Against fire hoses, attack dogs, nightsticks, segregation, and COINTELPRO, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. faced many obstacles in leading change in America. Marching through the sweltering heat of the south and into the hearts of many Americans as a hero, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King helped to lay the foundation for a better way of life for all citizens of this country. Below is the documentary "I Am a Man," which features Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's last words and last fight for equality. As we remember King's legacy, let us not forget to keep striving for the promised land:
Sign on the Jazz Walk of Fame in Algiers
One of my favorite shows on TV right now is Treme´. So, having the recent opportunity to go to New Orleans was very exciting for me. Not only was I excited about seeing the city where my favorite show is set, but more so, I was excited to be in the birth place of American music. As a musician, I saw this as my pilgrimage to Mecca. Standing in Congo Square where slaves once roamed and and played instruments, I was surprised that there weren't more people in that section of Louis Armstrong Park, but then again we really don't appreciate Jazz in America like we should. I also walked around the Basin St. area that was once known as Storyville. During the evening on Canal and Bourbon St. a youth jazz band played some of the best music that I heard during my stay. Bourbon Street was alive during the evening, and lived up to its reputation. I ducked in and out of various venues and bars to listen to different bands play everything from jazz to rock and RnB.
My time in New Orleans wasn't all about music, however. I also was interested in experiencing the infamous cuisine of city. I had all of the staple dishes: po-boys, beignets, gumbo, muffalettas, and jambalaya among other things. But the thing I anticipated most was the acclaimed fried chicken from Willie Mae's Scotch House. Well, I was disappointed in Willie Mae's – after making the trek up to Treme´ on Monday, I found a note on the door saying they were only open on Tuesday through Saturday during the summer. I went back to Treme´ the next day, to check out another New Orleans legendary spot called Dooky Chase's. It was fantastic. I had the buffet that included red beans and rice, seafood gumbo, jambalaya, greens, some delicious green beans, and some of the best catfish I've ever tasted. Did I mention the fried chicken was top-notch. The desert was incredible! I'm not even a fan of peaches that much, but the peach cobbler they served for desert made me a believer.
On my next visit to New Orleans I'd like to listen to more jazz bands and maybe catch a second line in action. Also, I would like to hang out more in the neighborhoods. Sure, taking the trolley down St. Charles through Uptown was fun, but I wanna see whats poppin in the Magnolia–or do I? Lol.
April 2011 Cover of Fortune Magazine
I recently was reading the latest Fortune Magazine cover story on the current state of Twitter. Since everyone and there mother is utilizing the power of the tweet, this revolutionary company is always the microscope. With its plethora of leadership issues and lack of product development, The company will be under greater scrutiny as competitors continue to gain market share. Having read the cover story, I found these points most interesting:
Twitter's lack of ad revenue needs to be rectified quickly. Thus far, ad sales seems to be the only viable revenue stream that produces results in the social-networking world. Twitter has become big enough and influential enough that the bottom line is the most important aspect of the company.
Twitter's user activity is indicative of how the digital era is. With so many upstarts and alternatives, most people only stick with a service for a short time and then its on to the next. Also, the ability and the necessity to have accessibility over multiple platforms has caused usage to shrink from a metrics standpoint. It becomes more difficult to analyze exactly who is using your service when its being used over a wide variety of websites, applications, and mobile devices.
The world is shrinking with each technological advance. At some point I think we'll see a company develop a site that incorporates the best of Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Stumble Upon, Tumbler, Digg...etc, basically becoming "THE" social network; everything to everyone. This might be a little too ambitious, but maybe Twitter will become it once it bolsters its product development and figures out which direction it wants to fly.
Read the full Fortune article here.
If you haven't heard it yet, listen to my Twitter song "Tweet Tweet (Jungle Bird)."
"You don't have to be gay to act like a f*ggot, you don't have to be a man to act like a f*ggot." These words from Chris Rock's Kill the Messenger resonate with me as I think about the latest news regarding Kobe Bryant's outburst at a referee, after being called for what he believed was an ill-advised foul. The NBA Commissioner came down hard on Kobe, issuing a $100,000 fine. Kobe publicly apologized on the radio, clarifying that he meant no harm by his words and that in the heat of the moment his emotions caused him to say what he said. This whole ordeal is what made me think about that Chris Rock comedy special. In the special he talks about the Grey's Anatomy ordeal when Isaiah Washington called T.R. Knight the F word. Chris stated that you have to take it into context, "were they arguing?"
I look at it the same way. Part of me believes, yes the word is derogatory because of the history of the word (Much like the N word), but another part of me believes in the context of the heat of the game, Kobe was not making an anti-gay statement. Furthermore, if the referee is not gay I don't think it should be viewed as anti-homo. For most guys I feel the word has become another word for punk or b*tch, not not necessarily a word spewed with anti-gay sentiment.
The fine is all about money. I watched the game and I didn't even see him say it because they switched camera shots away from Kobe as he was saying the word. Live TV is recorded on a delay in case obscene things like this happen. Networks have learned from Janet Jackson's Super Bowl performance. The NBA has to keep up its image at the behest of its corporate sponsors, and since Kobe is such a well known figure the commissioner may have felt greater action needed to be taken. Making Kobe the "example" may or may not have done any good, but I wonder if the commissioner's decision has brought on unnecessary attention to the league?
I leave you with this joint from west coast group Pacific Division:
I was reading a USA Today cover story about the sexual behavior of college students of today. It seems that more "hooking up" is occurring in lieu of actual relationships because of the disproportionate numbers between males and females -- Since women outnumber men in college, men have the upper had in negotiating these sexual terms according to the article. Hooking up can be anything from kissing, touching in the Nether regions (like some of yall used to do on them school trips, mmhm don't lie), oral sex, or sex (bong chicka wah wah), and can have titles attached to it like the oh so famous "friends with benefits". The article also sheds light on the abstinence movement that seems to be growing from previous years. They cite personal preference and having other more important responsibilities such as work, as reasons for this growth.
I think that both men and women need to take more responsibility for themselves and each other. Women should set higher standards for themselves and men should respect women more. Now I'm not perfect, so I understand the temptation that presents itself if you're around girls who will let you do what you want with them, but as men, being created first by God, I think we have an obligation to show restraint in indulging in our lusts and to treat women with honor, respect, and care for them in spite of what they may allow us to do. I say this because I once heard a sermon where the preacher said Eve bit the apple first, but it wasn't sin until Adam did it. On the flip side, women need to figure out how to use, not misuse their power (Y'all know what the power is ladies ;) in a healthier way. I don't think "hooking up" produces any long term benefits, because it's a respect thing. "Yeah I'll hook up with you and as long as you givin, I'm takin", but is a true respect ever produced going that route? That's one way of viewing it.
The internet age that we live in has made these kinds of interactions easier to engage in. First of all, everyone seems to be "plugged in" to some electronic device 24/7, whether it be cell phones, computers, iPods, etc. Also, social networking has seemingly become more important than human to human interaction. In perpetuity, relationship skills won't be developed and the easier option of just hooking up with your "friend with benefits" becomes the norm.
We need relationships as human beings. Healthy relationships. Relationships where sex is used to strengthen the bond between the two individuals, not as a bargaining tool to become boyfriend and girlfriend. Again, I'm not judging if you hookup or not, I just feel that with the divorce rate in this country as high as it is and the amount of single women that there are (especially in the black community) authentic relationships need to be developed for the good of the community.
Read the full article by clicking here and let me know what your viewpoint is as you listen to Ciara.
So, I've been making changes to this site and this blog is one of those changes. I've been debating for a while on whether or not I had the time and patience to start blogging, but after much consideration I felt that my unique viewpoint would be of interest to you all (I mean that in the humblest way, haha). I also felt that having a blog, functioning as my Welcome/Home page, would be a better way to share any breaking news and current events regarding my music, and also allow us to have open discussions as you leave your comments below. Keep checking back. There are more additions to come in the near future!