Ignorant Sh!t

“Oh you living illegal/because your papers ain’t right/Got you ducking them people/Doing doughnuts in the block/that’s that Evil Knieval/Your daddy left you as a child/ you didn’t get to meet him/That’s why you live in the shits.” -Ignorant Shit, Ball Greezy

It was almost 80 degrees today in Detroit, and the colored folks were out on that dumb shit. Gathering in crowds, figure 8s on Six Mile, lined up on Jefferson like they giving away free COVID tests that all these idiots are gonna test positive on in two weeks (if they can get a test, cuz well they colored folks). It was an ignantpalooza of epic proportions. I hate ignorance. It’s permeating the world.

… but when them Murder Hornets get to the Murder Mitten… then what.

In the Bible, whether you take it as the direct word of God, prophesy, spiritual guidance, or just a book, God proclaims “you will know I am the Lord” and struck Egypt with ten plagues to let Pharoah know he was not pleased. Now I don’t know who Pharoah might be in this modern day tale, but who would be surprised that God is not pleased? We have taken steps backwards in terms of humanity, race-relations, the treatment of citizens by authority, the limits on freedom of some and the allowed lawlessness of others. We are in the midst of one plague while others threaten this country and are terrorizing other parts of the world. And like this deadly virus, it’s only a matter of time before these things cross US borders. But yet… we on that ignorant shit.

This morning I was awakened at 4:00am by two birds singing a love song to each other. One would chirp, and the other distinguishing chirp would come next. I was sleep and I had a nice glass of wine last night, that Earl Stevens 18% boy, so it sounded like they were singing “Always” by Atlantic Star. But whatever the case, it’s been decades since I’ve heard birds so clear and early. I’ve met rabbits in my backyard. Raccoons, to my dismay (and theirs because I screamed like I was being attacked) have looked me in the eye as I threw out the trash. I have seen geese and deer saunter across the streets as if they owned them. The air feels better. The sun seems to be pouring vitamin D from its rays.

Nature has reset.

God is sitting us down. Low down. Way down in Egypt land. He wants his people back… free from these hate mongers and murderers and killer clowns that might not be from outer space but they are certainly not all human. The modern day Baphomets. And regardless if COVID-19 was transmitted animal to human in the Chinese wet markets or a petri dish experiment gone haywire… it’s being used widespread to anchor us. Sitchoassdown ma’ams and sirs. And that’s an order.

An order that unfortunately the devils that walk on their hind legs chose to ignore and have caused the untimely and unnecessary deaths of thousands of people. It’s not just this virus though. This is bigger than just that. That’s simply one plague of many to come if we don’t heed the message. The wildfires in mid 2019 California. COVID-19 in late 2019, Wuhan China. Locusts in early 2020 in East Africa. Now Japanese murder hornets in Washington, ripping the heads off bees, which are necessary to the circle of life. Yet we still doing doughnuts in the middle of major streets… on that ignorant shit.

This is a cleansing. We don’t need Clorox and Bleach and Lysol. Just wash your hands with soap and water yo. Basic shit. We have come to enjoy the luxury of toilet paper, I know I don’t wanna live without it. But we ignorant and can’t even do basic troubleshooting, so we buy up all the toilet paper from everyone else because we can’t even fathom just washing our asses. Soap and water. They say cleanliness is next to godliness…”Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean” Ezekiel 36:25. And ignorance… well, “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them from the hardness in their heart…” Wash your hands and seek knowledge. How many times did your parents give you those same lessons

You see…This isn’t about anything but refocusing the world, shaking shit up, so we can all see clearly that being clean of spirit and soft of heart is necessary for the Earth to spin properly on its axis. Otherwise God will flick that joker like when your mother popped you in the forehead, bouncing us all around like toy soldiers, until we fall in line and act accordingly. So in closing, be good to others by protecting them if you don’t care about yourself, take this seriously, right your wrongs, take your vitamins, sitchoassdown, and realize if you have been on that ignorant shit and you are still alive in these times… all praises due.

Just call this “Wash Yo Hands and Chill” Season.

Why she here Isaiah?

What a time to be alive. We got a commander in chief who wants to know if a Lysol cocktail with a Clorox sidecar will kill COVID… no, but that warning, skull and crossbones on the can should assure you it’s not for social or medical consumption. We have been sheltering in place for five weeks. We have virtual happy hours, dance parties, yoga classes, and meditation. Folks are wiping their asses with McDonald’s napkins, and the NFL draft took place on the phone.

I’m not sure if it’s Armageddon or the Apocalypse… or are they the same? But I do know for sure that the world will come to a complete end before anyone’s Black mama lets you plant yourself smack dab in the middle of his moment… but especially if you plotting on his last name and you look nothing like her… “The name is mine. The name got my daddy’s blood on it.”

So yesterday, all the sports fanatics who have been coronaed out of the NBA season were tuned in to the NFL draft. At the 29th pick, the Tennessee Titans picked Isaiah Wilson. He had to wait until he received the call via phone. After the call came through, you can see Wilson flanked by a young lady, covering his face and head as she hugs him on national television. And that’s when things get interesting.

So, a little background. Wilson is from Brooklyn, he was a five star recruit to Georgia. He entered the draft after two years. He wrestled in high school and gave himself the nickname Panda, because his personality looms as large as his 6’7″ 350 pound frame. Dude is massive and according to his coaches he is a great teammate and pays close attention to detail. While he wasn’t slated to go in the first round by football experts, he knew. So in his special night he was surrounded by family in his Brooklyn apartment, and his girlfriend… who happens to be very blond and very White. “Why she here Ike?”

This year these young men couldn’t get dressed up and go to the live draft, so instead after Roger Goodell announced the teams pick via broadcast, the players would be called by team management to be made aware they had been drafted. When that call came for Wilson, he donned his white Titans hat and his similarly hued girlfriend quickly embraced him on camera. “[S]he’s always booking ahead…”

And his mother … wait for it…

Mama YOKED THE FUCK outta her. Rightfully so! Prior to being supremely hemmed up by his no nonsense mom, Isaiah’s girlfriend was being the quintessential Emily: making it about her. She was scene stealing by jumping her ass in this über talented Black man’s stage during his standing ovation of sorts. Listen and learn young Abigail. Black men don’t get enough shine. So when yours has to forego the traditional pomp and circumstance (celebration) of the live draft and receive word by phone in his living room, the least you can do is sit down squarely on your haunches and allow him his moment… without you jumping in the frame. He is going to literally use his body to stop other men. Giving his body in exchange for whatever million dollar contract, the dollar signs of which lit up in your eyes, he signs. He worked hard. He put in the hours. His family made the sacrifices. You clearly think you are entitled to the spoils, and perhaps you are and will receive them… but get outta his frame yo!

But that’s not where it ends… you knew that. “Something’s on my mind, won’t somebody please tell me what’s wrong…”

Remember Russell Wilson… his high school girlfriend and first wife Ashley Meems literally had to unhinge her jaw bone to open her mouth that wide… but she was EX-CIT-ED. “Make me over, make me nice!” And he did. It’s rumored she was fooling around with a member of his team. They divorced a few years before he became the highest paid player in the NFL and married hip rolling R&B singer Ciara. Once you go hip roll…

Isaiah’s mom was yoking her up for now and later, old and new. She was shielding young and wild Mike Tyson from “gold digger” Robin Givens. She was rejecting the Kardashian spell that somehow weakens Black male athletes and musicians into piles of mush. She was pulling Ashley Meems and her dislocated jaw away from sweet Russ. She was letting Young Jenna know that she was not going to be allowed to steal her son or his shine. Yep, steal her son. I said it.

Like Meems’ molar show, Heather was suffocating Isaiah Wilson with thoughts of Aston Marton’s, Birkin’s, and Calabassas running through her platinum covered cerebrum. She could smell the new leather and green grass. And she was inserting herself in his picket fence dreams by inserting herself into his frame. And mama saw it, and wasn’t going for it! Perhaps he’ll outgrow his taste of the forbidden fruit and pick a round juicy peach. Perhaps they’ll marry and have curly haired light brown babies. Or perhaps he will enter the NFL and enjoy himself… safely and smartly… but fully enjoy the benefits of his hard work. HIS hard work. HIS. “You tryna help Ike?”

Yep, I too am that mama. My kid is gonna be something like the next Steve Jobs. Dude spends hours watching how video games are made, have changed, and of course playing. He’ll likely be somewhere near 6’7″ but he wants no parts of football. But whatever his hustle, whether Tierra or Aaliyah, his girlfriend will already know better than to steal one ray of his shine. If by chance he picks Becky or Abigail, she won’t be allowed to stake her claim to his jackpot until she’s his wife. If that’s what he chooses, sobeit, but Mama’s teach your babies to grow up to be a Black man’s woman… or we’ll learn ’em for you.

So in closing… don’t drink Lysol, stock up on toilet paper, keep your blond bordered mug outta the newly drafted Black man’s frame, … and “eat the cake Anna Mae.”

Petty in a Time of Chaos

First of all, just let me start with this fact. COVID-19 has created a mental and emotional block on many of us who rely on our creativity to destress, live, feed our families, etc. Now lucky for you, you currently get this brilliant content (I’m sitting down and I’m humble, but I’m definitely smelling the yams) for free. However, it’s really not free. It requires you to think, take out a moment of your time to indulge me, and to consider some things or a perspective you might not otherwise have considered. So I thank you for that. The stress and uncertainty that has flooded us has also watered down our creative color. But like Van Gogh, we have to learn to paint in all mediums.

So, in my time sheltering in place, of course, I have needed food when I’ve got a man and a teenage boy, both 6’3″ and over 240lbs, sheltering in place in my house. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this much meat consumed and they drink so much juice we need stock in Ocean Spray and Tropicana. I have needed toilet paper once as well, so I have hit up Meijer, Target, and Dollar General once or twice a piece during this six weeks.

Three Things: People do not know what six feet means. People are ignorant. People are pushing some of us to petty.

Okay so first off, I have had to verbally check people about giving me space. I don’t care if you aren’t coughing. I don’t care if you washed your hands. I don’t really care if I know you. If you are not quarantined in my house, Imma need six feet at all times. But people are ignorant and craving petty… so here we go.

Now I don’t do unkempt. Generally, I’m a wash my face, brush my teeth , curl my hair, jeans and sneakers girl. I need some earrings, perfume, and lip balm on and I’m good. But I refuse to look like I have been rolling around in a wrestling match with loneliness and regret. I will not be out here raggedy… nope. They make YouTube videos on how to do everything, figure it out. So when I’m called out for having my hair done in the store line, I released the petty. Yes, I talked through a face mask, my glasses were foggy, I had on rubber gloves, and the cashier was behind plexiglass… but the times call for petty in a time of chaos. I let miss thing with her Frederick Douglas bob know I’d gladly curse her out and the location of the hair care products available for purchase, but to start she HAD to move back six whole feet. They had it marked for her, just stand on it. X marks the spot where I might not throw this shoe at you a la Dr Mattie Moss Clark… get it right, or get out… of line. Oh and who gon check me boo… I invested in flatirons and paid attention while holding my ear at the stove. Invest in you.

On another such occasion I am picking apples off the apple display. This woman walks up, says hello, and proceeds to stand so close to me I could smell what reminded me of Afro Sheen and feel her elbow brush my arm. I had an out of body, and jumped from standing like I was long jumping, about four feet away. She looked at me perplexed, and before I could catch myself to react a bit better…

Me: CDC says six feet not six millimeters.

She laughed: Oh it’s man made, I don’t believe that stuff.

Me: I can pull up pictures of dead people that were walking upright a week or two weeks ago. I don’t care what you believe. You believed that bare feet and flip flops were a good footwear choice in thirty degree weather.

Random Man: I like you, you married?

See… foolishness is at an all time high.

I have seen folks eating with gloves on… think on that for a second. People pull money out of the underwear that covers their ass … don’t think about or do that EVER. Ten fools on a little tight ass porch like clowns in a clown car…wait there’s another one… eleven fools on a porch! You are eating COVID, handing folks COVID, and puff puff passing COVID. Stop it. More than that, you are driving those of us who are some combination of real, witty, and uninterested in your foolishness deeper and deeper into petty ways. We’d like to spread some info and tell a joke or two during this madness, but that’s morphing into the Grandest of Petty because of people who cannot follow basic directions.

Moreover… we don’t care where it came from, not right now. It’s like saying HIV was manmade. Who cares… wear a condom and don’t use used needles, and you won’t get it. So regardless of the plan to kill folks with it, because it’s a virus and does viral things, it can be controlled through reduction of transmission. Gimme six feet. In fact, gimme ten and keep your mouth shut… your throat will stay moist, you are less likely to cough, and therefore more likely to make it out alive. Folks are wild out here. Fear will do that. Foolishness, however, accomplishes nothing… it just increases the likelihood that you’ll get quarantine cursed out by pushing me towards petty.

It takes a nation of millions… be in that number that helps the cause, not hurts it. Besides, the less we take heed of the recommendations from researchers, doctors, experts in epidemics and pandemics, the more likely we’ll be dude in Van Goghs “The Hague with the New Church”…

…walking around liberated, but alone.

COVID-19 is Public Enemy #1… so be clear of your target. Shut it down, and backup … cuz you can get slapped up … by petty.

Can We Talk

Hello, this is Coffee Talk

And I’m your host Karyn DeShields.

So listen, in Michigan and Louisiana, the number of Black people diagnosed with COVID-19 is wildly disproportionate to our population. We represent 40% of all Michigan cases, with over 7,000 cases in Wayne County, where my hometown of Detroit is situated. 70% of Louisiana cases with 4,000 in Orleans county where New Orleans is located. So folks are popping off about how Black people are responding and not complying with government orders. But there is a lot of background there.

Black people have a storied history in America. You know it, I won’t go into it from Jamestown to today… but our relationship with the government is weakened by our VERY REAL experiences. The government told us we were free people after the Civil War… the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1963, yet it wasn’t until June 19, 1865, that Union General Gordon Granger arrived at Galveston, Texas, bringing news to the town that the Civil War had ended and that all slaves were free. I could go on and on. But let’s not act like because the government or its figure heads say something that it’s gospel, truthful, or humane. Just a few months ago the COVID virus was similar to the flu; the numbers would go down in April because it’s warmer; and anyone who needed a test could get it. All lies. We are told if we obey the law and are law abiding we will be protected by police, yet Oscar Grant, Tamir Rice, and Sandra Bland.

So we, meaning Black People, have to fix the messaging and re-deliver it.

Here’s the rub. If a Black man in a hoodie is a thug, a Black man in a red or blue bandana tied around his face may be seen as a gang member… that’s not far off. If a Black man driving is a threat, then a Black man in a face mask who you cannot identify, looks like a thief and might be considered one. Do we really believe that these brothas want to mask up or trust the repercussions of being out in public looking like a ninja assassin… hell naw. “Mask on. Fuck it, mask off!” But a mask strapped around your face is much better than a ventilator strapped around your face. So it’s necessary… but we should understand why it might not particularly be trusted.

As far as staying inside. No one should be having basketball games, parties, BBQs, none of that. But again, many people in the Black community work in the service industry, a lot of whose jobs are considered essential. We have to grocery shop. We should be taking walks and staying active. Some of us can’t afford to put two weeks worth of groceries in the house at one time. Others of us need to take public transportation to get to our destinations. Still very many of us were still attending events (social, professional, community) well into March, because no national plan of action was put into place by the Pandemic Response Team… cuz your President got rid of them to give his son-in-law a job. A lot of Black people who are middle class belong to social, cultural, community-based, and professional groups for support and networking not available to us otherwise. Those events were likely hotbeds for spreading the virus. You have to understand who and why we are FIRST, before you judge. We have to not lose sight of who and why we are to remember why we might be a little less willing to blindly obey government.

So let’s share our very real experiences with COVID-19, so people are aware of how real, prevalent, and important it is to follow CDC recommendations. Let’s dispel rumors and misinformation. Let’s share how we are staying healthy, boosting our immunity, staying active, staying positive, keeping our spaces disinfected, and washing our hands. There are many people making masks, I know a few myself. Wearing one glove to grasp door handles and touch high traffic surfaces while you are out is smart. Cleaning your home, washing your hands immediately when you enter your home, using Lysol on items from outdoors, and just overall heeding the dangers and transmission of this virus is smart. But we must also be understanding and compassionate.

This is unlike anything any of us have experienced. Or children are out of school, many of us are working from home or not working at all, it’s stressful, it’s weird AF, and it’s real life. It represents the beginning of the rest of our lives, as things will never be the same. Let’s help each other embrace our current norms and focus on being healthy enough to adjust to our new normal when this pandemic is over.

Now talk amongst yourselves…

The Truth about Rona

So listen,

Pandemics are not new… SARS, HIV, Ebola, the Bubonic Plague, cholera. But let’s talk about the very real human cost of a pandemic such as this, that leads to quarantine and social isolation. Corona Virus, aka Rona, she is not a sweet ole girl… she’s more like a… social, economic, and emotional savage. She gives no fucks, has RBF like a mug, and she will be cruel.

The Truth About Rona…

We already have seen and heard every way this virus has spread and how we can help prevent it. There is no vaccine and in America there are few tests. In addition to the physical challenges, Rona doesn’t just stop there. Recently I started a business, the blackkside, a social experience sharing and curation company in Detroit, which promotes cultural inclusivity in new businesses. So first, Rona is a sack chaser because she wants all my money. I can’t get the bag if we can’t go into social venues and restaurants. She’s eating my 401k and investments for breakfast and lunch. Bag thwarted. But when they take our bag, we buy low … stocks that is. That was a freebie for ya!

Then there is the psychological cost…

Anxiety and depression are real, but not one in the same. My business partner is Kafi… she’s our team social butterfly. She is ready to go all the time. I am the business mind… budgets and organization. I’m the DJ, she’s the rapper. Kafi goes out on Tuesdays. She’s a regular like Norm at her local bar. She never meets a stranger, and will probably hug you every time she sees you or parts ways with you.

Kafi needs social interaction because she’s an extreme extrovert. Lack of human socialization for someone like Kafi can lead to loneliness and ultimately depression. Today in Michigan all restaurants and bars were ordered to close with only delivery and take out options available. Most workers are working from home. Group events over 50 are prohibited, and soon a curfew may be instituted as in New Jersey. Kafi is not okay… I mean she is, but she needs her friends and family to check on her, offer to visit, invite her over. She doesn’t have the Rona but the Rona ain’t making her feel good inside.

Depression can be acute or chronic, situational or long term. Either way, it needs to be taken seriously and individuals who feel like they are moving from basic boredom and loneliness to a deeper and more emotionally difficult state need to reach out to others during this time. Pandemics are not just about the virus, the economic impact, and being infected. The truth about Rona is that she won’t just hurt you physically, yep she’s violent, but she can also leave you feeling emotionally unbalanced. Be proactive and find ways to have some small social interaction to keep yourself healthy in every way.

Now, me, I’m an introvert. A lot of people don’t believe me, but trust me I’d rather be home, in my pjs, with a few folks I really dig, than in a group with too much talking. This whole thing has affected me in a much different way. “Stay home. Stay away from folks. Stay watching Netflix. Stay happy!!!!” That’s my current ministry… and the threat of this virus outside of that safe bubble gives me anxiety. I mean I’m the poster child of wishing I was home alone.

Today, after a weekend of social distancing, I had to present at my job where I interview people from every country under the sun, many of whom have likely traveled, been around someone with the virus, and desperate to get the benefit they present for. It is not an unlikely idea that people who might be infected could end up less than three feet in front of me… coughing like a non-cigar smoker in Churchills. The very thought of that as I got dressed this morning made me sweat. I started feeling anxious, and just wanted to get back in my safe and quiet bed. But alas, I could not. I got in the car and listened to some of the raunchiest and murderous rap music I could find… it calmed me. Don’t judge me mmm kay.

I walked in the building, cleaning each knob or handle with my Lysol wipes before I touched it, and the sweat again caused my hair to cling to my forehead. It wasn’t until it was confirmed that we could work from home that I calmed down fully and all worry left me. I was feeling full on anxiety at the thought of having to interact with people who might present despite their travel or health history. Sure enough, a guy who had returned from China less than 15 days ago sat in my co-workers office smiling at her waiting on her to start his interview, like he wasn’t exposed to the plague a few short days ago. Luckily she discovered his travel and promptly escorted him out. Had that been me, I might have spazzed out on his premeditated pandemic spreading ass. I will happily sit at home… it’s going out DURING A PANDEMIC that’s my problem. I mean don’t nobody want Rona.

So check on your people. Whether they are extroverted or introverted, this new normal may cause some mental health issues that we might be ignoring because of the exponential spread of COVID-19. In the meantime, if you are extroverted, FaceTime a friend or have a FB Live dance or craft party (people will watch because they are weird voyeurs). If you are introverted, you should be good. But it’s safe to make it official… every little step you take outside, Rona is definitely in control… You, you, you know it!

Be safe and stay well.

Js

I love Jordan’s… Retro 1s and 3s to be specific, and while Concords aren’t as consistently dropped, those joints are fire too. Sometimes it takes one retro drop to bring out another. Gotta have your money ready for it.

I also love hip hop.

Two Jays dropped Thursday night… and it was truly a collaboration between Jay Electronica, who has been dropping his elusive debut album for over ten years, and Jay-Z, his mentor and arguably at 50 the GOAT MC. Dude is spittin at 50 like most dudes tryna spit at 25 or 30, creatively. He’s reached the age of no fucks given. He ain’t holding back the bars anymore.

“If skills sold truth be told
I’d probably be lyrically Talib Kweli”
-Jay Z, Moment of Clarity

Electronica, always the lyricist, would drop these masterpieces of song off and get everyone excited about this debut… that never came. In reality, I don’t know that that is what we got this time either. It was like to get those Jay Es to drop, those Jay Zs had to release a new color way so we could cop them both. A lot of y’all are complaining, but both those joints are fire… just not what you expected. But expectations keep you disappointed. This was no disappointment. It was lyrical boxing, fancy footwork, grand entrances, and all. It’s what you get when you let creatives just…Create. Both of these men aren’t moved by what is dictated as popular by public consumption. This is excellence because it’s unexpected. It’s reminiscent of Only Built for Cuban Linx. Raekwon and Ghostfaces verbal tag team.

A Written Testimony is Watch the Throne II. It’s not the same as WTT but it is definitely it’s long lost cousin. The big difference is Kanye outshined Jay on WTT, purposely so because he had just dropped arguably his best work, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Romance… so he was on fire. We know Jay is good at keeping the peeling on and not revealing all of himself. There he let Ye do his thing and kinda just supported. But this… is different. Dude was full on onion, either slice up these words too or mine will make you cry. Plus he big ups Lil Elt with the Get the Gat hook. Roc Nation is an army better yet a navy.

50 year old Jay Z is a wild boy.

“Listen, I named my son, Sir, so you gotta call my son, “Sir”
That boy already knighted, he ain’t even out his romper
That gossip I send bald heads, Lou Gossett out the gun, sir
I’m brazy, I’m so brazen, I’m “Raisin in the Sun” sir“-Jay-Z, The Blinding

He’s better. 4.44 let us know he had an arsenal of shit to stay past the point most rappers have sat down and started buying wings franchises. He let er go on A Written Testilimony, and rightfully so. We called this a debut album, but it’s a mentor challenging his mentee to be greater. You can’t put out bullshit after waiting for ten years yo. So let’s shadow box in this joint and see what you go.

I mean look… Jay Z is playing hip hop hop scotch.

If you didn’t have no straps, you couldn’t wear your necklace
Niggas hand around your throat, that’s a choker reference…

Then picks it back up bars later…

You mouth off for the cameras, I make a silent movie
Now here’s some jewelry
No civilization is conquered from the outside until it destroys itself from within
Pen, put a pin in that, will come back when I fin
You can’t talk like I talk ’cause you ain’t been where I been, young.
” -Jay-Z, The Ghost of Soulja Slim

Electronica often follows and here pays homage to Jay:

“If it come from me and Hov, consider it Qur’an
If it come from any of those, consider it Harām
The minaret that Jigga built me on the Dome of the Roc
Was crafted, so beautifully, consider this Adhan
From a hard place and a rock to the Roc Nation of Islam
I emerged on the wave that Tidal made to drop bombs”
-Jay Electronica, The Ghost of Soulja Slim

They are two heavyweights but Jay is Evander and Electronica is Tyson… and you gotta do more than bite at ears to win the crown. Jay Electronica was eventually outrapped by Jay-Z… he ain’t the first one, but he sparred with dude like a G. His real solo debut, that shit will be some five mics shit. Let’s be real, in a sea of dudes who call themselves Baby, there is no doubt that Jay Electronica is a beast among men… but you gotta put out whole projects to show those skills. Put the heavyweight equivalents of Exhibit C, Road to Perdition, and Letters to Falon on an album.

“It’s the return of Mr. Shakur spittin’ out phlegm at paparazzi
That’s my new style“-Electronica

Electronica was made better by this collab. His lyrics were crisper, both spiritual and brutal. You can honor Allah and your ferocity on the mic simultaneously. The production Electronica did on this album was phenomenal. He makes beats that he can freak to, and he rides those bitches with expertise. I personally can’t wait to see what dude does next. WTT was the mentor releasing his mentee out to the world, this was no different, but since Electronica’s drops are inconsistent… Jay basically put him through boot camp on wax first to prove him ready. In this corner…

“Some ask me “Jay, man, why come for so many years you been exempt?”
‘Cause familiarity don’t breed gratitude, just contempt
And the price of sanity is too damn high, just like the rent
Mm-mm-mm, mm-mm-mm, uh, uh
Sometimes I was held down by the gravity of my pen
Sometimes I was held down by the gravity of my sin Sometimes, like Santiago, at crucial points of my novel
My only logical option was to transform into the wind”-
Electronica

He’s ripe and ready… lyrically we had no doubt, but he’s locked in spiritually and mentally now. And he’s right, there is no coming back from immense fame, and sometimes like Paul Coehlo’s character Santiago in The Alchemist , you just have to stop and confer with nature on your journey and the wind will escort you to your next destination in your journey. You can’t do anything but learn from verbal sparring with Jay-Z. They call you Jay Electronica, Jay ElecHannukah, Jay ElecYarmulke, Jay ElectRamadaan, Muhammad Asalaamica RasoulAllah. I bet Jay-Z calls you Timothy Thedford. I mean everyone has to call his son, Sir. Now go light some of Badu’s panties and get in the zone.

If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it.“-Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

The Cloak of Men of Color

Is this your King…

Black men, if you have a penchant for using women’s thighs as your hand warmers and their breasts as your stress balls because “that’s what men do”… nope. That is not your ministry my G. The same rules don’t apply to you. Just ask

•Bill
•Robert… or R-rah ( as in Kelly … luckily this is written because I refuse to utter his nasty name)
•Tavis
•Russell
•Morgan (“Say it Ain’t So” Freeman… I mean Grandpa Mo cant be out here playing God and tryna go up folks skirts)
•Neil (deGrasse Tyson… even brilliant men do dumb shit), and whatever other brother who has been accused or found guilty of sexual harassment or assault. This ain’t your game.

I am attributing no blame to any of these men… well except the one guy, who “made the water” on folks… but you are not like your counterparts. You cannot make excuses like good old Tavis Smiley who claimed that since his company didn’t forbid sexual relations and he gave no positive or negative favoritism, that he had done no wrong. Stop it Smiley… your penis is too friendly. You cannot don the male supremacy cloak to shield your wrongdoing. That vestment is only for White men. You cannot act like there is no uneven power dynamic between a man and his female subordinate who are doing the sex. You certainly can’t expect Black women to excuse your foolishness.

My brothers, these rules that your White male bosses and the guys on the golf course live by do not apply to you. You all have been hoodwinked into the realm of male impropriety and fuckboy shit. These men were pillaging the bodies of African women during slavery, your wives, sisters, children in front of you. These men are continuously allowed to grab women’s body parts by their own admission, then go on to be President. They harass the women they employ and become billionaires. Then there is your Svengali.

Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1991 after a nomination process that exposed his blatant and disgusting sexual harassment of Anita Hill, a brilliant law professor and a Black woman. The guy who likes pubic hairs in his Coca-Cola took the place of our beloved first African-American justice, Thurgood Marshall. Seems like he got away with his transgressions. Well, He’s a Constitutional textualist whose carob colored ass surely would have been seen as 3/5ths. He’s the courts MOST conservative judge despite the myriad of civil rights, race and gender based cases he’s heard during his tenure. He will invoke anti-integrationalism and limited federal powers to uphold his stance that the law is colorblind and unable to even out the playing field caused by racism.

Harriet and Frederick would rebuke him, but what’s an ancestor to a turncoat? The powers that be knew he’d promote this extreme conservatism to fuel their white male supremacy. Moreover his victim was a Black woman…no one really gives a shit but other Black women. Yet Bill Cosby, who was drugging White women left and right, got the hammer.

Rich nigga, poor nigga… still nigga.” -Jay-Z

Male supremacy is born of hierarchy and power. They once cut off your feet so you couldn’t run. Now they entice you with their dominance to effectively stop your forward progress, our forward progress. They convince you to overpower and show your dominance to Black women, when that’s not our ancestral model. You oblige them so you leave us no choice. Black women will continue to speak up and out against sexual abuse at your hands, not because we only want to punish you, but as a matter of proximity… we are your first line of impropriety. It is our responsibility to stop you and protect ourselves, if you won’t do it. So we shall. But you share in that responsibility.

Why become Male Supremacists, when you are born Kings. Kings don’t need to force dominance, they don’t need cloaks, they are born with crowns, and they sure as hell don’t like pubic hairs in their carbonated beverages.

A good man treats women with honor. -Prophet Muhammad

Building ships

I’m invoking Jermaine Jackson for some musical inspiration… that’s pre-hair shellac Jermaine, but post Jackson 5 nostrils Jermaine…

“We’re like two ships on the ocean/That pass through the night”-Jermaine Jackson

Some people we pick, others the universe just kinda puts in our face. I’ve found a lot of my personal picks were based off of things that don’t really matter once you get put into the open sea…how they looked, their background, education level, wealth, shoe game, whatever. It was like judging the ability of an ocean liner to stay afloat based on its name… The World Traveller might not make it off the shore. The universe pushes you towards people who will do your soul good and away from people who only mean you harm. It’s in the ions and shit. Two separate ships in the night just pass one another, but when we are trying to build a ship together, we need to really unite on a soul level.

I have bestie who is like my square, that person you go to to get back on point, who reminds you who TF you are when you forget, who stands on the mound and goes to bat for you, but who also calls you on your fouls. I have a man that supports me, loves me, ensures that I am well emotionally and will defend my honor physically if need be. My mama is dope, and tells me I’m smart and responsible and better. Those are the main ships in my fleet. But I have space and room in the docks. Some of my folks don’t seem to make sense if you think you know me or you think you know them… you base that on mostly visual and some social perceptions. But relationship building, is much like building a ship…

One will weave the canvas; another will fell a tree by the light of his ax. Yet another will forge nails, and there will be others who observe the stars to learn how to navigate. And yet all will be as one. Building a boat isn’t about weaving canvas, forging nails, or reading the sky. It’s about giving a shared taste for the sea, by the light of which you will see nothing contradictory but rather a community of love. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in “Citadelle”

You see, you are drawn to, you often don’t pick, your team. The group of people who help you reach higher ground. My team is so beasty! One a motivator; another who lives in service to others, a constant supporter; yet another who is organized will keep you on task and structured in your grind; and then the one that keeps the laughs and the party going when you most need them. You come together with these people individually and build rowboats, lifeboats, motorboats, to get you both where you need to be from day to day. Then often those people come together in a way to help you go from shore to shore. Whether one person or several, they are supportive, kind, empathetic, attentive… things that you wouldn’t know extrinsically about someone who just enters your life. But your energy brought them to you. After all, we are all just beings made up of energy, it’s in the ions and shit.

In high school my friends were cute and super smart, and some small part of me at 15 cared that they were cute and super smart … but they were also good people who had my back. Those same girls were the women who watched my son when I was sick, kept my home stocked with groceries so my ex-husband wouldn’t starve, and flew to see me in No Man’s Land, Oklahoma when some raggedy dude was acting an ass and I felt alone in that godforsaken town. In college, many of the guys I met … I probably only paid attention to at 18, in part, because they had good teeth, handsome bone structure, and cars. Yet many of them have become friends who I learn from constantly . I have also made some friends who, like me, were successful and no nonsense, but they liked me better when I was standoffish and uninterested in new people. They are no longer my friends because I changed, grew, opened up, and they didn’t like my progress. Most of the friends I have made more recently, might not even seem like “my kind” of people to outsiders… but yet we connect deeper. You can’t see souls, you can only feel them!

Smiley and Frowny
Winky and Side Eyer
Extravert and Introvert
Tall’ums and Short’ums

Don’t judge books by their covers, ships by the names emblazoned on the side, people by your assumptions. You are likely wrong. I mean who knew in the 2003 Kentucky Derby, Funny Cide would beat Empire Maker… I mean who sounds faster, stronger, more horse racey? But when your grandfathers are Slewacide and Forty Niner, and your stable mate is a young American Pharoah (Triple Crown winner) you might just be a beast! Always, always, bet on beasty! It’s in the ions and shit!

Blacksplaining and a Jiving

If you are a woman you have had some guy mansplain, or discuss something from his perspective as a man in a condescending or oversimplified manner, to you like you were an idiot… it happens with everything from football to cars, BBQing to driving. It’s irritating AF, and there is no greater joy than saying whatever was mansplained to you back in the simplest words ever. Cuz I don’t need your explanation and I certainly don’t need your patriarchy. But have you been blacksplained… I have, it frankly sucks worse.

So here’s the deal… typically this condescension is from one group to another, so there is at least the idea of impropriety. But blacksplaining can happen in group or out group. Being Black is no particular experience. Being a Black woman, I might have many similarities with a Black woman or even a Black man, but chances are our differences are just as great. Class, education level, experiences, opportunity, etc. play a very large part in our reality. But when the hoteps and shoteps start (s)hoteping, they are looking for something to trivialize and simplify the general Black experience, particularly the Black woman’s experience. I say nope.

Blacksplainers… we ain’t lucky we got em!

It usually starts with some form of the following:

“There is a history of…” “

Black people have been…”

“The stereotypical image of…”

“As a Black woman…”

Ma’am or Sir, we are not a monolith. Just like mansplaining, blacksplaining is usually based wholly on opinion or individual experience but then extrapolated to the larger group as if we are all the same. We are not. Chances are if the idea or thought you are trying to fight is hitting you so hard personally, it’s personal. I know my people’s history just as well as you do. I read. I’m educated. I know some shit. But if I give an opinion or individual experience… that is what it is… period. I don’t need your explanations.

I recently had a dialogue about Black women’s wants and needs versus those of White women. I was hit with this full on case study about who, what, where, and why. I’m a Black woman. My counterpart in this dialogue was as well. I’m sure she thinks she educated me… nawww. I knew that shit. I also think she oversimplified and overgeneralized, as well as based her theory off of unfair comparisons to White women. That happens a lot. The blacksplaining is rooted in this White-centered reality that simply doesn’t apply to us. ” White people go for the gold and we are satisfied with the bronze because at least it’s a prize…” type shit. But perhaps we were most concerned with placing because we never had, and we wanted to clear one hurdle at a time! Don’t attempt to shush me with your long winded soliloquy of silliness or paint my Black as beautiful only when it’s whitewashed. Don’t do it.

One reason why Black women are tired is everyone is trying to tell us what we should believe, do, think, say, look like… and our own folks are trying to blacksplain us into submission. Blacksplain it to yo mama… or just keep it away from me. FOH!

Mama’s don’t let your babies grow up to be f*ckboys

fuckboy /f-uh-k-boi/ n. a male who wants the benefits of engaging in meaningful and worthwhile relationships without the responsibility and commitment required to sustain such a relationship; a man who manipulates his way into the lives of others with lies, empty promises, and bad intentions; a BAN.

Ladies and gents, our topic is fuckboys.We are surrounded by them. From Harvey Weinstein, Michael Bloomberg, and Donald Trump. To Tyrone who grew up on Stahelin and Six Mile, Louise’s son with the four kids by four different women, John, Mohammed, Omar, Julius, Abraham, and Marcus. They come from every walk of life, in every age, race, height, and bank account balance. If most of us ladies are honest, we’ve entertained a few at the very least. Some of us woke up next to one this morning. Fuckboys are everywhere… but we can prevent their spread.

Just the other day Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of sexually assaulting women… and has a bitter history of using his money and power to mistreat women. Imagine that, the King of Fuckboys found guilty. Perhaps we’ll see a lessening of the phenomenon now that the poster child for its most vile example has been outed… Probably not, but a girl can dream. Trust me, I know a fuckboy when I see them; I’ve had my share of fuckboy experiences. However, the last time, some sort of vaccine spread through me as I finally figured out their kryptonite… being outed publicly. Let’s first tell the truth and shame the fuckboy… they will recognize themselves. Let’s also go deeper.

Since the beginning of time, women have been told we should strive for aesthetic perfection, and men that they should strive to have as many aesthetically perfect women as possible. Some fuckboys are created in nature. But almost every bonafide fuckboy I’ve known or heard of was created by his mother, a product of nurture. Oedipus, in mythology was a young boy who dreamed of marrying his mother. Now while the oedipus complex is not typically that wild, in the real world the general premise that girls are often emotionally closer to their fathers, and boys closer to their mothers holds true. But when there is a lack of a close relationship, we often see both a difficulty in relating to the opposite sex and an internalization of the negative traits of that parent. So for example, Donald Trump, it’s said, had very little relationship with his mother, who left the raising of boys to their father. As the more benevolent of his parents, her absence led to him instead taking on the very shrewd and grandiose traits of his father and inheriting her absence and lack of responsibility. Likewise, Harvey Weinstein’s mother was allegedly very showy, bossy, and shrill, making her sons feel inadequate aesthetically and their father emasculated. No surprises there! I can assure you all the fuckboys I’ve known have had some iteration of an absent, unreliable, controlling, or coddling mother.

All the nopes in Nopelandia ladies…

It is imperative that as mothers to sons we ensure we are present and loving, but we consistently take responsibility for our actions and demand they do so as well, while giving them some autonomy. We must not treat our sons like 1) our husband’s responsibility- being hands off ; 2) a stand-in for a husband-expecting them to comfort us, take care of us, and cater to our needs; 3) extensions of their absent fathers- to take out our anger and disappointment on; or 4) our personal stuffed animals- coddling them and keeping them helpless so we feel needed and necessary. Nope!

These young boys are not our punching bags or our therapists. That shit is toxic. I once knew a man whose mother had several male children to whom she couldn’t identify their biological fathers. One of those children grew into a man with four children by four different women, each of whom he’s been abusive towards in some manner. While he’s a serial monogamist and clearly likes sex with women, he hates women. Clearly. He hates women because his mother abandoned him in every way possible… and demonstrated she didn’t like him very much. She then sent him into the world to lay those burdens down at the feet of other women. Be clear, his mother is not responsible for his actions, he is. However she created that fuckboy. What’s his mama’s name… Fuckboy Creator!

So ladies let’s be sure we aren’t confusing or blaming our children for the men we picked. Let’s ensure we heal our hurt so we don’t package it into gifts for our sons on birthdays and Christmas. Let’s not create the fuckboys that our elementary school classmate’s daughters have to deal with. Let’s instead teach our sons to treat people with kindness, to respect us as their mothers and as women, and to take consistent and complete responsibility for their actions and reactions. On a personal front, let’s love them so they know how to demonstrate love, remember they are seeds that will grow to bear different rings and fruit than any other before them. Let’s also be consistently and completely responsible for our own scars so we don’t in turn scar them!

Mamas… don’t let your babies grow up to be fuckboys! Oh… and get rid of that one you got!