“Old” Tweeners:Turning 26

26

26

What’s distinctive about turning 26?
I can’t think of anything, can you?
Are you too old to go “up on a Tuesday” a year after your quarter of a century celebration or are you too young not to?
Does it matter how you celebrate when your 21st and your 25th were extraordinary?

 

I’ve come across a lot of people who feel like the best moments of their lives are over by now, but there also seems to be an abundance of people relishing the arrival of “old” age. Why would  the 26th year be distinctive when the conventional American has either:

A) accomplished all their goals,
B) hasn’t accomplished anything (yet?),
3) or is somewhere between absolute failure and comprehensive success?

What about the “Tweeners”? The individuals who  have accomplished a lot of their goals, but have a surplus of empty boxes, to check off, on their bucket list. The people who on a day-to-day basis self-improve. The folks who continue to impress their childhood friends each time they ask, “what you been up too?” The young professionals who have stable situations, yet hear the ticking of that biological clock and feel that pressure from society to do whatever it is they haven’t done. What about the ladies and gentlemen who must improve some aspect of their existence before they consider settling down into true adulthood?

What do the 26 year-olds that embrace their individuality yet find comfort in the cultural commonalities do? Are these people too busy or too self-absorbed to have children? How are the people that can pay all their bills on time with no assistance from their parents or the government supposed to feel? Happy? Mad? Hungry? Sad? Should we be miserable like those who give up on their dreams because they had to make sacrifices or didn’t have the drive? Should we be content like the people who are psychologically, socially, and physically contributing adults but may have lost their sense of self due to the greater good of their family? Or should we be in a state of bliss like our full-fledged grown up counterparts that are happily married with children, a nice house, and a solid career?

So many questions can be overwhelming, yet I’ll be able to answer them because there’s so much more life left to live. I must say I’m happy to be somewhere in the middle of the adult spectrum as I’ll celebrate being 26 for the rest of this year. I’m blessed to be kid free, college educated, and a self-sufficient adult who can depend on family for any kind of help; However, I pride myself on being able to act grown when it counts. I still chase my childhood dreams as I gain career accomplishments, so (HELL) no I don’t want to go back to the responsibility free world of an elementary school student. I have no desire, deep down inside, to go back to the days of being a “cool” kid in middle school. I definitely have fond high school and college memories but wanting to go back is laughable. I’m excited and eerily surprised I’ve made it to my late 20’s; I’m going to appreciate getting “old.”

Are you?

Posted in Non Fiction

Hip Hop’s Side Chick

I Love Hip Hop

I Love Hip Hop (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Peter Gunz is the 2013’s representative of men that are highlighted by popular American figures such as Tiger Woods, Bill Clinton, and Brad Pitt.

The Hip Hop concept of a “Side-Chick,” is not new to our society, but the world’s reaction to the media’s popularization of the old fashion love triangle would give anyone the impression that producer Stevie J created the phenomenon. In reality, dishonesty and manipulation have been reinvented and promoted through episodes that are supposedly focused on Hip Hop music, but instead the television appearances provide the audience with insight into the personal days and nights of Hip Hop’s movers and shakers. These hours seemed to be filled with deception, animosity, and the extortion of the “playa” stereotype. The consumers bash Hip Hop’s males for acting like assholes, but simultaneously they promote these bad guys all over their social networks. Subliminally, they put money in these adulterers’ pockets, which adds water to an already overflowing tub of modern minstrel shows.

The hatred and disgust the audience has toward the men causes the ratings to rise repeatedly. Networks feed off of the popular belief that women can’t hold their cheating men accountable, and that women don’t cheat. If the creators of the shows decided to show men and women in a good light who would tune in? If the couples weren’t having issues on every episode why would Americans watch? If the show were really about music what would separate it from other popular media outlets?

The network wants you to think that men that create Hip Hop music treat all women like dogs, because it is good for their business. The male cast doesn’t mind enhancing the negative image of black men as long as their empty pockets are being filled, and reality television stardom is creating new opportunities for their, otherwise, dead careers.

For several seasons all we have seen are a collection of womanizers who are recording artists and music producers. These artists don’t really showcase any music; rather they help VH1 increase the value of the side chick drama. The three-way love story is the perfect expression of drama and has created revenue for, both, the exploited characters and the producers of the show in the expense of urban America’s image. People talk bad about these men but fail to accept the fact that humans from all genders, cultures and colors lie and cheat on one another, not just the men that make urban music.

The modern day mistress has become one of the network’s go to archetypes. Every season, every episode, and every act is filled with “baby-mama drama” and/ or sideline hoes, which reflects American culture and all the examples of this same scenario in real life. However, when something takes place in Hip Hop it becomes infamous in mainstream society no matter what it is. These “Side-Chick” shenanigans are so appealing to the general public because art is emulating the nature of humans. Season four of VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop” brings, yet another, three sided relationship to the forefront of popular culture. The only difference is the people, the location, and a few minor details.

Although it isn’t directly related to music this story of a “Side-Chick” is one of many that inspires the lyrics and rhythmic sounds of our favorite recording artists, and producers. No matter how you feel about VH1’s portrayal of women, African Americans, or urban music the writers and producers try to show the audience the lives behind the creation of the melodies and lyrics.  Although they show a limited view of the rappers and their lovers’ lives, it is good to see the private side of the music industry. It helps the audience understand the sadness in a signer’s voice, or the anger evoked by that bass heavy instrumental. The camera lens tries to capture what inspires the music talents’ creative juices by showing their emotional reactions to intense situations.  VH1 illustrates that some of the songs we vibe too were inspired by lying, cheating, and implausible moments.

The network captures the lives of the artist it is as it reveals how they interact with the people closest to them. As a result, every Monday America tunes in to watch the falling and rising industry stars’ personal trials and tribulations. Whether you believe the show is more staged than real, or vice versa, the bottom line is that VH1 has found a niche that is definitely entertaining but by no means was created by Hip Hop. Time after time we have seen families, on television and in real life, being ruined over sex that should have never occurred and still Americans are entertained by this unfaithfulness. We have become obsessed with men trying to balance out wives and girlfriends on national television, and we promote it as we tweet about it for hours and hours after the show is over.

As Peter Gunz’ name trends on twitter we must realize his position is shared by millions of individuals, of all races, cultures, sexual orientations, and ages, but the ex-Grammy nominee has become the poster child for infidelity. He has perpetuated old stereotypes that say black men are animalistic and can’t be civilized, but he represents a percentage of men that can’t be described by specific physical characteristics such as the color of their skin.

As you watch VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop” please keep in mind, even though every man on music related reality television cheats, not every man in reality does. For every Stevie J there is an Ice Cube. For every Peter Gunz there is a T.I. Before you write a Facebook status comparing these Hip Hop characters on television to the real men in your world be mindful not to overgeneralize, and remember there are plenty of Hip Hop couples, actually making music, who are raising families without side chicks or boyfriend number 2’s in the background.

 

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Posted in Hip Hop

Young Tenner

Young Tenner, remember the name if you haven’t heard it already. As a member of the Box Boyz but mostly as a solo artist Young Tenner has created a name for himself around Aurora, Denver, and beyond. With 2 mixtapes, 12 videos, and a rapidly expanding fan base Tenner has proven he will continue to gain momentum in 2014. The #Afterhours mixtape, set to drop this December, is highly anticipated because the strength of his two smooth streets singles Sexy Smoker, and Way She Smokes. He has worked with his sister, Lady V, Lkeys, A.p., and basically every artist coming out of Colorado. He is a business man running an after hours spot, selling custom clothing, and his music. Tenner’s vision has captured a concept, and he has craved his own lane in Colorado’s congested rap game. Some critics may say Tenner only raps about women,weed,  and the streets but Tenner makes quality music about life for his fans. Obviously, his fans respect the streets, love to party, and smoke after the club.

Watch Young Tenner’s video, “Sexy Smoke (remix)”:

1. What does Tenner mean?
My name is really Ten, like the number, but Tenner is something different and it had a better ring to it, so I rocked with that.
2. What are you trying to accomplish with “Sexy Smoker” and the “Way She
Smokes?”
I wanted to be a sexier side to weed smoking, which inspired my 2014 SEXNTREES EP, which is all smooth smoking music.
3. What is your niche is this rap game?
I got own sound and background, and I strive to be something different and original.
4. Why should fans support Tenner?
(Fans should support Tenner) so the world can finally get a taste of Colorado—weed, streets, and everything I have to offer. They should support me so our Hip-Hop scene can be acknowledged.
5. Tells us about the afterhours spot and the After Hours’ movement?
I’m just not an artist. I work hard at giving the city a place to go and enjoy the“303” lifestyle. After hours is one of those and I love giving people a place to go when there nowhere else to go. Afterhours mixtape just reflects on the up’s and down’s, and the lifestyle of “Late Late” nights.

6. What happened to Box Boyz?
Everybody just took time to work on the themselves, but we a recently get back in the lab and we are working on a new BOY BOYZ project.

7. Who is your favorite Colorado M.C.?

I have no favorite, but I listen to more local music than anything else. There are so many names I don’t know where to start, but I can say I take pride in the quality of music coming out of Colorado right now.

8. Who is your favorite M.C.?
Young Jeezy.
9. What is the state of Colorado Hip-Hop?

I say we’re at a state were we are ready to blow. Once we get a crack in the door I believe the world will catch on to our music as a state and our sound.
10.What are your thoughts about weed culture in Denver?
I think it’s a beautiful thing, me being a “weed rapper.” I feel that it’s going to be the thing that breaks down the door for people to start respecting the Colorado music scene.
11.What are your thoughts on Legalization?
The legalization of weed in Denver is giving us some much-needed attention. Now, I think we’ll be able to really grow, and do things you usually see in the bigger cities.

Young Tenner’s Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/boxboy10

Listen to Young Tenner’s Greatest Mixtape Your Never Heard:

http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/tenner-tenners-greatest-mixtape-you-never-heard-mixtape.80817.html?song-7

Posted in Hip Hop

Mentality

Mind Potent like my first inhale,
While they live in a mental jail.

Still…
Silent but I mean well.
I don’t talk cause only time will tell.

The loudest are usually the first to fail,
So I pray & God pushes me to proveil.

Posted in Poetry

My Poetic Persona

This dark skin gave the world the impression I was dumber,
so the government sent me the notion to sell crack when I was younger,
but it didn’t add up why would I want my days to be numbered?

My peers said to make it I better work on my jumper.
They didn’t know I walk to the beat of my personal drummer.
Now even the Heaven sent say,poetically, hes an Up and comer.
If the limit is the sky,
then Zeus & I are playing catch with lighting & thunder.
I followed the lead of my dreams while they were in a stoned slumber.
The marijuana manifested munchies couldn’t explain the amount of hunger,
that transform this superb man from a boy who wondered?
Where was the fight in all the runners?

History taught me you’re either the hunted or the hunter,
I had to please,
My hierarchy of needs,
The Bottom line is…
Don’t Be Weak.
I struggled for this success,
climbed to the top of the trees.
They wanna see my downfall like that chopped lumber.
Fuck timbers I’m doing it Titanic!
in this Ocean of opportunity,
Icebergs or not I won’t go under.
It’s a cold, cold, cold world so everyday my heart get number,
but my spirit feels similar to a dessert Summer,
as it works words into pictures posted on your brain’s Tumblr.
So gifted I curved the curses.
Transformed that negativity into  positive poetic verses.
So give me more praise than a combination of churches.
You see my life a series of  lessons learned from sinful soul searches,
So by the devil my soul came can’t be purchased.
Too bad my peers couldn’t see it wasn’t worth it.
They buried their ambition mine is barely scratching the surface.
Compared me to the dead cause no one on this earth is,
More passionate about their poetic persona’s purpose.

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Posted in Poetry

Crazy!Sexy!Cool!

CrazySexyCool

CrazySexyCool (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CrazySexyCool is the perfect  combination of adjectives to describe TLC. Their biopic debuted on VH1 last night, and it revealed the “behind the scenes” moments that hampered, but eventually propelled the 90’s R&B/Hip-Hop African-American all girl group to unparalleled stardom. Most of the dirty laundry aired previously during a behind the music episode, but the movie’s perspective on the group’s rise is by far more entertaining.

Watching the movie informed fans of the three women’s trials and tribulations, but also brought back great
memories attached to their timeless classics. In my opinion, the biopic was well written as it wove in the group’s mega success but not without including their journey’s wrong turns. Of course there are things that could have been done better, but overall the film grabbed the audience’s attention and doesn’t let go until the ending credits roll down the screen.
Director Charles Stone, and actresses Drew Sidora (T-Boz), Lil’ Mama (Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez), and KeKe Palmer (Chilli) pulled off the impossible, as they showcased the career of one of music’s greatest talents, while paying tribute to their struggles and their record-setting singles, and albums.

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Posted in Non Fiction

We’re Not Buying It: Kanye West Sells Confederate Flag T-Shirts At Yeezus Tour [POLL]

Originally posted on HelloBeautiful:

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Kanye West recently started out his Yeezus Tour along with Kendrick Lamar, and while he’s making headlines for bringing Jesus and a mountaintop on stage, while wearing multiple freaky masks, perhaps one of the bigger headlines is that Yeezy’s pushing Confederate Flag T-shirtswith one that read, “I ain’t going down” as a part of the official merchandise you can buy when you attend his show that Rolling Stone is calling “emotionally unsettling as it was awe-inspiring.”

Must Read: Forever 21′s N.W.A. Apparel + 5 Other Offensive Fashion Faux Pas

Kanye…really? Kanye’s latest music from Yeezus is heavily laced in religious and racial undertones, so perhaps Kanye is using his love of fashion to carry these themes out further. He’s no stranger to pushing the envelope, so we really shouldn’t even be surprised that he’s pushing on-the-surface racist apparel. But we all know Kanye’s got…

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Posted in Poetry

When Life Gets in the Way: Finding Time to Blog

Originally posted on The Daily Post:

When you begin blogging, losing an hour of sleep to perfect a post or skipping lunch to spend time commenting is a pleasure. Post ideas come thick and fast. And more published posts mean pageviews and readers, so publishing more is better, right?

Sure… until it’s not. Until work starts piling up. Or you get sick. Or a friend is in from out of town. Or you have to bake three dozen cupcakes for Sally’s class — by tomorrow. Sometimes, we all get trapped under a beam in the burning barn (metaphorically) and can’t get to the computer. When that happens, how do you find time to blog without turning your creative outlet into just another obligation?

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Posted in Poetry

Nipsey Hussle’s Crenshaw

“I swore to tell the world if I made it out,

The truth about these LA streets and all that they about.”

Nipsey Hussle

Los Angeles entrepreneurial emcee Nipsey Hussle’s historical mixtape, “Crenshaw,” was released for free on http://www.datpiff.com on October 8th. That same day, fans of Nipsey’s were able to purchase the same mixtape for $100 at his pop up shop in L.A. or at proud2pay.com.  Nipsey is known to take his time on his projects, so he can build the anticipation up and this time he played his cards perfectly.

The rapper has come along way from the Bullets Have No Names series, however Hussle has stayed true to his roots. By doing so he has created his own lane in the rap industry. His rise from a California gangsta to internationally known rapper, who is marketing genius, has caught the attention of the world, and the L.A. native is well aware of the power he holds with the mic in his hand. Nipsey came into the game repping Rollin’ Sixty Crips, but as he has evolved he is now more known for his marathon movement, which emphasizes working hard and being a visionary.

His passion for his neighborhood, and his people was evident long before he released, the Dj Drama hosted, “Crenshaw.” He has become the spokesperson for the streets of L.A. and the rest of urban America, while becoming a role model for people who take of their business and have the foresight to accomplish long-term goals. Hussle showcased his ability to think outside the box and bring the consumer into his world when he released the project with the option of purchasing for a bill or downloading it for free.

Nipsey Hussle has reached a point in his career where he has a strong enough following to make monster moves, such as mobilizing his fan base through social media and claiming to make $100,000 in a day off of “Crenshaw.” Hussle’s #proud2say campaign is the first of his kind, and he states the price tag isn’t just for his quality music but for the Nipsey Hussle revolution of the rap game. Stayed tuned for next project, part three of the marathon series Victory Lap.

Nipsey Hussle Ft. Dom Kennedy & Cobby Supreme: Checc Me Out

 

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Posted in Non Fiction

Great Novels and Word Count

Originally posted on indefeasible:

Word count is one of those things new writers worry about but deny worrying about because we’re not supposed to be worrying about it. According to Wikipedia’s entry on word count, the typical word count of a novel is at least 80,000 words. I’ve heard through the publishing world grapevine than most agents and editors will generally take a query for a first novel more seriously if the word count is between 80,000 and 100,000.

Instead of sleeping, I compiled in an Excel sheet novels I read growing up. They’re mostly classics because those are the only ones where word count is easily obtained. More contemporary fiction would require more digging. I wouldn’t say I personally love every one of these books, but I would regard them as classics, as great novels in themselves, even if the particular author wasn’t that impressive of a writer.

Author — Book Title…

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Posted in Poetry

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