Kendrick’s MC Wake Up Call…Who’s Listening?

Kendrick MC Wake Up Call…Who’s Listening?

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By now everyone has heard the recent lyrical alarm sounded off by Cali’s lyrical torch-bearer Kendrick Lamar. The young MC decided to turn a Big Sean song called “Control” into his own personal sounding board for all those within the current crop of up and coming artists. In an age where few artists mention others by name and most look to avoid the confrontational nature that has been a staple within the genre, Mr Lamar said “Screw that!” Running off a list of the games current “new” artists Kendrick woke up the collective Hip Hop community with is unexpected attack.

Listen to Kendrick go off here *NSFW*

In the aftermath of this fury artists who have been on and off the mainstream radar are replying with “answer” tracks to the many claims young Kendrick made. Personally as a fan of lyrics and word play this is heaven to me just because I love the art of Rap. I get that some music has its place and all material doesn’t need to be super lyrical, but its nice to hear a certain level of skill again. Now, while a expect to see no immediate end to the reply songs, I hope that the bigger point raised by Kendrick Lamar does not get missed. This isn’t a one time call to action. It’s a self check on what you are doing and taking pride in the title of MC. This is a title that for as long as it has existed demanded you to bring your best and strive to be the best.

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The 2003 Blackout…When NY Went Dark

10 Years Later…Remembering When New York Went Black

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It’s amazing to think that it’s been a decade since the North East Blackout that shut down power for approx 50 million people from NYC to Ontario. I couldn’t help but think back to where I was and more importantly who I was when that took place. So, much has changed yet so much is still the same. When the power first shut down that afternoon I was enjoying a care free day with my family out-of-town on vacation. I was working at Home Depot at the time and clearly the power outage resulted in an end of business but being a manager I drove down to see what was going on. Home Depot was NOT going to miss out on the opportunity to make money and they had back up generations on deck to facilitate sales of batteries, flashlights and other emergency supplies. It hadn’t sunk in yet just what was going on until I turned on the radio and heard that what I thought was a simple local power outage was actually a national event that had taken out the north-eastern corner of the nation. Now the level of worry started to kick in.

New York Blackout 2003

 

Remember that we are only 2 yrs removed from 9/11 so something of this scale and magnitude automatically gets a nervous reaction as we all waited for a cause. I started calling and checking on friends and family. MY Truck with a 3/4 tank of gas was no a mini HQ since I could move around, listen to the radio for updates and keep my phone charged. It was an odd feeling as night fall set in. It wasn’t a feeling of fear or nervousness but just the fact that this was something that doesn’t happen often and you knew it’d be  a memory you look back on. It was uncertainty that reigned that night. Would people do something to set off a more dangerous situation? Fortunately nothing of that nature went down.

I can admit the one person I would have wanted to be with at the time was not an option for a few reasons so I spent most of the Blackout time shooting the breeze with my boys. I do wonder how things would play out if that were to happen again. With a for great social network then I had back then I could imagine folk turning it into a party. But would Twitter and Facebook maintain through a blackout of that level? They served us well during Super storm Sandy so I’m sure the tweets resulting from that would be legendary. 1 night when you had to get by without the usual comforts of society. How would you fare?

Feel free to share your thoughts and memories of that day. And make sure you follow me at @Trueomeganexus on Twitter.

Work vs Career…..Own your Lane

Work vs Career…..Own your Lane

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I’ve seen the image above in a few different styles and designs. The actual visual may vary but the message is the same or at least the general interpretation of it is the same. Avoid the rat race, don’t follow the advice of others if you’re not living an “exciting” life it’s all your folk. In the present day of growing entrepreneurship, start-ups and home based business, the allure of being your own boss is at an all time high. The desire to get away from the 9-5, behind the desk work mode is pushing many people to take chances and explore areas of life that many don’t wish to risk dealing with. I can respect this as I myself deal with the development and growth of personal business.

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Introduction to Me……Update

Introduction to Me……Update

From the Blog Closet Originally posted October 5th 2010

I’m aware that for many this their first real exposure to me in the blogging realm so that selection from the blog closet with a self Introduction post from a photo challenge in 2010. Maybe you’ll learn something you didn’t know about me. I’ll add updates in Italics where applicable.

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Introduction
Basic Info + Q&A

Name
Jason…Nightfall…..Blu Flame…..BlacC Yankee..etc…etc….

Birthplace
New Rochelle, NY

Nationality
Antigua (West Indies)

Height/Weight
6 ft 4 220 lbs

Age
29 (now 32)

Interests
Music, comics, sports, fitness, writing/blogging

How do you deal with someone very close to you hurting you?
Stuck it up and move on with life…….I may have to take a few steps away from them depending on what was done and if this

What are you’re pet peeves?
Controllable double standards. I don’t like having expectations, rules or anything applied to me that same person is willing to accept.

Would you truly respect, value, and marry a woman like those you post in your weekly hump day blogs? Some claim to have morals and call themselves free spirits, they meditate, and are just sexual but what do you really think from a Christian perspective?
All cases vary on the person. I don’t judge until I’m given enough valid info to do so. Now in regards to hump day I’ve posted an array of female types depending on my mood.

Long story short yes I could respect and value them if their personalities are on point. When I used to promote I was around models, dancers, etc… and many were great people.

As far as marriage I honestly couldn’t say. A ton goes into marriage so it’s not impossible but depends on a number of variables.

Why do you never smile in any pictures?
lol.I dont know. It’s not intentional. (I’m still working on this)

Favorite drink? Favorite food?
Got a a few of those too. Cognac, Sex on the Beach, Call-a-Cab. Foods I’d say soul foods, Thai food, Spanish food.

Whats your favorite color? song? vacation spot?
Blue……I have a few fav. songs……………Miami and the Virgin Islands.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
5 yrs…um engaged or married…..maybe with a child. (I guess I have 2 yrs to make this happen huh? lol)

Now that you know me more come link up with me on Twitter via @Trueomeganexus and please link my FB page. You can do so right on the right side on this page. Thanks.

Destination Toronto: Porter Airlines is the Only Way

Destination Toronto: Porter Airlines is the Only Way

Its Carnival season in many of the Caribbean islands and for the 2nd year in a row I celebrated the 1st weekend of August in Toronto for Caribana. There’s no shortage of island flavour in my home of New York but there is an interesting energy that I feel up north and I’m glad to be able to enjoy it. Caribana weekend was also reason to fly with Porter Airlines which over the past year has jumped to the top of my personal favorites list.

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Picasso – The Redefinition of Art???

Picasso – The Redefinition of Art???

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Having returned home for an extended weekend celebrating Caribana I finally sat down to catch up on a few things. I caught some the Internets buzzing about this “Performance Art” video for “Picasso Baby”  that Jay-Z was dropping. We’re still in full Hov overload right now so I made it a point to wait before I watched this video. I’ve seen many folk react to it as a “Masterpiece” and others say they “can’t stand it.”  I guess its time to judge for myself as I once again navigate between extreme reactions.

I gave this video a few spins last night and truthfully its nice. It’s different in that it’s not video models, expensive cars and  liquor bottles on display as is he make up of most videos currently in rotation. But with that said I stop short of calling it ground breaking art. Hip Hop has always been a performance art. I see this as shout out to Hip Hops basic principals.

There was nothing wrong with the imagery of this video, but in my mind when I saw this I thought back to Nas’s classic “Nas Is Like” Set in the streets and various other locales of NY. Nas rhymes traditionally to the camera while interacting on the move with the people.

“Picasso” to me seems like the stationary, cleaned up safe version of that style. It’s almost like what would you get if you had Jay-Z over to rhyme at a baby shower. It’s closed, private with not much risk of problems. Again it was different and I think that combined with the marketing powerhouse that is Jay-Z is what makes this seem so grand. Could another artist do this and get the same artistic fanfare? If Lupe Fiasco or Pharoahe Monch did this would it still be heralded as great art or just a cool new video? It’s the power of perspective.

When something doesn’t strike me the way it strikes others I’m not going to bash it for the sake of a response. I want to gain something new from the possible conversation it can create. So from those more Artistic than myself whats so special (not different but special) about “Picasso Baby?”

Keep the conversation going by following my on Twitter at @TrueOmegaNexus

You may also like these previously posted Jay-Z stories I wrote for ClassyBlackGirl as well.

The Double Edge of Fame

The Double Edge of Fame

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In the past few days I’ve observed and engaged in a few conversations about charity. Talking points have ranged from Jay-Z vs Harry Belafonte to Dr Dre’s donations in southern California to Oprah’s work in Africa to Lebron James’s “arrogance.” The truth is that we as a people view those that come from our community and reach the highest of public heights and success in a manner that is very odd to me. I elected to step away from the conversations as they began to repeat and recycle the same predictable commentary and I knew I wanted to address the underline issue but not in the manner that others were. Then it struck me as I remembered two things my friend and Nomadness Travel Tribe partner Evita Robinson said not to long ago.

“Celebrities don’t get paid for what they do but rather what they have to deal with.”

And more recently she admitted to “..wanting fame because of the influence and the ability to make change that comes with it.” This made me not want to bother talking about those that have already made it but rather talk to those pushing, working and building for their own success and legacy.

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Crusade Against Cancer via Utter Intuition

Crusade Against Cancer via Utter Intuition

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This past Saturday I was fortunate enough to be invited to a great event in NYC. Hudson River Cafe in Harlem played host to Crusade Against Cancer put together by Kat Reyes & Hazel Veras of Utter Intuition. I love home grown functions like this and with the fund raising going toward Cancer awareness, spirits were high as great music played on a beautiful Summer afternoon.

 

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Where Did The Love Go??

Where Did The Love Go??
From the Blog Closet Originally posted June 18th 2012

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Been meaning to write this for a quite awhile now. “Inspiration” though was never lacking……I’m getting thoughts off my mind about the effects of love on my people. From my simple vantage point I observe so much. 99% of the time I do so in silence. We’re all adults here so at this point of my life I let folk do what they do. I’ve posted before that love is the most powerful force of Earth, but I’m also thinking that Fear doesn’t rank too far below it. The fear of being alone, that seems to be so much at the heart of the thing I’m seeing recently. Tale after tale, story upon story of unqualified lames and lowlifes, grown man wannabes and pretenders being chosen by women who deserve better….who know better. None lacking for intelligence, self respect or common sense yet stoically I look upon the events that play out without a shred of surprise.

What transformed yesterdays “love of her life” into today’s bane of a her existence. Such changes happen more often then I can count. Was he that vile being to begin with and merely put on an awarding winning acting performance? Was he genuinely a good guy that was somehow twisted into this new person by events I’m not privy to? I mean its also true that after a certain point you can’t merely blame the “other” person. You put enough unsuccessful social dealings on your record and you have to look into that mirror and re-evaluate what you bring to the problem, who you interact with, who you attract, etc…..

Maybe it’s the Summer season and emotions are hot and heavy but the “interesting” interactions and questionable moves are at an all time high. Russian roulette within the sheets, jumping off a cliff with a “Love” umbrella hopeful it will slow down your descent. You see this isn’t about judgement. This isn’t anything I take joy in being right about. I HATE seeing my people, especially my female friends hurt and distraught. But I’m a realist and I can’t cry and sob when decisions lack a certain degree of common sense. No, love has no blueprint or official game plan but the sky is still blue, water is still wet and we as people are given enough to make better decisions then I witness. Is the fear of being alone that over powering? Does it really allow you to over look the disrespect, abuse, lies, violence and hope against hope that things work out? What are the standards and requirements applied to being that man? Your Man? Or is it something that just sounds nice to proclaim. I’ve seen it work and I’ve seen it fail. Happiness does have certain requirements and in truth everyone doesn’t have it.

At times I wish I could just beat the life out of these guys…….would definitely be a bit therapeutic. Or better yet I just wish my folks success to failure ratio would balance off a little more…..

Same Love……Different Priorities

Same Love……Different Priorities

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While knocking out some morning errands I turned the radio from the local news to Hot 97. I was curious to see what they were talking about and if it was worth listening to. The topic of the morning conversation focused around a recently released song from Hip Hop artist Macklemore’s titled “Same Love”. It is a song about same sex love and the Hot 97 Morning show had opened the phone lines to get the thoughts of the people about if the song should be played. Hip Hop’s Alpha Male stance towards homosexuality (at least the male/male variety) is well documented. As I listened to the crew speak on the subject I found my thoughts going in another direction in regards to Hip Hops “progression”.

Continue reading Same Love……Different Priorities