Tag Archives: New York

Hip Hop is Dead…10 Years Later Nas Looks Back

Hip Hop is Dead…10 Years Later Nas Looks Back

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In 2006 Hip Hop was a very interesting place. While powerhouse names like Eminem, Jay-Z and Kanye West were still dominate, the mainstream is fully in the midst of a revolution led by the new music makers of the south. Lil Jon’s Crunk movement was turning out ultra energized club hit after hit. Atlanta’s Trap had invaded the scene as artists like T.I, Jeezy and Gucci Mane were just as well known in a city like New York as Jadakiss or Camron. And let’s not forget Ludacris and his DTP camp who would occupy multiple chart slots at a time. The Hip Hop landscape was changing and it was not going unnoticed by one of Hip Hop’s greats. In the view of Nasir Jones, he would tell you “Hip Hop is Dead.” I remember my personal excitement awaiting that release of this album. My Hip Hop taste is very NY for all the good, bad ad ugly of it. Nas’ attempt to being things back to the essence was a rallying cry for many even if it was short lived.

10 years since it’s scene shaking release Nas looks back on the Hip Hop Is Dead album that many rallied behind while even more rallied against. Unintended regional tensions resulted from Nas’ claim that the core elements of Hip Hop, music, wordplay, storytelling and lyricism had been given up for childish, hooks and low grade concepts. Linking up with Google Play and Mass Appeal, Nas delivers a 4 part digital documentary on the this controversial album.

“In retrospect, I missed the mark by miles,” he admits. “I didn’t want to pick people apart. I felt like that was for a younger artist to do. I thought the title was enough — to say it’s dead it was to say, ‘I don’t know where to begin, I don’t know where to start.’ But at least I’ll name it this and we’ll see what goes from there.”

Hit the jump to view the other 3 installments of the doc. Watch as Nas speaks on everything from the album title, his long anticipated collaboration with Jay-Z, to his current view of the culture and his present role in it.

Continue reading Hip Hop is Dead…10 Years Later Nas Looks Back

NMDN Conference Returns / Nomadness 5th Year Anniversary

NMDN Conference Returns / Nomadness 5th Year Anniversary

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Many things come with the end of September. In those final days we see the official end of Summer, Football season hits the 1st quarter mark and the Tribe of Nomadness flocks to New York City for its annual celebration and newly launched business conference. This year The NMDN Conference enters year 2 while the overall Nomadness movements hits its 5th year of existence. Having been here from the beginning it’s an interesting time to reflect back on humble beginnings and where Nomadness presently is.

We were again blessed with perfect weather for the final weekend of September. With Nature doing her part, NMDN set up commenced that Friday with decorations, displays, accessories and more being delivered to the venue. As is generally the case I secured the adult beverages for the big night. There is no truer sign of an official Nomadness event then me navigating a city with a ride full of libations.

5 years of Tribe…… Its that time of year! #Nomadness

A photo posted by nightfall914 (@nightfall914) on

As preparations were being finalized, our Nomadness family started to make its way into the city. Wrapped around the actual events of the weekend, Tribe held meet ups, brunches and various smaller gatherings all in the name of Nomadness fellowship.

I can’t help but think of all that has taken place since the 1st 100 members. The faces that have come and gone, the events, trips and bonds made. Not to mention those broken. From a small digital collective has come global acknowledgement, media recognition and a reach that literally spans the planet. It can all be a bit humbling at times. I watch it all from a unique position. High Council, Best Friend, Guardian…..I have various titles, many roles I’ve played but all of them stand in support of the Tribe. I know I saw something in this group early on but I’d be lying to say I saw all that it has become and all it would come to mean to me and so many others.

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Now Nomadness functions as a global resource for current and future generations of Urban travelers. From international business inquiries, to medical info, on the ground local knowledge of cities and towns, media connections across continents, Nomadness has grown into a position of being the stand out network for our people’s traveling needs. Along the way, the Tribe has steadily been the incubator to so many other travel groups and collectives that it’s value can not be measured solely in its own accomplishments but in the over reaching growth of many others.

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NMDN in 2016 showed major signs and growth and maturity as it took on a more serious travel tone then the previous year, as much more sensitive topics were brought forward to the various panels. #BlackLivesMatter, LGBTQ Travel & 911 Travel Info were just some of the topics that stood out at the conference. Powerhouse personalities like Necole Kane & YK Hong were among our guests speakers. Helping to pull things together appearance wise, hosting/lodging giant AirBNB was one of the top sponsors which included a couple of specialty AirBNB lounges furnished by Best Home Fashion.

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There were a lot of moving  parts both physically and logistically but I mus say that from behind the scenes, one of the biggest things I noticed was just how seamless the day went in transitioning from panel to panel. After doing this the first time there was definitely a sense of calm as the event proceeded along. The guest panelists enjoyed their time on our stages. The attendees networked while taking in vital info. Plus they received a first look into the upcoming Nomadness mobile app. 

That smooth flowing vibe would carry over into the evening Anniversary party were even more Nomadness members from around the world came through to toast to another year of travel. As our Tribe family danced to the tunes of DJ Likwid and cheered on the recipients of the annual Nomadness awards, they were also treated to a few surprises via event sponsor GOPRO. 

Half  way into a decade and Nomadness is showing little sign of slowing down. With new initiatives, services and products lined up to add even more value to the growing international network, year 6 is shaping up to be its biggest one yet.  

I’ve witnessed what started with a small hookah lounge meet up grow into worldwide force that as I type this has taken over a full town in Hungary. There is definitely a lot to celebrate. Most importantly is the ability to connect and enjoy life with our peers from around the world.

Check a few of the party images below and stay locked in for everything Nomadness has on deck.

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Curtis Jackson Bka 50 Cents Shares Honest Words To His Younger Self

Curtis Jackson Bka 50 Cents Shares Honest Words To His Younger Self

50-Cent-in-Jamaica-photoTime breeds honesty, reflection and introspection. 50 cents sat down with Big Issue and took a look back at the formative years of his life and his musical career. He really lets the people in as he addresses his feelings around his mother and grandmother’s deaths. While his platinum selling days may be well behind him Curtis remains one of my favorite interview subjects to listen to.

Check out some cuts from the full interview below.

I think shock is the best way to describe how I felt when my mother died. I didn’t understand it. To have a single parent as your guardian – they’re your whole life. I was eight. I was just like, what do you mean? She had spent a lot of time away from me, she was always hustling. She had to be very tough, to be around a lot of men… she had to adapt. At that time they didn’t have teen programs helping teen mothers [his mother was 15 when she had him] and my mother wanted to give me what I needed, so she couldn’t rely on welfare.

It scared me half to death when my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. My aunt would call me with updates all the time and she always said, don’t worry, she’s fine. I’ve never told anyone this but two years ago, the day she called to tell me… It was early in the morning and I was on a treadmill in the gym. I got to the hospital and the whole family was there. My aunt told me the doctor said she’d had a stroke and there was nothing they could do. They took me to her and she was the smallest I ever saw her. I said ‘Hello?’ I saw her eyes jump when she heard my voice, like she was trying to see where I was at. Everyone else left and I talked to her for a little bit. Then they all came back in and her heart rate started to drop. My aunt said, shit, she was waiting for you. I’ve seen a lot of people pass in the neighborhood I’ve lost them to motorcycles or altercations or drugs. But none of them impacted like when my grandmother died. She was the love of my life.

If I could talk to my teenage self, I’d tell him to focus on music with a stronger intensity. He could still have this career without going through all the things I went through. And thinking about relationships – I think back to when I was with someone and that person could have been the person I was going to be with for the rest of my life but I didn’t have the references yet to know there was something special there. It’s like the clarity I got about my grandmother after she was gone. Some people have been better at that than me. If I look at Jay Z, I’d point out he capitalized on people better than I did.

Full Story Via Big Issue

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Enter Nomadness: The Week The World Got Put On

Enter Nomadness:

The Week The World Got Put On.

Tribe Hoody2I’m usually not one to speak in grandiose fashion about anything. Stay humble and build has always been my motto. When I’m off to the side watching the people enjoy the annual Nomadness BBQ that’s what I do. I silently appreciate and reflect. Yet I didn’t fully grasp what that lighthearted weekend was going to lead into. Understand that from the position of managing Nomadness and seeing both the outer and inner workings of the community and the brand, you work and push for the moment when others “get it”. You seek the point where it clicks outside of the immediate numbers that caught on and adopted it early.  I believe we have reached that point.

Continue reading Enter Nomadness: The Week The World Got Put On

Did The B-Sides Weekend Save Tidal? – Jay Z’s Ultimate Lifeline

Did The B-Sides Weekend Save Tidal? – Jay Z’s Ultimate Lifeline

 

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Folk are still talking about the back to back performances Jay Z treated his faithful Tidal members too in NYC this past weekend. We’re only a few weeks removed  from Hov’s unexpected Twitter appearance to defend Tidal’s slow start. The immediate back lash from naysayers that had already started digging the grave for the newly launched media platform was felt all across the internets. Given that tension filled climate, the announcement of the B Sides show couldn’t have come soon enough.

As Pier 5 hosted the Jay Z love fest for fans of all ages, one thing became crystal clear. When Jay presents himself through music no one questions him. There’s always a space for people to doubt the motives behind his many business ventures. From his interjection into the Occupy Wall Street movement to last years drama packed partnership with high end store Barney’s there have been time’s when even the most faithful fan had to wonder if the all mighty dollar was all that mattered.

TIDAL X: Jay-Z B-sides in NYC on May 16, 2015 in New York City.

Many were viewing TIDAL the same way. “It’s too expensive.” “Why would I move from Spotify for streaming or Youtube for video content?” There are no lack of questions about the point behind Tidal. Then the content slowly started rolling out. Exclusives from Rihanna & Beyonce were released. The Internet moves at lightning speed but at least for now Tidal user were getting material 1st and in this age that means everything even if it’s only a matter of days or even hours. It seemed clear that Tidal for now was going to ride the backs of its flagship superstars.

That was plan A. Plan B was the live concert access. Roc Nation artist J Cole featured a private concert performance exclusive to members which was received to very positive reviews. Now it was time for the big guns. Jay Z announced the all time rumored B sides concert for the good people of NYC, that were subscribed to Tidal of course.

Prompted to create their own B sides playlist of Jay Z songs, members directly won tickets to the live showing . In addition to all this, to show that he does have a heart, the 1st of the 2 nights was streamed live for free to show all just what Jay had on deck.

It was a memorable hip hop night punctuated by a Rocafella x State Property reunion, an appearance by the ever enigmatic Jay Electronica  and an opening freestyle taking aim at Tidal’s competition as well as touching on a few of the social issues now burning throughout the nation.  When it was all said and done It was nothing but positive reactions to the weekends events. Fans and industry folk alike not only expressed satisfaction with Jay Z’s concert but it would seem that many were won over enough to buy into Tidal membership. Many who were trashing the service within the past month were now all in. What happened? What converted the doubtful? It’s really simple. Jay went back to basics.

Jay spoke to the people in the language that brought him his initial fame. He put the corporate talk and investment chatter to the side for a moment to rap with folk. Instead of tweeting and trying to explain why Tidal is “for the people” he cut the middle out and just connected with the people. Before all else Jay is Hip Hop and Hip Hop culture still rules the world. When you can create emotion and tap into feelings and memories with the public, it goes so much further then logically breaking down percentages and profit margins.

Hov went back to being the guy that everyone followed. From white tees to throw back jerseys to button ups. The real was back. Tidal was presented as the ultimate VIP pass instead of just another streaming service. As long as experiences can be provided then Tidal will win in the end.

As I type this Tidal just released Made in America Tickets to Tidal users. People, especially those in Hip Hop lovee feeling “exclusive”. Watch Jay and company ride that Tidal wave all the way to the bank.

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#BlackHennyFriday #Hennypalooza Tickets Available At Midnight

#BlackHennyFriday #Hennypalooza Tickets Available At Midnight

#Hennypalooza

Tickets go on sell via #hennypalooza.com at midnight.

All year y’all have asked me about this event. Hopefully you’ve taken the time to search it on my site, Google or YouTube. The brown water classic ends the year right with their 2nd Anniversary celebration. #Hennypalooza creates the ultimate year end party sandwich as it’s perfectly placed between Christmas and New Years.

Tickets go on sell via #hennypalooza.com at midnight.Hennypalooza

Cop Now. See you there!!

Jason Francis | The Social Media Samurai

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Nomadness Travel Tribe Invades Atlanta For Annual Summer BBQ Weekend

Nomadness Travel Tribe Invades Atlanta For Annual Summer BBQ Weekend

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Loyal readers should know of my affiliation with the Nomadness Travel Tribe. The international travel collective prides itself on a strong sense of community. This fuels the meet ups that are held frequently through out the United States and around the world. In the midst of all that I felt it was needed to have an event that can bring everyone together in a casual relaxed manner. The Anniversary party is a big lavish gathering so in turn I wanted to capture that energy with less pomp and circumstance. This gave birth the Nomadness BBQ. There’s no grand genius involved in suggesting a summer bbq but I did believe that in true Nomadness fashion it could evolve into a true event. This summer in its 3rd year the Tribe BBQ took that step from a one day get together in NY to a full weekend of activity in Atlanta, GA.

There’s something to be said for what motivates people into action. As I prepared to head south to Atlanta I was questioned by a few friends. “You’re going to Atlanta for a BBQ?” The concept didn’t click with some people and I don’t fault them for it. If you’re not in the Tribe and don’t have that emotional investment for what it stands for that it was an understandable stance to have. From all over the nation love and positive energy made it’s way to Atlanta. Every negative thing that the world consistently tries to tell us we are the Tribe repeatedly disproves. It’s a sort of retreat from the daily stresses of life. It’s an escape to experience the life we all are working to live daily and that’s a life free of the constraints of others, surrounded by people that get what you’re really about.

For 3 days we danced, laughed, supported, networked and broke bread. It was a weekend of reunions for many and first time introductions for others but it was all love no matter what. The images below give you only a peek into the great time that was had by the 125+ Nomadness Travel Tribe members that attended. It was a special time and created memories that will remain near and dear to me as well as many others. #NomadnessBBQ

If all this Nomadness talk is still new to you please check out the groups site www.nomadnesstv.com and follow us on our respective social media site at @NomadnessTribe on IG & Twitter.

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Jason Francis | The Social Media Samurai

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40/40 Hosts Private Screening of FOX’s New Series Gang Related

40/40 Hosts Private Screening of FOX’s New Series Gang Related

Gang Related

Last night the 40/40 club was the place for a star-studded gathering celebrating the premiere of the FOX’s new action-crime drama Gang Related. Set in L.A we follow the life of Gang Task Force member Ryan Lopez, played by Ramon Rodriguez. He work’s on an  elite team that includes The RZA, Sung Kang (Han from the Fast & Furious) and group leader Terry O’Quinn. Unknown to his partners is the fact that as a youth Lopez swore loyalty to Los Angelicos one of the most powerful gangs in the City. Lopez has honored this affiliation from childhood though all stages of his life and that hasn’t stopped as he now works to clean up the L.A streets while looking out for his “familia”.

The show captures that human dichotomy of good and evil that lives in us all. Is Ryan Lopez a hero, a criminal or something worse? In the end which honor code will he side with? Many of the elements in this remind of the journey Walter White in Break Bad took us on. You want to root for the guy and his initial goals to do good. Yet as the story unfolds you see that he is just as much a criminal as those he deals with. The ability to separate one from the other gets more and more difficult.

The crowd that came through to support the screening lost night was impressive. NBA legends Cal Ramsey and Walt Clyde Frazier came through.   Hip Hop really came out to support the Rza as Bobbito, Rosie Perez, Dj Absolute and more enjoyed the evenings events. Gang Related is definitely worth checking out when it hit’s the airwaves next week. May 22nd.

Gang Related

Jason Francis | The Social Media Samurai

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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.