MNR: Things Done Changed
I know a nigga...who told on MY nigga
Claimed he a sturdy nigga
But he’s just a fucking rat, nigga
I hope niggas shoot your _____ crib up, nigga
With you in it, nigga
WTF is wrong with these niggas?
Days like this I used to just play “Smiling Billy, Suite II” by The Heath Brothers (the song Q-Tip sampled for “One Love”) on loop while I rolled exotic reefa in back to back to back Backwoods, wondering how did life get to this point. I was in dialogue with the lil bro Taury Dro on the Twitter yesterday when he tweeted (asked) why MF would come on the TL and give spoilers: End Game, Game of Thrones, or any recent movie or TV episode so current that many haven’t had the opportunity yet to see for themselves. This was the majority of my reply:
“This social media outlet allows sucker ass niggas to feel trill, nobodies to be great, and the ignorant to be intelligent. And if you put up an avi w/o your pic and location you can do it all anonymously. No chance of retribution.”
(I feel like this was some profound shit)
That’s word life. That’s what social media has done to our culture. To avoid hypocrisy, it’s imperative that I give the disclaimer that I do indulge in my fair share of social media, but most of my blog readers already know that. And they also know Twitter is my preferred WOMD (weapon of mass destruction). I’m damn near nine years in. That puts me somewhere in joining during its toddler stage. Back then it was shit like #TeamFollowBack, #FollowForAFollow, #TwitterFollowChain, #TwitterAfterDark (not the filth you’re imagining just jokes and such), and good morning shouts. A lotta folk were still FB loyalists, way before they realized Mark Zuckerberg was the true to life Thanos. Slowly but surely though, those folk came aboard. And they brought their FB venereal disease along to infect Twitter. Now we have the same bully mentality, meaning that if someone has an opinion that differs from popular sentiment there’s a need to team up and denigrate that someone in effort to invalidate said opinion. Now everyone crowns any and every MF who’s ever rapped over a beat, dribbled a basketball, or cooked a pot of grits the #GOAT off rip. No one remembers what happened yesterday. Yesterday is a century in the past. Having said all that, I’m cool with all that. Mob mentality has never swayed my opinion, nor has it muted my beliefs. And more often than not, it’s quite humorous. But what really burns my biscuits is what Dro and I spoke on—the fact that these weirdo, pussy, sucker ass MF feel that they the fucking Bumpy Johnson or Sam Giancana of the internet. Anonymity makes it so easy to be mega thug on these blogs. And it never fails. 9 outta 10 if I see some absolutely egregious shit on my TL and I probe to find the source of all this fuckery I’m reading, the avi is not their actual pic. That shit kills me. I’m from two families, places on the map, and an era when you had to live by your rep. If you popped shit, best believe a MF was gon see you on it. There was no place to hide. But now, all you gotta do is hide behind that phone or computer screen and you’re good to go. And for these never famous in real life but famous on social media niggas...stop it. We actually can see you on that. Somebody, somewhere on social media knows you. You can fake all you want but your claims gotta have names and dates to corroborate your stories/claims (fantasies). There must be some validation to be deemed official. So we expect confirmation. And when that scouting report comes out and you’re proven to be a fraud it’s quiet for you. With your fronting ass. And finally...you fake deep MF and life experts...I ain’t mad at you. I do feel you all are quite insane at times. But as a scholar trained by Professor Eric King, I understand that you are the sole authority of and fully entitled to your opinion. I respect that right and just chuckle at your beliefs. Because you are completely out your fucking minds. Now see, that’s my opinion. Respect it.
End of the day, you gotta take this social media shit with a grain of salt before it drives you insane, whether it be because you dive too deep into its pseudo reality or because you’re so immersed that you take it personal. Read a book. Go shoot a jumper. Make a beat. Don’t let it consume you. Y’all be cool how y’all be cool. Water.
I met a lil soldier when he was four years old
And what I loved most was he was an old soul...
It’s with infinite melancholy that I report that CrewUnB family lost one of its charter kid members this past Saturday. Before Princess Zari, before my godson Asher, before Boss Lady Kayla’s young soldiers, there was Amorie. Amorie was the first born to the CEO’s high school pal and my home girl Ebonie Nunnally (Eb). CEO was blessed with the task of taking lil pre-k/kindergarten Amorie (Morie) home a few nights a week after our after school program concluded each day over six years ago. I was the shotgun man in the old Tercel. The program ended at 6:00 pm, but rarely did we ever leave before the bottom of the hour. So naturally, lil man and me became well acquainted. He was unforgettable from day one: those big brown eyes, perfect corn rows, and a persona unmatched for a kid so young. He always looked me in the eye and spoke to me like we went to high school together or something. He was fearless. But the difference between Morie and other kids like him was his delivery wasn’t at all disrespectful. He was simply ‘bout his issue. Imagine that—a four or five year old kid who was ‘bout his issue. But that was Morie. He spoke like he’d been here before. But, in true lil kid fashion, Morie was almost always asleep after the short five minute trek from Grieco Elementary to Reade St, 4th Ward #eastside Englewood, NJ, USA. CEO would unbuckle lil man and carry him to the door. The innocence of youth. Over the years I didn’t see Morie as much. I’d see his mom and pop a lot, as they came to my old job to pick his lil sissy up from day care every day. But every time I saw lil man it was love, in our own unique fashion. He’d usually challenge me with some type of bravado. I’d usually reply with a “go on ‘head lil nigga”. We’d laugh and I’d dap him up until the next time. Recently, Eb and the fam began attending my church. It was love all the way around, including getting to see lil man on a semi-regular basis again. Older Morie, same spirit. The last time I saw him was about a month ago. In typical Morie fashion, we dapped after service was over. He looked up at me and his immediate statement was, “you should cut your hair off”. For almost any other kid, I probably woulda told him to go climb a tree. But that was my lil man. So I just looked at him like damn. At least I don’t have a hole in my natural. No moon roof. Sure, my five head is rather prominent, but I make it look damn good (in my mind), compliments of my trusted barber J. Peterson. I said my lil piece. Morie just looked up at me and calmly repeated, “you should cut your hair off”. I just smirked and gave him a big homie mush to the side of the dome and left out the church house. That was the last time I saw my lil man. Amorie McClenny passed Saturday afternoon. My lil man was 11. CrewUnB offers its sincere condolences to the McClenny and Nunnally families. Love y’all. Morie shall forever live on in my heart. Forever plus a day.
I’d like to wish a belated 25th born day to the album that changed my life. It’s widely considered to be the best album ever released in the rap genre. Illmatic, the debut album by legendary Queensbridge MC Nas, was released on April 19, 1994 to widespread critical acclaim from media, fellow artists, and fans alike. The Queens bred prodigy, son of blues player Olu Dara, was an teenage MC of almost mythical proportions before signing to Columbia Records. After signing, a who’s who of producers tagged along for the ride: fellow Queens native and the first man to give him a feature on a track Large Professor, Premo (DJ Premier) of Gangstarr fame, A Tribe Called Quest frontman Q-Tip, Mt. Vernon legend and one half of the legendary duo Pete Rock (& CL Smooth), and then a then unknown LES, who would also become Nas’ traveling DJ. The end result was perfection: 10 tracks (including an intro interlude) of unrelenting yet controlled fury. Nas wasn’t necessarily an advocate for the streets nor was he a corner evangelist, rather, he was more in the line of a hood news reporter giving you the cold, candid, and often hard to deal with truth. What further separated him from the rap masses was a delivery and flow unparalleled, reminding many of Rakim Allah, one of his childhood idols. But at the end of the day, he was his own man, the oracle bred from Queensbridge Houses. A quarter of a century later, his work and influence are indelible, celebrated across the globe. I’m a witness. Illmatic is tatted on my right forearm. I’ll still be screaming its praise on its 50th. Y’all be cool how y’all be cool. To the projects I’m ghost shorty wop, one love.
MNR: Paper Trail
“You follow drugs, you get drug addicts and drug dealers. But you start to follow the money and you don’t know where the fuck it’s gonna take you.”
Lester Freamon, The Wire
We still screaming #RIP Nip. Memorial Thursday @ Staples Center.
With each day that passes, the divide between partisan lines in our country becomes more clear and defined. It’s Us versus the evil MAGA. At least that’s how it seems. But y’all know me. I’m known for taking the road less traveled most days. Now, before you kick me out of Black America or troll me on the Twitter, just hear me out. Am I finna about face and cop a dusty red MAGA hat? Fuck no. I couldn’t see that with a flashlight and a telescope. But, as a pragmatist and as a trained journalist, I’ve spent much of my adult life thinking outside the box. And, to better understand things that had often perplexed me in my personal life, I took it a step farther and actually learned how to step into the next MF shoes. I had to for my personal sanity. Now, I’m gonna speak on some shit many of you aren’t able to grasp and/or accept. But it’s cool. I’m not here to suck you off or wipe your ass. I’m here to foster thought and discussion. So put your big boy undies and big girl panties on. Leggo.
You ever wonder exactly where this MAGA shit comes from? I’ll answer for you. No. No you haven’t. Why? Because contrary to popular belief, shit was like 23% cool for colored folk (all colors) in America post W. and
pre-45. I mean, there was still economic inequality. There was still systemic racism. There was still police brutality. There was still gender inequality. There was still classism (do I really need to continue?). But there was also a Black man in the Oval Office. And before you reach for the microphone to speak against where I’m taking this, sit your overzealous ass TF down. I’m not implying that Obama was some magical eraser on the dry erase board that is America. Shit was still effed up. But at least we (so you think) had a man in office who was empathetic to our needs and concerns. He pushed for and achieved Affordable Health Care (for everyone except me, I still can’t afford the shit). He had our back on social issues. He was hip hop. First Lady was new millennium Black girl fly. Shit seemed to be ok for us. But what about the other side, or as my lil bro Darius said the other day, the wypipo (you figure the shit out)? What about how they felt? With all the collared greens and fried chicken at those nigger functions in the White House. The basketball court out back the White House. Obama’s NCAA Tourney predictions. But seriously. Less and less “everyday” white kids getting into their dream universities. The private small to medium companies whose profit margins shrank exponentially because Obamacare killed their premiums. Big business regulation and accountability. The 0.0005% shift away from white folk concerns for the first time in 400+ years. I’m sure there are other gripes the others had. But we know most of all it lay in the fact that a Black man with a Muslim name spent eight years in an office in which the previous 43 men who occupied it before him were WASPs. I’ll bless you with some free vocabulary. WASP is the political term for the whites—white Anglo Saxon Protestants. They were pissed. Livid. Fed up. So, when the time came, they were willing to cast their vote for anyone and anything not liberal. Even if it meant electing Donald Chump. The fact that he’s a bloody idiot meant nothing. They, in their mind, needed to make America great again. You feel me? But this is the plot twist you weren’t expecting...
Most liberals feel Hillary lost the election because most marginal voters just illogically assumed Trump had no chance and decided to stay in the crib Election Day. I’ll go with many, but not most. And then there’s your good ole boy, misogynist voting population. “No way does that cunt get in! Over my dead body!” But what I’ve been educated on and realized at the same damn time is there really was something in those hacked emails. We simply chose to ignore because of the manner in which they were obtained (and Team Clinton did a damn good job in deflecting). The something is how The Clinton’s have been in (political) bed with Arab and other foreign big money getters for years. This is evident with The Clinton Foundation, the Clinton big money philanthropic organization. They received millions (MILLIONS) in foreign philanthropic contributions, dating back to Clinton’s years as Secretary of State. Many of these contributors have questionable ties to seedy groups and individuals overseas. You know how it works. You donate to my cause, I make sure certain contracts go your way. I break you off with pocket change (millions) and you make sure I’m blessed with contracts that amount to tens and hundreds of millions. I mean, this type of thing happens in almost every walk of life with all types of money. But the difference here is that this is politics. This is America. Sure, the Oval Office has been leased to the highest bidder for a while now. But Hillary not only underestimated the reach of her enemies, but she failed to flush her shit down the toilet like most politicians do. When it started stinking, she couldn’t spray enough air freshener to cover the odor. A lotta “woke” MF followed the money all the way and didn’t like the hands they discovered it to be dispersed from. All the while Hillary painted this goodie goodie image. But end of the day, she played hardball along with the best of men. Dirty pool. As a result, she couldn’t be trusted. She was a WOMAN who couldn’t be trusted. She was a woman who couldn’t be trusted who is the wife of a hated former uber popular liberal president. Now I know you’re asking, well how about Chump? He’s super dirty! Of course he is. But haven’t you idiots figured it out? He’s the new Teflon Don. What’s sad is his base is just as strong as it was three years ago. If we don’t get out and make shit happen he’ll be back for four more. My sad but candid prediction? Brace for four more years of Donald Chump. I pray I’m wrong.
MNR: Marathon (RIP Nip)
“And through it all a nigga ain’t scared of death...”
Prodigy, “Quiet Storm” (original)
3.31.19 shall forever be a day synonymous with infamy. Last Sunday we witnessed the death of a dream in nightmare fashion. Rap music and Black culture (hip hop) have been watered down for a long while now. We went from being exclusive to the streets and just us to the forefront of popular culture. I remember when MTV wouldn’t play anything hip hop. We needed Uncle Ralph and Video Music Box for that. With all due respect to Ed Lover, Dr. Dre (the other one) and Fab 5 Freddy, fuck MTV. They didn’t give two fux about us, our music, or our culture. The same can be said for the Grammys. Ask The Prince and Jazz. But that was back when. Most of you out there have no recollection of those times. Hip hop being the dominate culture is the only thing most of you have known. With that being said, most of you have not the slightest idea of how much our culture and art have been watered down. It’s all about money, bitches, drugs, and violence. Most of the rappers and voices of our culture promote one or all of the four. I’m not knocking it; for many of us it’s all we know (I guess). And whether you believe that last statement or not, it’s what’s promoted by the powers that be, the ones with the decision making ability and the safe combination. They put everything in your face that’s the opposite of Black positivity. They don’t want you to know about Black ownership/entrepreneurship. And I’m not talmbout alcohol distributors and nightclubs. I’m talmbout businesses and initiatives that support and empower the Black community. Well, we had a man that was all about that. He wanted better for his community. And he put his money where his mouth was. His name was Nipsey Hussle. He was taken from us Sunday evening by a snitch ass hater who played the role of the ultimate nightmare holder. He chose to play God and end the life of a man who sought and initiated change. I’m not gonna talk about how hurt I am that we lost Nipsey or how fucked up this shit is. Y’all don’t need me for that. I’d rather take the opportunity to remind y’all of the Marathon. Not the store, but the movement. Nip will live on in our hearts if we keep the Marathon going, and not just bumping and reciting his raps. They were superb. I knew that going back damn near a decade. But I mean the Marathon that consists of self education, Black love, and entrepreneurship. Use this tragedy as a positive. Impact the community. Study, whether it be in the classroom or on your own time. Learn. Purchase land. Purchase all the land and property you can, not cars and jewelry. Love your brother and sister. Hire them if they’re qualified and motivated to earn. Empower them. Pool your talent and resources together. Sacrifice short term for long term and sustained glory. That’s how you keep Nip alive and vibrant. If you love him you owe him that much. But I’m certain if he were still here he’d tell you that you owe it to yourself. Rest easy Nip. You were the greatest.
Sleep Easy Nipsey Hussle...
A lot of thoughts ran through my head after I heard the news of Hussle's untimely demise. The first being "damn, Nip ain't do shit to nobody". By no means is anything I have to say a condemnation of the man but just thoughts that passed through my mind. It's like a nigga can't have nothing man, nothing positive or negative, somebody or something always out to remind us that there is this metaphorical (and often literal) ball and chain holding us down . We all know the saying "you can take the nigga out the hood, but you can't take the hood out the nigga" Nip didn't want to leave the hood, he wanted to raise the hood up with him. Some coward, either someone trying to pump their chest up or some stooge hired by big pharma, didn't want to see that dream come true. Back when Kanye West was 'Ye he rapped about Dream Killers, and damned if they ain't out there. Part of me thinks whoever is orchestrating these nightmares feels like this type of action will discourage the righteous from attempting change. It won't. Poignantly written by my fellow crewMember @tymonday : "Nip will live on in our hearts if we keep the Marathon going..." Events like this tend to galvanize the righteous, so be ready for the revolution.
#2NNProductions MNR: Marathon (RIP Nip)