Posts Tagged 'drew ricketts'

200 Or Less: Flight 187

Fifty flirts with fatalism. Forget flirts, fancies futility. While a reluctant Jay-Z downplays conflict and heralds success, 50 Cent openly contests the value of earthly gains. Curtis Jackson has seen the mountaintop; his G4 jet crashes into it. Most compelling about “Flight 187”: video mural depicting a confused but decidedly ironic multi-millionaire. If celebration and champagne are in vogue, macabre meltdowns are 50’s leverage, his levee stemming the tide.

Drake, the reluctant baller, has purred about the pitfalls of progress. 50 hasn’t pretended as much about his need for riches. Here, the first signs of wealth’s drag on his conscience. Not one for window shopping, he’s indulged even the negative parts of fame, namely feuding and vanity. But the yield has been curious.

“Brought you from the hood/Destination, hell or heaven?”

The floating question mark deranges his song nearly as much as its groaning vocal thump. In one “mm,” there’s baby mama drama, death visions, astuteness. Like Biggie before him, 50’s been ready to die from the inception. Specifically, it’s the imminence of his dream. As he nears the symbolic end, life’s hold tightens inexplicably. Black manhood ultimately corrodes vitality, discarding dreamers in the offing.

I’m a rider.

ManchildInThePromisedLand

Updates

This is a drop in the bucket. I’ve been doing a lot of writing for NewsOne.com. So much that they even blessed me with a go-round as a featured blogger. Nice to be seen alongside Bakari Kitwana, Mark Anthony Neal, Casey Gane-McCalla and Stephany Rose, to say the very least. Here are a few joints from that site.

1. When Politico broke the story of Palin’s wardrobe spending, I thought it appropriate to talk about the contradiction in terms that is saying “spending freeze” and “fiscally responsible” and then splurging because you have enough money to do so. It’s an insult to the same hard-working Americans they’re making an appeal to.

10 Things Palin’s $150K Outfits Could Buy

2. In the same aspect of pushing the cultural message, McCain-Palin and Co. have been helping themselves to a large portion of the white American apple pie. Nothing wrong with saying you advocate for a group as historically critical as this one, but there was another easy contradiction in dissecting Joe’s aspirational sense of capitalism. The media bit at this kind of white-branded individualism, almost missing the point of a national, broad-based election. 

Media Chases the White Joe Vote

3. It wouldn’t be the internet without some instant commentary, would it? Nazneen Patel of NewsOne.com and I talked about the final presidential debate as it took place. Think high school time capsule. 

NewsOne Debate Chat

4. The list of Republicans who have joined the Obama cause. Apparently, the ideological rift in the party between the sensible intellectuals and the class-race-tinkering cowboys has become external, prevalent. With Buckley, Will, Kristol, Brooks, Parker, Noonan and a host of others leaving for the moderate outskirts (or gasp! the left), there will be a vacuum of new ideas. Tucker Bounds just won’t do in heady economic times. Hat tip to the Jed Report.

List of Republicans Ditching McCain So Far

On TheUrbanDaily, there’s a review of Wale at a CMJ Showcase for SOB. He disappointed the crowd using his body of work is his defense. Giant Mag has a review of Eagle Eye also. This is a March essay about New Orleans recently found on King Mag’s site. 

Good night all. 

 


Ballad of the Blunted Boy

I got my Masters in Dutch and a Bachelor’s in Swisher

Graduate Hard Knocks by the Narrowest Slither

I’m Smart But Not the Flashiest Nigga and once I learn lessons

Class dismissed 

A Homerun Hitter no asterisk; though you try dealing your fastest pitch

When Last I quit, I can’t recall proper

Scalded lungs pass the spliff poured Vodka I am neither man

Nor monster; won’t deny I have a sore spot for 

classy chicks

I’m aloof like the shower sponge, crass emit a sour tongue 

Amass my riches outta slums; jousting with guns is such a downer

One dollar does not a dream make; Gun Powder to prop extreme statesmen

 

But —

 

No bwoy nah guh test me yo

We posture ’cause it’s the best we know

I’m the poet-emcee’s wet dream though

‘specially blowed off the best weed, cho!

slipped inside the vestry door 

forget priests I got some questions

 

Dear father, does my ambition beget greed?

A balladeer 

I asked him cavalierly

I’m strong in my heart

My feet are rather weary 

What sign of the weak

that I splatter theories so loud

the people have to hear me

 

The youths are misguided 

we split sides spit fire piss iron

the best of us tip tides amidst liars

but after our time 

we git tired

 

I wanna 

collect bitches like figurines 

walk o’er floods to kick a breeze 

smoke more buds with thicker leaves 

Stalk tall funds like nigga please 

Feel familiar like six degrees 

The treasure is in the mysteries

 

Are these

Men or monsters

reading from teleprompters?

 

(per my advice 

you better watch)

 

Mind parables that ignore your children

And demagogues who war for scores 

Hording billions 

 

I used to hate but now I sorta feel ‘im 

I realize now that we was buildin’

 

That Gen. T-SO got me right mah nig…

The Genteel Oath To Life Unlived 

I spell dawg with an A-W

The first and last letters of my name trouble you 

I taint love the way lovers do 

Plus got flow like rain puddles 

We gain through struggle so who could say I ain’t true?

I’m A Jamaican in New York

These few weeks have felt like Prelude to An Historic Speech or America Week. The Election bonanza so fittingly dovetailed the Olympics. The Democrats and Republicans put on a show that showed how disparate and simultaneously ethnocentric America can be. It’s difficult to place myself in the middle of the American spectrum. First, I’m black so I have dealt with pressing “otherness” since I learned that blacks in this country were treated differently through a system of historical treatise. Then, uncoerced, Aime Cesaire showed me that the same system effectively suppressed blacks in the West Indies (of America/Britain) and in Africa.

 

Obama

Obama

Since I was born in Kingston, Jamaica but raised stateside, I always had an allegiance to a place where most of my memories had long dissolved. I was stumped trying to figure out my Blackness, my Jamaican-ness, and my American-ness in the face of this larger diaspora idea, which in itself implies dissonance. Then, this week, as if to tap me on the shoulder, Lamika Young, educator and friend spoke to me over chat about Barack Obama. She asserted that the idea of him being named “Barack Obama,” and in turn his separateness from Black Americans, made him less threatening to the general population. I was willing to acknowledge that his exotic nature and name sets him apart from any generalized description of Black American. In the same huffy breath, I was dismayed that we were getting into a discussion of what makes someone Black American. Was she telling me that Black America had institutionalized Blacker Than Thou tests? Continue reading ‘I’m A Jamaican in New York’

The Baba Ganoush Hour with Drew Ricketts

Anwar Pollydore and I joined to do a web talk show expressing all views under the African sun. The language is not for the sensitive. Enjoy all the jokes and uncomfortable moments of this the first episode.

The Baba Ganoush Hour Part One – Live from Canarsies Past

Hero Worship

If summer films devoted to crashes, flying vehicles and flawed humanity show us anything, it’s that adults need their heroes as much as children do. Will Smith’s latest film “Hancock” is his eighth Number One debut, and uses the Black Superhero model as a symbol that we may see more of with a Black president on the way. But heroes come in too many forms for us to assign unusual celestial attributes make them. Gamma ray poisoning is not what makes the Incredible Hulk a “hero”, but his subdued disposition in the face of society’s rage makes him courageous. The fantastic representation of heroism undoubtedly obscures what qualities that can make human beings larger than the sum of our parts. Therefore, being resolute comes with an internal toll beyond what external factors affect us. The recent clamor for leader in the black community comes partly from our obsession with heroes. Barack Obama has the charismatic all-knowing stature of any comic strip hero, so we afford him the same reverence. Jesse Jackson, stripped of his heroic credentials by way of public gaffes and the hands of time, wishes he could grab on to his cape of ’88 and stand with the worshiped few once more. Celebrity has defamed and devalued heroism. But I have always wanted to believe in something greater than self, greater than humanity but that shows in our worldly actions. Since the televangelists will never convert me, and the political talking heads reek of similar idolatry, I look to moral leaders.

Part 1 – Why we look to the wrong sources for heroism

Part 2 – Nas’s new single “Hero”…why it’s both perfect and misleading

Continue reading ‘Hero Worship’

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin [2008]

I’ve seen good men of my generation

mangled by dollars, wars, angels

reigned in by college

free men

strangled by collars

 

but fear trains slaves

I blaze, veer into a strange haze

weary of such lessons

they may hear

but deformed as we are we smile

feign cheer, steer away

from weird exchanges

we rode cycles, same gear

I love ’em and they my brothers

any way you seein’ it

wonderful human beings

future fathers, double-breasted suited armors

unaffected true warriors

lawyers and doctors: men with promise

emanating garish, gaudy, tawdry hopes

in the name of vision, broadened scope

I ain’t noble for treading a mossy road but

their smiles frighten my psyche

their brightness looks blinded 

we ain’t in crisis, we dying

this cycle revives itself

’cause I go for mine as well

when I wish we could share

we fight for divided stuff

when history is clear

we should say

fuck the bullshit

if you don’t get mine, we’re struck by bullets

defunct like you fucked my woman

if you don’t climb up,

I’m nothin

I can’t take solace in nullus

for my brother

these are all theories

if you don’t feel me, either-or

I see across a sea of falsehood

I plant my anchor, you could walk the plank if you wanna

but if we listen

we gon thank each other