#MNR: KNOWLEDGE REIGNS SUPREME
“The school dropout – never liked that shit from day one.”
I recently had a conversation with a person who shared that, when thinking about school-aged children, she now shaves a year or two off their physical ages because of COVID. She is certain that the virus has had that much of an impact on their overall development, especially those who were entering or had recently become school aged. A seven-year-old isn’t seven in her eyes; that baby is actually a five-year-old, and so on. She oversees a major SACC (school-aged childcare) program, so she is well-qualified to speak on the age group. I’m far removed from my SACC days, so I can’t (with any accuracy) speak on the babies. However, I can speak on high school-aged students because both of my gigs deal with the age group. It is evident that their cumulative development took a hit after being sidelined by the pandemic. But how much, exactly? Fuck if I know, but I’m noticing things. I noticed that when we first returned from the COVID school closures, several of the “hard rocks” didn’t return. I spoke with one and he said that he was going to finish through home instruction. He was done going through the rigor and routine of attending school. He had no desire to return. I thought this was quite ironic because one thing I’ve noticed about the belligerent kids is that they came to school for the aesthetics. They got up every morning and made their way to school for everything OUTSIDE of the classroom and learning environment. They didn’t care much for the academics, but they loved all the non-academic, extracurricular shit. I’m talking about those hallways (and all that comes with them), the girls, the bros...the shit a lot of kids love about the schoolhouse. None of that mattered to old boy anymore. Again, he was done. He wasn’t the only one.
So, what exactly does it say when the kids that loved to come to school for all the mischief they could get into don’t GAF anymore? Who knows? Perhaps it just reveals that they’ve matured. Perhaps they are no longer concerned with all the silly things. Maybe they’ve grown up. We have no way of interpreting social development, but we can interpret academic development through test scores. The reports are in, and they are about what we (I) expected them to be.
Fourth and eighth graders, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, had the “largest ever decline in math,” which is attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. Often referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card,” the findings were conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (a branch of the Education Department).
The first national assessment of student achievement in three years revealed the largest decline in fourth-and-eighth-grade math scores since the initial trial in 1990. Tests were administered between January and March. There were no states or large urban districts that showed improvements in math. Eighth-grade math scores sank across the board. Most of us know that eighth grade is a “gateway” year for more advanced math (Algebra, Geometry, etc.). The assessment shows that these students lack essential skills for further development, especially in STEM-related careers. Scores for fourth grade were five points lower than the last assessments in 2019 and eight points lower for eighth grade. Fourth grade and eighth grade reading scores were both down three points compared to 2019. Scores haven’t declined this much in decades.
The Nation’s Report Card gives the first in-depth look into how health crisis disruptions that led to virtual learning affected fourth-and-eighth-grade students nationally. It should come as no surprise that the pandemic had a disproportionate impact across most racial and ethnic groups. Nevertheless, all students, irrespective of ability, are declining. There is no data that quantifies a measurable difference in performance between states and school districts solely on the length of school closures. Declines in average math and reading scores spanned the entire country. No region was spared. Experts expected a decline in math, but reading was a bit surprising, as parents and others in the community are normally more comfortable with helping students in reading.
As former North Carolina governor and Chair of the National Assessment Governing Board Beverly Perdue states in the CNN article, “This must be a wake-up call for the country that we have to make education a priority.” That goes without saying.
These test scores are a direct reflection of ALL the inadequacies that were illuminated by the pandemic, pre-existing as well as those birthed in 2020. We can hammer virtual learning and inequalities all we want, but they’re only a part of the blame. Parents also shoulder a great deal of the blame. I sat in Microsoft Teams virtual classes during the pandemic. I watched kids fail to turn the computer on and attend class. I watched kids attend class but fail to turn/keep cameras on during class, even after being told repeatedly that no camera meant an absence. I spoke with kids who failed during virtual learning simply because they didn’t turn in work. The fault, in my eyes, is an even majority split between the students and their parents. I too blame virtual learning, but all things considered, it was the best option at the time. Yes, it is the students’ responsibility to get the work done. That does not absolve parents from doing their due diligence. If there was ever a time to go the extra mile in a child’s learning and development, the virtual learning period was the time. I’ll say this: if you are a parent who feels that your child’s education is the sole responsibility of the school and its teachers – you are a bloody idiot. Parents knew that extended virtual learning was a unique experience to students at every level. The babies missed the additional nurturing and rudimentary learning the most. Elementary kids missed social development the most. Middle school children missed the academic transition the most. High school students missed the routine the most. Everyone suffered. It was a time when parents needed to give extra attention and become in-home pedagogues. Uh, I dunno guys (Butters from SouthPark voice). I don’t know which parents stepped up to the task and which did not. All we know is the data. Y’all love to utter the fallacious statement “numbers don’t lie.” They often do, but I believe that they’re telling the unabridged truth this time around. American students are slipping academically, and the pandemic was the catalyst. I say it’s time to get back to the basics. A, B, C is easy as 1, 2, 3...
JUST IN: PRAYERS TO THE VICTIMS OF THE LATEST SCHOOL SHOOTING IN ST. LOUIS. MY BROTHER PERSONALLY KNOWS TWO OF THE KIDS WHO WERE SHOT.
tymonday.com: @tymonday on Twitter & IG
crewunb.com: @crewunB on Twitter & @theunbearablescrew on IG
#MNR SPECIAL EDITION: WAKE UP, MR. WEST!
“And I heard ‘em say...nothing’s ever promised tomorrow today.”
We first read his name in album credits on Jay-Z’s classic album Blueprint, followed by more production on the [mid] follow-up Blueprint 2. The first time I can remember seeing his face was at the end of Young Gunz “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” video, smiling beside Dame Dash. I’ll never forget my bro Cuervo proclaiming, “this nigga KANE West is nice with the production!” Yes, we somehow ignored the “y” in Kanye and assumed his name was Kane West. We respected his prowess as an up-and-coming producer, yet we had no idea of the greatness to come.
The first time I heard “Through the Wire,” I knew Kanye was well on his way to being a major entity in the rap game. He picked a sample that I’d known most of my life, Chaka (my boo) Kahn’s “Through the Fire.” He rapped about his near-death experience because of a car accident. He spoke about having his jaw wired shut after it was mended in surgery. Next came “Slow Jamz,” featuring fellow Chicagoan Twista and the incomparable Jamie Foxx, who rekindled his music career after a run of acclaimed comedy specials and his eponymous sitcom that had a successful five-year run. Again, Kanye tapped into the R&B/Soul pool of Black genius, extracting a vocal sample from Luther Vandross’ signature song “A House is Not a Home.”
Kanye managed to carve his own unique niche in rap in an era much different from today. 50 Cent had already planted his flag in the rap game, bringing his G-Unit cohorts along for the ride. Traditional east coast favorites like Jay, Jadakiss, and Cam’ron were reaping the benefits of years of hard work and great material. But the Atlanta trap and snap sounds were on the horizon, destined to change the course of the genre. His 2004 debut release The College Dropout stuck out like a sore thumb. It didn’t fit the typical norms of the era. He brought the soul back. He brought the backpack back (albeit a Louis Vuitton backpack). He brought the pink Polo shirt back. He’d go on to release three more singles on the album that would eventually be RIAA certified 4x platinum. Ye’s blend of soulful sampling, candid lyricism, self (ironically) and social awareness made his work a unicorn, much different from many of his peers, who rapped about much darker and violent topics. In a few years’ time, Ye went from complete obscurity to being a cultural phenomenon.
The success of Ye’s debut masterpiece set the stage for one of the most anticipated sophomore releases since Nas’ It Was Written in 1996. Released in late 2005, Late Registration sold 860K in its first week. It eventually went RIAA certified 3x platinum, claiming the Grammy Awards win for Best Rap Album. Ye eschewed his signature “chipmunk soul” sound of sped-up vocal soul samples for a more cinematic approach. He commissioned film score composer and record producer Jon Brion for the project, aiming to make each song seem like a standalone score of cinematic proportions. The effect is clearly evident on songs like “We Major” (featuring the GOAT Nasir Jones), “Diamonds from Sierra Leone,” and “Touch the Sky.” The album itself tested the limits of the then still popular CD format, with a total play time of 70:25. CDs had a maximum playing time of 72 minutes. Many, including myself, consider Late Registration to be Ye’s magnum opus.
Ye approached A Tribe Called Quest, Ice Cube and Outkast levels of greatness with his third release Graduation in 2007, joining the Tribe, Cube and the Kast as having the distinction of their first three albums widely considered as classics amongst critics and hip hop junkies. Ye continued to progress as an artist. Graduation was somewhat shorter than its predecessors, with “only” 13 tracks (plus one bonus track) yet it produced FIVE singles. That’s rap golden era-type quality. Shit – the tracks that weren’t singles were brilliant. WARNING: Playing “Stronger” at obscene levels on a house system with King Kong speakers or in a V with wild knock in the trunk may shake your lady’s lace front off her dome. RANDOM: “I Wonder” is so amazing. In an often-forgotten side note, Graduation will also be known for its direct competition with 50’s third studio album Curtis. Ye kept it humble when asked about the impending competition, saying that he wouldn’t have minded coming in two to 50 being one because he had that much respect for Fif. 50 was far less humble in his approach. He said that they weren’t in competition because there was no way Kanye West would outsell him. He also went as far as to say that he’d retire if Ye outsold him the first week of release. (Cough, cough) 50 was wrong. Both albums debuted on 9.11.2007. Graduation sold from 75K to 100K more than Curtis sold. Both did box office numbers. 50 didn’t retire. I had to state that just in case a person who just [this morning] came out of a fifteen-year coma is somehow reading this blog. They need to know this type of shit. The new Raising Kanan premiers at midnight. Questions will be asked.
UNNECESSARY FACT: “Flashing Lights” featuring Dwele is my favorite song in Ye’s catalogue. It was the catalyst for more than a few Jefferson Projects 210 2A legendary nights. Jose Cuervo and Mr. Ten will attest.
Many point to 11.10.2007 as the date that triggered Ye’s “transformation,” as it was the day he lost his mother, Dr. Donda West. Dr. West, a fellow alum of my alma mater Virginia Union University, was Ye’s inspiration, biggest supporter and stable influence. In her spare time, she worked for Chicago State for 27 years, 24 of which were spent as the head of the department of English, communications, media and theater. After she retired from her position in 2004, she moved to California and worked full-time for her son. She was the quintessential mama bear. She birthed, nurtured and cultivated a future Black king.
808s & Heartbreak, the first album released after the death of his mother (2008), introduced fans to a different sound than they were used to from Ye. Ye chose an electronic sound and Auto-Tune vocals. Ye used the Roland TR-808 drum machine to accentuate his sound, dubbed emo[tional] rap by many. His lyrics reflected the pain and sorrow from the death of his mother and breakup with his then fiancée. His lyrics also spoke on the complexities of dealing with iconic fame. The album was critically acclaimed and would become a key influence in a new generation of rappers. It contained Ye’s highest charting Billboard Hot 100 single to date, “Love Lockdown.”
Ye continued to release amazing material after 808s..., including My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010), Cruel Summer (2012) and Yeezus (2013). Shortly thereafter I kinda jumped ship. His 2016 album The Life of Pablo marked his departure from Apple and iTunes, choosing to release his material on Tidal. I was never a subscriber to Tidal. I WAS NOT paying for a Tidal subscription just to listen to a Kanye West album. I completely bailed after Ye donned the red MAGAt hat and became a weird sycophant to then President Donald J. Chump, going as far as to fluff him in the Oval Office on national television. I don’t want to get too crazy on Mr. West, but likening that xenophobic, lying piece of shit to your father is non-cipher.
I continued to bump his day one through ’13 material and pray for him after his harrowing White House visit, but I knew that he was far removed from the post-Katrina “George Bush hates Black people” Kanye. He lost his ever-loving mind somewhere in the mix of losing mom, inheriting Kim Kardashian and becoming a rap and fashion icon. Ye went relatively quiet after a failed 2020 presidential bid in which he was only on the ballot in a handful of states and received around 60K total votes, not even half the votes needed to win a mayoral election in San Jose. Well, there was the Kim separation, beef with her then-boy toy Pete Davidson and a little bit of beef with D.L. Hughley because of comments he made on Ye’s situation. I don’t speak on others’ relationships because I don’t go to bed with either party. It’s none of my business. But in the past month or so...oh my. We were made aware of Ye’s displeasure with his fashion and apparel partner Adidas. Ye accused Adidas of plagiarizing his designs (they did). He also accused Adidas of offering him a $1B “STFU” buyout, which I’m almost sure he declined. It only became weird after it was revealed that Ye used dialogue from a porn video in an attempt to convey a point to one of the Adidas people in a meeting. I don’t think the point was received. No biggie; just Kanye being Ye.
First came the Fucker Carlson fiasco. Then came the Drink Champs episode and its ensuing [further] fallout. Ye spoke of his disdain for the actions of Jews and Jewish record executives. He spread misinformation about George Floyd’s death. He apparently received this information from his coon-skinned buddy Candace Owens, who has a documentary on Floyd’s death. He also chose to wear a matching WHITE LIVES MATTER tee with his self-hating bitch of a friend. Next came horrible double and triple down interviews with Chris “Outcast” Cuomo on his new show Cuomo on Newsmax (eww) and Piers Morgan on Piers Uncensored (eww again). Ye also announced plans to buy the far, far-right social media platform Parler, a haven for Twitter outcasts, anti-government conspiracists, bigots and xenophobes. Yeah...it did get a bit out of hand the past few weeks (Redman voice from How High).
When I think about the messaging from Ye regarding his displeasure with the treatment (“milking”) of Black talent by Jewish record execs, I interpret it as objectively as possible. What Ye said has been echoed for DECADES in the rap world (think Jerry Heller, Lior Cohen), providing enough echo that I’m well informed. We all see the direction in which rap has been headed. My last blog spoke on the state of the music. It’s all kill, kill, kill. It’s all gang, gang, gang. It’s all drugs, drugs, drugs. It’s all misogyny, misogyny, misogyny. It’s all by design, design, design. I agree with you 100%, Ye. But you lost me by placing the blame at the feet of all Jewish people. You should have been laser precise in your assessment. “Jewish people have owned the Black voice” was a bit much, ya think? You should have been specific and named names. When I think about your blanket statement, I think about the middle school-aged Jewish girls and boys I see walking in the afternoon in Teaneck when I’m in my Lyft on the way to the second gig in Saddle Brook. I also think about my dear friend and colleague Dr. Sharon Bernstein. Are you mad at them too, Ye? Are they a part of the problem? They aren’t, of course. That’s exactly where you made your (that) mistake.
I’m also sick and tired of you talking like you are actively attempting to be some type of Black martyr. I understand that you’re the wealthiest Black person in the history of America. And? Do you think that being wealthy qualifies you to be the leader of our race? FOH. I don’t need you or anyone else to be my “leader.” The last MF who tried was Jesse Jackson, back when I was rocking Osh Kosh overalls and walking under wooden turnstiles to board MTA subway trains. We are far removed from the traditional Black Church and the pastor being the leader of the community. I don’t want any pastor or sneaker designer speaking for me. Figure out how to get these white folk off your helmet and get back to making those ugly-ass sneakers and slides my queen and every damn body else seem to like so much. I can’t fake; I like a couple of the Yeezy designs and the foam slides. But I’m Team Nike through death.
I’m not going to be the 1,000,001st person to kick you while you’re down, Ye. I don’t like how people like bitch-ass Howard Stern and Sara Silverman (the blackface twins) have used your controversy to talk crazy about you. I hate a hypocrite. I hate two hypocrites twice as much. At your best...you are absolutely brilliant. I won’t gloss over the fact that you’ve done a lot of good things for others. You’ve contributed a great deal to Black and popular culture. Both our mommies graduated from VUU in the ‘70s and both are in heaven. I know all about that pain that exists and persists within you. Nevertheless, we come from great Black women. We are both great minds. Fall back altogether and retool. Time heals most wounds. Holla at your folk. You’re worth $11B and I’ve got $11B worth of talent. King Pen shit. Peace and blessings, Black man.
I know you’ll probably never see this and even if you do, I’m certain you’ll discard my advice. C’est la vie.
tymonday.com: @tymonday on Twitter & IG
crewunb.com: @crewunB on Twitter & @theunbearablescrew on IG
#MNR: IMAGE IS ERRTHANG
“Not every MC be with the negativity. We have a slew of rappers pushing positivity.”
“I’ve seen the biggest niggas on the block get murdered, and they deserved it.”
“You hate the law, nigga break it. I don’t care. But when you get caught, remember that I don’t care.”
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, is a U.S. federal law that allows for further criminal penalties and can be a civil cause of action for crimes performed as a part of an ongoing criminal organization. Enacted on October 15, 1970, by section 901(a) of the Organized Crime Control Act as Title IX of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, it was signed into law by U.S. President Richard M. Nixon.
RICO was originally used in the 1970s to prosecute the Mafia and others who actively engaged in organized crime but has grown to become more widespread. Beginning in 1972, 33 states adopted RICO laws to be able to prosecute similar conduct.
Under RICO law, a person who has committed at least two acts of racketeering activity (from a list of 35 crimes, 27 federal and 8 state) within a 10-year period can be charged if such acts are related in one of four specific ways to an “enterprise” (remember this). Those found guilty can be fined up to $25K and sentenced up to 20 years in prison per racketeering count. Offenders must forfeit all “ill-gotten gains” and interest in any business gained through a pattern of racketeering activity.
Since the dismantling of cosa nostra, RICO has sunk its teeth into many outfits, from drug traffickers to financiers to the Key West Police Department to Major League Baseball to FIFA. With a conviction rate slightly above 95%, most defendants accept plea agreements for less time, though sentences are still usually a decade or more. As of late, rappers are the new target for RICO cases.
The rap crew Young Fly Nigga, or YFN, whose most well-known member is YFN Lucci, was hit with RICO charges in May 2021. A year later their rap and street rivals Young Slime Life, or YSL, whose most famous members are Young Thug and Gunna, were also hit with RICO charges. Both crews’ charged offenses are diverse, from racketeering to extortion to murder. Both crews are also alleged to have ties to the Bloods (wink, wink). YFN and YSL are both Atlanta based and are bitter rivals. New York City has also been active in RICO cases involving rappers, as Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation affiliate and rapper Casanova 2x has been hit with charges. Cas has already pled guilty, receiving a 20 year and 8 months sentence. [Brooklyn] Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods (Trey Way) and their former mascot Tekashi 69 were also given RICO charges. Tekashi was given a much lighter two-year sentence for snitching on his own. His former manager Kifano “Shotti” Jordan received a 15-year sentence.
As with virtually every RICO case, none of the defendants from either crew have been given bond. Their cases seem to be going the way of their RICO predecessors: plea deals and long sentenced convictions.
I called it over a year ago. Check my Twitter if you are incredulous. Check the #MNR archives. I said that the government was going to project its focus on rappers, who flaunt their street affiliations every chance they get. Somewhere in time, the line of separation between the streets and the music/culture became blurred. Fans love the appeal of “gangsters” rapping about their opulent and violent lifestyles, sort of the way Great Depression era Americans were endeared to crime stories about their favorite gangsters of the time, from Bonnie and Clyde to Babyface Nelson to John Dillinger.
Rappers, like 1930s gangsters, provide a bit of escapism from the monotony of everyday life. The thing today is that unlike previous eras, the “gangsta rap” subgenre has taken over and become the dominant sound. I grew up an A Tribe Called Quest fan. They were mostly about positive vibes. They weren’t buttercups, but they also weren’t brazen killers. It was cool to be yourself at one point, even if you weren’t a card-carrying gun clapper.
Nowadays, few want to listen to artists who don’t claim any gang affiliation. Sure, you may not personally claim a set or bang, but think about your [or your kids’] favorite artists. If you’re a 2000s baby, there’s a great likelihood that your favorite artists claim a gang affiliation. If you’re a 2000s baby and “in them streets,” it’s almost certain that your favorite artists claim a gang affiliation AND rap about their exploits. Like I said on a prior blog: almost every YouTube music video ad that precedes the YouTube video you click on is some form of gangsta/drill. There’s an overabundance of gang signs, set claiming, “pole” gripping, stacks of money and weed smoke.
I don’t judge artists. I understand art and expression. But I’m also a middle-aged man. I am not influenced by what I see and hear (anymore). The kids today, just like kids in previous generations (mine included), are also influenced by what they see and hear. Trust me, it’s no coincidence that the Cordae’s of the rap world are afterthoughts compared to your favorite gang-affiliated artists. The record labels push the fuckery. They make sure it’s the product that sells. I happen to be a part of the argument that feels that this was part of “their” design. You fill in who “their” pertains to. I don’t want the Ye treatment.
RICO has now entered new waters, as it’s claimed its first battle rap celebrity. Tsu Surf, one of battle rap’s most known names and up-and-coming mainstream artists, was arrested last week on RICO and DEA charges. Surf is a known vocal member of the Rollin 60s Crips set based in Newark, NJ (founded in Los Angeles). There were ten members arrested in total, but Surf is the headliner. He was denied bond yesterday. Before Surf was taken into custody, he was on Twitter Spaces speaking on everything he’s facing. He expressed that he knew that this case isn’t going to disappear. He also expressed that he knew that his battle rap and rap career are likely over.
I’ve been a Tsu Surf fan for years. When on his A-game, he’s one of the best battle rappers on the planet. He reaffirmed his greatness this past calendar year, trampling every opponent in his path. He smoked John John Da Don, Calicoe, Cortez and JC in succession, all future first-ballot battle rap hall of famers. Of the group, the general consensus is that Cortez was the only one to WIN A ROUND. Battle rap is a completely subjective sport, so the previous statement isn’t scientific by any means. But his domination and influence have been clearly evident. He just made sure every member of his Gun Titles collective (except Pristavia, who still attended) was on the card. He was clearly the darling and cash cow of URLTV. In addition to his prowess on stage, he was also the best fight seller in the game; his promo was unparalleled. His legion of fans is absolutely loyal (some say to a fault) and fiercely protective of Tsu. He had the battle rap world in the palm of his left hand. His mainstream music has been well received, so much that he was the only battle rapper to grace the NYC Rolling Loud stage. As a fan, I am deeply saddened by the situation. As a man, I’m indifferent.
Do I wish Surf were free and preparing to main event the rumored Gun Titles/EFB card that likely would have been scheduled for December? Absolutely. Do I wish Surf were free to be with his daughter and mother? Abso[fucking]lutely. Do I feel sorry for Surf? Not at all. You buy the ticket; you ride the ride. It’s simple and it’s plain. I did plenty of dirt in the streets of Uptown NYC and #BXNYC in my younger days. I had plans to be the Samson Simpson (IYKYK) of Highbridge. I had a good 2-3 year run before they kicked my door in. I lost everything. I never asked, “why me?” I knew the answer. I knew I was immersed in illegal activity. I knew that the NYPD and haters were plotting to end my criminal enterprise. I understood what was at stake. When I did wear a pair of pig bracelets, I didn’t cry or wonder why it had to be me. I understood the consequences of my actions. Gracefully, I was spared having the book thrown at me after my gate was raided. Surf will not receive the same grace. His alleged crimes and my crimes are different. I’m not saying I was in his type of trouble. But I was in trouble. I had to stand tall irrespective of what a judge may have said. The same holds true for Surf. I wish he were home running his mouth on a Spaces as I type, but I’m not in mourning. When we make street decisions we abide by the consequences. I’m also not some green, square ass nigga. I understand that RICO charges can be retroactive for up to a decade. I’m sure Surf has tried to clean up his street activity in the past few years. But just like our grandmothers told us when we were growing up, our past has a way of catching up to us. You can bleach and clean away the blood, but luminol will find any spec left behind. Regardless, free my guy Surf. I still wish the best for him. I’m just not crying on the blogs or anywhere else.
Remove the moniker Tsunami Surf and every other name I’ve mentioned from your mind. Keep the alleged and convicted actions in mind. Is this the type of shit you want your children idolizing? Keep it a thousand. Yes, this opens the box to a whole other conversation, but it must be had. We know that music is very influential. We’ve known this since the onset of popular, secular music. There was blues, then rock-and-roll. Now there’s rap. At one time, each genre was demonized for its content and influence on the youth. It’s one thing if there is only a small sample size of artists rapping about these topics. But when it dominates the music and culture, its effects are troubling. Our youth seem to embrace the worst parts of the music and culture. Some feel the need to attempt to live the music. Some actually and actively live the music. Many do not have parents or a Mr. T. type of figure who effectively communicate and put things in proper perspective, so the kids don’t get the point. Some do and simply choose to ignore the point. I’m not trying to pull a Rev. Calvin Butts (IYKYK), but these discussions are necessary. But let’s be honest, a lot of this shit is pure poison. It’s (in tandem with other factors) slowly decimating our culture and imperiling our youth. But y’all aren’t ready for that conversation.
MR. WEST, YOU'RE ON THE CLOCK. NEXT BLOG...
tymonday.com: @tymonday on Twitter & IG
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#MNR: IT WON’T BE SOON BEFORE LONG
“Loving the game you gave me. Loving my name is AZ. Never sold millions, but fuck it, I’m here to save the babies.”
“My words are diamonds, dug out a mine. Spit em, polish. Look how they shine. Glitter, glisten, gloss, floss. I catch a beat running like Randy Moss.”
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. I’ve been gone for a week or three. What y’all want me to say...I’m sorry? Never. Ain’t shit sorry about me. As a child, I didn’t play the board game because I refused to tell a MF I’m sorry. I do apologize, though, to my ardent readers. It’s a blessing to know that I have faithful supporters. That means everything. I know my shit is pure. I know that my pen will stand tall against any pen you put it up against. I’ve never doubted my work. I also realize that obscurity gives no indicator of its departure. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s (one of my favorite authors) Twice-Told Tales sat for years before they were recognized and given a “push,” hence the title. I’d like to receive my flowers and millions before I’m on a tee shirt, but I’m cool with taking the slow road to glory. I’m built for this shit.
Big ups to my Crew UnB CEO Christian E., who also happens to be my creative partner. 2NN is an army nigga, a navy nigga. CEO has been saying for a while now that he’d love to see the legendary Killer Mike and yours truly in some type of academic debate, 1v1 in a small room. The thing is, though, that he and I more than likely have very similar views on politics and hip-hop – from what I’ve seen and heard from him over the years. That would make a debate asinine, as there would be little to no discourse. But...as a registered asshole, I’m more than willing to take a counterpoint and argue it for the sake of argument. My extensive background in journalism has always allowed me to play devil’s advocate. I have an innate ability to exclude personal sentiment and concentrate on the argument. Having said that, I’ll take that Killer Mike smoke because he’s an intelligent and informed brother. Shit, truth be told, I’m sure he’d come for my helmet. I’m talking high caliber, close range shots. But I live for it. I’ll come out of it having debated one of the persons CEO and I look to with respect and admiration for being true to himself and our people. But umm, yeah. We ain’t got the hundred bands, Mike. Not right now, at least. But we’ll be there in time. It won’t be soon before long...
Big ups to Killer Mike for taking the time out of his day to interact with CEO on Twitter. He said he’d check out some of the old blogs. Sounds good to me. Bless up, my brother. Keep on doing what you do. The Unbearables Crew supports your efforts. P.S. -- that track you have on Madden ’23 is colder than Freddie Jackson sipping a milkshake in a snowstorm. Tell our brother Antwan Patton he’s the most underrated MC in history.
I MEANT WHAT I SAID ABOUT BIG BOI. ARGUE WITH YOUR DAD’S SLIDE-OFF IF YOU DISAGREE.
So... I’m watching YouTube on my television (I made the distinction because the ad format can be a bit different between phone and television) last night...and I saw a political ad for Charles Schumer (senior senator from NY). The ad was about a young lady in the state of New York who’d had an abortion in her late teens. She wasn’t ready to have a child and the procedure allowed her to continue with life unimpeded, receiving higher education in the process. She’s now happily married with a child and a career. There is no pretense or cynicism in my words; I’m happy that she is in a good place in life. And no, this isn’t pro or anti-abortion commentary. This is a WHY IN THE FUCK IS SCHUMER RUNNING ABORTION ADS WHEN THE ECONOMY IS DOING THE HARLEM SHAKE WITH OUR WALLETS AND PURSES IN ITS POCKETS? Bruh...I know exactly why he and other Dems are running on this platform. The Roe reversal was a watershed moment in American history. 50 years of precedent went out the window with one narrow, evangelical radical Christian Supreme Court majority view. Like I said, I’m not here to argue what was long considered established case law. I’m here to tell Chucky and other Dems that you need to run ads telling your constituents how you plan to combat inflation before you speak on abortion. Your blind liberal faithful aren’t going anywhere. You need to be convincing registered Independents like myself of your strategy for the economy. That’s the number one topic. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a centrist/left leaning independent. Shit, I was a long-time Dem before I grew tired of Dem politicians assuming that my vote is guaranteed, simply because I’m Black. It isn’t. I’m not a subscriber to Old Time Ni**er Shit ideology. It appears to me that the majority of registered independents are right leaning. I derived this from looking at voting percentages. They’re the ones you need to convince. Yes, the right to choose is a HOT topic, but our wallets “trump” the topic of abortion. Again, debate your father’s side bitch. I’m not here to debate. ALL the polls say this. I’m not saying to eliminate the abortion ads. I’m saying that there needs to be ads telling fringe voters how you plan to combat inflation. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a Black man with an extensive political science background who reads from seven different traditional news outlets daily, watches two YouTube news outlets daily, and has a world of common sense.
I’ve held off on the tRump stolen documents @ Mar-a-Lago topic for diverse reasons, chiefly because I’ve been in the game long enough to know that there’s always more to the story. I shook my head like Stevie Wonder with his hair beads in ’74 when I saw dumbass Marco Rubio and others jumping out the window to defend their god when this initially went down in August. I’m thinking to myself that this is the ultimate level of meat glazing, like finally reaching Wart at the end of Super Mario Bros. 2 without warping. Teanna Trump ain’t got shit on the way R politicians eat old 45’s dick (pun intended). Sure, we know they’re top-tier sycophants. Blindly defending that man when you don’t even know what the DOJ has in its cache shows us that there is NOTHING Donald Queso can do to make his political loyalists jump ship. And today, we’ve learned that the DOJ has at least one witness AND video evidence that boxes of classified documents were moved AFTER the DOJ subpoena. I get it, you MFs decided that you’re willing to go down with the ship. It’s too late to jump now.
MY PREDICTION: THIS WILL NOT END WELL FOR CHEESY OR HIS FAITHFUL. FINALLY.
In the long game, it doesn’t really matter. The next conservative president will pardon him when possible. But justice will be served...eventually. Ojala que.
I was born a Yankees fan. I am a Yankees fan. I will die a Yankees fan. My Uncle Alan and I are old-school Bleacher Creatures – the REAL bleachers of old Yankee Stadium. I’m happy AF for Aaron Judge, even if he decides to return home to the Bay this winter and sign with the Giants. That’s not the discussion. All Rise became the American League single season homerun champion this season, blasting 62 round trippers in a 162-game season, one more than the previous record of 61 by fellow Yankee Roger Maris in 1961 (162-game season). Is he the AL king? Absolutely. Is he the all-time season record holder? Fuck no. That distinction belongs to Barry Lamar Bonds, who clubbed 73 four base knocks for the San Francisco Giants in 2001. “But Bonds was on steroids?” Shut the fuck up. FACT: Barry Bonds NEVER failed a MLB drug test. “But the Mitchell Report...” Again, close your damn pie hole. Without absolute proof...you finish the thought. Do I think Barry was juicing? Uh – I’m pretty certain he was. I’m absolutely certain he was the best (or second best) player in the sport BEFORE his physical transformation (if he wasn’t the best my guy Ken Griffey Jr. was). I’m also certain that baseball has been a cheater’s game since its creation. If you disagree, here’s a short list: spitballs/doctored balls, amphetamines (“greenies”), corked bats, ballpark spy cams, lip readers and even trash cans (fuck you Houston). I played the game long enough to know that extra muscle won’t improve your chance to put a round bat in contact with a round ball traveling 100 mph. Again, go find your daddy’s concubine and debate with her dirty ass. Barry is the king. Put him and Rocket Man in the Hall of Fame. Raffy Palmeiro too.
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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY BABY. I LOVE YOU.
That’s all for this week. I’m tide (tired). I’m a catch y’all on the come up. Time to shake a leg and get up in the wind, sugar. One love.
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