Monday Night Roll Call
A successful individual is only a reflection of his support system, more concisely, his family. I purposely excluded friends because, to me, your true friends who ride for you are your family as well. All family ain’t blood. Never forget that. Having said as much, I just wanted to roll call certain special individuals in my life. The list begins and ends with my mommy, Mrs. Shareon Smith. Thank you mom…for everything. You are the greatest. @themisterceizzo has been a brother to me for some time now, and I love that dude the same as I love my sister in heaven. I don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t for him. Aunt San, Uncle Alan, Aunt Veronica (Mommy), Aunt Cynthia, Uncle Arch, Big cuzzo Adrienne, @iamdjgreen, Sam Smith Sr., Leaha Ortiz, Wendy Bradley, my bestie Jose, Mr. Ten, Woozie Woo, Frankie 5 Angels, my NIGGA4LIFE Leroy Rock Lark, @CraftyLefty57, my sisters from another Janay, Shahidah, Nakia Madison, sister/cousin Eisha, Robert “St. Louis” Glaspy, Team Constellation, Big Sean Richardson, Rahgie, Erik Waller, D Nice, Nick Brooks, Jay Cole, Derrick Barnwell, Big Ant, BT, Kayla Young, my OGs Dennis and Kenny Maull, Karen Gianetti, Travie, D. Peebles, Milt, Mac, Mally Mal, Big Cerny, Kim Inzano, Gorgeous Dre, Ricki, and Brad. Can’t forget the eastside/Hali/Englewood/Huntley World fam. That’s my team. I’ll take them versus the world.
If you’re dealing with a woman, you have to respect the fact that she has a past. If you were attracted to her initially and continued down the path to knowing her better, personally, and ultimately intimately, you obviously developed genuine feelings. Finding out things about her past shouldn’t deter you from wanting to be with her, as long as she wasn’t fraudulent about her past. Now, finding out she was at one time a compensated whore can be a bit much, but I’m not speaking in extreme terms. But I don’t understand niggas having a stroke because they found out their current shared pillow talk with a few known niggas around the way. Unless you took her virginity, you weren’t the first, and unless you put a ring on it and she remains faithful through death, you won’t be her last. Stop being childish just because she has bodies in her closet. That’s how she learned how to…Nevermind.
Live by your rep, simple and plain. For the hood impaired, that means that a person should absolutely be everything he or she purports to be. If you claim to be a prolific graphic artist, I expect to see work that impresses me. If you said you were a baller, I need to hear teams, leagues, parks, players, etc. Who did you ball with? Who knows you? The same thing applies to social media. Don’t jump on, let’s use the Twitter as an example, and act like you’re some social butterfly, but when I see you in public you’re the quintessential introvert. That’s a letdown simply because I’m the type to engage in discussion/debate if and when I see you. I expect verbal intercourse. The same applies to you social media Tough Tony(s) out there. Don’t play the killer role on the blogs when you’re a pussy ass nigga in real life. You can’t fake on niggas forever. In Darwinism, the strongest doesn’t get the title talking tough to the other animals. He has to go out and prove it. The streets are the exact same. You talk that tough shit on the blogs and eventually one of the alley cats is gonna put his paws on you to see if you can back up that tough shit you talk. If you can, I salute you. If not, just keep it a buck and don’t press charges after you get your ass molliwopped. Keep it 1,000 and put your KO on the Vine. Do it for the Vine…Live by your rep, you pussy ass nigga.
It seems like everywhere you look, whether it is television or everyday life, we see black folk at their worst and most ignorant. It seems like we as a culture have embraced everything that is wrong with us as a people. Seems is the key term. I know for a fact that there’s a slew of black kids (of all ages) outchea grinding (legally) everyday, chasing their dreams. I’ve got brothers inside the media world working as photojournalists as well as freelancing and grinding out experience in the field. As a Journalism/Mass Media grad from a HBCU (black college), that’s a damn good feeling. I don’t want to take a single thing away from all my folk pursuing the music; my soul sides with the music. But the field of media, by comparison, is far less saturated with African American talent. Before my blogging (going back to my days blogging for cuzzo on iamdjgreen.com; my day one folk feel me) I had a few bylines for the examiner.com. I did a few sports pieces. I did a fly ass piece on Kyrie Irving when he was a prep legend for Saint Patrick’s New Jersey. I did a few other pieces on NJ high school basketball, always a hotbed for talent. I had a quick cup of tea in the field, and I’m proud of my few bylines. But I knew that fiction was my love. I know without a doubt that I could sit amongst Stephen A. and Skip and eloquently/passionately/convincingly trade wits on a daily basis, but it was always a 100 Blocks Stories thing with me. That’s where my heart is. And there’s so much more to come. But I can show you better than I can tell you. Au revoir.
Send all love/hate mail and business inquiries to email@example.com. I do parties, second church services, discos, whatever the case. Just pass the microphone and keep the cognac coming. Follow me on the Twitter @tymonday, America’s place for all around fuckery and good times galore. Make sure you follow my bruvas @themisterceizzo and @CraftyLefty57 and our team @crewunB as well. If you haven’t copped any of our fly apparel, I feel for you. But go on ‘head and handle that soon as you finish this piece. Good looks.
World Cup Fever!
Messi. Ronaldo. Neymar. Balotelli. Xavi.
For many Americans, these names are not just foreign, but meaningless. To casual American sports fans, the first two names may ring a bell. But to all who adore the world’s game of futbol, we all know that these names being mentioned in the same breath can only mean one thing: it’s World Cup time.
31 national teams have made their way to Brazil to join the host nation for the 2014 World Cup. Among the teams in attendance is Spain, winner of not only the 2010 World Cup, but also the 2008 and 2012 Euro. Argentina, led by the aforementioned Messi, brings a powerful offensive squad to the tourney. Germany is a perennial threat, and my brogod Milt’s pick to take the trophy home. The Dutch return a strong squad that finished runner-up to Spain in ’10. The mercurial French team, which includes the aforementioned enigmatic yet mercurial Balotelli, has the potential to run the table this time around like it did as host nation in ‘98, eager to erase the memory of a dismal 2010 Cup showing. They can certainly do it, but their biggest problem comes from within. All their divas are going to have to check their personalities at the door and play as one to win the whole damn thing. Team USA brings one of its best squads in national history to the tourney, but is still likely to finish way outside of title contention. The squad departed for Brazil having left all-time leading scorer Landon Donovan off the roster. The host nation Brazil, hungry for its first championship since ’02, fields a powerhouse squad, determined to restore its place atop the soccer world. With the likes of the aforementioned Neymar, as well as Silva, Dani Alves, and Hulk, Brazil is definitely a favorite to go all the way.
Who will win it all? Even though this is my fourth World Cup (dating back to us hosting back in ’94), I still consider myself a casual fan, with not quite enough experience to handicap a winner. But I can guarantee this: even the casual fan will enjoy what the World Cup brings to the table. We Americans have four to five sports to cheer for. And with the big 3 sports, insane ticket prices coupled with corporations that buy most of the affordable yet decent tickets means the true, passionate sports aficionados are rarely able to afford good tickets, and when they are, most of those tickets are already sold out. All this has led to the average American sports fan being extremely blasé about being at live venues, whether it means stomaching the inflated ticket prices or actually staying awake during games when they do attend. A lot of venues around the American sports world have hard times selling out consistently, and many of the attendees are so casual that it’s almost like attending a Methodist church service. But soccer fans…they get it in. I love the passion that you see when you watch both the international game as well as club (league) play. Whereas we see it as being “not so serious,” soccer fans see it as being the exact opposite. They’ll die for this shit. I love that passion so MF much. The players also have the same passion. The difference between soccer players as opposed to other professional athletes who play for their respective national teams is that international soccer players live for the opportunity to represent their countries in World Cup play. It’s the ultimate bragging rights. NBA players could care less about the damn World Cup of Basketball, other than not losing to avoid embarrassment. Unlike every other major world sport (except for cricket), the powerhouse professional leagues are spread out around the world, and not just in the US (India for cricket). The best baseball and basketball players around the world all play in MLB and the NBA; they’re all under one collective, figurative roof. But soccer players are spread out over leagues in several countries and continents. They don’t see and compete against each other as regularly. It only makes international play more competitive. The fans take the World Cup much more serious because outside of the big 3 sports in the US and cricket in India, soccer is the headliner in every other country. I’m talking about a lot of nations that exist for the most part in third world poverty, countries with few hopes and dreams inside day to day life. For these people, soccer is more than a mere game, more than mere competition. It is life or death.
Big ups to Colombia for its World Cup win Saturday and the joy it brought to my Colombian folk in Englewood, an American city with a considerable Colombian population. I love to see that pride.
Send all love/hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, as always. Follow me on the Twitter @tymonday, where I’ve been known to get butt ass naked for no apparent reason from time to time. Also follow my brogods @themisterceizzo and @CraftyLefty57. They also pen remarkable blogs from time to time. Be sure to cop some of our fly a la carte apparel. I’m type excited; I’ve got some pieces coming shortly. Nothing like @crewunB apparel to match your fly Nikes during the summer. 100.
Companions, commitments, relationships…
I think it’s pretty safe to say that we live in the era of redefinition. In this information age, we learn and adapt faster than ever before. This adaptation reaches all aspects of human life, especially love and relationships. Not familial or plutonic, but intimate relationships…our “significant” others. In this information laced 21st century, relationships seemingly have evolved and its very meaning has become open to redefinition and/or reinterpretation. I mean no offense to the gay, lesbian, transgender, etc. community whatsoever, but I don’t engage in those types of relationships, so I’m speaking to the heterosexuals out there. But being the rational and loving person that I am, I will say that if any of my LGBT readers can relate, feel free to comment and educate my unintended ignorance or naiveté, if you feel the need. Ah, fuck it, this pertains to all of us, gay, straight, bisexual, confused, weirdo, whatever and whoever you are. I love all y’all. Just don’t push that chuck shit on me. Now let’s rock. Y’all know the routine; buckle up.
At my ripe old age of 35, I’m old enough to have existed in a society where a true relationship was simply defined, very cut and dry. If you wanted to be with her, if you wanted to be intimate with her, if you wanted to have children with her, if you wanted her to live with you, you had to marry her. Marriage was imperative. Technically, I’m not from that era of life, but mine and most of my people I came through with were products of planned pregnancies and marriages. Yes, by the late ‘70s, there was a considerable population of single mothers and ain’t shit, deadbeat daddies and “we were just fooling around” babies, but it was still something that was discussed behind backs and frowned upon from any type of direction. You go back two generations prior to mine, and any type of situation that ended up with “her” being pregnant usually ended in shotgun weddings. If you need me to define a shotgun wedding, it was, by lore, a wedding ceremony that took place with the bride’s father close by with his 12 gauge on deck shortly after finding out “she” was pregnant. Now, you weren’t going to sully that girl or her family’s good name by sticking her with an out of wedlock child, so you went on ‘head and gave her your name, as my late grandpa A.G. Warren Sr. would say. Obviously, that type shit didn’t exist when I fell through at the end of the uninhibited, disco and cocaine fueled, post free love era, but some of its sentiments still echoed. Living with a woman or man out of wedlock was still frowned upon, a term known as “shacking up.” In many cultures (ethnic, religious), marriage was a one time and forever type of thing, irrespective of turbulence. Wives stuck by their husbands, even when it was clearly evident that ole boy wasn’t ‘bout jack shit. Even if men had a side piece or three they compromised their karma with, they still went home to the wife and family at the end of the day, they still provided for and took care of home. 25 and 50 year wedding anniversaries were commonplace. My, my…how things have changed.
If you ask me (it’s my blog, so…), the roots of this shit can be traced back to the mid ‘80s. Yes, I’m getting at the point in time when crack cocaine flooded the streets of inner city America and spread like a plague, snatching so many souls and indelibly altering the courses of so many families. Good, hardworking folk became addicted and within a matter of time, the infrastructure of the family began to deteriorate until it became broken down completely. On the flipside of the game, young black men were getting crazy prison bids from crack sales and leaving young children behind to be raised by young single mothers who were still trying to figure out how to take care of themselves. The babies were forced to suffer in so many ways. What happened? How did these babies turn out? Well, now they’re full-fledged adults in a world that never loved them from day one and that gets colder with each passing day. So how do they approach relationships? Exactly. How do they? How would they know how and what to do in relationships, or at least how to do these things the right way? It’s not like they had people in place to, by example, show them how to do things the right way when it comes to a relationship. No one showed them how to be caring and compassionate towards her/him. No one showed them how to respect the person that he/she is or how to respect his/her opinion. No one showed them how to be loyal to her/him. They don’t know. Now, I’m not gonna call the young folk out without speaking on the fuckery of some of us older folk and some of y’all who really old by any standard. We’ve got our shit with us too. But we, for the most part, don’t have any excuse. We, at least, were taught to do things the proper way. But it seems like ERRBODY is doing the same conniving, utterly disrespectful shit nowadays. Don’t get it twisted; I’m not speaking on casual relationships, or young folk who are just living their lives. I can’t fault them; they deserve to live their lives. They should be allowed to have their fun; to make their mistakes and learn as they go along just like us older folk were allowed to. That’s called living life. I’m barking on those in marriages and seemingly serious monogamous relationships. If you walked down that isle or have at least committed to that person (living together), I don’t see a damn thing cool about doing your spouse or lover dirty. That side nigga/side bitch shit y’all laugh and joke about is disgusting if you are with someone who you’ve pledged your love and loyalty to. Call me whatever you please, but I still feel like some things are sacred. If you want to run wild and free, do it as a single person. Divorce her/him. Break the relationship off, then do you, if that’s how you choose to get down, but don’t disrespect them like that. That brings so much calamity and catastrophe to a relationship. It’s foul. I know it’s 2014 and damn near anything goes. But for those of you who ride with that sentiment, ask yourself this. Is it possible that my existence and existence as a whole is fucked up because I think it’s cool to treat someone I claim to love any type of way? Is this a key reason why America, as a culture, society, and global force is rapidly deteriorating, in concordance with the truth that we allow ourselves to remain enslaved to fashion and ignorance? Have we become Love & Hip Hop without the cameras or generous salaries? Are you content with being a cookie cutter, carbon copy of all these other trifling bitches and piece of shit niggas outchea? Or are you better than that? Do you value life more than that? Do you think about your soul and where will rest? I’m not here to preach. But think about it. If you love her/him and have committed to her/him, don’t you think it’s worth cherishing? As advanced as we have become, this is an area in which I feel we should get down how our folk got down back in the day. Then maybe our children would see better things in their everyday lives and be inspired to do even better, rather than better relate to the rap the bars of slain Chicago rappers who were only a couple years older than they are. Y’all go on ‘head and marinate on that.
Send all love/ hate mail to email@example.com. Follow me on the Twitter @tymonday, as well as my brogods @themisterceizzo and @CraftyLefty57 and our squadron @crewunB. Scoop some of our fly ass a la carte apparel to match up with your overpriced Nikes. Time to shake a leg, and get up in the wind. Carpe diem.
A short story about the ups and downs that life can put you through from @craftyleft57
“Today is the day, hopefully, that your boy’s bad luck changes. I feel like Nas; not saying that I have a shorty to bring her milkshake to the yard, but in the sense that this black cloud won’t leave me alone! I was on top of the world; making fast cash the legal way. Mann! If you could have seen my face after those $1,000 checks you would understand why I was living the “good life” New pair of kicks, EVERY CHECK! Fresh package of my favorite flavored goods, EVERY CHECK! MAN I WAS DOING IT BIG! Everything was perfect until my life went through changes. Friday, January 31,2014 is when my life took one of the most drastic changes I had ever experienced; a normal day at work for your boy, I was chillin, it wasn’t pay day but I came in the same as always: energetic and ready to work! My boss asked if she could review my children’s observations, to which I replied “sure”. She looked at them and even complemented me on the work. Later on that day, about 3:30 pm, while I was reading a book to the children I was called to the director’s office. I thought nothing of it, that maybe she needed my assistance with something. IDK. So I just did as I was told and went to the office. I arrive and I’m simply handed a paper saying I’ve been terminated. I’m in utter shock. I couldn’t believe it! I demanded to know why I was being subjected to this change? No words from her at first, so I demanded again. All she says is “You know why.” (Clearly I had no clue) I wanted to go off, show her how this quiet guy can be a real rude Englewood nigga! But I held back, I couldn’t let my kids see me like that. What would they think? What would they say? They look up to Mr. Anthony, I didn’t want them to be subjected to that change. So I did it professional. Shake the b**ch hand who fired me and say, ‘thank you for the wonderful opportunity, be blessed.’ Be blessed? Yeah right! I don’t wish death up on anybody, but CHANGE, CHANGE is something I want this b**ch to experience, the same type of change she put me through.
Change is something that affects your life either negatively or positively. The change I went through was a negative one, yes, but I did grow from it, and now a positive change has begun to shine light onto my situation; I have found another employer and things are looking good for the future, in the back of my mind I know change is lurking, all I can do is hope that the next change will be positive.”
Change happens, whether its good change or bad change is perceptional, what’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander, meaning what’s thought to be good by you may not be good to me. Many could say that losing one’s job is the ultimate negative change, but we also learn that sometimes we have to experience the negative changes to appreciate the positive ones that are on the horizon.
As always send all love/hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org be sure to follow the homie @craftylefty57 as he gives you his daily blogs via twitter as well as The unbearable tweets/blogs from @crewunB @tymonday and @Themisterceizzo. Summer is upon us be sure to get your unBearables Tees for the summer flow. #BeunBearable