilante's voice.

Dilla. Nuff said. Pardon the absence, got great news I can't drop till tomorrow. Shout out to Marcus for the link. Chea!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Big weekend

As I embark upon both the Fall Excelano Show and the day when I potentially find out whether or not I will be studying in England next year, I have to decided to take this moment to officially stop stressing out. Paul Dateh is helping with this.

Peep the intersectionality, homie. This man sound's like classical and hip-hop having a boxing match where no one loses. Simply beautiful. Well, I'm off. Stay tuned, should be an interesting set of weeks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My oldhead

This piece is friggin incredible. I'm def trying to get my persona poem game up.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Throwback for Pop dukes

My dad mentioned Bill Withers in our ride home together last week, and as half this blog's name is a direct reference to him, I figured I would let my man get some shine.

As a side note: I find the fact that Bill Withers was a stutterer until he was about 28 years old truly fascinating. Never let the mind limit the body.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Illest boy band ever

1. Talk about challenging restrictive norms around gender performance.

2. No boy band is touching the Jackson 5 (The Temptations don't count, they were a man band). Lol, man-band.

3. This video irrefutably proves that Michael Jackson invented pop-locking. OK, I'm being a tad bit tongue-in-cheek here, but I would love to see footage taken before this where somebody breaks it down the way he does during "Dancing Machine."

4. I need to finish these grad school applications. Now.

5. I may also need to get an afro, MJ's jawn is looking super-fresh in this clip.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gorillaz x Marvin Gaye.

Pure dopeness. I'm not even that much of a gamer (outside of NBA Live and Kingdom Hearts, of course) but DJ Hero looks like a must-cop. Shout out to Cassius Q for the link. Listen close, the way these tracks are interwoven is nothing short of masterful.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gotta love the 80's

Pardon the paucity of posts. Got a scholarship interview this weekend, it's not a game. In the mean time, enjoy what is arguably one of the illest live performances of all time. Been watching copious amounts of Michael as of late. Sequined jackets, Superman curl, white sock/patent leather shoe combo? This was the king at his peak. Prepare for an intense fit of nostalgia as well as a brief spell of wonderment when you look really closely at Tito's outfit. Oh, the 80's....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wow. Been waiting so long for this video.

So, as I found out via Facebook (what else?) yesterday, the White House apparently posted the video of myself and several other (much more seasoned and thoroughly accomplished) artists performing in the East Room for the First Family and a number of cultural luminaries last May. Peep vids of homegirl, Esperanza Spalding (whom I proposed to that evening and got a response of "we can make that happen"), the unflappable creator of the Tony-Award winning musical "In The Heights," Lin-Manuel Miranda, and because I've only posted a vid of myself on here once, yours truly.

Seeing so many people of color in the White House is moving beyond words. The ancestors would be proud.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A first for me

For those of you who regularly read Bruce and Carrie's Son (brilliant scholars, artists and lovers that you are) you know that I never post videos of tracks. Avid hip-hop fan though I may be, you will rarely if ever find me putting a song up on here that doesn't have a live-action video choc-full of dancing, poor acting, etc.

Simply put, I had to make an exception for Jay Electronica's "Exhibit C". This verse is up there in my top 10, all-time. Yeah, I said it. For me, that puts it right alongside Lupe's "Theme Music To A Drive-By," Andre's 16 on "Humble Mumble" (listen again if you don't think that verse is absolutely bananas-straight-off-the-tree-fresh) and Jay-Z's classic, yet sadly under-researched, "Breathe Easy."

Just wait for the part where my man says, call me Jay ElecHanukkah. Absolutely ridiculous.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this ludicrously lyrical Louisiana MC, I've included an interview for introduction purposes. Two videos in one day?! Where else but over here at B&C. Keep it locked. I'm on a creative kick right now and the blog is about to pop. Word is bond.

Shout out to my boy Hayling for sending me a transcript of the "Exhibit C" lyrics last night. Always good to know that us hip-hop nerds have a network we can tap for such necessary resources. Anybody else with the inside scoop on such unadulterated dopeness, feel free to drop a line. Deuces!

Friday, October 30, 2009

An ode to...sweet tea?

Already posted this on my Facebook page, had to bless the blog. The sheer musical talent and improvisational genius of Black folks never ceases to astound me. Granted, as a fan of healthy eating and a staunch opponent of violent, hypercapitalist exploitation I sorta wish the men and women in this video had chosen a different subject matter to so beautifully elocute in 4-part harmony. Oh well. Gotta take what you can get sometimes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hammer Time!

Today, I'm going to take a break from the introspective prose and break ya'll off with some pure video goodness. Between a History midterm and coming down with some sort of Mediterranean stomach virus over the past day or so, its been a rough little period for yours truly. This YouTube clip helped brighten the day a bit. Oh, how I wish I was around to witness things like this and jump in. If anyone reading knows where and how these events get organized, be sure to let the kid know. I am sooo down for participation.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Metaphors like missiles

Absolutely genius. To replace bombs with stanzas of poetry is the sort of historical reenactment/revisionist that every scholar-artist dreams of. Potential pollution aside (for all you justly critical environmental activists out there) this project is one of those few works of art that seems to me a nuanced meeting of the political and the poetic, an exemplar moment that fills the lacuna between the arts and activism in a manner without appearing paradoxical. Here, political and personal history take center-stage and neither is privileged above the other; stanzas become figurative bandages over old wounds and a city of people get the shock of a lifetime. What a day...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nerd swag on deck

I wouldn't say that I'm a Brett Domino fan, per se. I would say, however, that this man is an incredibly talented musician who seems to almost effortlessly capture the essence of nerdhood with every stroke of his keyboard, guitar hybrid-thingy. Dude is uber-creative, and has honestly inspired me to consider buttoning up my shirts all the way in the near future. Honestly think it might be a good look. Shirts would have to be really colorful of course. With some skinny jeans and Blazers? We may have a new stylistic direction in the works. Oh boy...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Todos tenemos problemas que tienen solucion"

Ok, so I'll admit it. I had never heard of Hector Lavoe until I saw the mediocre (yet still underrated) film "El Cantante." Occasional lapses into the realm of poor acting aside, Marc Anthony did a great job of presenting Hector's incredible music and riveting back story to a score of folks who had never before matched a face to the mind-blowing salsa music cascading from ventanas de carros y restaurantes.

Here is just a brief snippet of the master at work. This joint in particular inspired me to sign up for salsa classes. I'm telling you, my dance repertoire is about to be so on-point...

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm laying down a beat. For you. Keep going!

Both wildly popular and thoroughly hilarious. Shout out to my boy Dennie for the link. Whenever I watch this video, it makes my day. I hope it does the same for you.

Big gig with Sunni and Shihan at Howard University today. Should be dope. Come show love if you can!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back on my poetry ish

First, gotta send a shout-out to Amy Everhart. Being the first woman to win the Individual World Poetry Slam is a huge deal and a long overdue moment for the slam art form. From my brief history with Amy's work, I know that taking home the world title was a hard-fought, much-deserved victory. My hat is off to you, Miss Everhart. Well done.

Secondly, I have to take a moment to talk about just how much I love the Denver poetry slam scene as a whole. I was first introduced to their youth slam team in 2007 and have simply been floored by every poet I have seen come out of the greater Denver area since. Ken Arkind, Ayinde Russell, Andrea Gibson, Lucifury, the list goes on and on. All, from my experience, both singular performers and incredibly down-to-Earth people. Their poetry is a crafted mix of social consciousness and a love for the abstract, a prime example of what can happen when exquisite writers see fit to step onstage and let their spirit fly free.

As a young writer/performer, Denver poets have truly set the standard for me, and I can't say enough how grateful I am that there are still so many folks in spoken word dedicated to putting out quality work (particularly when they are all concentrated in one area like that; it just isn't fair). Check out "Flowers of Hiroshima." Vicious.

Monday, October 12, 2009

For those who can pull an all-nighter for the first time

This video quite literally propelled me through my excruciating paper last night. Shout out to the homie Thiahera for the link. This kid is supremely talented, be sure to check out his other stuff. Sorry for the brevity, gotta go to class. Can't wait until these applications are done!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

All of the Doom will stop soon, I promise. Understand that I'm in a phase.

One of the illest tracks ever, in spite of having its name mispronounced by Carson Daly and being thoroughly unappreciated by a rather lethargic audience. The way Doom and De La's obscure lines and non-traditional flows meld together on this song is supernatural. The beat is less an instrumental and more a conductor, using its various moves to bring their supremely odd individual voices into harmony. Rock.Co.Kane Flow is certainly one of the tracks that ushered me into the realm of the hip-hop head. Haven't left since. Listen to The Grind Date to fully grasp the lyrical barrage going on here. If you don't feel like it, that's cool too; more fun for me. Also, peep the DJ doing The Robot in the background. Absolutely hilarious.

On an a slightly unrelated note, this week is ultra-hectic.Back and forth to NY twice in two days. I need to apply for some sort of BoltBus frequent rider pass at this point...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Stevie's sweater is super fresh

I taught this video in a workshop I gave at NYU yesterday (which was also hands-down one of the illest extended moments of my life) and received rather dope feedback from the folks in the room. We all, in our own way, described what takes place in this video as one of those rare instances of utopia in performance. No ego, no barrier between genre, vocal styling, race or gender, no ploy to bombard Americans with subliminal advertisements for products they don't really need.

Here, it was only Quincy Jones and his magic hands. A river of shimmering voices doubling its strength to dilute the power of a global epidemic. Seeing Springsteen and Stevie in the same screenshot still gives me chills to this day. In the workshop, we discussed whether or not "We Are The World" could happen in 2009. Who would be there? What would the song sound like? Who would take Quincy and Michael's place in not only organizing the event, but bringing all of the disparate voices into a triumphant harmony? In a sense, these are not solely logistical questions, but theoretical ones as well. What such an event would require is the type of selflessness and departure from divahood that few major figures in music seem ready to embody. To do so would fly in the face of the very "swag" that has helped fuel their careers to the astronomical heights they have reached. Sometimes humility and love are simply bad business. But, who knows? Maybe I'm wrong.

I hope I'm wrong.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Whatchall know about this?

I kid you not, I used to have a Take 6 videocassette that I would play on a semi-weekly basis as a young'n. Wasn't really allowed to listen to anything but gospel during my childhood, so these folks were my Boyz II Men, Dru Hill, and 112 before I'd even heard of any of those other cats. When I came across this video (quite accidentally I might add) the other day, a slew of memories rushed back like a moon-drunk tide. Feels good to remember. With all the craziness that's been going on around me, the opportunity to reflect on my childhood is one that I don't take lightly. It's my senior year, and the reality that I won't be returning to Penn next fall is one that is slowly but surely sinking in. Guess I'll just have to brace myself, become a kite without a string to guide it. No more strings attached. Time to fly.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lyricist Luchadors

Came across this video while doing Doom research. One of the funniest moments of intercultural exchange via YouTube I've seen in a while.If anybody knows the source of the video, be sure to drop a comment/hit me on Facebook. Looks like an exciting show to say the least. Enjoy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chilling in the monastery

This track helped me get through my Beowulf paper this morning. Shout out to Monk for making timeless music when the brain grows too tired to press on. Would be more wordy today, but the GRE is on Saturday and ya boy has all types of work due over the next couple days. Let's get this poppin.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Touched my spirit

First, somebody needs to go give these little boys' mama some props for getting them in church early. Always warms my heart to see young people with a heart after the Lord. Second, I'm slightly jealous because I had no type of obvious talent outside of reading really fast until I discovered performance poetry at age 17. These kids (whose names are Darius and Demetrice if my Facebook is to be trusted) are 8 years old and going in on the singing game all types of crazy. Third, it was already an optimistic sorta day. This video just helped make it even brighter.

I feel like Darius and Demetrice are great examples of what can happen when you expose kids to the arts at a young age and take the time to help them grow. Now, I can only hope their literacy/mathematics game is on point. Somebody needs to check that out for me if you know them and send me an e-mail. Seen too many little Black kids with incredible talent and no one willing to take the time to make sure the intellectual piece is taken care of as well.

But, that's enough pontificating about adolescent education. Fellowship application time is winding down, and I am quite literally a few drafts away from being able to relax for a bit (apart from extracurricular activities, performing and actual schoolwork lol) so I'm greatly looking forward to the next few months. It's the weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The brief wondrous life of MF Doom

The fact that an Ivy-League honors thesis has anything to do with the above video is a testament to any number of things. The first may be that I'm a fool. The second, that I have little respect for the traditional (read: White, male and deceased) American canon and have a desire to put cats like Doom in conversation with Herman Melville (both have fascinating takes on the boundaries of male identity, particularly when it comes to disfigurement. Think here of Captain Ahab's peg leg as metaphor smashed against any Doom record where he talks about about his own non-normative body, about the need for the mask). The next few posts may deal indirectly with my thought process as grad school apps and a draft of my honors thesis approach.

I'm thinking Paul Beatty, Doom and Junot Diaz. What do they have in common? Ask me in about 2 months. I'll have a rather fly answer by then. Promise.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Because it's hard being of African descent at Penn sometimes.

I know the video is already a YouTube phenomenon, but its message is ringing particularly true for me today. The clutched purse move is a classic, but I've been experiencing a much more nuanced brand of racism as of late.

The fearful look at night on the train.

The confusion at my anger over an ignorant comment in my African History class.

The silent bewilderment when I say where I go to school.

The eyes that scream, "I have no explanation for you. Black boys aren't usually found around these parts. How did you get here?"

One of my older family members said yesterday that Governor Paterson should know there are certain things Black folks just can't say. That he's been Black long enough to know that.

Maybe that's why I blogged about this instead of standing up in class today and shouting it, instead of forcing everyone to see me, really see me, for the first time. Not as performer or anomaly, but man. A fragile man whose skin isn't bulletproof.

This is the most honest piece of writing I have created in a long time. The video is funny but the reality isn't. Back to the mask for another day.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Random moments of Blackness pt. 1

Lol. That is all I will say for right now. Whether this brother is supremely talented or absolutely wildin' out I can't say at the moment (it's more than likely a mix of both), but what I can say for sure is that I was thoroughly entertained watching this. More power to you, brother. Keep doing your thing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Because you make my heart feel like a bottle rocket

It's a problem when you start dedicating blog posts to people. Pretty lady, you know who you are. This one goes out to you. For being the music on those days when my chest feels like an empty dancehall no one will ever step foot into, here's a live performance from my favorite band ever.

For all those who still remember how to love, pay Robert Frost no mind. He was wrong; some things do stay golden. A bond built on trust is one of them. Be the light you want to see, ya'll. Be somebody's training wheels without being their crutch. Fill a life with music.

Pardon the lofty language, folks. Today was a good day.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Posthuman identity all crazy

OK, I know what you're thinking. Why would I post this blatantly problematic video on a hip, socially conscious blog like Bruce and Carrie's son? Truth is, there are several reasons (none of which are strong enough to cancel out the blatant objectification of women in this video; Sorry, ya'll). Well, first, This man Drake is nice: "I knew this girl Amy, she used to AIM me." What?! Fire. It's Kanye's best verse in over a year (if you disagree, post a comment and we can have a uncivilized debate), and The Dream is, well, The Dream. Plus dude clearly got in the gym so his swag is on a hundred, as it were.

Further, I'm truly fascinated by hip-hop's recent turn toward directly addressing the technological realm in raps. Between the Trey Songz/ Soulja Boy "lol smiley face" effort and Kanye's entire 808 and Heartbreaks album, I may have to revisit my academic interest in the intersections of cyberculture and Black music. Well, let me get into grad school first. Then maybe.

Back to GRE prep, golly gee.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

From running down receivers to receiving the Rhodes

This man inspired me to apply for the Rhodes. Real rap. God willing it all works out on that end, but either way it's reassuring to see brothers out here pursuing multiple passions and doing them all at such a high level. If I find out this man writes poetry or does theatre it's a problem.

Take that, Charles Darwin.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back to school time...

OK, so New Student Orientation wasn't really poppin this year. Met some cool folks, but overall this year was a real reminder of the lack of resources available to people of color in spaces like Penn as far as parties go. Often times, one either has to deal with the thinly veiled racism of "certain" fraternity houses or relegate ourselves to smaller venues barely able to adequately fit all of the folks who desire to dance within its confines. These kind of moments make me yearn for spaces where it clear that I, and those who share my cultural background and interests, have a place we can call our own. A place that was made for us. Oh, the musings of the angst-ridden Black male twentysomething. Morehouse is looking real good right now. Knew I should've taken that scholarship...

Ok, maybe a that's a little over the top.

Still, though I love certain aspects of Penn I've got to admit that I'm becoming more aware every day of the level of violence done to the Black psyche by something as simple as consistently having nowhere to party on weekends. All a brotha is asking for is a place to two-step. Why is this so difficult?!

In that vein, shout out to my man Dave. Party last night was crackin. We need some more of that around here. Alright, well I'm off to a meeting. Until next time...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

When the Brady Bunch meets the Baptist Church

I really just have to give props where props are due. These dudes can flat out sing.

Also,I find the choice of the "Brady Bunch" theme to be particularly interesting given the clear Black gospel roots of the singing style here. The juxtaposition of the soulful, heart-wrenching song stylings of CraigLewis with the White upper middle-class narrative presented by the shows like the Brady Bunch makes for a really fascinating moment of Black musical performance here. Sorry, ya'll. Sometimes the Josh the Budding Academic takes over and I don't know what to do with him.

More to the point, somebody needs to sign these cats if they aren't with a label already. Best voices I've heard in a while, hands-down.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chasing Robeson

So, as of late I've been on this whole "Renaissance Man"kick. The poetry thing is dope in and of itself, but I have the inner desire to see what other underdeveloped talents I may have lying latent beneath the surface. As of right now, I'm leaning toward acting and Pecha Kucha (it's crazy, Google it when you get the chance). Neither of these are a huge departure from the realm of spoken word poetry and performance, but I figure that taking baby steps is crucial in this process so that I don't step too far out of my lane and look like a buffoon.

When thinking of Renaissance men, two folks immediately jump to mind: Paul Robeson and Jamie Foxx. The latter is featured killing it in the video above. People don't realize just how multi-talented Mr. Foxx really is. Between being an incredible comic (both his stand-up and sitcom work are impeccable), his skill as a singer and range as big-screen actor are in the upper echelons of either craft. Gotta get on this man's level. Very necessary. I'm also considering taking up a new sport for recreation, maybe begin running again.

London Marathon 2011? Sounds good to me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Just passing through

Been thinking about passing as a new theme of my work for a while now. Coming across Adam's poem was a welcome surprise. Sorry for the delay, ya'll. School is about to be back in session and preparations must be made. I'm going hard on the blog the rest of the week though to hit you with a plethora of fresh posts before the inevitable September drop-off. By the way, this dude is ridiculous. Hope he comes out for the Nuyo slam next year, would love the chance to potentially be on a team with him.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's scary

Really want to see this movie. Been getting kicked around by life and love lately and need an escape into some beautiful screenwriting. Thumbsucker looks like just the type of film to take me there, to a time when things made more sense. When friends were actually friends, when love meant love.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Introducing: Clayton Bates.

I just watched the latter half of the classic film "Tap" earlier today, and my mind quickly flashed to the first time I saw the herein embedded video of Clayton Bates. Bates was not only an incredible dancer, but a striking example of how often disabled men and women are left out of the moments of Black performance we communicate to each other through oral and written history. It's almost like Black disabled performers have to pretend that their difference is nonexistent, cast it as an unfortunate, negligible circumstance rather than a celebrated part of their identity (think here of how you've never heard a Ray Charles song that even references his blindness,or a Ying Yang Twins track about cerebral palsy).

The same argument could be made about race I suppose, but there are a number of Black performers with disabilities who addressed their racial background in their work (e.g. Stevie Wonder and Nina Simone). Still got a lot of ideas to work out, but I'm in the process. The main goal is to provide a historical counter-narrative to the one we're always given; one that seeks to render disabled Black musical performers invisible, or at the very least to only take up the parts of their identity deemed worthy of mention.

It's looking like my senior honors thesis is going to deal with this very subject, and Mr. Bates is certainly a welcome addition to the body of work I plan on creating, a set of essays and poems interested in giving many of these folks the props they deserve. I can't wait to see how it goes, and hope that I have enough time between touring and other schoolwork to give the proper time and energy to the research project. Keep me in your prayers.

In the mean time, peep this dude's skills. What a showman.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The next step for yours truly...

Ok, I need to step my game up. Both writing-wise and in regard to cinematography. Poem? Vicious. Setting? Gorgeous. Andrea Gibson? My favorite poet of the moment. Again.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wow. Just...wow.

Never been much of a fan of police (being a Black man in the United States and all) but this has got to be one of the worst incidences of overt police brutality I have seen in a while. This idiotic police officer cracked the back of this elderly woman's head open with a body slam for no apparent reason. You're a trained "officer of the law," and you can't even restrain an older citizen without forcefully throwing them onto the ground. You've got to be kidding me.

I don't expect there to be consequences for this officer's actions. I never have. My parents taught me better than to expect justice from an unjust system.

My condolences to this elderly woman and her family. I pray that she makes a full recovery, and that her situation serves as a wake-up call for people trapped in the mindset that post-race, or social equality, or any of those other pretty little phrases are coming to save marginalized folks any time soon. We've got to push back for ourselves. Stay hopeful.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

A bullet cannot hurt an ocean.

Ok, so I know I'm going really hard on my poetry kick lately, but I had to share this piece with ya'll. I just returned from Florida (for research/vacation) and while I was out there decided to stop by the National Poetry Slam in West Palm Beach in order to interview my homie, Ion for my upcoming research presentation as well as partake in the festivities at hand.

Overall, though I didn't get to see many performances I will say that there were a few that stuck out to me in particular. St. Paul (who would eventually go on to grab the 2009 title) had some incredibly ill work from jump, Nuyo, both Denver teams, Urbana, and a number of other squads I was privileged enough to view via video recording or live performance impressed with both the sheer creativity and solid writing of their pieces.

One such piece is the above: "Volume Knob." To be frank, this jawn is vicious. Shout to Ken, Bobby, and Lucifury. Some of the illest old heads out, word to my pen.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

For all the ladies...

Simply stated, men are entirely too judgmental when it comes to female body type. Somehow, even when we are ourselves outlandishly skinny or the size of a small hippo we manage to make snide comments about female passersby or women we see on television. I'm currently in Miami for vacation, and my brief time here has made me far more body-conscious (as I am regularly around men who look as if they bench-press dinosaur bones before they come to the beach). It's one of the first times that I have thought about body image in a while.

During this transformation, I have thought regularly about just how often women are told through both advertisement and idiotic lovers that their bodies are not good enough, that they themselves are little more than a conglomeration of fleshy parts too imperfect to be attractive (now, I'm tempted here to talk about simulacra and Jean Baudrillard, but I'll save that for another time). What I will say however, is that we must remember how beautiful we all are in ways both too grand and minuscule to be perceived by the naked eye. Sort of like walking abstract paintings, that sometimes are only recognized as masterpieces by those with the experience needed to appreciate our color scheme.

Thus,whatever your shape or weight, have fun this summer. True, exercise is healthy, but far too often folks spend a whole lot of time and money chasing a prototypical body image that is unrealistic; a machinic mannequin engineered by a hypercapitalist culture industry to make us buy more and more to get closer to the fantasy. Stick it to the Man this year; love yourself.

I wanna be sexy like compassion...yeah.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I sing because I'm free...

I've been hesitant to talk about my faith outright on this blog for a while now (mostly for fear of alienating any of the folks who take the time out of their day to read it); but, today's post isn't so much about religion as it is about my joy in seeing God's hands at work, particularly on young people in marginalized communities. In a cultural moment where we are every day reminded of just how lazy, violent, hypersexual, unintelligent, materialistic, and irresponsible young, Black people supposedly are, I love taking the opportunity whenever I can to shout out young brothers and sisters doing beautiful community work and being unafraid to be an outspoken, unashamed vessel for Christ.

Check out this video from the Mississippi Children's Choir. Judging by the clothing of various people in the clip this was shot some time in the mid-90's. Judging by these young people's voices there is certainly something wonderful in the water down in Mississippi. Prepare to be moved beyond comprehension. Shout out to Khira for the link.

Friday, July 31, 2009

When hip-hop meets Hogwarts

For those of you who don't know, I'm actually one of the biggest Harry Potter fans in the world. My motley crew of friends on a daily basis use terms such as Muggle, Slytherin, and Tom Riddle to describe those we dislike, and more than once I have invoked a broken Sorting Hat as the explanation for my relationship woes. This brief background is meant solely to prepare you for the lyrical greatness that takes place in this video. Shout out to Carv for putting me on to it. Voldemort is the man.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My homies go in.

Featuring Carvens Lissaint, one of the four newest members of the Speak Green Team that will be performing at Sundance in 2010. This man is nice. Step your vulnerability game up.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My childhood hero

Ya'll know you used to love this jawn. This man's sweater game was vicious. Peep a young Larenz Tate conspiring against Urkel in the corner. Such a shame.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I hope that you're the one...

Outkast "Prototype" from Michelle Van Der Water on Vimeo.

I just completed a 30 page paper in which I close-read this song for a veerrry long time. There's definitely a lot going on here. Recently, I've been rather interested in Afrofuturism, cybertheory, and what the benefits are of posthuman identity particularly for Black musical and stage performers. Alex Weheliye and Kodwo Eshun have been incredibly helpful, but I'm really trying to make an intervention in performance/hip-hop studies with this stuff. The possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


This man inspires my life. Listen close.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bianca thinks rainbows are like angels.

Spent the last couple days chillin with this man right here. A consummate professional, incomparable performer and undeniably brilliant writer, Brook Yung is (as I often tell him) my arch-nemesis in the poetry game. Always one to keep me on my toes when it comes to producing new work that is both listenable and subversive, I can truly say that my drive would not be where it is if not for the visible passion and drive evident not only in this young man's poetry, but in his work ethic. Just seen the brother fly from New York to Chicago to France to Chicago to New York in 3 days. The embedded piece is one of my favorites from him. Get home safe, king. It was good building with you.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Shout out to Harlem.

Sorry for the hiatus, folks. Been coaching at Brave New Voices 2009 for the past week and have had absolutely no internet access. I'm incredibly proud of the 2009 Philly team, they all did their thing and I will be sure to put up some of their footage when I get a hold of it. Each told their individual stories and had a personal breakthrough of some kind; a collective transformation I was overjoyed to behold and honored to play a part in.

Still, juxtaposed against the beauty of this year's BNV was a cloud of rumors, and the appearance of serious misguidance by the powers that be.

For the first time ever at the festival, I felt as if some of the voices that I was hearing were tailored by a mix of YouTube and overly aggressive coaching. Replacing the raw, uninhibited voices I was so used to coming across were poems that at times seemed forced, etched from the stencil of BNV teams past in an effort to attain the highest score possible and eventually win the competition.

Now, don't get me wrong. Only a year ago, I was one of the most competitive cats to ever touch a microphone. A relentless, calculating strategist more times than I care to remember, I have on various occasions forgotten to indulge in the beauty that so often sprouts from poetry slams in favor of concentrating instead on attaining victory. It is that sort of energy that lingered over this last festival; unnecessary choreography,a lack of substance, and a blatant refusal to support other teams. While this week made me unspeakably joyous at moments (practicing with the Philly team,watching Saul Williams perform live twice, seeing old friends and making new ones) there were also instances where I genuinely feared for the future of the art form, where my face buried itself in my hands in a mix of confusion and sadness over what so many young folks have been told that they must sound and perform like in order to be successful.

I earnestly hope that spoken word poetry,(and slam as arguably its primary vehicle), does not devolve; does not become so concerned with the validation of the mainstream that it forgets its roots, does not become a product to be sold to the highest bidding sponsor. I hope that the people who spoke their own truth this weekend continue to do so and refuse to let whatever happened in Chicago bruise or break them.

I hope that there are more folks like Brandon Santiago, who spoke a powerful truth into my heart this afternoon. Like Ittai Wong, who shared an incredibly vulnerable moment with me after his team, Hawaii, took the title for a second year in a row. Like Alysia Harris, whose honesty and willingness to forgive never ceases to astound me. Like Team Philly, Team Denver, Gregory Corbin, Urban Word,all of BNV '07-'08 and the thousands of poets I have seen, heard and grown with since.

Never let someone else define your voice,poets. Take back what is yours and make it whole again. Who you are always has been, and always will be, so much more than enough.

Shout out to Jorge Brito. This piece goes in, it's straight from the heart.

Monday, July 13, 2009

T-Pain who?

I'm a fan of the "Rapper Ternt Sanga"as much as anyone, but nobody will ever reach the heights of vocoder-laced greatness ascended to by Zapp and Roger Troutman. Peep this live performance of a personal favorite. Goodness gracious, listen to that talkbox...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Joy boooosted mine.

Just....enjoy. Reconciliation feels good. This song is the embodiment of how I feel right now. Chea!

Friday, July 10, 2009

For when your body feels like an elevator you're stuck in.

Shira Erlichman is definitely one of the illest poets in the spoken word niche of performers that completely push back on the notion that traditional narrative structure is the only way to tell a story. "Daddy's Parking Lot Sermon" is a roller-coaster ride of images and undeniable truisms, all bound up within the package of an invaluable message to the generation coming up after us. Shira Erlichman is fresh, hope to see her live show one day. Apparently she also plays the guitar.

Who says poets aren't multi-talented?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

This post has been in the works for a minute...

I've written about "gettin lite" before. The last time I did, it was the form of an extended post on my former blog from my sophomore year, Ethos. I discussed the NYC dance movement as one that was,

"this incredibly fluid amalgam of musical influences that span the last century of African-American dance culture combined with hip-hop swagger and an undeniable NYC flavor that eludes any sort of label that my limited vocabulary could place on it. It’s breaking, tap, vogue, ballet, miming, pop-locking and probably many other dance forms that I’ve never even seen before all compacted into one ever-evolving, indescribable package that has literally taken parties by storm in the New York City area for the past couple of years..."

Further, I wrote:

"Gettin’ lite serves not only as a means of cathartic release for youth that are far too often told to sit down and be still within the confines of decrepit NYC school systems, but also as a medium through which the stringent borders of hetero-normative behavior and race can be pushed. Within this incredibly complex culture, you have dance crews composed of members of various genders and ethnic backgrounds who battle fiercely for bragging rights and YouTube hits; crews ranging in name from The Brotherhood to the Fast Food Club all dancing their hearts out anywhere they are allowed to circle up and get the party started the way they see fit. These young men and women are warriors fighting through the difficulty of their everyday realities using their craft as a means of both enjoyment and expression in a city that that took art class out of their curriculum and left them nothing to replace it with"

This past week, during a conversations with my 6'4 lighthouse of a best friend (shout out to Gryffindor House), I came across one of the illest dancers I have seen in a while, Kid Tokyo. It's just...something about his approach to the form that strikes me as rather remarkable. I would go far as to say (in a world where so few things are) that is style is truly singular, undeniably unique.Keep doing ya thing, Kid. You're clearly building a name for yourself.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Absolute musical genius. Somebody needs to write a book about acapella performances of hip-hop in Black youth culture. Between the above video and the gaggle of "gettin lite" videos currently dominating YouTube, there's really some interesting stuff going on with youth of color across the country making, and dancing to, their own music (without, mind you, what many of us would consider "instruments"). I hope these kids record this song ASAP and put it out. It's certainly no sillier that current radio fare and I personally have always recognized the importance of Johnson and Johnson products, though not necessarily of the baby lotion persuasion. Enjoy the clip, these kids are dope sauce. Wipe them elbows!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Rough day.

Today, I got hit in the face by a tree while reading a book I spent 25 bucks on. Ouch. While I nurse the wound, enjoy the soothing sounds of my favorite songstress of the moment, Feist. Someone please explain the video to me when you get the chance. I have no idea what's going on. Song is dope though. Hooray for aesthetics!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The epitome of doing a lot with a little

Check out my man, Red. This dude goes in. Hip-Hop at its finest; no machines, no microphones, just a man and his mind. Go on, Red. Go on.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I will personally foul anyone who comes at this person, Illy, foul. What?!!!

Illecism is may favorite unsigned MC (now that Drake has signed with Young Money). Everyone who is not onto him, get focused. Though content-wise dude definitely needs to work on the misogyny, violence etc. (what rapper doesn't at this point? smh), in terms of raw lyrical inventiveness and clever punch lines there are certainly few nicer with the pen than this man right here. Check out this clip my boy, Ev, put me on to. Extended metaphor is sick; listen close.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

With grad school on the horizon.....

Searching for graduate programs is quite the endeavor. As my "work" (if I can even call the two or 3 serious research papers I have written in my lifetime such a thing)at this current juncture is primary concerned with disability, popular culture, African American fiction and performance, finding a potential home is proving to be trying beyond all expectations. I want to produce a body of scholarship that is both subversive and accessible, respected for its academic rigor and adored for its potential to reach the masses. I want both the professors and the peeps to love my stuff. I feel as if I need them to; need to know for myself that I'm making a difference across lines of educational access and class privilege with the work I put forth.

Dr. Johnson has been incredibly helpful so far, and clearly his own trajectory serves as quite the model for what one can accomplish when they relentlessly pursue their artistic passions and are able to put it in conversation with their academic interests. Seeing folks like him, Dr. Mark Anthony Neal, Dr. Salamishah Tillet, and Dr. John Jackson (to name a few among the scores of folks who have helped me get to this point) makes it undeniably clear to me that such a path is possible; I am just having trouble mapping out that road for myself.

While I go continue to search for programs, enjoy this footage of Dr. Neal speaking at the Theorizing Blackness conference which took place at the Graduate Center at CUNY over a year ago. Feel free to follow up with clips from the full speech on YouTube, it's certainly worth a listen. That reminds me, shout-out to everyone from my (Il)legible Blackness class in the Fall; our weekly discussions made all the difference. Wouldn't be on this path without ya'll.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Illest battle rapper ever...perhaps.

Iron Solomon VS Jin from Executive Nick on Vimeo.

Iron Solomon has always been one of my favorite battle MC's.From the first time I saw him in his bout against Math (one of the most hotly debated battles I have seen in a while) I have been impressed with his wit, ability to incorporate his written verses seamless into his impromptu bars, and general ability to entertain. In a medium overrun with braggadocio and graphic violence, Solomon brings an artful approach to the craft. He's an MC's MC, and I can't wait to hear a musical project from this guy. I know the jump from battling to the booth can often be a rocky one (e.g.Jin), but Solomon is cat I believe could really pull it off. Only time will tell. I'm also waiting to see him face some real competition (where is Serius Jones when you need him?). It's cool to see mediocre rappers get demolished once in a while, but I have grown weary of the one-sided battles he's participated in that are currently posted on YouTube. If you wanna be the best, you gotta beat the best. I haven't seen him do so.

In the mean time, enjoy this clip of Solomon destroying the aforementioned former Ruff Ryder in this Fight Club footage from a little while ago. Brace yourselves, this one is brutal.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Black Nerds Unite!

Sorry for the day off folks, had to take some time and finish up this research proposal. My project ended up being about Black male utopian stage performances (will explain in full detail at a later date once the paper is finished, and, hopefully, publishable), and in that vein I have decided to provide ya'll with some ill footage of my homie, Ion, the 2009 Nuyorican Grand Slam Champion, crushing this culturally subversive, absolutely hilarious piece about all things nerdy. Shout out to Mo Brown and the whole 2009 Nuyo team. Can't wait to hear about ya'll killin NPS this year. Second shout-out goes to Alysia Harris for writing a "Black nerds" piece with me earlier this ear. Third shout out goes to Obama and Urkel, the two flyest nerds ever.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tender Forever - My Love (Justin Timberlake Cover) // A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Tender Forever is arguably my most random musical discovery this summer. While on my new favorite website, blogotheque.net, I decided to veer away from my usual faves like Sigur Ros and Patrick Watson and opted instead for the young woman you see playing the ukulele in this video. I don't even enjoy her voice that much, it's more the aesthetic created by the longing behind her words, this palpable desire to inhabit the vicinity of the distant lover she's crooning for in this cover of the well-known Timberlake track. I've got her EP, The Soft and The Hardcore, and was more or less unimpressed but definitely dig one or two songs on there. Most of the tracks are less than 3 minutes, so if you've got some time to kill check it out. I've been in a "anxiously anticipating falling in love" type of mood for the past couple of weeks, so this vid came just in time. Shout out to my homegirl J for echoing my sentiments earlier today. If I meet the wife tomorrow, I'm content. Keep holding your breath, love; I'll see you soon.

Friday, June 26, 2009

RIP Michael.

I heard of Michael Jackson's passing while riding on a bus in downtown Evanston. The news at first seemed outrageous, ungrounded...impossible. If nothing else, I have always imagined the King of Pop as a figure of indisputable immortality, a moon-walking mix of man and machine that would live as long as I did. MJ played a pivotal role in my life, he was one of the few artists that I could listen to in the company of my parents, and certainly the catalyst/primary inspiration for the love of dance that has stuck with me to this day. Much like many of my contemporaries who like to cut a rug occasionally, it starts and ends with Michael.

Usher, Omarion, Justin Timberlake whoever; show me a cat poppin and sliding across the stage who doesn't cite the King as their primary influence. Dude could flat out perform.

It's looking like my final research paper may in part be an homage to MJ. He was a radical in ways that are far too often left unexplored. I'm ecstatic to get the research underway, and sincerely hope it all comes together. I also want to send out my sincerest condolences to the Jackson family for their loss. Many of us were deeply pained to lose him as an artist, I can't imagine what it must have been like to lose him as a brother or son. My prayers are with you.

Let us dance in his memory, ya'll. A collective moonwalk to honor the memory of the baddest to ever do it; the smooth criminal who stole our hearts. RIP Michael, you will be missed by all.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

For the moms.

Yesterday, I was brought nearly to tears by a conversation between myself and my oldest brother, Tirrell. Not tears of regret necessarily, but more so of epiphany. What I realized through our conversation (which ranged from discussions of what to look for in a wife to wild college stories and back) was just how much of a cornerstone my mother has truly been for my entire family. Growing up, I was never particularly close to my half-siblings (I have 3), and until very recently did not make it a priority to reach out and begin building the type of bond that I have always wanted. Through conversations with Tirrell, I have become privy to stories about my mother that I never would have known otherwise; narratives about the ways in which her undying love for all of her husband's children has helped keep us together over the years. For her endurance, passion, and commitment to walking through life with an open heart and sincere tongue, I wanna give Mom dukes a shout-out today. Love you, Ma. Never forget it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chillin with Legends

As many of you may or may not know (based either on knowing me or peeping one of my more recent posts) I'm spending this summer doing a research fellowship out here at Northwestern. Thus far it has been nothing short of amazing, and I have been moved beyond words by the sheer brilliance of the folks I'm meeting out here. There's about 20 of us (in my cohort) from schools all across the country doing research in fields ranging from Queer Studies to biochemistry to music cognition. In other words, this group of kids is uber-dope. My particular research project this summer is in the field of Performance Studies, and I will have the pleasure of working with arguably the foremost Performance Studies scholar in the country right now, E. Patrick Johnson. I've included a clip of his recent performance at Penn of a section of his critically acclaimed one-man show/ethnography "Sweet Tea".

In my honest opinion, Dr. Johnson is a scholar-artist without peer, and probably the best present model in academia for what I hope to do one day with my craft. It is my dream to find a way to combine my passion for education with my love for performing in a way that is politically powerful and thoroughly enjoyable. Videos like this assure me that such a future is not only possible, but within arm's reach if I stay hard at work. With that said, I need to get back to my weekly reading assignments. Paz!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

There's a lot in a name.

So, I'll admit it. When I first heard/read about the Dirty Projectors in Rolling Stone Magazine, I was left with a fistful of confusion and a dash of utter disbelief. Their sound was essentially categorized as (if you will allow me to paraphrase) indie rock meets futuristic R&B. I cannot readily recall ever hearing of an entire band referred to as R&B, and am sure I have never known that sort of niche genre specificity to be given to a group of really hip, quirky White people. I came to the table with high hopes and no reason to believe they would be met.

To say it plain, listening to Dirty Projectors is like having a carnival on the surface on your eardrums that occasionally makes it way to the innermost recesses of your brain and explodes into a flurry of vermilion snowflakes. It's that serious. Dave Longstreth has an incredible voice, and the production is unlike anything I have ever come in contact with before. It's a rush of blood, a blossoming dream, a first kiss and fresh peach cobbler all rolled up into a delicately gift-wrapped package of chikka-chikka-wow. Check out their album, Rise Above; it will change the way you perceive sound. Word to Brooklyn.

Don't believe me? Check out the video above and tell me different.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Truth...beautifully spoken.

In the past couple of weeks, I've been doing my best to break away from this intense writer's block. Feels like a fog made of paperclips is sitting on my brain with no sun in sight. In essence, I need to write some new material and have been desperately searching for inspiration. During these tough times, the closest I have come to putting pen to page and making a masterpiece has been the moments in which I've listened to Andre Gibson's latest effort, Yellowbird. Best poetry album I've ever come across, hands down. It's not even that I love every poem on the disc (because I don't, though I am indeed enamored of almost all of the pieces given 2 or 3) it's that there is this raw honesty in Gibson's work that I aspire towards. Hopefully something comes soon. In the mean time, enjoy this live performance of one of the rawest cuts on the album.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Return

OK, so today is the official beginning of my Northwestern University experience. Already met some cool heads, blew forty dollars at CVS on shampoo and aloe vera (gotta keep that chocolate skin smooth for the ladies). In other news, I am in desperate need of a haircut. But, as many of you know, my lineup is dear to my heart. Truth be told I'm not sure how I feel about risking its survival by going to an Evanston, Illinois barber shop. Looks like a trip to downtown Chicago is in order.

Anyways, I've been doing my best as of late to get more bi-coastal with the musical taste. My homie EnMar put me on this video. Peep the kick game; I was thoroughly salty when I saw all these teenagers so much fresher than me and in a music video. Sheltered childhood and 4 years in private school. Smh.

Jealousy aside, the track is hot and it's about to be my new ringtone. Also, since it's looking like the rest of this summer is dedicated to researching and writing new pieces, expect a more steady flow of posts from yours truly. Paz!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Summer time!

To all my devoted readers,

My deepest apologies for my monthlong hiatus. But, I have returned bearing gifts.
First vids up.Slam of the ages. Craziness!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

This just kinda freaked me out

Mind over matter, son. There's nothing you can't do. Need that mindset going into Finals lol

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wow. The world is getting out of control.

The title says it all. Cars and jewelry are one thing. Robbing somebody for a box of chicken is a different beast all together. We need to unite, folks.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

And they say that the youth aren't creative....

Over the past few years, I've been in a state of utter awe at the ever-evolving nature of popular dance in New York City's youth dance culture. From gettin' lite to flexing, the sheer virtuosity and physical brilliance of these young men and women never ceases to astound me. Peep this vid from Pearl Studios. Also, keep in mind the invocation of posthuman identity by the flex crew "The Mutunts". Lol, had to throw some nerdy academic stuff in there.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The love of my life

Ok, so this is more of a personal message directed at my homegirl who refuses to give me the time of day; Nikita. With mahogany rocking chair skin and eyes like nostalgia, I can truly say that there are few who have taken my breath away with such frequency or ease as this young woman. Shout out to the Creator for etching such a beautiful being into the tapestry of my everyday existence. Betcha by golly wow, babycakes. You sure are a tornado of a woman. One date before graduation can't be too much to ask. Right?

Ok, I lied. Sue me.

My bad, guys. Three posts today! Shout out to Sphinx! The following video is an inside joke meant for a few folks. Holla at me!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wow. I promise, never this long again.

Alright, so I know it's been almost a month, an unacceptable hiatus for a blogger of such prolific nature as myself. Thus, over the next week I'm gonna hit you guys with a maelstrom of posts to make up for the slackage. Just been super stressed over the Truman Scholarship, British Poetry midterms, and too many gigs to count. I need a day off. This song brought a smile to my face so I figured I'd share it with you. An oldie but a goodie. Holla!