Medium Posts \ music

Defending Drake and Awkward Black People

drakehotlinebling

Note: I wrote this post back in October of last year.  This week Drake has dropped two new singles, but I am not sure if either will surpass the pop culture sensation of ‘Hot Line Bling’.

Do journalists who write about Drake actually know who Drake is? Or do they base their assumptions on what a stereotypical hip hop artist is supposed to be?

Thank goodness for pioneers like De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and even PM Dawn. Not every rapper is hard core. Not every rapper is angry and most importantly not every rapper is cool.

Like it or not, black people are actually burdened with the responsibility of being cool. Maybe it is because of musicians like Miles Davis, but it seems that defining coolness is something we black people have to uphold. We know the latest fashion. We create the newest dances. We coin the newest slang. However, we are not always “cooler than the other side of the pillow”. [RIP Stuart Scott]

Sometimes we are awkward like Awkward Black Girl. [Thanks, Issa Rae]

I read an article in the Washington Post reviewing Drake’s latest video, Hotline Bling. Writer Sarah Kaufman posits that Drake has taken “uncool too far” Huh?! If you are uncool, there’s no nadir of how far to go. She thinks Drake is being inauthentic.

Do we buy that? Part of the Question of Drake — an artist who’s particularly good at sparking annoyance– is his sincerity. Is he truly uncool (which is kind of cool) or does he just play at being uncool (which is pretentious)?

I disagree. If anything, Drake is even more comfortable in his music and in himself. He is more authentic, and his easy ability to be unapologetically uncool resonates with his fans.

Not everyone wants to be always cool to be with the cool kids. It’s a heavy burden.

Medium Posts

Vote Or Die Was Cool, But Charter Schools

Back To School

Running a charter school is not.

I don’t think that Sean Combs (AKA Diddy )should be running a charter school. Charter schools are ill-fitting band-aids trying the fix the big boo-boo of public schools. Public schools are broken. They are broken because property taxes decides how much money schools get in funding. The higher the tax the tax bracket, the better the school. Class affects the quality of schools so much.

I went to a Catholic school for the majority of my elementary school education. I was only in public school for three years 10th grade, 11th grade and 12th grade. Lucky for me, the neighborhood that I live in suburban Atlanta was doing well. I got a good education. It was good that I took AP classes and I got accepted into four colleges.

Recently, I spoke at a charter elementary school. I was fascinated at how smart and inquisitive the kids were, but I was dismayed at how regimented the school was. The kids were reading as they stood in line for the bathroom. They were chastised constantly for being loud and speaking out of turn.  At some charter schools in New York, kids wet themselves due to pressure to perform. These kids were like robots. Anyway, Diddy is a great music producer, businessman and video director. However, he should not run a charter school. In my opinion, charter schools are wack.

About twenty years ago, charter schools seemed like a good idea at the time. They were a way for poor and middle-class kids to get a good education when neighborhood public schools were failing them. Now charter schools have become businesses.  Charter schools are getting more money than public schools, and the awkward thing is that there often housed in the same building.

I don’t think charter schools are all bad.  I just think that we have abandoned many local public schools for them.  It’s like education deserts have sprung up like food deserts.

Anyway, Diddy is a great music producer, businessman, and video director. However, he should not run a charter school. In my opinion, charter schools are wack.

Medium Posts \ music

Always on Point; Never On Fleek

When an old school hip-hop artist dies, it hits me hard. That’s the music of my generation, Generation X. When MCA (Adam Yauch of The Beastie Boys) died in May of 2012, I remember where I was. I was working at Chelsea Market working as a sales associate for a jewelry designer. I tweeted about the Beastie Boys while shoppers browsed the artisan goods. There was a DJ in the center of the market and he played some vintage Beastie Boys. I may have given him a nod in agreement from across the room.

Today I wake up to reading about the passing of Phife Dawg (Malik Taylor) of A Tribe Called Quest. This is a sad day. I was a devotee of A Tribe Called Quest. Their second album, ‘The Low End Theory” was a CD that I wore out. I especially loved Phife’s verses on “Butter”. Phife had an earnestness to his rhymes that I and many others appreciated. RIP Phife. You were always on point.

Medium Posts

My Dad Didn’t March For Nothing

Voting Rights Act 1965 Selma March

This week I wrote a piece on Medium about the Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act.

Here’s an excerpt:

“We’re going backwards,” my mother said today when she heard the news today about the Supreme Court decision to overturn Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act.

While in high school, my dad marched for civil rights in Birmingham, Alabama. He didn’t march for nothing when he was a teen. He could have stayed at home. He faced the hoses and the dogs. Today, he’s retired and a registered voter who never misses an election whether local or national. This country has made advances, but we’re not there yet.

Medium Posts

Favor Or Free Work

friends girl scouts

Does it matter what is asked or who is doing the asking?

I do favors for friends. I also do things for free. I am broke. What is a favor? Helping someone move is a favor especially if being pizza and beer are offered. Being a job reference is a favor.  However, finding clients for a friend’s business is actually free work. Getting sponsors for a friend’s project is an example of free work.I can’t afford to do free work but I don’t want to be mean and stop doing favors for friends. It seems like I have deposited so much in the karma column but have unclaimed funds in favors. There’s a balance that I have to figure out.

I can’t afford to do free work, but I don’t want to be mean and stop doing favors for friends. It seems like I have deposited so much in the karma column but have unclaimed funds in favors. There’s a balance that I have to figure out.

It could my fault. I don’t ask for enough favors in return. I must say no to doing work for free. Maybe I have too many friends. The overused sentence uttered by a reality show contestant is “I’m not here to make friends.” Well, it makes sense to say that because the motivation to appear on a reality show is money and/or fame. My life is not a reality show. I am here to make a contribution to the world, to share my talents, to learn, grow and love. The reality of life is that stuff takes money,and friendship should be helpful not a financial hardship.