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Posts Tagged ‘hip hop’

keep-calm-and-love-boondocks

The Boondocks T.V. show theme song starts with a righteous Bible quote.  Who knew?  People who paid better attention in church knew. Psalm 118:22 says “The stone that the builder refused (rejected) has become the corner stone.”   In Matthew 21:42 “Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”

Of course, Jesus was referring to the world’s coming rejection of him.  The Boondocks rapper is referring to  Blacks treatment in America.  I love these verses because we all have people in our families who favor some and reject others.  I would be sitting in a glass corner office of an Atlanta law firm today if college money was divided fairly among kids in my family but why cry over spilled milk.

We still have family members who turn their noses up at blood…at kids mind you.  In Matthew 20:16, Christ said “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called but few chosen.”  Of course, you need to cut family and old friends off when they are bringing everyone around them down and they refuse to hear and act on wise counsel.  I want to live long enough to see which kids will be wildly successful.  It might be the ones whose characters was tempered by adversity like the “niggers’  of old and not like the modern day “niggas.”

I am 50 years old and the America of my youth isn’t the America of today.  The N-word is used constantly on Boondocks but liberals on MSNBC can’t tell me what to say and hear.  The lovely actress Regina King voices both kids on the show and if she is cool with the context I am too because she has a gold-plated hood pass from being on 227 and Boyz In the Hood.

Boondocks Theme Song – Asheru

I am the stone that builder refused

I am the visual

The inspiration

That made lady sing the blues

 

I’m the spark that makes your idea bright

The same spark

that lights the dark

So that you can know your left from your right

 

I am the ballot in your box

The bullet in your gun

The inner glow that lets you know

To call your brother son

The story that just begun

 

The promise of what’s to come

And I’m ‘a remain a soldier till the war is won

 

Wow, this educated lyricist hit hard with “I am the ballot in your box…the bullet in your gun.”  On some level, Black youth seem like the rejected stone that could be the cornerstone.  In politics and policy, leaders make decision with little consideration of large segments of the population.  We can’t grow as a nation if the troubled 20% continue to be a drain of resources and counterproductive.  In reality, everyone can’t be on top—someone has to lose.  But, the playing field must be fair so every kid has an equal shot.

The geniuses behind Boondocks design the show to provoke thoughts about the Black man in America.  The grandfather is a veteran of the civil rights movement who moved his grandsons to the Boondocks for a better quality of life.  Of course, suburbia has problems also.  It’s the same old story about Blacks struggling to get our slice of the American pie.

So, I am watching a documentary on corn on the History Channel and I couldn’t stop thinking about the development of this crop compared to the development of people.  Corn is genetically engineered to improve; it’s a hybrid.  Heterosis, hybrid vigor or outbreeding enhancement is the improved or increased function of any biological quality in a hybrid offspring.  An offspring exhibits heterosis if its traits are enhanced as a result of mixing the genetic contributions of its parents.

On Boondocks, Riley and Huey are brothers but they are heading in different life directions—one intellectual progressive and one thug.   Inside Black America, am I the only person concerned that we are breeding the worst elements with each other and therefore creating a hybrid screw-up?  How many Black professionals have only one child or none and how many troublemakers have a house full of future troublemakers.  In a free society, we can’t stop people from breeding with whomever they chose but still…dam.

Republicans can say this and Democrats can say that but improving Black America starts with listening to people like Colin Powell as he softy pushes the West Indian sensibility of his upbringing.  Yea, many of the Blacks from the Caribbean are more success than other Black Americans because they don’t play with education, family association and generational development. You just don’t come into their families and get teens pregnant with careless disregard.

On the documentary about corn, they state that heterosis creates hybrids that are better than they parents.  With people, I call that moving forward.  Are we looking at a generation of Black Americans who are inferior to their parents?    As the last line in the Boondocks theme says, I am going to remain a soldier until the war is won.  The question is where the battlefield is and who the real enemy is.

 

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Greed+WEB

Big Business (BB) runs America and the politicians are really their public servants.   The agenda of BB is making money and they don’t care who gets trampled in the process.  For example, the hip hop/bling bling culture seems natural or organic but BB is the wizard behind the curtain.

So, kids will kill each other over sneakers but these youth aren’t on the varsity.  They play sports on video games while kids in other parts of the world are preparing for the changing global economy.  We are not talking about the greatest generation that won the second World War or their children who pushed social justice in the 60s and 70s.  The kids today often seem like rebels without causes.  They will die defeating blocks and neighborhoods they don’t own.

$200 Gym Shoes

$300 Handbags with $10 cash inside

$2000 Rims on $900 cars

$100 Plain White T-shirt

And corporate executives laugh all the way to the bank.  The so-called ballers in music rarely own a recording company; they simply own record labels that are subdivisions of companies.  If the real money is in branding and merchandising, the hip hop guys (Jay-Z, Kanye, 50 Cent) are designers who make some good money but they don’t own factories that manufacture clothes in their old neighborhoods.  Master P from New Orleans is the main hip hop mogul who owned a record company and envisioned actually pressed the cds in his own plant.  Most of the others still have a plantation mentality and they aren’t the ones in the really big house.  I have never worn a chain—wrought iron, silver or gold.

The central theme of this blog post is that companies push a hip hop culture in which youth want to be hard, street and thuggish.  The youth are then untrained, unemployable (face tattoos) and unaware.  So, kids who want the most expensive items are least prepared to legally afford said items.  Some (not all) of these young people ended up wasting their lives away but they turn to the government for help in providing for their families.  The corporate agenda becomes a costly governmental expense.

“They are hiring at the fast food joints and those farmers need help harvesting their produce.”  Are you kidding me?  The kids from the hip hop culture don’t do work like that – it’s beneath them.  You can’t pop bottles of $300 champagne in the club with those wages.  Unfortunately, some youth turn to getting paid the fast way—ski mask way as Biggie rapped.

Now, those youth are in the prison system at an annual cost that is more than teachers, soldiers and policemen earn.  Oh, there are corporations running those facilities also.

 

In summary, we need elected officials who spend time explaining the limited role government to the people.  And yes, the liberals don’t seem to understand that there isn’t some big never-ending pot of money.   “The government should make sure everyone has a good house, a good car and a well-stocked frig”  That life would be socialism in theory.  We live in a democracy—your standard of living should be directly related to your actions.  Current lawmakers need to spend half of their time as law/budget explainers.  Oh, the corporations are the produce the campaign contributions that keep politicians in office.

I might be wrong but this is the beginning of debate we should have.

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This election year is an important opportunity to change the mindset of policymakers and citizens.  Most elections aren’t contested and seem more like coronations.  But, fighters should continue to fight the good fight because the stakes are so high.  We should use the debates and campaigns as platforms to unveil new and better approaches to old problems and situations because status quo simply isn’t working.

Status quo:  To me, status quo with candidates, political parties and policymakers involves the far Right telling everyone what they should do as you would address children and the far Left trying to help everyone with their problems after the problems occur.

Solution:  We need lawmakers  and policy makers who speak clearly and frankly to the people about the role of government and about personal choices, decisions, and consequences.  We need a fresh and different mindset about how we carry ourselves.  “Carry ourselves” is old school Black heritage; it harkens back to the days when we knew who we were and whose we were; times when Black people sought the opportunities to achieve and strive without encumbrances. Today, many of our encumbrances and obstacles are self-made.

Most politicians know that their abilities to improve our nation are limited by reality and fiscal constraints but those so-called leaders are reluctant to say that.  Presidents Kennedy, Reagan and Obama basely said the same thing: ask not what this country can do for you, ask what you can do for this country; government is the problem.  Some might be surprise that I put President Obama on that list but I think he is a “do for self” person who is hamstrung by party politics.  The post-presidential Obama will be so beneficial to the spirit of this blog post.

The good fiscal news is that my solutions are free, cheap or low-cost.  It’s all about K.S.A.  Oldheads will remember that Knowledge, Skills and Abilities requirements were once part of the federal government employment application process. But, I still think in terms of young people getting knowledge from those who went before them, developing skills to function smoothly in life and understanding their God-given abilities.  Politicians and candidates always speak to youth about soaring like eagles and bla bla bla—there is plenty of that “wind beneath my wings” talk out there.

But, it’s time for some substances…some tools….some meat.  I wrote a blog post years ago called “A and B before C and D” that asked leaders to encourage if not demand that government spend more resources and energy preventing problems and life crisis than addressing the growing numbers of people with messy situations.  To be honest, most people with troubled lives walked right into their circumstances.  Did momma, daddy, school, church, friends and the police beg them to get on the right track?

(Here is the part when a moderate Democrat admits that the conservatives are right about something.) You almost want to say forget them; they made their beds when they ignore the warning and stop signs.  But, you can’t because idly watching human suffering isn’t very Christ-like.  What about 2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

U.S. Congressman and Senate candidate Jack Kingston is one of my favorite lawmakers.  I kicked it with Jack at a RNC Club one night for 15 minutes alone 20 years ago and he outlined his career-long efforts to advocate for Southeast Georgia.  It blew me away to learn that Kingston wants to consider having kids who eat free school lunch clean the school or cafeteria to pay off their tab or whatever.  Come on, Jack…that’s jacked up.  I think Jack is really thinking that parents without lunch money for their kids should be shamed into going to work…. “get off your fat behinds and provide for yours.”  What ticks off reasonable people are the fact that people who need help are sometimes the same people who are too good and too proud to flip burgers or harvest vegetables.

We are approaching this wrong.  We must find a positive way to encourage personal responsibility and achievement.  To be honest again, leaders need to speak knowledge and wisdom to help replace the home training that isn’t taking place anymore.  At the same time, that old school home training needs to take place and young people should delay starting families until they have themselves together.  The writers of this blog welcome the opportunity to talk with any campaign staffers seeking to mix our thoughts and ideas into their approaches.

And the first mindset change involves video games and hip hop music.

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To me, video games and hip hop music are eroding the foundation of my community.  What are we going to do about it?  First, I love art and hip hop, like blues and jazz, is an original American art form.  When the kids on the corners and in basements in Brooklyn and the Bronx created rap, it was a creative way to express themselves.  Later, rap music was medium to communicate concerns about inter-city life and issues with the police in places like Los Angeles.

But, I draw the line with NWA, Ice Cube, Easy E, Dr. Dre and Tupac.  Those guys were urban poets who use lyrics to reflect hardship and pain.  The hardest segment of current hip hop is glamorizes and promote thuggish ways.  The little fellows want to be thugs and prisoners more than scholars and businessmen and the teen girls are setting the women’s liberation movement back twenty years.  Hey, I guess liberation includes the right to be a garden tool who emphasizes body over heart and mind.

Dig it; the inmates are running the asylum literally and smart kids are acting dumb just to fit in.  Students study English in school but use this street dialect at all other times.  While the hippies of the 1960s were a counterculture, the hip hop culture is at the rotten roots of much of the main culture today—Black, White, Red and Brown.

What about Yellow?  Our friends in the Asian community have a long history of requiring obedience and achievement from their youth.  Yes, the hip hop culture is in their community as well but let us lighten the discussion by humorously looking about the effect of video games on American youth.

In school, we learned that parts of Asia were once forced to import opium from the British and Americans after the drug was illegal at home.  Well, the big payback might be video games.  While these games are enjoyable, American kids and young adults are playing them too much; playing games while youth in other parts of the world are preparing for the next wave in the international commerce and technology.  When a kid grows up on the flashy visual stimulant of video games, holding their attention in school or church becomes difficult if not impossible.  And no, the solution shouldn’t be making education more video game-like.

From church to karate to fishing to boot camp on Parris Island, young people need to learn to calm down and focus.  Church kids, eagle scouts and kids with chores do better in life.  Look, sophisticated people have different modes because they vibe differently at different times—church mode, school mode, vacation mode, chilling with my crew mode, family mode.  The worst kids have little flexibility because they are primarily in me mode.  They must learn selflessness and a sense of community.

Most importantly, they must learn to be deliberate in their actions.  Life plans must include short-term objectives and long-term goals.

 

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In the rap classic “Fight the Power,” Chuck D said, “Gotta give ‘em what they want…gotta give ‘em what they need.” In this country, what we want isn’t necessarily what we need e.g. slavery, Jim Crow, clear cutting forest, robbing of Indians, child labor, the defense industrial complex, lifetime public assistance, fast food.

It is time for my annual venting blog post about a hodgepodge of subject relating to me being right and the status quo being clearly wrong.

Liberals: Heaven knows the left means well and their general thinking seems rooted in Christ’s Sermon on the Mount.  However, long-term assistance can create a segment of the public that is weak—always looking for help from others rather than developing the ability to provide for self.  President Reagan was right about that; government is the problem.  We need to create a climate where every kid has a fair shot at learning and growing in a career field.  Failure wouldn’t be tough luck; it would be the result of being out worked.

Conservatives: My biggest problem with my conservative friends is that their plans for all Americans generally don’t involve all Americans in the discussions.  I will admit that much of their core agenda is sound but they want to force feed corrective policies—as if the rest of America is their children.  They simply don’t listen to anyone unlike them and that is a big mistake.  If they did listen, they would discover that most Black southern voters are more conservative than liberal.  Most rural Blacks hate the welfare state created my government and if the leaders of the civil rights movement from the 1950s and 1960s could see us now, they would say this wasn’t the plan.

Conservatives vs. Black nationalists: Are you kidding me!  The idiots on right wing radio and Fox News who demonized Rev. Jeremiah Wright blew a great opportunity to improve America.  President Obama needs Wright in his corner because Wright and nationalists are throwbacks to those who hate governmental involvement in our daily lives.  Uncle Sam isn’t your daddy and surprisingly Clarence Thomas is the man who is most like Wright (pun intended.)  I loved the book Justice Thomas wrote about his grandfather’s life skills.  Once and for all—the conservative movement should create a relationship with the Black pride movement because these two groups’ messages of personal responsibility are the same.

Hip Hop Culture: While I respect artistic freedom, the current rap culture is detrimental to all youths.  For us, rap reflected urban life but those suffering wanted better for their families.  Today, “good kids” idolize thugs, pimps, bangers and dealers.  When I am on a college campus, I can’t tell the students (budding professionals) from common thugs and strippers.  In my day, we call those stupid high heels “come f me” pumps. When women ruin their feet, legs and backs from those shoes, Obamacare shouldn’t cover them because dumb is a preexisting condition.

President Obama’s Vision: While I love President Obama, I need to get Nixon-like for a second and make one thing perfectly clear.  Obama vision for what America should be isn’t the reality of what America is.  Is that the role of a president—to imagine what we should be and push toward that goal (FDR, Kennedy, Lincoln.)  I just feel puzzled sometimes when the president says “we are better than that…we are fair…we are pure hearted.” No brother Obama,  “you” are those things while most of us are a mess and a trip.  His family raised a wonderful person but some of the things at the top of his agenda have regular folks scratching our heads.  But, he is still my guy.

Schemes and Games: Theoretical people like me are often broke while hustlers stay paid with schemes and games.  We have hustlers on my street and hustlers on Wall Street.  It is now and has always been a dirty game and the simple rule of the game is to get and stay paid.  I think most of official Washington today is driven by the desire to stay paid rather than the hope of a better America.  Liberals don’t recognize that throwing taxpayers’ money at problems isn’t helping and ultra conservatives don’t realize that the tough boy approach isn’t working.

Silent Majority: I still believe that most Americans are good people who are put-off by drama coming out of Washington and the state houses. Jon Huntsman, Condi Rice and others seem as pure-hearted as me. When we get about the business of having a national effort to improve this great country from the bottom up, you should join us.

I will end this rambling blog post by highlighting the parts of Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” that we loved in the pol sci department of my black college.  Those lyrics are timeless.

Fight the Power–Public Enemy

[Intro]
Yet our best trained, best educated, best equipped, best prepared troops refuse to fight. As a matter of fact, it’s safe to say that they would rather switch than fight.

[Verse 1]
1989 the number another summer (get down)
Sound of the funky drummer
Music hitting your heart cause I know you got soul
(Brothers and sisters, hey)
Listen if you’re missing y’all
Swinging while I’m singing
Giving whatcha getting
Knowing what I know
While the Black bands sweating
And the rhythm rhymes rolling
Got to give us what we want
Gotta give us what we need
Our freedom of speech is freedom or death
We got to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power

[Hook]
Fight the power
We’ve got to fight the powers that be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj9SeMZE_Yw

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Derrick_E__Grayson

I came across Derrick Grayson, a U.S. Senate GOP candidate from Georgia, on Peach Pundit blog last week and this guy’s logic was refreshing. As a moderate, I can be easily put off by angry talk from conservatives but Grayson sounds familiar.

 
After a few days, it came to me; I remember the two places where I heard Grayson’s approach.   First, he sounds like Clarence Thomas’ grandfather.   Justice Thomas wrote a book about his grandfather’s distain for governmental involvement in people’s lives.   The book showed me that Thomas and his grandfather were simply old school—they came from the pre-LBJ period when our community was more about achievement and hard work than searching for government money.   That money actually made us softer.

 
The second place where I have heard discussions like Grayson was in the barber shops of my youth.   Those shops were much more than grooming centers—no, wait- they were grooming centers.   They groomed young men on how to be upright walking men.   The classes weren’t formal but we heard real talk about life, family, church and work.   You also were charged with moving the community forward.   As Colin Powell said, “We need to reinstitute the concept of shame.”

 
In those barber shops, men didn’t walk with the heads up if they weren’t doing everything they legally could to care for their current families and honor their birth families.   A wild theory might contend that home haircuts and growing out hair for braids has reduced those trips to the barber and therefore our young men are getting the information that supplements home training elsewhere.   I thinking that “elsewhere” is from the hip hop culture that glamorizes thug life and laughs at hard work.   When I worked in the barber shop on South Main Street in my hometown, I knew I was going to hear about my good and/or bad “street committee” regarding how I was carrying myself.   “What is this I hear about you…”

 
That Derrick Grayson seems like Neil from those Matrix movies.   Could he be the “one” who starts the conservation that bridges old school Blacks with the next generation—the one who is more interested in improving our condition by simply telling the truth about the limited role of government in our lives than personal fame?

 

 
The U.S. Senate is the most exclusive fraternity in America and it is rare for someone to enter before serving on a lower level or in the U.S. House.   But, boy on boy, he is one Black Republican who has a message than we need to hear.   He could get load of votes not in his capacity as a GOPer but in his capacity as a common sense fellow.    We should keep an eye on his guy.

 

 

http://www.grayson2014.com/issues_home

 

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The Georgia Republican State Convention is popping this weekend so it’s time to play “count the negroes.”   I will get calls from Black GOP friends and associates regarding the size vehicle you could put all of the African-Americans at this event in at one time comfortably.   Escalade seems appropriate because we love ourselves some Cadillacs.

 
Georgia contains the best Black area in the world, Atlanta, and therefore, the state has many many business-oriented, self-made Blacks who are conservative to moderate on paper.   Secondly, outside of Atlanta, Blacks are use to functioning with GOP elected leaders.   The opportunity has been there for GOP candidates to enjoy 10, 20, or maybe 30% of the Black vote but they don’t want it because the regular GOP crew would see sizable Black numbers as an indicator of liberalism.

 
The 2014 U.S. Senate primary on the GOP side could be decided by a few votes.   This week, former Secretary of State Karen Handel jumped into the race.   This former Atlanta area elected official could have been governor if she cultivated a little of the Black support she experienced in the ATL but she was defeated in a primary runoff by 2500 votes.   Of course, the maneuver I am suggesting would have required Black voting in the GOP primary but wise folks know that the Dem team is weak in Georgia so the GOP primary is often where leaders are picked. I do it all the time.
 

Rep. Jack Kingston is in the senate race also. …Jack…cool Jack….my man Jack.  Careful, Jack. Please.   One on one, Kingston is one friendly guy but the GOP information (or disinformation) machine requires the delivery of rough talking point (yes, the Dems do the same thing.)   Jack is well liked in the Black community from Augusta to Warner Robins to Valdosta because he supports our military bases and farms.   So, Kingston should play that Rep. Austin Scott/Rep. Sanford Bishop nice guy role by voting the party line but limited the non-policy attacks on the president from the other party.   The Obama administration is currently giving them plenty of real targets so fire away nicely.

 
Handel or Kingston could get 20% of their primary votes from crossover Blacks who aren’t GOP if they play their cards right.   The percentage is more than enough to tip the scales to victory and if Michelle Nunn doesn’t jump into the race, the whole state should vote in the GOP primary.

 

In the land of MLK, “I have a dream” that one day the GOP—the party of Lincoln- will have a state convention with brothers and sistas with goatees and naturals.   I mean the bros should have goatees.   You know, guys who grew up on Black self-reliance discussions at the dinner table. People who are uncomfortable with the government being all up in their business.   People who don’t need the state to tell them to care for and feed their children.

 
Surprisingly, Clarence Thomas is one the most afro-centric cats on the nation stage and as Chuck D said about someone else “don’t tell me that you understand until you hear the man.”   A new Black conservatism could be based on Thomas’s book about his grandfather. Black southerners are primed to be separated from real liberals and from the thug element of the hip hop culture.   However, we can’t find a home inside the Right because the far Right likes ugly talk too much.   What’s a brother to do?

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The horrific, cowardly acts in Boston last year were carried out by young men who were brainwashed and/or radicalized. An argument can be made that all or most of us could be or have been radicalized on some level when inundated with too much of a particular point of view.

Blacks in America would be a good place to start this discussion. We knew upon arriving on these shores that wrongful actions brought us here. But, we had to patiently wait until the mid-1970s to experience the freedoms of this free nation. Americans who believe in the Christian Bible know our book is filled with references to waiting on the Lord and to me, being humbled by suffering prepares us for heaven as a proposed to those who think they have heaven on earth. Those cats might have a dated with a fire on the other side.

My friends from the Taxed Enough Already Party (TEA) are correct in many ways on taxes but they don’t have the patience of Black folks. If these guys don’t get what they want now, they are ready for an actual revolution…now.

People on both ends of the political spectrum often constantly listen to and read information from pumped-up sources. Too much of these opinions at one time can lead to an overdose. For example, viewers should know how to watch T.V. shows in their proper entertainment context.

Seinfeld doesn’t reflect all of my Jewish friends; Homeland doesn’t reflect all of my Muslim friends and the Real Housewives of Atlanta only reflects the lifestyles of about a dozen families in the ATL.

Oh, we should talk about Married To Medicine, the latest effort of the gay agenda at Bravo to make everyone else look foolish. (Kidding)

When I was a child, people said that politics was show business for ugly people. But, reality television has blown that out of the water…like blowing stumps on Swamp People. Today, the music T.V. channels have no music videos and the history channel has little history on it’s main channel. It’s all about reality shows and the affect of American culture could be cancerous.

The fight between lovely sistas in ball gowns last week on Married To Medicine should in no way reflect the behavior of Black professionals in Georgia. Bravo searched high and low (really low) for people who would trade dignity for instant fame. Oh, I knew as a child that lawyers, bankers, professors and physicians were regular people away from work and subject to the same drama as anyone else. Actually, my college sweetheart contends that her colleagues in the medical profession are socially awkward because they spent so many years in the books while others were learning social skills.

An old adage states “just because you paid for college, doesn’t mean you have class.” We have a problem in the Black community that centers on the desire for wealth. We like people to see us with shiny stuff in shiny cars heading to fancy meals at fancy places. If your natural abilities didn’t provide you the means to get this stuff, you can always marry well if you are smoking hot.

The Mariah lady to M to M is simply hood and will always be hood. The show is produced in some way in association with her production company. So, she sat in a board room at Bravo and pitched this product with promises of cattiness, ugliness and fights. The two lady doctors are classy as is the attractive woman Toya, who was basically jumped by Mariah. Of course, the hood has people without money who have class and they lack of money could be based on their refusal to compromise their integrity wealth.

So, people across America watch messy T.V. about groups of Americans they don’t know and formulate faulted opinions. “He is not this child’s father…either.” Then during the news hour, Fox News tells you that you are paying for these people to hang out all day while you are at work making money that a Kenyan born president will take from your check. On the other side of the extreme, MSNBC is doing the same thing from the stay point of “the government can fix all the problems in the nation with enough tax money….no one in America should be outside the middle class.” Huh? Can everyone be middle class? Isn’t the government ensuring a minimum quality of life basically socialism?

Fox, MSMBC and Bravo don’t brainwashing as well as the hip hop culture. Did I love hip hop as a college student? Yes sir, I was proud that urban youth created an art medium to reflect the realities of their situations. But today, life is imitating art because youth are glamorizing thugs and strippers while some students are actually downplaying their academic success. On his quality reality show last week, rapper T.I. told his kids that he never met a thug who wanted to be a thug. My man told them to rap about having a nice life. T.I. is the king of the South.

In summary, we need to be careful what we watch and hear because forces can radicalize you before you know it. In a diverse nation, there is no substitute for getting to know (humanizing) others. When we know each other, we can start the process of explaining now personal choices and decisions have consequences. If not, the next generation of Black southerners might include people that some people (including positive Blacks) will want to rightfully avoid.

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School choice and family planning are two topics I would love to hear discussed in my community because they are at the foundation of our futures.  However, I want that discussion to take place around a discussion table sixty or seventy years ago. 

A.G. Sadler Sr., third seated from left

A photo of my father and his fraternity brothers meeting at the local Black college hangs in my mother’s den.  The organization wore Black and Gold and he was old enough to actually know founders personally but it could have been a meeting of any Black fraternity or sorority of that time because they were all committed to moving the race forward.  You can see the steely determination in their eyes: we as a people would have the opportunity to learn, earn and prosper in this great nation and the sky would be the limit once those doors of opportunity opened. 

If we had a time machine or a portal to the past (like a smart phone app), we could tell these gentlemen that we were from 2012 and that a Black man was in the White House…a Black man without a mop.  Since most of the men in that picture were college professors or public school educators, I want to know their opinions on school choice.

Today, we recognize that public school K-12 education needs a top to bottom overhaul.  I personally think that the teachers enter the profession ready to teach and that the facilities are generally acceptable in my area.  For a myriad of reasons, some of the kids just aren’t ready, willing and able to learn.  I think the foundation of education is discipline or obedience learned at home and church. 

Those guys in that photo didn’t question their parents in their generation and neither did we in my generation.  Today, I hear kids ask their parents “What?” and “Why?” with a tone that would have never happened in my day.  One of the men in that photo was likely the dentist that my father would have taken me to see after he knocked my teeth out for saying “What.”

We should discuss parents having a tax credit or voucher to put their children in the best quality educational situation.  When schools in the South were integrated, White private schools popped up in every county.  But, I can remember the dedication of the educators from the all-Black schools.  A period of “separate but equal” would have been fine with many Blacks because they wanted fairly funded schools more than forcing us to attend school with people who thought of us wrongly. 

When we debated school choice as congressional staffers in the 1990s, I would always argue that private schools would cherry-pick the best students and those remaining in the public schools would be students from families that couldn’t afford to get out.  If the best 20% opted for private schools, the worst 20% should have a voucher to attend a special school after getting kick out of regular school. 

Public policy can’t solve the education problem because the ultimate problem is that some people are having children before they are prepared to raise and nurture them.  To me, people shouldn’t get married until they are around 24 years old and they should then wait 24 months before having kids (a waiting period to ensure that the marriage is viable.)  Before 24 years of age, people could be finishing their education and training, moving up in the workplace and having fun socially.  Children should come into the mix when folks are ready to be parents like those Alphas in that old photo.  Instead, we have kids having kids and early grade teachers are half educators and half parents. 

Current conservatives trip me out with talk of abortion and welfare.  The guys around that table never envisioned people having the government deeply involved in their lives. They were concerned more with anti-lynch and opportunity.  The conservative men in that photo would have a lot to say about the long-term effect of LBJ’s policy that would come in a decade or two. 

A recent study indicates free birth control dramatically reduces abortion and teen pregnancy.  Since the far Right conservatives are rightfully concerned with governmental spending, they should know that abortions and public assistance goes down if fewer pregnancies occur in the first place.  The guys in that picture could discuss the wrongness of abortion and premarital sex as well as the wrongness of hungry children and struggling families.  Reasonable people know that you can’t always push your faith’s beliefs into the public policy of a diverse nation. 

http://news.yahoo.com/study-free-birth-control-leads-fewer-abortions-210623724.html;_ylt=A2KJ3CabFnBQvlUAOf7QtDMD

The achievement-oriented Blacks of my fathers’ generation would be disappointed to learn that music is crime and sin-based and hip hop shapes the mindset of our youth more than parents and church.  If those guys in that picture were transported into current times, they would figure out a way to get the best education for their families.  Unfortunately, those pioneers in education would be compelled to seek schools for their families that kept their kids away from certain elements without regard to race.  Oh, I would teach government and tennis at an all-male school that brought academic heat all day every day–a place where gentlemen were built.

Teaching the guys in that photo was easy because they were enthusiastic about learning; it was learn or be an unofficial slave during Jim Crow.  If they had a window on today at that table, they would be flabbergasted with the way our youth are carrying themselves and disappointed with the squandering of opportunities.

I enjoyed hearing this speech by Kappa founder Edward G. Irvin.

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P7rpu-0Tf4]

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It’s madness to do the same things year after year and expect difference results.  So, I decide to acknowledge the brilliance of the guy who started the Khan Academy to reform education.  But first, I would like to invite anyone to join our ESPN NCAA basketball groups for the men and women tournaments.  The group names are “Jawja Hoops” in both contests.  Let the basketball and rethink ranting begin.

Rethink Education: Clearly, our education system needs retooling and Salman Khan has a fresh approach.  In my community, I simply wish parents would start with using better grammar 24/7 to stop contradicting what is taught at school.

Rethink College Basketball: College basketball shouldn’t be a stepping stone for the NBA and we should have a farm system in smaller cities (similar to baseball) for those who want to be pros.  Student athletes should be just that.  In other words, the NBA D-League should be developed.

Rethink Politics and Religion: In America, we have the freedom to select our faith and politicians’ faith walks should be the foundation of their character.  They shouldn’t attempt to force their particular church on the population as a whole.  So, Mitt Romney should put the nutty factions in his party in their places about his church and any other faiths that they find “different.”

Rethink Political Leaders: The next crop of political leaders should be much better than the current ones.  On the Right, conservatives should get back to being pro-business and smaller government rather than the promoters of the next Civil War.  On the Left, liberals are actually limiting personal development with their socialist policies.  We need leaders who will speak to the people (straight, no chaser) about the limited role of government and importance personal responsibility.

Rethink Campaign Finance:  My new congressman is Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia and he was a true campaign finance rebel as a candidate for governor.  He spoke wisely of limiting the amount of contributions and that got me thinking.  Everyone knows that money runs campaigns and that those who gave money will later want something from officeholders.  If I designed a congressional candidate from the ground up or from day one, I would tell my guy to take the average income in the area, add a few zeros and that would be the total amount raised for the campaign.  (For example, 32K in average income = 320,000 funding limited.)  If elected, that person would belong to the people and wouldn’t spend time kissing up to lobbyists. 

Rethink Black Conservatives: Peace to my brothers and sisters on the political Right…I feel you…I really do.  To me, your side is right (pun intended) more often than not; but the ugly ways and methods of the far Right make the GOP unacceptable for most Blacks.  There is no place for less bitter, moderate Americans in that party.  If Jon Huntsman won the GOP nomination, I would have strongly considered voting for him in November but you cats gave cool people the boot. 

Rethink Black Liberals:  At some point, it’s not about “the man” holding us down.  It’s about us holding us down.  We must return to the driven African-Americans who beat Jim Crow; the people who knew who they were and whose they were.  The next generation of CBC members must honestly inform the community that improves start in your house…not the U.S. House.   

Rethink Hip Hop: Most of current hip hop stinks out loud.  The music glorifies the worst elements of our community and I can’t tell college students from thugs and strippers.  I know artists are free to express themselves but come on now.

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If I could wave a magic wand on New Year’s Eve, the notations I would place in southern voters’ minds as we enter the election year would involve understanding.  Kandi from the Real Housewives of Atlanta was in a hip hop group with T.I.’s lady Tiny back in the day and they had a hit called “Understanding.”     

Xcape’s “Understanding” had a line that said, “You don’t really know me… you just want’a do what you want’a do… that’s not the way it is baby…you gotta listen to me.”  That line applies to elections, politics and policy because the South has a history of leaders and parties who arrogantly want to make desicisions for everyone without input from or understanding of everyone else.  

I am an American who is concerned that the so-called developing world could blow past our nation in this century because those hungry people are driven liked we once were.  Simply put, we might get out hustled by Latin America, South America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia because their young people aren’t playing when it comes to education and training while too many of our youth are soft whiners.  We must understand that the entire nation must be striving collectively.

Anyway, the following points are the ideas I would put in voters’ heads:

1.President Obama can’t improve your life alone.  He can only foster an environment conducive for your personal development.  That’s what he said from the moment he stepped onto the national stage but folks don’t know how to listen.

2. Newt Gingrich as president could actually be good for my community.  While we never know which version of Newt will show up, Speaker Gingrich from the Clinton era was a great ideas person who sincerely wanted to change the cultural mindset of Americans in a positive way.  Look: the government doesn’t now nor has it ever cared about the average person.  With Newt as president we would know that fact without a doubt and get about the business of personal responsibility.

3.  Jon Huntsman is the most Obama-like Republican and moderate Democrats should vote for him to encourage the GOP nominee to make him their VP candidate.  As quiet as it is kept, Obama respects Huntsman more than he does most of the Congressional Black Caucus.  If the GOP takes the White House, moderates will wish level-headed Huntsman was at the table.

4. A small percentage of Democrats could sway the GOP presidential primary.  “Ted, is right..we should vote for Huntsman just in case Obama doesn’t win or Newt to help Obama win.”  Of course, no one understands my points until after the fact.

5.  In South Georgia, running someone against Sanford Bishop will crank up Bishop’s campaign apparatus and organize Democrat GOTV efforts in Albany, Columbus and Macon.  If President Obama wins reelection by a slim margin and by surprisingly winning Georgia, Bishop’s opponents can be thanked.  By the same logic, Democrats can’t beat Austin Scott so we shouldn’t run anyone against him.  That energy would be better spent developing a functional relationship with the young lawmaker. 

Bottomline: Using the “Understanding” song in a blog post is recycling a past post.  Another past post is my notes from “The Art of War.”  That Chinese warfare manual is like a blueprint for politics and modern business.  A central theme in the book is respect for and understanding of the other side. If the GOP understood Democrats, they would select Huntsman as their nom but the hardheaded never learn.  If the Dems understood the Tea Party, they would vote for Huntsman in the GOP primaries in droves to keep them out of the White House.  But, we are more concerned about the NFL playoffs. 

http://projectlogicga.com/2009/06/07/the-art-of-war/

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People get and give insults in the South all day every day.  If you have thin skin, you should move.  These insults come to mind.

The Michael Basiden Show’s list “8 Reasons Black Women Should Date White Men: First, Black Women should date whoever makes them happy and treats them well.  But, the list from Basiden’s show ticked me off because I don’t think the desired traits are rare among my friends. I did like the list’s view on our community’s glorification of thug life.

http://madamenoire.com/22660/8-reasons-to-date-a-white-man-30188/

Obama vs. Cain: I once worked at the U.S. Congress across the hall from Rep. John Conyers’s office and he had a young bright chief of staff named Julian Epstein.  At my Black college homecoming last weekend, many old classmates asked my opinion of the Herman Cain presidential candidacy and I told them that Obama vs. Cain was great for several different reasons from several different angles. I am insulted by Black people who think the Black electorate isn’t intelligent and crafty enough to vote for Cain in the open primary states if they want to see him faceoff with Obama.

While watching Fox News yesterday (yes, I watch Fox News sometimes), Julian Epstein let the cat out of the bag by saying that Democrats aren’t behind the recent Cain drama because smart Democrats want Cain to be the G.O.P nominee.  Epstein then seriously said that Democrats would donate to Cain’s campaign.  As we say in the South, Julian should “hush” because he is telling family business in the streets but he is so right.

Cain is to Obama as LBJ was to Kennedy: Yes, I can insult my political friends by stating that crass LBJ passed bills that smooth Kennedy didn’t get to before his tragic departure.  Those Kennedy boys were no match for the Dixiecrats but old Lyndon knew how to fight fire with fire.  LBJ said that he was insulted when a lifelong Black employee of his family would drive from Texas to the White House and if she need to use the bathroom in route, she had to squat in the woods. 

Obama is my favorite president but possibly too nice to turn the nation around.  He is too nice with the loyal opposition and he is too nice with his base regarding personal responsibility.  If you read the 8 reasons Black women should date White men, you will see that the president and the first lady could say more about their development and growth relative to teaching the next generation of all colors.  If Obama won’t get brass, Cain certainly would and that might be the answer.

Herman Cain, Bill Clinton and Thomas Gipson:  I worked at Albany State University with old school southern gentleman Thomas Gipson..God rest his soul.  Mr. Gipson, like Rev. Jeremiah Wright, had knowledge and wisdom for you everyday but he got a pass or was grandfathered on political correctness.  Gip said that the university’s harassment policies were nonsense and that he would never stop complimenting lovely women. 

Bill Clinton, one of my three favorite presidents, insulted me with that whole Monica mess as did Bush 43 with weapons of mass destruction.  If I gave Clinton and Bush passes, Herman Cain gets one also.  If people from Albany, Georgia, want to know what Cain likely said, they should remember Thomas Gipson and know that what was once tradition is now litigation.

In summary, “yes we can.”  We can reelect President Obama.  We can elect a Georgian as president if not Obama.  We can better position ourselves to enhance the lives of Black women.  We can understand if said women find happiness elsewhere.  We can understand that no candidate is perfect and neither are we.  We can use insults as positive dialog starters.   

We can put on that Sade’s remake of Timmy Thomas’s 1972 classic “Why Can’t We Live Together,” sit back and explain to Cain’s supporters why they are alienating the massive political center.  You can’t win the White House without the center.

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An entertainer called Chapter recently released the satirical video “It’s Free, Swipe Yo EBT.”  I was ticked off until I realized the song was a poor attempt at parody.  But, the bigger questions are the social responsibility of so-called artists and the direct effect they have on the entitlement mentality.

  Warning: strong language

If you grew up when and where I did, you know that the government isn’t your friend.  The limited role of government ranges from delivering the mail and defending the borders to helping hungry children.  The truly heartless are the only ones who want to see hungry babies resulting from some people have children at the wrong time with the wrong people.

Chapter or Keywanda actually started an important discussion.  When people on the far Right argue that the federal government should be extremely limited, they should remember that Black people appreciate the intervention of the fed into the affairs of southern states during the struggle for freedom.

In the 1990s, Newt Gingrich pushed  Bill Clinton in the correct direction and Speaker Gingrich had me convinced that the roles of federal, state and local governments are to create a level playing field or fair opportunity for Americans to develop.  If an individual blew those opportunities in the best country on earth, that person made their bed.

We spend so much government money addressing bad personal decisions and it’s not free.  Yes, temporary assistance is a needed safety net but some people misunderstand the intent.  With medical science, proper diet and regular exercise, people are living longer.  So, young people should enjoy being young, develop a career path and have fun until they are in their mid 20s—there will be ample time for marriage and parenthood after the club days are over.  Club sweethearts aren’t necessarily spouse material.   

This video was made in California but southern Blacks who actually vote are appalled by the mindset that this video highlights.  We must get and keep the government out of our business and no one should need to tell any parents of any color to care for kids who didn’t ask to be born.

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Is hip hop taking us backwards?  I loved this art form in my youth but it seems (correct me if I am wrong) that young people are emulating the worst elements of society.  Slaves wanted freedom and that freedom didn’t really come until the 1970s. 

At church Sunday, the pastor, a veteran of the struggle, started his sermon by saying that freedom doesn’t give you the right to do just anything. We are still ticked that someone broke the windows at church. Did he really refer to the culprits as “devils” in a prayer the morning we discovered the vandalism.  Yeap..I like the pastor…he has teeth. 

My definition of “teeth” in the public policy arena is policy that has bite or a consequence element.  For example, healthcare reform might have had a provision stating that if I cross the 50 pounds overweight mark, they aren’t spending money and effort  saving me from me. “We saw you at Golden Corral putting in work.”

Dr. Martin Luther King paraphrased the Biblical prophet Amos when he said, “We are determined here in Montgomery to fight until justice runs down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”  A quick glance at hip hop history’s use of water/rain takes me from Oran Juice Jones’ “Standing in the Rain” to Boys To Men “Can You Stand the Rain.”  My brother-in-law in N.C. used that last song as his sermon title the first time I heard him preach. 

Today’s hip hop has a tune by Atlanta rapper Travis Porter called “Make It Rain” and the beat is bumping.  But (oh my goodness), a sista (the fruit that blossomed on the African tree) comes in stating, “You want to see some –ss, I want to see some cash.”  Making It Rain involves rich cats going into the night or strip club, standing in the D.J booth and making it rain money.  You Tube videos show rain events with six figures going in six seconds.  To be honest, we had the Too Live Crew back in the day but that was a novelty.  We were in college or the military to improve our families’ situation…to move forward.

If you walk down a college campus today, the dress and vibe of some of the students would alarm you.  Some college students are making a concerted effort to be as thug-like and stripper-like as possible—including my college classmates’ kids who grew up in nurturing environments.  We are moving backwards on some level and since hip hop involves Black, White, Red and Brown, the drama knows no boundaries.    

If you don’t believe me, you can get shocked on the webpage WorldStarhiphop.com.  Since I gave up on most new rap music a few years ago, I don’t watch the videos introduced on WorldStar but the homemade cellphone videos of people fighting in public are disturbing.  We are talking brawls in Pizza Hut and mothers fighting in the street.  Colin Powell said we need to reinstitute the concept of shame and I agree.   When the fights start, the camera person often says “Worldstarhiphop…this is going on Worldstarhiphop.”

We were radical in college but we could talk with political and community leaders when we broke out the khakis, ties and blazers .  If I were in college today, I would be listening to Oakland rapper KHARI because he has teeth.   He drop one called “Thickness” about curvy women that has the interest of my college classmates who are now in their 40s.  The guy is a poet like L.L. and Chuck D so listen with caution to his track “The Beast” which is about Black men in prison.  He makes some thought-provoking points but the Oakland police must be much worst that the okay rural police in my town.  KHARI is a conspiracy theorist who seems to think that prisons and the justice system are designed to make money locking up “just us.”

Hip hop is an original American art form and the current rappers are worrying my generation like our generations’ rappers must have worried our parents, preachers and professors. I swear art isn’t imitating life—life is imitating art and pulling us down.  Are they reversing past gains?   When I see the current pol sci majors at my HCBU, I am going to recommend that they checkout L.L. Cool J.’s “The Breakthrough.”  We knew that L.L. was different and that he would be having a positive impact on American culture for years.  LL is hard and has teeth but it was well-intended.  What’s the intention of today’s rapper$?

The Breakthrough: LL Cool J

Knuckleheads spreadin’ gossip all over town
Every time I drive by you’re just standin’ around
Hundred-bottles in your pocket, forty-dog in your hand
Don’t you know you’re just a worker and your boss is my man?
L.L. this, L.L. that, soon as I walk in the place
I wanna take my gun and shoot you in your muthaf-ckin’ face
You’re playin’ me too close with the schemin’ and games
I guess the beef and the bullsh-t is the price of fame
Movies, records, goin’ on tour
Twenty-thousand people hip-hoppin’ on the floor
Whole parties body-rockin’, and everything’s chill
Get back to New York, and the suckers act ill
See I fought with the devil, made a promise to God
I have experience in goin’ all the way to the top
It’s harder harder than hard
All the suckers are barred
You used to try to talk down now your ego is scarred
See the problem is you want what another man has
His car, his wife, or his razzamatazz
But that’s weak, you gotta do work on your own
cuz when you’re rich you got friends
but when you’re poor you’re alone
So get your own on your own, it’ll strengthen your soul
Stop livin’ off your parents like you’re three years old
Instead of walkin’ like you’re limp and talkin’ yang about me
why don’t you take your monkey-ass and get a college degree?
Or write a rhyme and ride a bike and try to live carefree
Hope my message reaches you before you’re seventy-three
A old man, when people ask you what you did with your life
you’ll say “I hated L.L. and I carried a big knife”
Every day is a chase, every day is a race
and every day you’re being overpowered by my bass
Too much juice to be a deuce, I had to be a ace
It’s like the fire’s in my eyes and the gun’s in my face
I’m stompin’ stupid knuckleheads until they bleed
I’m the leader of the show, so it’s up to me to lead
I’mma lead you away from drugs and petty crime
Lead you away from wack beats and rhyme
Lead you to that ticket line
so you can come in my show and watch the stars shine
Get busy, not dizzy, wanna teach the young
The last man who didn’t listen ended up gettin’ hung
Not that I killed him, it’s just
He didn’t wanna trust
the words of a master that’s why you must
Take heed to the speech, it’s gonna reach your ear
Don’t try to say you can’t hear cuz the words are clear
Throwin’ flurries, punks scurry and I bury the rest
You better hurry up and rock a rhyme and give it your best
Cuz tonight’s the night we gonna see the big fight
Twelve-gauge on the stage in case it don’t go right
E-Love drives a tank, he’s strong like a truck
If you’re cryin’ while you’re dyin’ we ain’t givin’ a f-ck
L.L. Cool J is on the microphone
tellin’ all you punk ducks “Leave me the hell alone”
Cuz I’m rated X, born to snap necks
Straight up and down, no special effects
I’m the professor, the teacher, the hip-hop dean
If Russia bombed the U.S., they’d be scared to touch Queens
Cuz that’s where I live, and this is what I give
Turnin’ top-notch crews into fugitives
They run, they frightened, they hide from King Titan
like a sniper when he’s shootin’ or a viper when he’s bitin’
Here I am, tellin’ the truth
and I’m spreadin’ the word to my fellow youth
It goes man-to-man and jam-to-jam
I got hip-hop, rock, and love song fans
All you petty MC’s in the state of New York
Gettin’ a thousand for a show but you still wanna squawk
Can’t get a decent contract, your beats ain’t workin’
Dogged-out Pumas plus you’re manager’s jerkin’
Your mic sounds weak, remember that skeezer
I’m badder than Napoleon, Hitler or Caesar
I’m a hitman, but I’m not for hire
Fly girl’s desire, the man you admire
Not only on the stage, I rock in the park
and I’m a killer in the daytime, and worse after dark
So don’t never ever mess with the king of the sound
L.L. Cool J, the baddest around.

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Like Jill Scott, Angie Stone and Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu is a straight-up artist who puts a message in her music and compels us to think.  Her new song “Window Seat” blew me away and even included a nod to blues guitar great Lightning Hopkins.  I am proud to say that Hopkins has been featured on the music tab on this blog since day one.  Badu will always leave you thinking.  What’s with the JFK assassination vibe in the video?  Could I date a sista with that many tats on that beautiful brown skin?  Has Badu aged a day? 

She ends the video with a monologue that seems to be aimed at some extreme elements from her native Texas but I better leave that alone.   Wouldn’t it be cool to sit on a back porch in the Lone Star state with Badu and her friends and have a long island ice tea party featuring music by Sam Lightning Hopkins.  I would love to attend that Tea Party.  

so, in my mind I’m tusslin’

back and forth ‘tween here and hustlin’

I don’t wanna time travel no mo

I wanna be here

I’m thinking

on this porch I’m rockin’

back and forth light lightning Hopkins

if anybody speak to Scotty

tell him beam me up….

http://pinboard.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/window_seat2.jpg

Window Seat—Badu

http://universalmotown.com/videos/playlist.aspx?plid=1457712391&v=76010451001&aid=0

Sam Lightning Hopkins

UPDATE: What the hell.  I thought Badu did that video as a “shoot” with actors.  It turns out that she just did it with tourists and kids walking around.  That might be a little too much.  Below is the speech she makes at the end of the video.

They play it safe, are quick to assassinate what they do not understand. They move in packs, ingesting more and more fear with every act of hate on one another. They feel most comfortable in groups; less guilt to swallow. They are us; this is what we have become, afraid to respect the individual. A single person within our circumstance can move one to change, to love herself, to evolve.

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My friends and I talk about political candidates who can “flow.” We have adopted the term from the early days of hip hop…”Can the M.C. flow on the mic.” Many a well-intended candidate can’t flow in the sense that the they can’t present issues and solutions in a manner that compels the electorate to action. “Can the person move the crowd.”? MC Lyte, Queen Latifah and YoYo didn’t play on the mic back in the day and YoYo (Yolanda Whittaker) is currently a community activist eyeing a congressional run.

Keith on Peanut Politics blog posted a video of Senate candidate RJ Hadley speaking in middle Georgia and I must say he can flow and is clearly an intelligent guy.  During his speech he mentioned the people that think he should run for something else first.  I am included among those numbers because I could see this guy really connecting with people in the right contest. 

(Video: U.S. Senate Candidate R.J. Hadley) 

http://peanutpolitics-keith.blogspot.com/2009/10/rj-hadley-ga-democratic-candidate-for.html

Hadley is Ivy Leaguer like former Congresswoman Denise Majette.  The congresswoman gave up her seat to run for Senate against Hadley’s opponent Johnny Isakson.  Hadley can flow as well as Majette, who while intellectually brilliant had a thing about speaking on the mic.  Let’s see, Isakson beat the engaging businessman Herman Cain and self-made millionaire and former congressman Mac Collins before winning over Majette, but this newcomer wants to beat the senator in this red state.  

Relatively speaking, Isakson is much better than the average conservative in congress and Georgia could do much worst.  The Senator’s years in Atlanta when the Democrats ran Georgia government prepared him to better deal with the two party system that most GOPers.  To my centrists friends, the best argument for Isakson is the fact that the ultra-conservatives fuss at him for negotiating with all senators.  That’s what senators do. 

This senate race will serve as nice showcase for Hadley’s political and policy skills and the beginning of a bright political future.  I just wish he were running to remove one of the bitter members of the loyal opposition.

If you are a candidate who can’t flow on the issues and the details of government, why run when a Sarah Palin, Katie Couric situation awaits you.  Also, do your homework first because there are some smooth talkers who have zero substance on the mic. If you want “to be down,” step to the mic with something to say.

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Blog contributor HBA said she saw Young Cons on the Fox channel.  Megan Fox or Vivica Fox has her own channel and Huckabee has a show there.  Kidding aside, it’s is cool that rapping as a medium grown from the streets of New York to every corner of the nation and globe. 

I have been in the developing world and some lovely woman says in broken English that hip hop and the urban struggle is similar to their struggle with their oppressors.  While I am from the rural area, who am I to argue with a local.  I might as well claim to assisting with the creation of hip hop the same summer I helped Al Gore create the internet.

But, I still won’t turn my baseball cap to the side (that’s un-American and disrespectful to Jackie Roosevelt Robinson from Cairo, Georgia, and the Negro Leagues.)  And I only turn my cap backwards when I am nailing something in a confined place—HGTV that’s the channel. 

Back to the point, the Young Cons have their message down but should work on their mic skills—rent 8 Mile and watch M flow or better yet check Eric B and Rakim; 3rd Base and Wu Tang Clan.  I am still amazed my Wu Tang Clan’s extensive vocabulary and knowledge so pay attention in school budding rappers.    

Young Con are going to be okay and serve their purpose for them team- peace to them.  Ice-T was wrong to say that Will Smith can’t rap if he is not from ghetto; rap what you know and the children of Black professionals don’t know the struggle…thank heaven. 

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The tough economic news keeps taking me back to “Hard Times” by Run DMC and “Black Cow” by Steely Dan for some reason. 

I had to put Brand Nubian on this list and TROY (They Reminisce Over You) from Pete Rock and C.L Smooth.  That music had a really message.

Of course, hip hop fans know the “Black Cow” sample from Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz Déjà vu (Uptown Baby). These young folks today don’t realize that James Brown, the Isley Brothers and Parliament provided the actual music behind some classic rap hits. Hip Hop has been around so long that I am starting to hear samples of samples’ samples. “Planet Rock” from 1982 borrows heavily from Kraftwerk’s Trans Europe Express and Numbers.

When those techno and trance D.J.s mix with the classics today, it makes my ears bleed and forces me to “dig in the crates” for some pure vinyl from the old days.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY_0QReTPkc
Déjà vu (Uptown Baby)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TlvNpIwTto&feature=related
numbers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWlgbAc3bbM&feature=related
Trans Europe Express

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPowpIRVOuY&feature=related
Tour de France

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmaqTG8zvPE&feature=related
Looking for the Perfect Beat

 

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When hop hip was born on the streets of New York, rhymes and dances drove the battles.  As the genre traveled to the left coast, the world learned from Ice Cube, Dre and N.W.A. that south central L.A. was a powder keg ready to blow.  Their music was real gangsters reflecting the unfortunate problems in their world through the medium of rap—in the footsteps of Pablo Picasso, Zora Neal Hurston and Salvador Dali.   

 

Art imitating life or life imitating art?  Of course, the hip hop culture includes positive elements who are real artists but some parts of the thug subdivision are recklessly affecting developing minds and our community as a whole suffers.  Weak-minded kids are so brainwashed that they become detrimental to other kids and everyone else.  When the moral code established by the teachings of family, church and school is ignored, we are in trouble.  From leather jackets to Afro to punk to preppy, every generation gets to define itself but these my classmates’ children are making a concerted effort to glorify easy money, hustling, crime, and incarceration.  And don’t get me started on the stripper style dancing from college students in regular clubs—maybe I am just getting old and grumpy but back in my day we saved that for the “hotel, motel, Holiday Inn.”

 

Lyrics are poetry set to music; Jill Scott should be Poet Laureate; Biggie and Tupac are our dead poets.  Anyone with a strong mind can listen to music in its proper artistic context but as a community we need our youth preparing from the competitive nature of the global economy; kids in the developing are developing fast.  The hip hop culture is big business with Black, White and Brown youth but under-prepared Black youth will struggle if the music adversely influences their mindsets.

 

The kids seem to us now how we must have seemed to our parents but Grandmaster Flash & the Furious 5 a “The Message” and John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Rain on the Scarecrow” meant something in farmland.  When they reach 25 year old, they started with that “I wish I would have listened—I got caught up.”

 

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