Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sojourner Truth, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr. etc. said to, also, be featured on the new U.S. Dollar design

Last week, it was confirmed that lead slave abolitionist of the Underground railroad, would be appearing on the new $20 U.S. currency bill replacing previous president Andrew Jackson. While venturing on the U.S. Treasury website, it turns out, Ms. Tubman will not be the only change occurring and/or new African-American or American historic figure featured. The Treasury Dept. explains via the website that they will create new design concepts for the $5, $10, $20 U.S. currency bill with honoring American history and celebrating American values. Their goal is to make a new statement through the currency about who America is as a nation. See what changes will be made and who is appearing after the jump!

I Been Goin Thru It All | Erykah Badu

All of this could’ve been avoided
But a nxgga really had to snap
Cause I been going through it all
and aint’ nobody had my back
Where tf was ya’ll at?

Thank you Erykah.  Please say that one more time for the folk in the back.
Recently, Badu has been in hot water via social media for her comments on school girls' dress codes. Many were not feeling her personal opinion and backlash came her way from all angles. As a true artist, she channeled her ‘clap back’ through music to those and just in general with her new loosie “I BEEN GOIN THRU IT ALL”. Listen below::

Related Post ::  Phone Down | Erykah Badu

{Personal Post} PHOTOS :: No Kings Collective Pop-up Shop #BeastsOfEngland Animal Farm event

Last month, I checked out The Beasts of England pop up shop event held at Lab 1270 via #NoKingsDC. They are noted for their creative presentations, in which I’ll stamp. The ones I’ve seen, personally, are dope as hell; including this one. This installation is by artist and #NoKingsCollective co-founder Brandon Hill in a modern day interpretation of George Orwell’s classic tale, Animal Farm.

Passenger seat x Little Hen x N.E.R.D.

Hopeful :: A 2nd Chance for Women after Prison at "Together We Bake"

(L) Jenkya Gassnola, intern x Hanna Teklu, a graduate of the program and now currently a program assistant- via Morgan McCloy/NPR. 
As many who know with or without a criminal record, once an individual is released from jail/prison, the search for employment is difficult and often rather discouraging considering it’s few and far employers who want to give criminal offenders (no matter the gender) a second chance. Offenders are quickly turned away once the record is mentioned or comes to light. Unfortunately, but understandably, you’re reverted back to criminal activity just to make ends meet; trapped. Bonnie Rice, who served a 5 year drug related prison sentence, did not want to revert back. The bakery was just the place to help her with that.

(L) Elizabeth Bennett, Director of Partnerships x Nikki Yates, Program participant- via Morgan McCloy/NPR.
‘Together We Bake’ offers that chance to women who have served time in prison or are currently on probation for their criminal charge. Located in Alexandria, VA, this bakery makes granola, cookies, and kale chips for eateries and Whole Food stores locally. ‘Together We Bake’ trains women in the baking field along while coaching/conditioning these ladies to stray far from their past criminal activities and develop new habits that will drive them to success. Within the program here, women offenders can receive training certificates, which can alleviate some of the stress of finding employment once the program ends. Optimistically, the culinary field offers many careers for these cases. I, personally, can vouch for someone (although they are male) who was released last year and is now making a successful living in culinary. It seems the food industry is, in a sense, is supportive of employing those with a criminal background. It’s reported that 89% of women in the program pass the Serv Safe exam and move forward.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Remembering the Icon..... Prince.

Definition of perfectly unapologetic.  He didn’t care what you said about what he wore… who he dated... nor what kind of music he made.  He stood up for what he believed in... including his culture.  Respectively, no matter how large his elite status was nor how many blacks or non blacks were in the room, he remained an advocate for the black culture AND for himself; had his own back.  Prince.. the  perfect example of what it means to be your own individual.  On top of this… his discography.. bruh.  Without a question, he is one of the legends whose music catalog is out of this world and was an OUTSTANDING performer.  Lemme tell you this.. with the roll call list, Heaven has the best concert series EVER more than any of us could ever imagine...

I attempted to type this tribute post earlier.  I was going through it internally with an external of a stone expression.  I needed to release.  What I found was.. I can NOT type or construct written material in fresh ache.  If you all saw this original post, you would be o_o.  It was all over the place just as my emotions were.  Scattered from top to bottom.  Every single thing that came to mind about him or a memory or the reactions observed surrounding this were all typed out.  Typing frantically like a mad woman.  A woman typing through intense stings...

From someone who holds music so dear, when musicians pass that have affected my life in one way or another.. It's a pain.  I received texts/emails of ache from fam in sorrow today to add to that.  However, now that it's hours later and I've taken my antidote to non tears or feels (libations), I can type sensibly...trying to get myself together.   This is the very first artist (in adulthood) that I intentionally played their music, so close to the passing, in remembrance.  I usually have to stray away for an extended period of time. For example, MJ died.. I couldn't... and stumbled upon a band playing a tribute to where we went to 'grieve'.  Ruins.  Whitney Houston died... I would NOT listen.  I got in the car and immediately her song 'My Love is Your Love' was on.  Niagara Falls.  Nevertheless, bottle nice and cold and jams.  Today was rough before I even got the news.  This impact hit in a way that I have written in another post drafted.  I guess I should return the Prince Greatest Hits CD (custom made) that I snagged out of my brother's collection a couple years back.  If you're reading this... Forgive your kid sister.

To try and commemorate Prince on a brighter note with this lump in my throat, below are some of my favorite Prince songs and my memory/feeling that goes with them in my Time Warp segment format.  If you know Prince... you know  most of his work is difficult to find for the free; last year he removed all of his music from streaming services with the exception of Tidal..  He was about his paper when it came to his art.  Took a stand against the man.  Thankfully, I was able to pull a couple YouTube's to go with the commentary but most.. you gotta cop if you haven't heard already.  

"Black and white! Red and green!"   Yelling that watching the original Batman (or randomly in a outburst) with Michael Keaton during the scene where it plays and the Joker (Jack Nicholson) sidekick Bob get ta dancing all wild.. along with Jack.  You know .. the museum scene?  Yea.  Favorite part of the movie.  On top of that, I partied each time I heard it (through present) outside of the movie like Patrice in the living room on Coming to America.  Instant Grooves.    

AFROPUNK NYC 2016 Line-up featuring Ice Cube, Tyler the Creator, Cee-Lo Green, Janelle Monae + more

I didn't think they could one up from last year.  They did.  Tickets on sale NOW ... Click here

Friday, April 15, 2016

{Epic Video} :: Remembering the 72-10 Chicago Bulls from the 1995/96 Season

**UPDATE from original 04/11/2016 post- The Warriors beat the record!

The 1995/96 Chicago Bulls maintained and created NBA history of finishing a season with a 72-10 record.  With a current season of 72-9 (next game April 13th), the Golden State Warriors are aiming to break that all time record.  The tensions are high!  We shall see!

Lately, social media has flooded with exhausting comparisons of both teams and even comparisons of Steph Curry to Michael Jordan (which I loathe).  Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who did not grow up as a Jordan 'fan'.. but rather the apple in my eye was Penny Hardaway.  
My brother, on the other hand, is indeed the biggest Jordan fan that I know.  For years, even when I just wanted to see Penny solely (or Rod Strickland lol)... I had to hear stats.. watch games.. and know damn near Jordan's every. single. move. on the court(s)/field(s) and off... even including seeing all of his sneakers.  Over time, I learned to appreciate his legacy...
With that being said, I wanted to make it clear I'm not what you would call a Jordan 'advocate' and yet and still the comparisons of the two players (Curry and Jordan) are agitating..equally to those of Kobe and Jordan.  On top of that, the comparison of the Warriors squad now to the inimitable magic that the 1995/96 Bulls transcended is a bigger eye roll.  
What's with the paralleling of every single thing nowadays?  Let the legendary stay legendary.  Let those up and coming solidifying their own spot in history... do just that.  It's enough room in the 'greats' world for everyone to have a lane.  QUIT with the comparisons.  Please and Thank You.  

Now... *ahem.. back to the matter at hand.  In lieu of all the frenzy, NBA has released a 5 minute highlight reel, in which they have labeled a 'mixtape', that captures the greatest moments of the team completely dominating the league that year.  Take a trip down memory lane......

Related Posts 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Stream :: Jerreau of Fly Union releases his solo project ... "Never How You Plan"

Jerreau is still as real as it gets.  With majority of his rhymes, the conscious is provoked... feels can be caught... and the undeniable word play will have you reacting quickly once or if you catch it.  He's been laying low (unless you follow him on IG) since he moved from his home, Ohio, and headed to LA.  In between that time, while fans have been waiting for the music, many things have happened in his life.  Bankroll Reau gets raw.. and by that I mean honest.  Honesty unconcealed...  

"'Never How You Plan' is a collection of real life experiences and emotions.  I like to say, I make music you live with.  Drive to it, run to it, clean to it.  ...Everything's not black and white, there's a lot of grey area; metaphors and double meanings.  I just hope the music speaks to you"- Jerreau to Complex.

Indeed it does.  Stream below and be sure to support and grab a copy on iTunes here.

Previous Jerreau/Fly Union posts

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Mixtape :: Bad vs Dangerous | Michael Jackson (Chopped Not Slopped ... by. DJ Slim K)

I don't think I've ever been so ecstatic about a chopped and slopped in a while (since 'The Big Payback' by James Brown, which comes very close).  

The scene.  Candles lit.. Cooking .. Windows open with the breeze from the storm..  Bass thumpin of this blasting.. and doing the Monique dance from Precious in the kitchen.  
This version of 'Another Part of Me' is from another planet.  Thanks DJ Slim K.  A random find that I decided to share.  Enjoy.     

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Sit Down and Let Me Learn You Somethin :: The Organized Noize Documentary recap - "The Art of Organized Noize" #HipHopDocs

I didn’t want to post about this until I actually watched it, and I finally did last week.
Producers. Pioneers. Legends. Organized Noize- comprised of Rico Wade x Ray Murray x Sleepy Brown.  The documentary taps into their early beginnings of The Dungeon (Family)… ‘finding’ Outkast and ‘creating’ the Goodie Mob etc.  The moment that changed it all- a deal with Laface (yep, Pebbles appears in this).  Rising to the top becoming one of the most requested groups to work with.  Did ya’ll know they are responsible for ‘Waterfalls’/TLC and ‘Don’t Let Go’/En Vogue????? DOG.

With fame and money, came the fun and smiles, but with every joy… there is pain.  The group they ‘put on’ and had always worked with from the very beginning… Outkast.. decided not to work with them on their ‘Speakerrboxx/Love Below’ album.  This one album turned out to be Outkast’ most successful that went on to go diamond AND win a grammy for Album of the Year.  You’ll find that Rico Wade is UPSET about that still… and that they/Organized Noize didn’t even get a thank you in the speech for their success.  In the middle of this story, Jimmy Iovine appears.  You know what happens when Jimmy’s involved…

With depression from success disintegrating, comes the welcome wagon for the vices to band-aid the pain.  In their cases (with the exception of Ray) .. DRUGS.  HEAVY.  Organized Noize remained slightly behind the scenes, but did want the credit they deserved (including Ray Murray who was a low key mastermind) as they rightfully should have- including monetary compensation.  The battle of trying to remain humble in an ego driven industry was put to the test. 

Yet and still.. their stamp will ALWAYS remain in the hip-hop legend stories .  I mean after all… they made Cell Therapy… and I STILL say for years now… that is in the top 10 of hip-hop beats ever made.  #DontDebateMeOnThis.

If you have not seen it… here’s the trailer below to give you a little taste.  If you’re into music/hip-hop.. watch it.  It’s on Netflix now.

My personal comments (out of order in appearance of the film):

Mixtape :: AFROPUNK presents... "No Trumpism"

The new AFROPUNK mixtape is presented to musically express the stand against racism and facism.
A complete aura of a liberating feeling AND a personal memory for me of last year’s AFROPUNK .. specifically when near the indie stage. Amazing waves.
‘No Trumpism’ is powerful and many many more synonyms for descriptors. Release. YES *fists. 
  They think it’s a game.. they think it’s a joke.. WE READY.

Video :: Groovy Tony | Schoolboy Q

The moment I heard Q’s verse on ASAP Ferg’s recent ‘Let it Bang' record, I knew he was bringing the savage out again.  ‘Groovy Tony’ is the first offering suspected from an upcoming project from Q. Directed by Jack Begert and the Little Homies. Watch below::
Blank face.

Related Post ::  Video :: Vice City | Jay Rock feat. Kendrick Lamar x Ab-Soul x Schoolboy Q

Dates/Lineup :: Nas and Fabolous headline the 12th Annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival

[Watch} :: 'Long Live the Pimp' - A Documentary on the Life of Pimp C

4 weeks away from like fxck this we got a record deal...
Bun B, Nas, Michael "5000" Watts, DJ Paul, David Banner and so on and so on all come together for this semi-brief documentary, curated by Complex and Mass Appeal ,to talk about Chad Butler aka Pimp C; in many different ways and the impact he had on hip-hop and others. There were even some interesting stories told. For example, Pimp C didn’t want to do Big Pimpin.. that’s why he had the shortest verse. He didn’t want people to think he was riding Jay-Z cause of how hot he was at the time or get that wrong idea.  C wanted to make it clear that Jay reached out to them (UGK). On top of that, He didn’t even like that ‘garbage can a—muthafxckin’ beat’.
David Banner wrote him in jail often.. and taught him how to play the drum machine.  There were more untold stories of behind the scene throughout from all who contributed.  I must comment that Bun B's mini speech at the end is too trill. #NoPunIntended.
 Long live the Pimp. Watch below::

Wicked (freestyle) | Fabolous x Jadakiss

Two of NY's finest join forces for a freestyle over Future's 'Wicked' track off Purple Reign.  Fab and Jada are working on a collaborative mixtape that doesn't have a release date yet, but if this is a sample manifestation... you already know some heat is coming soon.

Related Post ::  Mixtape :: Friday Night Freestyles | Fabolous x DJ Clue