Tuesday, September 28, 2004

"Welcome To The Show" Part I

-- Sept. 28th, 2004 --

Hip-Hop is universal. An undeniable force unable to be reckoned with for the past 30 years. Like most music cultivated from the hearts and minds of Black folks -- it has transformed what was accepted in the past and created a new road for others to traverse. Language, dance, fashion, mannerisms -- all affected by this artform -- this culture viewed as a "trend" or "fad" beginning in the late seventies and exploding in the early-to-mid eighties.

But I don't want to get into a historical account of the origins of this culture we know as "Hip-Hop". Today it is accepted in the mainstream -- it has transcended and influenced every medium used today. With this acceptance comes a relinquishing of the past. Hip-Hop was the voice for the voiceless people. Now it has become the means by which some see as a quick way to get rich. With this mainstream appeal comes the masses -- who feel that they are also a part of the culture. So, now comes in Johnny Be Hood and Susie Q-Rock, who have no real gist of the community that these artists speak about -- but accept the music as the getaway they need from the "harsh" realities of trust funds and weekly tanning sessions. In fact, they love the music moreso than we, the Black community, ourselves do.

In turn, we have not only accepted this, but profit highly off of doing so. With this now acknowledged, Big Business has their eyes and wallets waiting to prostitute the newest Hip-Hop/R&B sensation. Now you see Farnsworth Bentley doing Gap commercials, Dilated Peoples doing car commercials, Black Eyed Peas looking dapper in Levi's Silver Tab jeans. Twelve years ago -- African-American artists were absent from the mainstream fashion, advertising, and music scene. Billboards would've been plastered with the hottest white female model selling whatever refusing to smile.

But that is not the case now, now is it? Is that such a bad thing? Blacks are able to profit off of their own creation, right? We're able to escape the poverty that some knew all too familiar, right? We're on the same level as those who were the ones who used to call us, "Nigger," who instituted Jim Crow laws, and hung our bodies from streetlamps on the corner, RIGHT? I guess you have to be the judge on that one.

The entire World is enjoying the spectacle that is the "Hip-Hop Minstrel Show" and we are its celebrities. No longer is the smiling and being jovial applicable to be a part of this event. You can be yourself to the fullest degree. Want to disrespect your fellow brothers and sisters -- you can do that here! Every and anything that you can fantasize, no matter how degrading and unrealistic it may really be -- will be recorded, packaged, and distributed to the millions of supporting fans anxiously awaiting your next tale in this ghetto drama. Which will then be digested by not only Black supporters, but also by it's white counterparts -- who feel your struggle.

They dissect it to the point where it becomes clear as to who you are or at least who you're trying to be. Where imitation is, in some people's opinion, the most sincere form of flattery -- it is a viable cash cow to be a star in this Show. A culture built on originality has diluted into a bunch of copycats who try to outdo what the person before them has already done [sometimes better].

I am categorically tired of Rap music -- even though I may have my love/hate relationship with the artform, a few things remain painfully clear. While those who may have attained some type of celebrity they still neglect a lot of things that us as Black folks are also not being responsible for. But I will get to that on Part 2 of this series of "Welcome to the Show". So, sit back, relax -- enjoy the show...

Saturday, September 25, 2004

"Relationships Can Be A Form Of Suicide"

-- Sept. 25th, 2004 --

The stare from across the room. Palms sweaty... nervous... words seem to not be able to come out right. She notices you. You notice her. A smile. Perceptive, you take the initiative to approach her. Making sure all things are in order -- you speak. She laughs, flirts, entices you with her charisma. You assume that she is interested in your charm. A chance is born to be blown in the wind. A relationship is ignited in the guise of a friendship. The beginning months are spent happy-go-lucky, laughing at the corny jokes that only you and her find funny. Finding places to go that are only interesting to the both of you. No attention is being paid to the "others" -- the ones who are determined to separate your union. Trials and tribulations have strengthened your resolve within the confines of your relationship. You both take this journey with a delicacy acknowledged as trust and respect for one another. The intent of each other's actions is clear. "She was made for me..." "He is my air..." are statements reported to friends and family members. Total acceptance of each other is the end result. Her annoying habits are tolerable. His smart remarks are considered witty. Together you both remain happy. Yes, you both have your rough moments -- the "others" never leave, in fact, they gain strength off of the happiness you both share.

Your patience will be tested as enemies will be disguised as best friends or close confidants, admiring strangers, and tempters who will all have something to say that is wrong with your relationship. Family members may not always accept the path that you choose to take with your life. Father vehemently disapproves of the man that you chose to spend time with. His mother thinks that you are a bad influence... or even worst, she thinks that you are a hussie. Yet, the twinkle in her eyes is worth it. The sound of his voice as his lips form the words, "I love you," are priceless. The evenings spent together are an adventure in itself, as the outside world becomes a distant memory. The two of you spend an insurmountable amount of time, money, and space -- together. Through all the hardships of gaining one's trust, maintaining and nuturing the relationship, fending off those who wish for you falter, and STILL be able to look your Love in the eye and have the strength of character to fight for her, to comfort him in times of need -- is an amazing feat indeed.

That is... until... the late night phone calls he begins to receive late in the night. The times that you find out that she is not where she said she was going to be. The attitudes change. The mood shifts. Your heart plays a game of hot and cold. No longer do you look at the "others" from a distance. They are at your doorstep. Trying to crumble the foundation that you've spent years with her trying to establish. You question everyone's motive, as she does yours. It is no longer safe to smile, as it is to be perceived that you're up to something or that you've already done something that you weren't supposed to do. She approaches your whole being awkwardly. Her kiss doesn't feel the same. It's as if your heart isn't into it anymore. Suspicion clouds your every judgement. Finally, the truth of the matter -- his heart may have belonged to you, but his body was someone else's property. A close friend, imperfect stranger, doesn't matter -- your heart has been delivered an earth-shattering blow. Angered, drunk... whatever diagnosis you wish to place -- she sleeps with a neighbor, friend, stranger, still doesn't matter -- actions spoke louder than the tears that flowed.

Your love begins to play tag with the other's heart. Feelings of, "Just leave and never come back!!" to "...don't go..." are often uttered after shouting competitions or passionate love-making sessions. Doubts and speculation repeatedly flirt with your mind -- questioning your actions as you take her back. As you let him back into your life. You begin to adopt the "Me Against the World" philosophy as friends and family see that he is not the most healthiest person to have in your life. When others begin to attack your actions -- your stance is protective, while your heart handles the brunt of the truth that you don't wish to adhere to. Pride and half-hearted love are like oil and vinegar they do not mix. Nor do they hear the pleads of those who feel they have your best interests in mind. So... you stay with her, as friends walk out the door to leave you to your own devices. Family angrily states their position. Leaving you to choose. The love is on life-support. Given shots through rigorous libido exercises. The daily routine is a former shell of what you were used to as you place your make-up on to mask the tears he's given you after breaking your heart... one... more... time...

Confusion steps in as others begin to creep closer to your heart as your significant other is on the outs. The "others" words are foreign -- saying things like, "Trust... respect..." They begin to awake feelings that you've held down with all of your might. After having shards of your heart flirt with the hardwood floor -- YOU HAVE ENOUGH!!! Your heart shatters -- becoming frigid to the touch of anyone who dares to attempt to give a warm glance. Having a soul become isolated from love's happiness -- because you dared to challenge the World's negativity. A self-suicide because the one you loved no longer loved who you were.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

"Welcome To My Planet"

-- Sept. 21st, 2004 --

What if the World was Black? Would it be a paradise? Would the experiences we've gone through these past four years (or four hundred) ever have happened? I don't have the answers -- maybe you do...

I am writing this to say that Blackplanet.com consumes my life. It is a sickness that I can't seem to break free from. Hell -- the other tab on this very page is Blackplanet.com. I do nothing more but look at pictures to see if this face on my computer screen MAY have some interesting conversation. (Doesn't hurt to be single, either) -- :)

Not saying that BP.com is bad. I've met plenty of good people who I still converse with till this day. Also introduced myself to a few entrepeneurs who are really influencing MY direction in life. So -- when you find those like-minded individuals -- it is really a good idea, Blackplanet, because I have many experiences just from this website alone.

My first trip to Cincinnati was due to meeting someone on this very page who liked my poetry. I performed down there and made a few friends in the process. My first trip to New York was in part due to a friend who has made me think in a few new directions over the course of my life while examining hers. The other part -- I had to see the City before it was too late. Man, if I would've timed it better -- and was given word about the Block Party -- I would've went around that time. But... I still went and had a blast.

I think the reason why Blackplanet works so well is the human need to understand others. I am glad that Blackplanet added onto some of my life's experiences. Not everything is good about it. I just have to stop being addicted to it. Go outside and play ball or something.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

"Impossible Is Nothing"

-- Sept. 17th, 2004 --

"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in a World they've been given, rather than explore the power they have to change it.
Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion.
Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare.
Impossible is potential.
Impossible is temporary.

Impossible is Nothing."
--Adidas Ad (2004)

Impossible is... nothing, right? Right! I have sat idly by for some time and watched as others have rose to prominence. I have been a passenger for too long. It has been past time for me to adopt this carpe diem attitude, but it's necessary for the arduous journey that I want to embark on. In previous posts, I have enlightened, shared my persona with those who've been inclined to read. I have been at some lows, highs, and middle grounds. I have ran the gambit of emotions that many people go through from time to time. I say that because I am at the point at which emotions only hinder the direction that which to head towards.

Am I saying that I am to be heartless? No. Am I saying that I will let the small stuff sweat me? Hell, nah. What I am saying is that being focused is the key to making my obstacles seem paper-thin. Remember the movie that said, "If you build it... they will come..." -- well, that is the same that can be said for myself. I believe that nothing for myself is impossible. That whatever I want will come, whether it be in due time or as soon as possible. Whether it's a goal or an attraction that I have in mind -- it will bend to my will. Anything that doesn't wasn't meant to be or had another destination to meet.

My being comes first. That meaning -- I must take care of my own business. Whether that be handling my financial responsibilities or carry out goals that I set for myself, I must be the captain of my own ship. In College, you have many males who go to gain higher knowledge of not only themselves but their surroundings, but many fall to the wayside. It may be because of laziness, they fall victim to the "game", or may have gotten someone pregnant and no longer can live that part of their life. I will not become a statistic. Emphasis on statistic. We all will be one in one way or another. But I choose not to become one of the negative kind. I will hone my skills to be the best they possibly can.

The reason why I am on this tangent is because what I see around me is that if you handle your business -- you're more inclined to be able to, not only, weed out detractors to your own success, but, also be able to know what is best for you -- because of what you demand for yourself. My friend from NY is an inspiration to me in more ways than I can describe. In the time that I've been able to get to know more about this person -- I have learned that the more you stay true to yourself, others, and make sure you stay on top of your game then... nothing is impossible.

This coming from a 19 year old, huh?

So, I demand no less from myself -- because all I have is myself. I will be the BEST because I will it to be so. Cocky... a little. Confident... too much for my own good now that I have began to decide moreso what it IS I want for sure. Convinced... you be the judge. I now declare that I put my feet to the cliff with my back to the wind, daring it to budge me. Why? Because I see past doubt. I laugh in fear's face. I crush adversity. I push pass detractors. And with that feeling now coursing through my veins -- I know now that impossible is nothing, because I desire it to be.

Friday, September 10, 2004

"Rules of Attraction"

-- Sept. 10th, 2004 --

Over the past week and half the school semester has been in few swing. I kept my circle small and the few people that I chose to associate myself with have already made lasting impressions on me. So shouts out to Tra, Matrixxx, Kent, S. Boogie, & T-Nice.

It is always interesting to see how we as Black folks are so attracted physically to the opposite sex. Whether it be the eyes, lips, swivel of a Sista's hips -- we all enjoy the sight of an attractive person. At the beginning of every school semester, Black men and women kind of have their "ritualistic" choosing of those they find themselves most impressed by. And we all know how that goes -- flirting, talking with a big ego, et cetera, et cetera.

It blows my mind to see how certain people are attracted to those who aren't so... appealing...
Which is why I say that, "Everyone is beautiful to somebody." There is something that surpasses the physical that makes the heart melt.

We live in a visual society where men and women are attracted to each other first, then sort out the formalities. Where men and women are subjected to, "Oh, he has good hair," or "She has a phat booty," as topics of discussion when talking about who's attractive. But -- all beauty fades as they say, and it is funny to see that more people do not realize that. Generally, the people I am fortunate to be around are not the materialistic type, but more and more men and women are attracted to that lifestyle lived by (insert rapper's name here). Is it that we're imitating life on BET because we feel that this is the way to attract the opposite sex?

If this is what I have to be attracted to -- or what I have to have in order for you to be attracted to me, then you can keep walking. I'm Mr. Clark -- K-Star, if you're lucky to know me -- and if you can't accept that and the Man that I am with all of my convictions, then you're better off chasing after (insert basketball player's name here).