Groper gets Shot in Harlem, VA Tech gets shot up again, and Mumia gets closer to Free!

These are the things that happen in my hood. So on my way to work today, I was dropping off my evil twin, Bobby at the 125th street train station, only to be held up in ridiculous traffic and have him return to the car telling me that the dozen of officers who were blocking the subway wouldn’t let him enter because something big went down. Turns out that that something big was actually a shooting. Apparently, one of those bastard-ass subway gropers put his hands on a young girl and got himself shot by an off duty cop. Read a fuller account of the story here http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Harlem-Subway-Shooting-ACE-Train-Police-Off-Duty-Cop-135334618.html

After years and years of hearing poets and conscious rappers scream his name with the word “Free” preceding it as if it was his title, Mumia Abu-Jamal gets one step closer to the dream of exoneration.

A Pennsylvania District Attorney dropped the execution order against Jamal, removing him from Death Row. This brings light to a legendary case that has been used as an example of political neglect and systematic racism. This decision has of course left a very visible split in opinion between the races and pundits on each side. Check out the coverage here http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/08/us/execution-case-dropped-against-convicted-cop-killer.html

On another note, violence that has actually been proven has struck the campus of Virginia Tech once again – making it no doubt the next big story in it’s increasingly bloody history. There’s plenty of clues surrounding this, but the search for a reason is still on…Check out the full story here  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/10/us/same-gun-killed-officer-and-man-at-virginia-tech.html

 

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Talking ALL THAT YaYa!!

And she is all that

Say what you say, but I didn’t like models until I saw her. I used to get in sooo much trouble for being just a bit too happy when my ex used to turn to America’s Next Top Model and YaYa DaCosta popped on the screen.  Although I didn’t believe that the semi-bourgie, multi-lingual intellectual show off was really from the same hometown as me, I gave her a pass for claiming Harlem before the explosion of everyone else doing it.

But something must be said for a woman who walks with guile in both worlds. And she does so in almost every aspect. If the gritty but glitzy streets of Harlem could have taken her to an Ivy League education at Brown University, to a career in both the world of fashion modeling and acting, then her props are due. And to think, all of this from a reality show! In the season that launched her, Toccara and Eva Pigford(Marcille), it’s clear that runner-up doesn’t quite mean loser. In fact, Yaya has seen more success than all of her season cast-mates and most other winners of the show. 

Something you should know about me, is that I LOVE natural chics! For some reason, I have always had an affinity for their look – from the meticulously curled twists to the freedom of their hair pronouncing itself  and their knack for combining earthy accessories with high fashion (Plus their bedrooms and bathrooms always smell really good). And though ms. DaCosta is a fashion model who is expected to use her chameleon like abilities to appear versatile and flexible in her look, her personal style has always leaned more towards the Afro-centric side. And it was a fresh look to see a representation of smart Black woman like that on a show about superficiality and appearance. 

It wasn’t until I dated a model that I understood how both can exist in one woman. I appreciated what she symbolized more. She’s been one of my prototypes of a dream woman ever since. Besides her brains, stomping grounds and being born in the best year ever (1982 for you late bloomers), she also has a crazy body from years of dancing that she keeps in tact as you can see. She’s just slim enough to be a model, but just filled out enough in the right places to not be your typical model (she’s also short and doesn’t meet runway model standards – a point that was made repeatedly during the show, but fine with me!). Her eyes are the kind I like; Almond shaped, slender but strong with lots of personality. Her smile is bangin‘ And of course she can dress!

A far cry from the chic who used to get called out on her facial blemishes, she’s something like a young Angela Bassett…Who makes alot of Black men’s list as another kind of prototype. I’ll say that’s good company…

I’ll also say

Yaya DaCosta,

You

are and always have been

My New Crush!!

New ESSO Project – “Y & I Life” Free Download

Also happening in Hip-Hop to kick March off is the new project from the homey Esso. I just had a long talk with him about the business and the need to keep producing quality product, so it only seems right that this is how spring will segue in.

Bringing artistry to Harlem, the kid does my hometown justice while reppin’ the label and campaign that he’s been claiming for a while now.

Click on the Pic of the cover to download

And peep the trailer for it,

and the video for the lead single “Big Bed”. Tell me shorty doesn’t look like a mix of Kyla Pratt and Nina B.!!! Or is that…

 

Harlem: Pictures worth 1,000 words…

While I’m at it, There’s this Dope exhibit going on in my hometown about my hometown by a great photographic artist.

(how cool is this kid?)

Dawoud Bey’s Harlem, USA is an art exhibit at The Studio Museum of Harlem, which is a sorely overlooked treasure smack dab in the middle of 125th that Blacks don’t take enough interest in and advantage of. It’s a photographic look at the people and identities that have created this enormously historic and popular landmark area of NYC. This small stretch of land between roughly 100 blocks has always been a subcultural epicenter in African-American history, and these vintage images display just how.

Although the work has been showcased since November 11th, it has just gained notoreity this Black History Month. It will go on until March 13th. Make a trip as soon as you can and support dope art and the history of the greatest part of the greatest boro! Show the gift shop some love. Shout out to Indigo!

The REAL Malik Speaks on “The Game” via premiere party

There I was.

Our former columnist and favorite renaissance woman, TDJ brought me out with her when she was in my neck of the woods. The event was a viewing party for the premiere of the wildly popular dramedy, The Game on the BET network. What else could bring a bunch of New York transplants out in the beginning of what was poised to be the next snow storm of 2011 so far??

Not only was the venue the newly opened competition to my day job, but I found myself amongst a bunch of the so-called taste-makers and socialites of the new urban professional scene. Most ironically, I found myself exchanging light conversation with one of the very people who appear crossed out in the banner at the top of my blog, from the cast of the short-lived BET reality series, Harlem Heights (a show full of a cast consisting of only 1 true Harlemite – hence them being crossed out in my banner).

This type of scene, which usually makes me throw up in my mouth a little, was refreshingly cool and calm. I don’t know if rolling with TDJ has some kind of magic or something, but the last few events that I’ve been to with her have all had a down to Earth vibe to them with folks who would otherwise be pretentious or uppity, being very warm and friendly. It didn’t hurt that I was practically surrounded by women and I got to chill with one of my favorite writers, The Jaded New Yorker. There were a few random dudes threatening to steal my mojo, but here in particular, everyone came for a common accord, to watch The Game on multiple flat screens at the same time and share unified reactions and responses to the newness of things.

Even the guys paid attention. I’m assuming that since it was a taste-maker event full of the “Harlem Elite”, that these random dudes are writers or in the entertainment business somehow…I don’t know…I don’t concern myself with what men do on average. But the unison in the room was felt every time the commercial break was over and the show came back on as ‘shushes’ spread across the floor prompting everyone to be quiet and focus. And focus we did…

Our hostess for the evening, the vivacious Eb the Celeb captured footage and conducted interviews throughout the night and put it together in this clip. You can get a feel for what I was feeling here…

Oh yeah, and I guess the show wasn’t bad either. Just really don’t like when dudes have my name. There’s never been a cool guy named Malik on television. I HATE this character! Glad he gets all the flyest girls on the show tho…That ain’t too far from the truth!

*New Show* Soul Brothers x Malik-16 – SOUL BROTHERS REUNION SHOW December 18th In Harlem! (See trailer)

As always, like we usually seem to do at least 1nce a year, My extended fam  – The Soul Brothers are putting on Another Soul Jam at Harlem‘s own BlackStar Music And Video.

And Iam the special guest sharing the bill doing what I do best!

This not only marks the reunion of the 2 members, Fred Hawkins and Prince Hottness The Cure, but it’s also a return to glory that should see the event go back to the essence of the very first event at BlackStar. This will officially be the third run and the second show this year, counting this summer’s go-round without PHTC.

This time, it’s back to the basics; A Live band, FREE drinks and Dope New music and some crowd favorites. All that’s being asked is your humble $2 Donation. Hear that?? Donation, meaning you don’t have to, but why be so fucking cheap???!

Support Harlem’s last Black owned, Black operated, Video and music retailer. Support Good music and upcoming artists. Support Dope Hip-Hop performers….We’re Rare! I’ll be bringing up my group, The Have-Knotz, as well, to prepare for our debut.

Show is Saturday, December 18th @ 7:00. BlackStar is located on Lenox avenue in Harlem between 128th and 129th streets. Let’s do it big!

Videos Bring Big L back to life!

Speaking of famous deaths, It’s high time some light gets shed on the death of one of the punchline masters and a true Harlem great, The late Big L.

It’s been 12 years since his murder, and this video goes into that,which has always been a pretty quiet point of conversation when it comes to the story. 

And story is exactly what Street Sruck; The Big L Story primes itself to tell. Check out the trailer for the documentary below.

With the full version of the recorded Stretch and Bobbito show where he and Jay-Z traded verses hitting the net early this fall, I guess the timing just seems right to hear his name popping up again and have history unveiled.

Watch for the track that my group, The Have-Knotz and I will be putting out soon paying homage to the legend.