Interesting speech on ‘White-ness’

Ok, my boy Mos put this video link up a few days ago on Facebook.  It’s a pretty interesting subject. How often do we hear things approached from this angle?

I won’t say much, I’ll just let the video speak for itself…

Sex & The Chocolate City – Entry #5

Got a moral dilemma that I need everyone’s help with!

There’s this guy I see on the train sometimes. He’s tall, built, adorable, brown skin with long dreads…totally my type. He always smiles, stares at me and say’s stuff like“ Nice smile” or “ Have a nice day dimples”. The type of stuff that makes me turn bright red and I rush off the train before embarrassing myself. He seems in great health, well put together, smells nice (which is important) and relatively intelligent. There’s just one MAJOR problem. See, whenever I see him, he’s moving from car to car on the train with a crew, playing African drums, and asking for donations. In other words, he’s train entertainment, one step up from the kids who sell candy and ‘get light’ and two steps up homeless beggars (or what Malik-16 would call, “BUMS!”).

I talked to my roommate about him, and she suggested that he could just being doing it as a side hustle, that he probably had a day job but I find that unlikely since I’ve seen him on several occasions, during different times of the day, when I have nothing but change to put in an empty hat. Originally, I never gave him a second thought. After all, who the hell talks to a dude you met performing on a train. Then I realized my reaction to him was horrifyingly judgmental.

A part of me feels guilty for thinking so low of him. I know nothing about him yet I’m jumping to conclusions based solely on what I see alone. But what I see is speaking volumes! Could I really see myself dating a dude that made his money on the A train? What if someone asked me what he did for a living, what would I say? He’s an artist of the streets? And if he DID ever ask me out, where could he really afford to take me. And even if he did take me somewhere, I’d only feel guilty that he spent the little bit of change he made on the train that day on me. Worst of all, I think I would just be embarrassed even being seen with him. And here lies my shame. I feel terrible judging this man who’s pushed aside his pride to go on the train every day, asking for money. Sure, some may say, he doesn’t have a real job but neither does the rest of 10% of the population that’s unemployed. I’m an unemployed student myself. But at least he’s doing something and not sitting on his ass waiting for money to come find him. Who the hell am I to look down on anyone…and yet…a girl’s gotta have some standards, right?

So the question is should I risk letting this man that puts this ridiculous smile on my face every time I see him pass me by again? You decided and I’ll give you an update next week!

TDJ

We Should All be Worried! – New Possible Cell Phone Warning Law

This is BIG.

A discussion that I’ve started and held so many times, I can’t count, I wonder if we should all be worried about these devices that we hold so near and dear to us, literally.

This article featured on yahoo news centers around a decision being presented in Maine to impose a legal requirement that there be a health warning about the long term effects of cell phone radiation and it’s possible contribution to Brain Cancer. Maine isn’t alone, San Fran wants to raise awareness just as much. While the experts still contests the proof of cell phones causing Cancer is not substantial or consistent. Why are they not at least making the public aware of the probability?

Here’s the full article;http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091220/ap_on_re_us/us_cell_phone_warnings

I guess common sense would tell you that whatever powers this small box that can allow you to talk worldwide, play videos, film and take pictures has to be something that can burrow through your brain tissue tho. Anyone who’s been on a long conversation and felt the phone get hot can attest to this.

I’ve debated about this with my little sister, and posed this question to friends and strangers.

I was so relieved when late last year both of my parents stopped wearing their beloved wireless cellular earpieces. Although my little sister assured me that there’s less to be worried about as she did a study for school that proved that the earpieces don’t send out near as much radiation as the phones themselves. But understand, my parents would wear these stupid things in their ears day in, day out, everyday.

All I could think about is when we learned the radiation charts in Chemistry class back in high school and middle school. And tho I know that computers and phones emitt the lowest levels of radiation on the scale, it is still radiation. And since these technologies have not been around long enough in human history, we don’t really have a solid understanding or grasp on what the true long term effects will be. In a way, we’re all guinea pigs to an advent that has changed our lives for the better, but may send us all to an early grave. Who can imagine modern life without a cell phone? it’s so implemented into our daily routines, even children carry them.

I often wonder if all of this sitting up late night so close to this computer screen is killing me slowly. I try not to think about it because it’s such a necessary evil at this point in my life, but I can’t help but to remember back in my days as a Real Estate Agent, watching everyone on their laptops while on their cell phones.

One of my teammates there, a real ambitious and super smart guy from Israel who always had his cell phone handy, stopped me one day as I had my ear piece out (with the wire of course) and asked me how it’s been working for me. he was one of those guys who always would phrase big questions in a simple way or set them up to make a profound point with a friendly, knowing smile on his face.

I said”‘fine”,

then he proceeded to show me an e-mail he had recently received about a study done overseas where two cell phones were sat across from each other with an egg inbetween them for the duration of a 60 minute conversation. At the end of that conversation, the study showed that the egg was hardboiled inside.

Now this has since been denounced as a hoax or urban legend, and I didn’t know whether or not it was just too sensational to believe, but it did push me to think. What are we doing to ourselves?

I begged my parents each to cut the earpiece usage down when they used to wear it all day. And I’ve recently been trying to keep mine away from me when I’m not on it. I prefer skype and texting.

Some people are Aids activists. I am scared to death of Cancer of all forms. Mostly, because I feel it may be the only natural disease. Natural in the sense that it is the resulting by-product of every thing we have done on this planet to live more convenient, comfortable modern lives.

So while there may not be any way to stop it, it can surely be fought. And I intend to fight it every little way that I can. One step at a time.

You should too.

Crush Alot: R.I.P. Brittany

I don’t care if every other blog has posts and Dedications to her,

Brittany Murphy holds a special place for me.

I’m sure much more special than the cliche journalist lament for a fallen star who they probably spent a good time criticizing and making the butt of jokes.

As one of the few women of the Caucasian Persuasion who made me wanna do…”You know?….Stuff?” (See; Clueless), Ms. Murphy has been on my list since 2005. My love for women wins again!

Although, she’s been on my radar since 1996, and I’ve seen almost all of the movies she’s starred in, I don’t think she was anyone who I noticed as Sexy until I saw her in the movie Sin City.

On the low, She’d been quite the Grinder since she was young.

I didn’t realize how many things she had been involved in on the come up.

I also didn’t know that she went to her prom with the dude Johnathan Brandis from that show Seaquest who killed himself back in ’96. He also went out with another one of my crushes, Tatyana Ali.

But who remembers her as the token white friend on Sister Sister?

She always did just fit in and had a little bit of Soul to her. It wasn’t just white girl swag. Remember 8Mile? How many big actresses star in a movie where their main role was the chic who started a beef between 2 crews for sleeping with rappers? She even did a character voice for Marc Ecko’s Smash Graffing video Game; Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure. Dope! And she’s the daughter of a Mobster. And she’s from ATL!

Need I say more? She was always “Rollin with the homies..” (See; Clueless again)

I Wanted her to win in Little Black Book, Never watched all of Uptown Girls , Felt her when she killed herself in Girl Interrupted, Rewound her underwear scene in Love & Other Disasters, and followed her voice in Happy Feet.

I even thought she did the voice of Luanne on King Of The Hill very uniquely.

And don’t sleep on the Body son!

It may be poor taste to speak on the dead in a lustful fashion, but shorty was bad in a non-typical way for a starlet. She had plumpness in places that were favorable and not the norm. Now I won’t get into the whole debate on whether her lips were injected or her fluctuating weight, because I never paid that much attention and I kind of stopped checking for her in the last few years. Plus I’m  sure you’ll hear alot of that elsewhere. I do know that her lips have always been pouty since the younger days and that was one of the characteristics that I was attracted to. So I’m choosing to remember The Brittany that first caught my eye, the version of her that I got Jungle Fever for with bright eyes, sleek body and thickness where it counted.

My girl’s gonna give me flack for this post, but she knows the deal.

These pictures are actually images that I’ve had on my computer for about 2 years now, NOT pictures that I scrambled to find on the internet just to put up this post – AHEM!

Marshall Mathers, Iam eternally jealous of you!

R.I.P. Brittany Murphy, you were my Crush!

Stolen Moments; I Love Fruity Pebbles In a Major Way!

This post is brought to you by Post!

Nevermind the fact that I had a damn near CLASSIC mixtape drop last wednesday with 2Dopeboyz.com and Vault clothing store in Harlem, the highlight of my week was finding out that 50Cent was impressed with my mimicking of his style on my “Jackin For Flows” track off of side A of my 2008 double mixtape How To Make A Mixtape Vol. 1 ; Who Doesn’t Rap??!

(See that post under Music – https://16scandles.wordpress.com/2009/11/26/malik-16-x-gangstarrgirl-how-to-make-a-mixtape-vol-1-who-doesnt-rap-download/)

The Other highlight was teaching my Homegirl, TDJ, yes, our own resident Sex & The Chocolate City Tuesday columnist, how to Bartend.

She’s such a good student, and because she got the ill hook-up which would be any aspiring bartender’s dream gig, I wanted her to be able to blow people away with how fast she learned and how much she was gonna come in with. She came fully strapped with her pad for notetaking, as well as her Bartender’s Handbook.

How Gangster is she??

Now usually, I don’t make any mention of my day gig because

1. I Hate it and like to forget about it once I’m out of there

2. Because I believe alcohol is the worst drug out there and I don’t promote it. I consider myself a legal drug dealer (hey it’s a living!) People want the poison and they’re gonna get it one way or another – who better than me?

I’m not that judgemental tho, I just don’t want to advocate it despite the contradiction of my employment status. You won’t find any drink anthems from me anytime soon.

Anyway, getting to the fun part, I only agreed to this lesson because TDJ has been asking me for a year to show her. Of course there was the whole ‘why do you want to do this again?’ questioning (which turned into a clash as me and TDJ always seem to get into), but after the smoke cleared, we flowed, and my homegirl Indigo came into the bar where I work at with almost planned timing to catch me taking a well deserved (and Unauthorized) Brunch break!

And what better way to go about brunch kids? with a nice plastic bowl of Post Fruity Pebbles, made straight at home, on the way to work, broken out at the most oppurtune time of day while on the clock with the possibility of a customer or Owner walking through those very doors that Indigo just came through.

Complete with the I’m-Hungry-doing this on the sly-paranoid-crackhead-who just snuck/stole food-who’s-looking?  face.

Ahh…another exciting moment.

But you don’t understand, Fruity Pebbles has been my favorite cereal since I was about 4. I remember the exact point of being amazed at how they went from crunchy to soggy, and the milk turning a nice violet-hue (Which can’t be too much of a good thing). It was also one of the few cereals in the 80’s that featured blue pieces. And everyone knows that to children, colors like blue are eye-catching and super significant at young ages.

I even loved the commercials with the Flintstones and Barney’s silly (I prefer the term understated genius) schemes to take them from Fred.

This prompts a great question tho..

What’s YOUR favorite Cereal Kids??

GangStarrGirl gets in where she fits in!

So last week, the homegirl Reenie A.K.A. GangStarrGirl of GangStarrGirl.com posted up this video of her gettin’ quite…uhmm…GangStarr at my show earlier this month at Brown Bag Thursdays (See; Brown Bag Allstars blog on the left).

Funny right? she’s crazy.

Here’s her full post if you want to check it out (You should be visiting her site regularly anyway – AHEM!)

http://www.gangstarrgirl.com/2009/12/random-adventures-how-i-got-gangstarr.html

The show was pretty ill because I witnessed some dope performances and I wasn’t bad myself if I do say so. Shout out to Rebel Diaz & neMiss.

My only gripe was that, although these Thursday shows always bring out a nice draw due to the fanbase of the group, hip-hop stuff always starts so damn late! and as a guy who brought a good third of the crowd with him, including lots of women and fellow retail and service people who had day jobs to report to the next morning and a big brother who traveled from New Jersey, I was under pressure. Now compound that with the fact that the first 2 performers were super late and the host’s Idea of punishment was making them go BEFORE me, that can be an issue. Now add on top of that the fact that when these performers left, a good portion of the crowd left as well.

THEN, add the fact that there’s a $5 charge at the door for non-performers, and Maybe Reeenie wasn’t wrong for gettin’ ghetto – I mean GangStarr after all.

Nevertheless, BBAllstars are my people and I don’t condone or advise anybody sneaking into their event without paying.

But I do understand the budget moves of the freelancers out there. I envy their freedom. Reenie is a champion of following your passion. This has been her ultimate year of the Hustle.

In other words kids, Don’t try this at home…

New Malik-16 mixtape x 2DopeBoyz x Harlem Vault WESTSIDE TIL I DIE Drops today!! 16th for 16

CLICK THE PIC TO DOWNLOAD

Ok, This is the big day.  DECEMBER 16TH.

My New California-themed mixtape,

Westside Til I Die

Drops today and gets an extra big push from the homies at 2dopeboyz.com and vaultharlem.com

I chose to get up with the dopeboyz because they are kings at what they do, and they are true WestCoast hip-hop afficianados. And I chose Vault because they rep the style of West Harlem  like no other. Plus they’re on my block!!

They co-sign the project that is a nod to the fact that I’m from the Westside of Harlem, but also pays homage to WestCoast rap and the classic songs by artists from that side of the map that I came up listening to. Sure, some instrumentals from The Game make their way on there, but every beat I rapped over wasn’t necessarily by a dope artist.

Some beats were just dope and I had to touch them – blame it on the producer. Some of these beats weren’t even made by westcoast producers. But nevertheless, they became memorable Hip-hop joints that will hopefully take you some place as you listen to them.

Like my last 2 mixtapes which were bundled together as a double mixtape

(see  How To Make A Mixtape Vol. 1 ;Who Doesn’t Rap??! and How To Make A Mixtape Vol. 2 ; Disco Inferno, hosted by the homey GangStarrGirl Of Course), I wrote this mixtape  within that grueling 3 month winter of 2005-2006 period where I forced myself to write 3 mixtapes back to back inbetween working Real Estate and Coming home at 1 O’clock in the morning after double shifts at The WORST TGIFridays in the city!!! (The Rockerfeller one).

Now of course, I cleaned some things up in the midst of recording it, and updated some lyrics (hence the Drake reference on the first track).

But it’s still good ol’ Vintage from the kid.

This may be the last mixtape where you’ll hear me doing Long-Ass verses and wordy bars, due to how my style has progressed since then. But you tell me. Keep me on my toes people!

Having that said, go to either of the 2 sites mentioned above to see what they say about the kid. You can also download the tape there, or come right back home and click on the picture above and  leave a comment after you listen.

Sex & The Chocolate City – Entry #4

TEAM EDWARD!

About a year ago, I feel in love with a pasty dead white guy, about 100 years my senior. His name is Edward. I’m sure you’ve all heard of him, or at least heard of the Twilight Saga  (or you’ve been under a rock for the past two years). But it wasn’t the man himself that I fell in love with, but the idea of him. He’s a fantasy. Perfect gentleman that makes your heart skip several beats. He is everything you ever wanted, a dream come true. In New Moon, we were introduced to a faithful pup, Jacob.  Jacob is the true friend, companion, who would without a doubt throw himself in front of a car (or a pack of wolves) if it made you happy.

Why I bring up this silly nonsensical story, because beyond the love struck teenaged mushiness and tales of the undead lies an important lesson in love and choice. We’ve all had moments where we are left choosing between our wants (TEAM EDWARDS) and our needs (TEAM JACOB).

Our needs is what’s most beneficial to our health and happiness. Choosing what we need is the safest and most logical decision. It’s a mate that worships the ground you walk on, a person that loves you more than you could ever love them or even yourself. But some would criticize this as settling.

Our wants is our unquenchable desire, our thirst (no pun intended) for some something out of our immediate reach, whether it’s good or bad for us. Our wants generally means we must make some sacrifices, take risks, and hope for the best. Unlike needs, there is no guaranteed happy ending with wants.

Edward’s dead. In order to be with him, I’d have to die too. Meanwhile, Jacob is happy and healthy with a beating heart. So either I risk my life to be with a vampire or stay human, long and prosper with a werewolf.

So why did I choose Edward?

Because life is not about playing it safe! Life is about taking chances! You should never be looking back on your life with regret. You should always go for what you want. And it’s our wants that get in the way of completely being happy with just our needs.

So I say, go with what you want, and in time you’ll learn that it’s exactly what you need.

TEAM EDWARD FOR LIFE!

TDJ

The MOS Post

So my boy Nelson (you ‘know him as M.O.S, but you can call him Mr. Jerez!) is about to be bouncing from the country, so I’m dedicating this post to my homey. Not like he won’t be up on the damn internet and doing his thing, but still…

He’s taking a little break from the cold, from the rat race and recession rouse, to soak up some more family time, some more culture, inspiration and provide a better life for his son.

It’s Real in the field.

I’ve known Mos since my high school days where he was the quiet young’n in the crew of rowdy kids taggin up most of the time and we barely spoke.

It was him that actually was the key to my start back into music and my beginnings as a solo artist because while working as a Real Estate agent, he walked past me and recognized me but I didn’t recognize him. After I grilled him in suspicion, and then finally remembered him and exchanged info, he reconnected me with a bunch of my peoples who I left a legacy for after departing from high school.  See, I helped found an afterschool digital media program that one of our teachers ran and taught us basic music production on the software called Acid. Most of us were nice with it – My boy Killa being the NICEST.

But I remember the one kid Sol-Leks being a dope spitter and once Nelson informed me that they had all been continuing and built a whole catalog mastering the Acid program, doing things I never imagined were possible on such a basic and forgotten application, not to mention teaching some of the other younger heads that didn’t produce back when I was at school, I knew I had to keep in touch.

(What a run-on sentence if I ever saw one!)

So this reconnecting manifested into the forming of our crew into a music collective called The Balance. We figured since we all make music together, why not make music together?

At this point, Mos wasn’t really around as much so we weren’t really counting on him to be a strong part of the group. Plus, I had never heard a full rap from this guy until we began recording the album. I didn’t even know dude was a serious writer!

Little did I know that he would prove to be a great leader and ultimately, the glue that held the group together when it started looking shaky.

He’s the resident conspiracy theorist although he would hate to be considered that. I know better than to try to label the kid, but I figure that term would be the easiest for you all to digest. Son has put me and the rest of the crew on to so much information, and even if we don’t believe, he forces us to never think the same way about things ever again. He’s a true music head like me, with a deep love for Hip-hop and it’s power to affect change.

He’s stubborn as hell, is a backpacker on the low who refuses to slow his rap style down and make it easier to follow (despite me an killa’s pleas for him to try), a little over critical and kinda arrogant.  But a good dude, good father and somebody with a super dangerous mind who will fight for his people. When he’s focused – it’s a wrap!

For a young Buck, dude is crazy wise beyond his years. That Fatherhood will grow niggas up quick won’t it??!

I wish him nothing but the best in this next year’s journey and I say it now like it’s been said before,

It only gets better!

I leave you with the Greatest Hits and Misses from that Balance era and our First and Only project ever, The Shift – which came out earlier this year with a dope Release Party!

Peep the 3-videos-in-1 trilogy where Mos sets it off with his song “System Revolt”.

This part of the video went over alot of peoples’ heads because you can’t get the full effect from hearing this song in pieces. This is a real conceptual song where Mos uses the layered metaphor of bombing (referring to graf ‘bombing’  and terrorist ‘bombing’) to weave a story that basically is a call for going against the established status quo of inequity and corrupt hippocracy. The song starts in a train, henceforth he’s in the train station.

Peep the Marker skills!

And then peep his verses on these balance joints from The Shift

The Full “System Revolt” song

http://www.zshare.net/audio/69912962b3f6d26f/

“Fuerte”

http://www.zshare.net/audio/699213821dddd

“Piano Man”

http://www.zshare.net/audio/69921546496af1c1/

“1 Eye Open”

http://www.zshare.net/audio/69921686001ff911/

And this unfinished Gem that never made the album with me & Mos produced by Hasan Insane (who also hosted The Shift);

“The Strength”

http://www.zshare.net/audio/69922023a5264885/

Peace Homey.

Malik-16 New Mixtape WESTSIDE TIL I DIE promo poster – Dropping December 16th!

Yeah, Kind of a big Deal.

Peep the Classic West Coast Hood flick Covers in the letters of the Title.

Shout outs to C Mecca on the Design! SigInk steady mobbin’!