Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another Black Eye

So, once again, a rich black man has to show his ass and give the racists another reason to continue to stereotype us. After a colossal win by the President-Elect, Barack Obama, we still have to contend with the dumb exploits of New York Giant football player, Plaxico Burgess. This even after winning a Super Bowl earlier this year and being rewarded with a rich contract that many people would kill for, yet, even though he is injured, he still feels he has to ‘thug it out’ at a New York City nightclub this past week!

You would think that after all the bullshit fellow NFL player ‘Pacman’ Jones has gone through in the previous year and the Michael Vick situation, people would be more cautious about the ignorance that still possesses their lives. What needs to start happening is that when these idiots decide to act out in public, they should be reprimanded as harshly as you or I would if we committed the same acts, but without the high priced attorneys stepping in to save their dumb asses!

I still don’t understand why rappers, actors, entertainers and sport players feel that they have to prove their ignorance while in the streets. They create their own imaginary image and feel that they have to live up to ‘being real’ for the sake of the ignorant people that they either admire or want to be cool with, yet, avoid making money because they can’t get endorsements and wonder why people only see them as talented people and nothing else. We all know they crave respect, admiration and acceptance but why is it that it has to be done on an ignorant level? Yet, I can’t get in the ‘cool club’ because I don’t have the status of these ignorant people, yet they are the ones keeping up the stereotype, ESPECIALLY in the New York City area. Thanks Plaxico Burgess for giving these club owners more reason to prevent me and my other law-abiding friends the opportunity to hang out and have a good time based on your ignorance and their perception of ALL Black people. They look at us and say, the niggas get rich and still act like niggas. Thanks to all the dumb ass rappers and entertainers that feel that they have to be ignorant to get respect in the same streets that will test them more than any other group out there. Thanks for re-enforcing my thoughts on going to these ‘high profile’ events and staying home and being safe and not having to worry about being shot or left out in the cold because I am not one of the ‘cool kids’.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Getting Back To Work, Part 1

B-Real of Cypress Hill "Don't Ya Dare Laugh"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

NEWSFLASH!!!!! Racism NEVER left!!!!

20 November 2008

So for years I’ve been reading in the newspapers and watching on TV and reading on the internet how race relations are great and it’s not as bad as it used to be. I have strongly disagreed every time I would see such a report knowing that I am a dark-skinned black man living in the New York City area, knowing that I am being judged solely on the color of my skin. Knowing that police officers routinely stop me in my vehicle based on how I look and not because I’ve committed any crime or traffic violation. I know that there are racist people preventing me from gaining things based on their own insecurities and prejudices.

I laugh when my white friends and acquaintances swear up and down that racism is barely existence nowadays (Though I am not accusing them of racism at all) because they are comfortable hanging with Blacks and other ‘minorities’. I even chuckle when they feel comfortable laughing at my peoples use of the N word that we, not I, but we, are comfortable saying in front of them and in videos and on record and on film (That’s another subject that I will write about in length some other time!). But, in case most of you think otherwise, racism is alive and well and kicking! It never left, it is still lingering and it is making a more blatant comeback right in front of our very eyes!

Want proof? It was reported yesterday that since Barack Obama has been elected, there has been a spike in hate crimes throughout the nation! And we have to remember that there are many crimes that are underreported in the mainstream media. Blacks have been labeled savages since I can remember and references are always made towards our Hip Hop videos and black on black crimes, yet, according to all the media reports, all of these hate crimes are being committed by whites against Blacks and other minorities. There have been reported death threats against Obama for almost 2 years now since he announced he was running for President of The United States. I am 100% sure that there are groups out there plotting right now to try to eliminate the nation’s first Black President-Elect.

We must keep our eyes open and realize that much hasn’t changed when it comes to racism, it’s just disguised better. But as we approach the inauguration of President Barack Obama, I truly believe we will see an even higher rise in hate crimes committed by angry white, racists. I can hear them now, ‘How dare they let this nigger be leader of this here country?’

Plies - "Put It On Ya"

Black Moon, Smiff N Wessun, Havoc, Travis McCoy Vid

The Industry Cosign Spotlight: Kenji Jasper

November 2008

Kenji Jasper
Words Lines and Phrases
Brooklyn, NY

At 33, Kenji Jasper can boast of a 18-year career in writing and journalism, which began when he published his first article as an intern for The Washington Informer newspaper at the age of 13. At 14, he became a contributor to Black Entertainment Television's YSB Magazine, and later worked as a writer/instructor at The Institute for the Preservation and Study of African American Writing. He also served as an on-air personality for WTTG Fox 5's Newsbag (1986-1987), and later as one of the founding cast members of Black Entertainment Television's Teen Summit (1989-1993). By the time he graduated from Morehouse College in 1997, his journalism had appeared in The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union Tribune, and The Atlanta Tribune .

But creative writing has always been his true love. He penned his first novel, "Dark" , at the age of 21. It has since been released in the United Kingdom and translated into French. It was later optioned to be made into a film by State Street Pictures(Soul Food, Barbershop, Roll Bounce) and Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Mr. Jasper has contributed articles and essays to Newsweek, National Public Radio, The Village Voice, VIBE, The Charlotte Observer, The Chicago Sun-Times and Essence among many other publications. His first work of nonfiction, The House on Childress Street, was published in January of 2006. He is co-editor of Beats, Rhymes and Life, a collection of critical writings on hip hop culture and the novella, Snow, which was published by VIBE Books in 2007.

He is also the CEO and Editor of The Armory, a publishing partnership with Akashic Books. It's mosrt recent release, Cake, by author D, was published in Summer 2008. He is currently at work on Nightshift, the first novel in a three-part series and other screenwriting and client projects.

novel in a three-part series and other screenwriting and client projects.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Industry Cosign Spotlight: ERIKA J. KENDRICK

November 2008

Erika J. Kendricks
Author/Managing Partner/President
Confessions Of A Rookie Cheerleader/Publishing Prep/NABFEME
New York, NY

Erika J. Kendricks, a Chicago native, rocks out in the middle of Manhattan with her Himalayan hottie, Cody. She graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Psych and after a few bouts of indentured servitude at Ogilvy PR Worldwide and J Records, Erika completed her MBA and escaped to New York City. She snagged both her luggage and a coveted gig (read: “…and you’ll be sharing office space with the warm sodas in the utility closet…”) at the ultra-chic record label, Island Def Jam.

Kendrick quickly took a first class flight out of her own minstrel mind, clicked her Henri Bendel heels three times, and stubbornly left the music game behind. She switched stilettos and hopped on a publishing plane after inking a 2-book deal in the reputable Random House literary game. Her first born, CONFESSIONS OF A ROOKIE CHEERLEADER: A Novel, dropped in 2007, the second, APPETITE: A Novel, will follow cleverly close behind in June 2009.

Kendrick is currently working on her third sneak-peak read and also developing a tween series while writing the screenplay for CONFESSIONS OF A ROOKIE CHEERLEADER. She is the senior editor and a contributing writer for Pilot Getaways, a travel magazine.

Kendrick is a managing partner of PUBLISHING PREP®, a comprehensive course curriculum designed exclusively for the aspiring writer. She is also the President of the New York chapter of NABFEME - National Association of Black Female Executives in Music and Entertainment ( Erika is a member of the Stanford Alumni Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Black MBA Association and a recipient of several “Who’s Who” honors. Kendrick has recently contracted with the GIRL SCOUTS OF AMERICA Scholar’s Program to teach creative writing to juniors and seniors. And proudly, her heart perpetually pumps to the oh-so-fabuloso crimson-and-cream stomps of Delta Sigma Theta!

CONFESSIONS OF A ROOKIE CHEERLEADER hit bookstores nationwide February 27, 2007 and was named the Wendy Williams Book Club Pick of the Month and Ebony Magazine’s Top 3 Pick for April Fiction. The acclaimed title has garnered coverage in Publisher’s Weekly, Upscale Magazine, Romantic Times, Black Beat Magazine, Rolling Out Magazine, W.I.N.E. (Women In Entertainment), Ebony Magazine and several online publications including, but not limited to, Shake Your Beauty, Nia Online, Urban Reviews, Crème Magazine, Strive Magazine and Black Athlete.

Kendrick is currently in talks with networks and studios to option both the television and film rights. APPETITE is slated to drop June 23, 2009.

Erika can be contacted for panels or speaking engagements at,, or for any additional literary opportunities through her agent, Stephany Evans, at

5 Questions With..... Boxie

November 2008

Recording Artist
Polo Grounds
New York

1) I’ve always said there’s a difference between R & B and Soul, could you tell us your interpretation of both?

I always felt the difference comes with the feeling behind the song- R&B has a specific twist to it that makes you wanna move and what not, but soul, in my book is the ultimate form of song- no restrictions no boundaries no slick metaphors, just pure passion and heart. That's where I see the difference. Soul is timeless and R&B is very changeable.

2) You have an interesting story where you say you grew up in the streets AND the church. How were you able to do both and what effect did that have on your talent and vision?

Well I was able to do both because I had no choice...I had a mother who prayed and a strict dad from the south, so we had to go to church or we had to grab the ping pong paddle dad used to keep in the dresser to tear our butts up!!! And then being in the hood anyway, it wasn't like we could just leave- my dad works hard just to say he's broke so it was about being able to do both because I had to do both. That's where I was.

But it actually gave my songs love and respect, seeing how at the time that's the only place I could free myself -behind the sounds of my soul and the words from my heart

3) What can we expect from you that would make us listen to your songs and eventually buy your album?

The biggest thing you can ever expect from me is a strong visual…I'm such a handsome, funny and talented guy that you have no choice but to love me!!! LMAO!! But no seriously, the character I display is somewhat like a movie character- I'm always someone to watch and wait to see what I do next. My songs carry a sense of freedom and realness that I think everyone can relate to...

4) Now being on the Polo Grounds roster and getting your start with Murder Inc., it’s safe to say that you have reputable people backing and believing in you, does that put more pressure on you to succeed?

Truthfully it does. It’s one thing to have you and your family to take care of but it’s another thing to have people who are into you and pushing you, and everyday you fight not to lose their interest. Some people don't care, but I do- that's just me. I have to get it done. I'm always in a situation where I have to prove myself, so yeah it’s a whole lot of pressure honestly speaking.

5) Does the current condition in the industry (sales are going down yearly, the quality of music isn’t the same anymore, etc.) scare you as far as trying to sell music?

Hell yeah!! LOL!! Scares me everyday because I didn't get a deal off of the type of music that's winning now, so its like I'm just praying and hoping the lovers of my music are still out there…The world is changing and so is our music- we’re not listening to the temptations no more- they were then, T-Pain is now, and Boxie is the future. But that's just my personal thoughts…

Monday, November 17, 2008

It Needs To Be CED: The Struggle is NOT over!!!!

November 2008

As happy as I am that I’ve witnessed the election of a Black president, the struggle is FAR from being over! My primary concern and fear is that the number of people who were finally energized to actually go out and vote, will feel like their job is done and they can become complacent. That is too far from the truth! I am almost embarrassed that some of my friends, who are around 40 years old, have finally exercised their right to vote. Yes, it’s good that they did it as opposed to never doing it but to not have done it is still something that amazes me. Not being involved in who is making decisions for your well-being is not a wise decision. Allowing others who have no interest in you or your concerns, to make laws and decisions that do affect you, doesn’t sit well with me, especially when these rights were fought for our benefit.

What people still don’t understand is that there is still a lot on the table, even in local elections and we must not stop at the presidential election every four years. I’ve stated this almost yearly that we can’t just be concerned about candidates and politics when there is a presidential election. We must have the same energy and focus when it comes to electing our mayors, governors, congressmen, representatives, councilmen, judges and every office in between all of those!

The parties are good, the celebration is great but the struggle is still here. As you look on TV, listen to radio, search the internet, you will see that other factors out there mad as hell about what has transpired. Violence is being committed on innocent people based on their skin color because of the outcome of a major election and you think the struggle is over? We are having the SAME fight we’ve had for years, our parents have had, our grandparents have had and most likely our children will have! We cannot rest on our laurels now and not in the near OR distant future! I still have a great chance of being arrested based on the color of my skin, not my actions. I can still be assaulted by these ignorant racists who are trying to make a point. I can still be denied a job based on how I look, not my abilities.

I know this should be happy times but I have to look at the realistic painting being drawn. There is still a lot of work to do and we cannot think that by having a Black president that we are about to see a breakthrough immediately! This includes continuing to vote, finding out about every candidate who is running for political office. Finding out WHO your politicians are and what roles they play. Knowing what laws are out there, what your rights are. Organizing OUR communities and stop looking for others to help us or bail us out. TEACH our children, GUIDE our children and LOVE our children. Stop the blatant ignorance that is being shown, specifically in the Hip Hop community, where the voice may actually be the strongest for us. These are just a few examples and we ALL need to first look at ourselves, then after we realize how we can help, reach out to help others.

The struggle is NOT over and shouldn’t be treated as such!