Monday, December 6, 2010
My Tumblr has been down for about a day or so, an absence that has forced me to return briefly to the Bruce and Carrie's son. Pardon my brief hiatus, ya'll. I've been having a ton of fun on the other platform, and neglected to let folks know where I've been. For those interested, my Tumblr can be found at : joshuabrandonbennett.tumblr.com
In other news, due to a brief bout with insomnia I was up at about 6AM this morning watching the above video. Say whatever you like about Dr. Dyson, the brother is hands-down one of the greatest orators of our generation. He's definitely in my top 3. Dr. West has been my favorite speaker for a while now, but moments like this give my favorite Cornel speeches a run for their money.
They're both Princeton guys, too. One as a former student, another as a current professor. Just thought I would throw that in there :-)
Friday, November 5, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Dag, son! I really haven't posted anything in multiple weeks. My bad, ya'll. I'm working on multiple ideas at the moment, and have neglected the blog something crazy. That being said, one of the products of my off-blog business is a newfound relationship with the brilliant folks over at Street Etiquette (which you can find via brief Google Search). Josh and Travis are two of the most humble, creative cats in the game, and it was truly a pleasure to have some time to build with them recently. We currently have a potential project in the works, so be sure to be on the lookout for a major collaboration in the future. In the meantime, be sure to check out one of their recent projects, "The Black Ivy." Crisp visuals. Brilliant concept. Classic Street Etiquette.
Wonderful things on the horizon, ya'll! God is moving, as always, and I'm just honored to be his servant, friend, and son. Please keep me in prayer moving forward. Be encouraged!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Between Colossians 3 and Malachi 6, this morning's Devotional really helped me to gain some new perspective on my new life (interesting that that's the first phrase that came to mind given where my head is right now) here overseas. I have been worrying a lot about money lately, and in the past 24 hours God has made some major moves to help ease the worry I had inside. Far too often, I am ready and willing to meditate on God's love, on his forgiveness, but frequently forget about His sovereignty. Him being Lord of my life means just that, that everything within the scope of my senses belongs to Him. It's like 1 John 4:18 says:
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
Fear has no place in my heart anymore. Whether its fear related to this Master's thesis, to my career as an artist, or to my finances. My life is not my own. It's time to focus on showing the people around me Christ's indomitable love, rather than exerting time and energy looking frantically for ways to store up treasure on Earth. Got to remember the source. I'm definitely still on the grind, but am now doing so with God's guidance. I'm driven by purpose, not by fame.Not by fear, but by love.
The clip above is featuring an artist that will, if all goes according to plan, be featured in my PhD dissertation. Her name is Monique Purcell, and her voice is out of this world. The sister's anointing is clear, and I sincerely hope that this clip blesses ya'll the way it blessed me yesterday and this morning.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Every time I watch this video, I still get surprised by the ending. Before i leave the UK, I am definitely trying to see Francis and the Lights live. One of the dopest frontmen in the game, hands down. Btw, much more introspective posts are on deck. They may in fact come out as poems. Just wanted to be sure I hit ya'll with this video first, as it's one of my favorites. Stay tuned!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
As of been late, I've been doing my best fight against the way I used to imagine, talk about, and show love. In the video above, Sho Baraka makes it clear that he and I are on the same page. This brother said, "If you're a player...grow up." Powerful stuff. Enjoy!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
One of my closest friends and favorite beatmakers, Hayling Price is truly a Renaissance Man par excellence. He hit me up the other day to listen to his (sort of) new beat tape, and to say that I was thoroughly refreshed is an understatement. Sometimes we forget to celebrate nuance and delicacy in the world of hip-hop instrumentals. Often preferring the boom of the bass to the humble hum of the keys, we fail to remember that there must always be room for groove music, tunes to relax and reflect to. Hayling's corpus of work forces us to re-imagine sonic boundaries, to unlock our palates in preparation for something new. Keys Open Doors indeed. Go get em, Hayles!
Here are some words from the man himself:
I've played the keys all my life- was classically trained by a Juilliard professor growing up in New York, played in a hip-hop soul band in Philly, and currently produce for emcees and vocalists from my home in DC. Although I know how to sample I've usually relied on my skills on the keys to guide my production. This time, instead of composing my own stuff I chose to take a different approach.
I wanted to challenge myself to find chord changes instead of make them, so I went back to some of the musicians (Ahmad Jamal, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk et al.) who have been the most influential on me and hip-hop at large. You can hear this on the intro track, which includes commentary from jazz greats and original tunes that have been immortalized by hip-hop classics. On the rest of the album, I looped and chopped up jazz piano samples up on the MPC and came up with the finished product that is KeysOpenDoors. Enjoy.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
"Polly" was my favorite movie as a child. I would ask my aunt to play it every day. That YouTube has allowed me to re-live that sort of expectant joy, even for a moment, is truly a blessing. Do you see this choreography?! It's off the chain (which has a whole new meaning, really, when you listen closely to the content of the song). It's a beautiful day to do the Lord's work. Time to get focused!
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
God is moving in my life right now in more ways than I describe. When the time is right, I will be sure to let you all now. Right now, just know that things are changing at a rapid pace, and I'm just honored to be in His Will. Love is that new wave, ya'll. Unabashed, unfailing love at all times, even when it feels like there's no way to get there. Reconciliation is always possible. I've been hurt pretty bad in my life, but I know beyond knowing that since I always desire forgiveness from those I have wronged, I best be able to muster that same courage when my heart gets broken.
This video really blessed my soul earlier today. Peep the Soweto Gospel Choir getting busy with the hymn at Calvary. Absolutely mind-blowing. Praise truly transcends any border, barrier, or box that human minds would (foolishly) attempt to create. I will always be in awe of my Creator's heart. Just look at what kind of beauty survived the depths of human malice and greed! Resilience, ya'll. Beautiful resilience.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Watching this video made my week. Even from this brief footage, I can already tell that Level 3:16 is about to do a major work for the Lord in the music industry. MCs are both off the chain (triple entendre intended) and the anointing on the vocalists is apparent from the first listen. Can't wait to hear more stuff from these folks.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
First off, I need everyone to pardon the delay on putting these videos up here. I have an undying love for Urban Word NYC as an organization, space, and family, and there's no reason it should have taken me this long to ensure that any of the beautiful people who take the time to read my (very) random thoughts also have the opportunity to hear from the incredibly youth poets who are taking the world by storm. I would have posted more videos, but these are a few of my favorites. I love you guys! Udub for life!
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
When I was in high school school, Cassidy's on-wax persona was one unequivocally dedicated to misogyny, violence, and self-aggrandization. For me, this video represents a refreshing departure from that narrative, an archived moment where this brother takes the time to utilize his lyrical skill to uplift the Kingdom.
I'm not exactly sure what this means for the rest of Cassidy's career (truth be told, none of us do), but if nothing less it blesses my heart to see these sorts of videos and be reminded that there are artists with a genuine love for Christ willing to express it in such large forums. More power to you, Cass. Hope to see more stuff like this in the future.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Told ya'll a minute ago that I would refrain from posting my own stuff up here for the most part, but to be honest, since this is footage from one of the happiest days of my life, I'm hoping you can all make an exception.
The clip is taken from my recent graduation ceremony at the University of Pennsylvania. I had the distinct honor of being the first-ever Black student to be chosen as speaker for the event, and was nervous than a mug the entire time. The Lord really came through in a major way for me that evening (as He always does) and I can truly say that all of the glory goes to my marvelous, merciful, gracious God.
Truth be told, toward the end of my Penn career, I had a number of seemingly insurmountable obstacles standing between me and graduation. There were legitimately points where I didn't think I would make it, that all those years had been a waste of time and money. I wavered in my faith, and lost sight of all the blessings I had been given. One of my best friends, Jon, told me that the Lord had brought me that far, and wouldn't forsake me.
He was right.
Now, sitting here only a couple months away from starting life as a graduate student, I've decided to use this post to reminisce, to reflect upon what a wonderful time it is to be alive.
It is beautiful life, indeed.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Had this track in my head for a minute. Just got the mixtape, and am eagerly anticipating even more inspiration from one of my favorites in the game, Blu. As I continue to work on my own project, it's great to hear others experimenting with flow and content in a way that urges one to dig deep. I'm about to go in on these tracks!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Started following Bilal about a day or so ago on Twitter. Heard this track and went absolutely bananas. Radiohead covers? That's what hot in the streets? To answer simply: I believe so, sir! Going to have to throw this on repeat as I finish up the recovery process from a recent immune system breakdown (gotta eat more apricots and such). Stay beautiful, ya'll!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Hey, ya'll. Been working on music all week, and can't seem to get away from this track that my producer sampled a minute ago. For those of ya'll unfamiliar with Marina and the Diamonds, well, get familiar. This woman's voice is bananas, and she's out there really making some incredible music right now. I've embedded one of her earlier cuts for your auditory and visual enjoyment.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
For all my Gryffindors out there (Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs too, Slytherins get no love around these parts).
This book series changed my life. I read every single installment in 3 days or less; I legitimately could not tear myself away from a new copy's pages once it's sturdy spine graced my fingertips. Can't wait for this movie!
Monday, June 28, 2010
Good morning' ya'll. Not currently in the best of moods, please keep me in prayer. It's flabbergasting to me how selfish some human beings can be. So sad. I'm kinda wishing that I kept it gangsta like my man MJ when he straight-up told Billie Jean "You are not my lover, shorty. Fall back." Or...something to that effect. I might be projecting a bit. Oh well.
Anyways, Aloe Blacc mashes the cover. Enjoy!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I'm fascinated by moments in cultural history like the one above. Since I was a little boy , I've always heard mixed reviews about Farrakhan. To some he's manipulative demagogue, to others an undervalued hero, and to all, arguably, a voice that cannot be ignored.
I was pretty familiar with Louis Farrakhan the orator. I was far less familiar with Farrakhan the violinist. What a beautiful thing it is to be surprised.
Shouts to Chinaka for the link :-)
Monday, June 21, 2010
Hadn't watched this video in a while. Figured in honor of Father's Day (I know I'm late, leave me alone) I had to put it up. Daniel Beatty remains one of my models for where I need my stage performance to get one day, and "Knock, Knock" is a bonafide classic.
Shouts to all the fathers brave enough to be the spine of their household, strong enough to fight every day against a world that says every day that they are not enough.
I love you, Dad. Thanks for coming home.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Got a lot of love for Chiddy Bang, ya'll. Stellar production, creative rhymes, unmistakably youthful feel to the music. In a moment where the "bang bang shoot em up" genre of rap is still holding on but certainly weakening its vicegrip on the airwaves, it's good to know that cats like Chiddy and Xaphoon are there to fill in the gap. Enjoy!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
This man is the reason I first wanted to become an academic 5 years ago while reading "Race Matters" on the way to school. A lot has changed since then (and I've been back and forth about pursuing academia as a full-time career) but what remains unchanged is my admiration for Cornel's ability to make theory, and theorists, accessible for anyone with a desire to listen. The way he talks about style, both in a general sense and from a broader perspective, is absolutely on-point. How many brothas you know cite Chekhov as their primary sartorial influence? C'mon son!
When I did my "admitted students" visit at Princeton this past year, I bumped into Cornel on my way to the bathroom. He was incredibly kind, and seemed thoroughly interested in knowing whether or not I was coming to Princeton. I told him I was still deciding. He said he would pray for me. Not gonna lie, I took that as a sign. Hopefully, the Lord will anoint my time there in the future. Beyond excited to get this part of my life on the way.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I've liked everything I've come across from BJ The Chicago Kid. I rarely if ever (actually never) include mp3s with my posts, but this cat is ill enough where I feel like we may have to step the game up over here at Bruce and Carrie's Son. I grew up listening to Motown, and as a lifelong fan of the classics its clear to me that there's a heavy old-school soul influence on his style. Flat out, BJ can saaang.
Doing a D'Angelo cover, and then throwing in a line about turkey bacon? Magic.
Download the Chicago Kid Lady Lady 2010 2dope mp3
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
August Wilson is the GOAT. Peep this clip of Mr. Washington absolutely crushing his monologue. Definitely trying to see "Fences" before the summer is over. As it stands, "In The Heights" and "The Color Purple" are the only Broadway plays I can recall seeing, and I would love to add a classic like "Fences" to the list. Let's make it happen!
Monday, June 7, 2010
Gotta give it up for quality pop music. As the reigning heartbreak king of the clique, this track really strikes a chord. No more searching for love (not the temporary kind at least).
I'm in super grind mode. Every day, either reading a chapter of a book or writing a song/poem/story.
"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."-James 4:14
No time to waste.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Found this, and it made my week. back before my growth spurt or poetry slams, seeing Carlton (fictional character he was) made me feel not so bad about always being the nerdy Black dude in the room. I also officially have this dance down pat. Took me about 20 years, but I eventually got there. Shouts out to progress!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
OK, I know I was hyping up Janelle Monae a couple of weeks ago. My love for the reigning queen of afropop-soul-rock-hop still stands firm. Can't lie, though. I would pay very good money to see Lady Gaga perform live. All of a sudden, I simply can't help but watch her live performances online. Haven't been disappointed yet.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
All you really need to know is that this clip deals centrally with a Danish bus driver named Mukhtar. It was his birthday.
Clip had me tearing up a bit. So beautiful to see this kind of appreciation for everyday folks. People like my father, who worked 40 years at a job that ensured people all over the world got their mail and never got a thank you. This is for you, Dad. For all the people out there who work themselves to the bone every day and never seem to get any recognition for it. You are beautiful, you are loved, and, more than you may ever know, you matter.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Janelle Monae has gotta be one of the illest live performers in the game. Always blows my mind to see what this woman can do with a stage and a microphone. Pop culture, you have been put on notice. Janelle Monae is coming to take over the world.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Found this video the day I graduated from Penn. For that reason and others, it holds a special place in my heart. Greyson Michael Chance is off-the-charts talented and will hopefully be able to maintain that voice of his for quite some time. Haven't heard a cover in a while that absolutely overshadowed the original. Shouts to the 11-year old phenom for getting a record deal with Interscope, and 17 million hits on YouTube all within a matter of months. Keep it going, my dude!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
In several seconds, my last full day as an undergraduate student will be over. No more dining dollars, no more 200-person lectures, no more bumping into complete strangers on Locust Walk. Nostalgia isn't the proper word for what I feel right now. It's more like this intense desire for time to stop moving, for the sky to crack open and deliver me a few more minutes of this sort of youthful, carefree, time. After this, it's 5-year reunions and 5'oclock shadow. Loans and light bills.
Oh well. All good things come to an end. Everything has its season. Hope the UK is ready for the kid.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Never studied this hard for anything in my life. Send up some prayers, folks. I'm a firm believer that diasporic folks have a peculiar yet powerful relationship with the ocean. Gotta channel some of that ancient, intimate knowledge for tomorrow.
I know the Lord has given me the victory already. I believe it. Claim it. Wouldn't be called faith if the easy out was right in front of my face. Going to push until the end.
Otis knows a little bit about the ocean. Shout out to Jonathan Howard for the inspiration.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Math final today. This Arvo Part track feels like the diagetic music to my weekend. Though there is initial angst, sadness, doubt, you can hear the joy threatening to crescendo at any given moment. There's no room for self-doubt right now, too much faith. Too much joy. There's a world full of people out there who wish that their greatest problem was an exam they are fully capable of knocking out of the park. I will remember them as I study for these next few hours. As I walk into that room calm and confident. Let's get it.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
This video boosted mine. Always a blessing to hear upbeat worship music. Shout out to Everett Aaron Benjamin for the link.
On a side note (sort of): This party definitely looks super poppin. Need to find one of these somewhere.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
As I am soon to be releasing (probs over the summer) a hip-hop/spoken word mixtape dealing with themes of posthuman identity, Afronautics, and generally the slippages between the robotic and the African diasporic, this Janelle Monae vid seemed like the ideal entry for this morning. Rife with surrealist imagery and flawless choreography, it's just the sort of otherworldly pick me-up you can come to expect from yours truly over the next few months. Graduation is less than a month away! Yay!
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I know the 2-week-long delays are getting old. I know. Math midterms require a little extra time for yours truly though, and graduation is a necessity, my dude.
That being said, Dylan Garity is my favorite poet of the moment. Discovered his stuff after putting my ear to the CUPSI grapevine (couldn't go this year, school is really cramping my whole other life something vicious right now) and was impressed by all the work I've seen so far. Really interesting style, knows how to make everyday images sound beautiful in a way I've only heard from a few cats in the game. Hats off to my generation for carving out some new space in spoken word. Next few years are looking up!
Friday, April 2, 2010
Shouts to my boy J Ryles for this hilarious clip. His only caption was "White men jumping."
Jumping indeed. This man Mark Jackson got posterized all crazy. After he reads this post, I fully expect a public apology to all of his fans on his next television broadcast. This dunk was disrespectful. Dynamic. Dystopian!
Ok, maybe not the last one, but you can't hate on a brother for taking the occasional foray into alliteration. It's my favorite device!
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Real life took over for a bit. Gotta make sure I graduate, and thus will be taking my sweet time with posts over the next 3 weeks or so. May 17th, this all comes to a close. Gotta make that final push and end strong. No choice.
Jamie Lidell is helping make the end of college a consistently fly experience. This man sounds like a whistling horizon, with icing on top. A paper on British soul is definitely in the works. Between him, Quadron, Adele, Duffy, Daniel Merriweather and others, I got more than enough figures to write the tough little book. Can't wait.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Not sure why I like this song so much (esp. given recent events smh) but it's been on my heart as of late, and I figured I would share. Bruno Mars rips the hook, and I can't lie, B.O.B.'s flow is slowly but surely growing on me.
Beautiful day outside. About to go soak in the sun. I implore you all to do the same.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Golly gee. I love me a good cover. Yael Naim mashes this joint. Not too familiar with her stuff, but will definitely keep my ear out for more tracks from this young lady after hearing this gem.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Words can't explain how much I love Theophilus London. Saw him perform live about a year ago. Hasn't lost a step since. Whatever song they're playing in the background is the best song I've ever heard in my life. Someone needs to find me this track before I explode. Also, him and this guy Dev Hynes remind me of myself and my ridiculous friends who dance all over the place for no apparent reason other than the orchestra in our chests (shout out to Alysia and Carv Daddy).
Sidenote: Va$htie is quite possibly the finest woman on Earth.
OK, back to studying for this math quiz.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
But I figured that the occasion called for a little celebration. Apparently, the ESPN film that I performed in over the summer has seen the light of day! The movie, entitled "One Night in Vegas" debuted at the South by Southwest Film festival in Austin, TX two days ago. Haven't seen any reviews of the film yet, but hopefully folks enjoy. After scouring YouTube for any mention of yours truly's first cinematic endeavor, I stumbled across the above trailer. Shout out to my man B. Yung for giving a great performance, as well as the director, Reggie Bythewood, for taking the risk of enlisting two young performers such as Yung and myself to help narrate his film through poetry.
According to my sources, the film drops on ESPN in September. God willing, all will work out, and this thing will take off. Thanks for the support, ya'll. Your energy helps keep me going.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Another musical masterpiece from the most strikingly beautiful woman I have ever met in my life (apart, of course, from the big sis and mom dukes).
Be still my heart. This woman can saaannng. The bass-playing ain't too bad either (in case you were unaware, it's National Understatement Day).
Also, doesn't hurt that she's covering my favorite artist of all time. Not many people can do Stevie justice. Hats off to Esperanza for re-inventing a classic.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
The fact that I sat on a panel with this man is yet another instance of the Lord doing things far above and beyond what I could have imagined in my wildest dreams. A rigorous scholar, incredible playwright, breathtaking poet, and unflinching activist, Amiri Baraka has been truly inspirational to me not only in his approach to the craft(s) of writing and performance, but also his unflinching dedication to creating art centrally focused on the liberation, sustenance, and empowerment of Black people the world over.
I'll admit, we got into a few arguments last night (about what "Blackness" actually is/means, and why it's useful in the contemporary moment as a mode of identity), but all were in good fun and born from a place of genuine curiosity and mutually shared respect. The love and kindness Mr. Baraka was truly heartwarming, and this post is the least I can do to show my gratitude. I wish him all the best in the near future, and can only pray that he continues to move and inspire all those he comes across. May God bless you, Amiri. Be encouraged.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I know this is a tad different from the concise, upbeat stuff I usually post, but, this man is incredible.So, I don't care. Percival Everett is hands down on my list of the top 25 most talented writers all-time, and is right there with Junot Diaz and Colson Whitehead for my favorite scribe of the moment. Pick up "Erasure" or "I Am Not Sydney Poitier" when you get the chance. Incredible stuff. OK, back to Oceanography.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Been working on this Thelonious Monk presentation, quite literally, for days. About to head to class in an hour or so and mash this jawn. Thoroughly boosted. To say this man was a genius is...reductive to say the least. Cat revolutionized the way we even think about how someone can potentially play the piano in their wildest dreams. Though Robin Kelley's Monk biography is painfully long, (clocking in at a little over 600 pages) I can't lie, reading this book has really influenced mt research on Black performers with disabilities. Both he and Nina Simone were diagonalized as bipolar, and I'm really curious about how present-day interlocutors of their work do, if at all, factor knowledge about their perceived difference into their listening/watching experience.
What is genius if not a deviation from how the mind "should" work? So many questions, so little time. See ya'll in a couple. Oceanogrpahy midterm on Wednesday. Not a joke, dude.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
I'm rarely if ever one to swagger-jack, as it were, but after peeping this particular video on "The Smoking Section" I really had no choice to but to re-post. Golly gee, I love history. See what happens when you dig in the crates? You find that the some of the most indispensable moments in your specific, ontological narrative (e.g. "Hard Knock Life" for myself and the rest of the hip-hop generation) come from the most unexpected sources. Sit back and enjoy.
I love how awkward Jay-Z is toward the end of the video, too. Most human I've ever seen him. Very refreshing.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Not posting this for any particular reason. Bored, in Maine, and just happen to think that this is quite possibly the funniest commercial I have ever seen. I'm sincerely hoping there is some amount of theater training that can allow me to accurately mimic this man's voice. Utter hilarity.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
After outright calling John Mayer a "racist pig"(which was problematic for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that I completely overlooked a more nuanced critique of his blatant sexism and constant re-inscription of his own White male privilege) on my Facebook status, one of my good friends, Kyle, sent me a link to this video. To say the least, it was both thoroughly entertaining and incredible informative. Take it to heart, this young man is dropping knowledge.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Heard some of my homies crush this track the other night and figured I had to share it with you guys. Thought I'd include both the Az Yet and Chicago version, just for those eclectic folks out there who can thoroughly appreciate both. I quite literally just wasted two snow days and did next to no work, so I'm about to grind crazy these next couple days. Please pray for my work ethic/productivity. Gotta get better @ closing out!
Stay encouraged, everyone. Weekend is here!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
In the midst of a brutal two-day snowstorm, I have found tremendous comfort in the Word. While hanging out with two of my best friends and brothers in Christ, (we'll call them James and Eric, for no particular reason since I'm sure they wouldn't mind me dropping their names, but back to what I was saying) I came across this video of the young bull Frankie Lymon in his prime. To say that this boosted mine is a serious understatement. The kid's poise, dancing skill, and sheer lyrical genius to be able to pen such a timeless track at an age where most of us were still scavenger hunting for hearts to call our own, to figure out what this "love" thing was that everyone kept talking about. Lymon created a simple record with a powerful message, one containing a question that we must continue to ask ourselves today. A question I must continue to ask myself:
Why do you fools fall in love (that doesn't last) ?
Question of the millenia.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Ok, so I legit feel like I'm going crazy right now. Between recent heartbreak and waiting to hear back from graduate school programs, it's a moment where my patience is being tested like no other time in my life. I've had to fundamentally come to grips with the notion that my life is not my own, that I can't decide what my future is in all the ways I would like. I will be where I am supposed to be, of this I am sure. The difficulty lies in the slaying of the restless mind, in giving everything up to God, knowing that he knows your heart but also knows what is best for you. It's painful sometimes...waiting for the future.
I've wanted to post this video for a while, mostly just because of how shocked I was that William Shatner's spoken word is actually pretty ill. Shouts to all my Trekkies out there. Apparently, Kirk gets busy on the microphone. Who knew?!
Monday, February 8, 2010
Hands down, best Super Bowl I've ever seen. Well-deserved shout out to both the city of New Orleans, as well as the notion of playing for something bigger than yourself on the world's biggest stages. In a game where the "smart" money was on the masterful hands of Peyton Manning and the seemingly unbeatable Colts, the Saints roared from behind and shocked the world. Well done.
Also, outside of the game itself, the most powerful moment for me came when I watched Drew Brees begin to cry as he held his son after the game. It was the type of vulnerability I have rarely seen on television, and certainly one of those few moments in professional sports (at least the contests I have been most frequently privy to) where love seemed to take center stage, where the most important thing in the world to Brees at that moment was his family, not the trophy. I hope to have that same sort of feeling one day, to hold my child in a triumphant moment and feel that undeniable surge of wholeness.
One day. For right now, back to the grind. Be blessed ya'll, enjoy the week. I know times may seem rough right now, but God's got us all. Whatever you're going through, just leave it in the Lord's hands.
Friday, February 5, 2010
As some of you may know, my younger brother Levi has autism. He was diagnosed around age 3, and since then I've always had this fear of what he would be able to accomplish academically and professionally. Whether or not he would ever play sports, go to prom, or touch a performance stage. More out of ignorance than anything else, I let fear and doubt govern the way I viewed and treated my brother for much of my young life.
It's funny how God works.
Levi is 11 years old now. He's has a mischievous sense of humor, is a budding snowball fight champion, and can recite entire monologues at length from is favorite movies and shows. He also hasn't gotten less than %100 on a spelling test in about 4 years. I walked into my living room this morning and there he was, railing off words for today's spelling quiz at his tempered, methodical pace with my ever-present mother watching from a few feet away, beaming with pride at her brilliant son.
The past two weeks have been quite tumultuous for me. It was a blessing to see Levi this morning and be reminded of what beauty is all around us when we just take the time to look.
This post is dedicated to him, to the brilliant mind so many people have tried to limit with labels and statistics. My younger brother is a genius the world just doesn't know how to appreciate yet. But they will. Truth always comes to light.
Who knows? We may see him on the national stage one day yet.
Gotta keep pushing. In patience, and love.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Tell em, Jacques.
Looking for that real love nowadays. The kind that's bought with a price, that costs you something. Keep the pretty words, give me the sweat. Love is sacrifice, it's work. The most beautiful labor this world has to offer.
Better yet, just peep these verses from Corinthians. They say far more eloquently in a few passages what it would take me tomes to convey:
1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Sounds wonderful. Time to start striving for it. Also, I think I may start posting new pieces up here, haikus at least. It's been a truly inspirational couple of weeks.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
On my way out of the door to go crush this gig at SUNY Plattsburgh. For some reason, this song is on replay non-stop in my head as I think about her, about what the best route is to take in this situation. Keep me in prayer, ya'll. It's a beautiful, hectic time right now and I'm trying to follow the Lord's will at all costs. It's so easy to mistake the heart for the Spirit though, ya know? To tell the difference between desire and love.
I looked out onto Lake Champlain this evening and saw a group of folks ice-fishing. My driver told me that sometimes people actually drive trucks out onto the frozen expanse of water in an effort to reach their destination quicker. I though to myself for a while about what kind of faith it takes to do something like that, about how often I'm content to bind myself with logic or fear. I've been on a lot of planes these past few days. It's time to go home. I'm ready now.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Cornel West is undeniably my favorite rhetorician of the moment. Between the sheer brilliance of what he actually says, and his nuanced understanding of how to make his intended message hit home through facial expression and hand gesture, there's not many others in the game who have so perfectly set the stage for exactly what it is I set out to do in the next decade. This clip is a shorty but a goody.
Also, peep the best author to ever live just looking all serene listening to Dr. West speak. Great to see brilliant minds in conversation.
Though it would seem that I'm walking more away from infatuation masquerading as love than any kind of substantive love in and of itself,I nevertheless thought it apropos to post these two clips. Both Ruffin and McLean capture the spirit of something wonderful in these tracks, and until recently I had never heard the original or the cover. So, for those of you out there who love someone enough to walk away from them for the right reasons, this is for you.
The Beatles once asked where all the lonely people come from. After 4 years in this place, Penn seems like a great answer. Pardon the sad energy ya'll, gimme a day or two.
Psalms 30:5. We good.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
It's shameful that this is my first post since the earthquake. Neither personal problems nor academic issues are a proper excuse. My sincerest apologies to all you readers out there for making you wait 10 days for a post. I'm gonna post at least once a day for the next week to make up for it. Don't believe me? Tune in. The kid has got a new lease on life, a new direction.
This video features masterful performer (and my unparalleled best friend) Carvens Lissaint doing his part to contribute to earthquake relief. I've got a piece on the way, and saying that it was inspired by Carv would be a severe understatement. I've stayed away from political poetry for a while, but I can't stay silent on this one. Time to pray, and then put pen to paper. Thanks for the continued love, ya'll. Let's keep progressing.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
This song is on repeat in the crib right now. I'll be back soon, got some emotional reparation to do. Keep me in your prayers, ya'll. It's hard to be righteous in a world that rewards simple answers.
On another note (kinda), this man goes in. Tell 'em, Luther.
Monday, January 11, 2010
With the boo as we speak. Felt the need to put up this flyyy song as an homage to the flurry of feelings that have hurricaned through my abdomen these past couple weeks. CBR goes in on this one. I might have a problem if even a fair number of Black British woman look and sound like Miss Rae. A problem indeed. Oh, the ways of my winged heart.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I'm feeling pretty good right now. In ways I never could have expected or anticipated, the New Year has welcomed me with open arms. I've got a bunch of creative projects in the works, a heart that's the lightest it's been in ages, and one semester before I dive face-first into adulthood and test out this education I've spent all these years accumulating (in that vein, I recently learned how to use a semi-colon properly, craziness). Both graduation and Great Britain are growing ever-closer, and I'm doing my best right now to take things a step at a time. I'm doing my best not to hold myself back, to live without fear in a world that markets caution like it's all that can save us. I'm trying to let go of anger, which is proving far more difficult than I could have imagined. I want to be a better writer, son, brother, partner, performer, student, and leader, but becoming better requires sacrifice. It requires work.
It requires love.