MNR: The Lady Or The Tiger?
It really warmed my heart to see Coach Fizdale and my third cousin Marc Gasol make amends after a lengthy and surprising discord. The two were player and coach for the Memphis Grizzlies for a bit over a year before their beef and a couple other factors led to Fiz’s dismissal. Coach and player fallout is hardly anything new. But this case was especially surprising due to the widespread respect both garner. Fiz is the quintessential player’s coach, with legends like D. Wade still singing his praise even years after their work relationships concluded. Marc Gasol is a perennial all-star caliber player and one of toughest MF in the A. His respect extends to infinity. The beef itself didn’t particularly intrigue me: beef is beef. Beef between two 70+ year-old ladies in the Kosher meat section of ShopRite is just as valid as two known killers who hate one another locking eyes in proximity. What intrigued me was the perceived lack of any type timetable for future glasnost (peace). Until last night, it seemed like this beef may have lasted far beyond their playing and coaching days. And that saddened me because I always feel that two stand-up and rational men can have a sit-down and hash out any problem through communication. At times my theory is ripped to shreds, but for the most part I’m unwavering in my sentiment. Big ups to Fiz for extending the olive branch via a call to Gasol over this past summer. That progress led to a full embrace last night. And a Knicks dub. Thank you Lord.
On 7.4.10, @IAMDJGREEN forced Twitter upon me. I was only a year or so into FB (I’m completely disassociated from FB; something hard to do) when I was introduced to the birdie (true Twitter Gawdz know). I was years late to FB. When FB dropped I was selling drugs full time and had absolutely no interest in joining whatever they were calling social media. I was raised by the old school so I abide by the old rules. I stayed out that camera’s eye strategically. But after my highly respected trap ceased operation (1400 Jesup Ave Apt 2C; ask about the big man), I sought to reconnect with many severed ties. Not severed because of love lost but severed because of lost contact. I’m a college graduate. I graduated with honors. I wasn’t proud to be in those BXNY and Eastside Harlem streets grinding for mine. I wasn’t ashamed either. I was doing what I felt I had to. But when your friends and contemporaries are running companies, affixing Dr. to their names, and living life to its fullest, your pitiful drug dealing being just doesn’t add up. I’m speaking personally all you trappers. Please don’t shoot me. It’s Jon Blaze! I can get jiggy with it! Anyway, after reconnecting with errbody on FB, it became type dry. Nigga, I don’t wanna read a damn two page article on my FB TL about what you had for lunch in your job-site’s sorry ass cafeteria (Big ups to Mt. Sinai Hospital’s caf; I miss you so). Wrap that shit up, B. You can tell us about that wraggily ass Chicken Caesar Salad you overpaid for in err umm...140 characters or less. Good looks cuzzo. In retrospect, I’m surprised that nigga hasn’t sent me an invoice in the past eight years, ole stingy ass (Love you nigga). But Aaron Warren did put me on to the greatest form of social media ever created. The Twitter (from henceforth “the” precedes Twitter) has stood the test of over a decade’s time, beginning in March ‘06. It allows the user to make short blogs within the confine of 140 characters. That character limit has since doubled to 280 characters, but the limit was and simultaneously wasn’t the underlying genius of the Twitter. It was because, unlike the aforementioned FB post nausea, the 140 character limit made accurately and concisely carving your thoughts mandatory. But it also wasn’t the underlying genius because like FB, the Twitter allows for other forms of media to be played via tweets. You can tweet your FB post, Snap, IG, whatever with ease. But the overkill comes with the Twitter’s beloved reference for good ole Amendment I. The Twitter don’t give a flying UFO fuck about your content, so long as it doesn’t include child pornography or extreme bigotry. But porn, filmed homicide/execution, porn, other things, porn and porn are quite welcome. And, just like the deceased phenomena Vine (shouts to Jabbar Hakeem Drakeford the Don, my nucca) the cap on time/length of the tweet made creativity ever the more pertinent. You don’t have the luxury of typing a research paper post like FB. You had to get that shit done within the 140/280...and do it mega, super retardo. The creativity we see e’y day is unparalleled. And the porn is usually a welcomed view. Mostly a welcomed view. Just watch your volume and that nosy MF peeking over your shoulder. And your phone’s reflection in the NJ Transit bus window. Throw in the GIF’s and the possibilities are endless. And as my ultimate pitch, the true beauty of being on the Twitter comes when you have about 1K followers and/or follow damn near e’ybody in your hood. When both pop, your TL is more informative than any other social media because it comes in true real time and because when you follow the whole hood you get all the hood goings on in MEGA real time. And unlike FB or IG, your timeline on the Twitter isn’t based on algorithms. For you technologically challenged MF, that basically means that your TL is your true TL and not a reflection of the followers/friends you most interact with. Algorithms had me thinking I only followed about 10 people on IG, straight jacket. I was deeeeeeeep into my IG TL one day and had only seen the same folk IG posts. I knew something was up. But not on the Twitter. You get it how you live. The lack of algorithms also makes promo on the Twitter so much more efficient. Your business promo tweet is guaranteed to end up on every last one of your followers’ TL. Did I mention how much easier it is for a tweet to reach a famous person than a FB or IG post? And how much more likely they are to actually reply? And there’s this thing called the retweet...
I’m damn near 70K in on the Twitter. I don’t tweet like I used to, but I still love it the same. It’s my one stop shop for news (hood, local, national, global, sports, entertainment), conversation, a good laugh, and general fuckery. It’s also where I’ve gone to let my pain out without banging my head against some wall. Twitter is thee shit. It’s my time y’all. #BFT143#
MNR: Eastside Festival
Please pardon me if I’m cold as Vancouver. Mom was overworked at her job. Pops was a user. You couldn’t touch me. Not even on your best day. That would add plus one to the death rate. The keystroke is my paint. Your phone or computer screen is my canvas. I ran with young kids who moved work and wore bandanas. The movement’s to the left. If you know the code dig it. My lady fine as South France wine. Her mind exquisite. UnB is the squad. We’re family through death. Mr. Ty Monday, bitch, get it correct. For the record it’s Tyrone when it’s time to cut my check. Lost eight to gun play. One by the sword. Shareon was a genius. By ear she could play any chord. I ran through plenty New York City projects. I’ve walked plenty country roads. I was trained to stay woke and keep quiet. I don’t stray from the code. I’m really not in fear of death. But for the longest I was afraid to live. My early life was juvenile hell. It was wild in my crib. I watched a five dollar rock crack a generation. I’m watching the medicine cabinet decimate another. We all know who gets the profit from both. Trust, it’s not you or me, brother. I love Pac and BIG. But I really miss Heavy D. He made it fly to be me. Way before I was heavy T. It’s sunny days for ole Sgt Pepper. He finally found serendipity. His heart is no longer lonely. The Lord sent HER to me. He is I and I am he. You dumbass. That was plain enough for Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, and Helen Keller to see. This entire world is ours soon as we achieve true unity. The last shall be first. On day seven you and I shall see.
Oxnard is the third commercial album release from rapper/singer Anderson .Paak. .Paak became a household name in the hip hop community after being featured on Dr. Dre’s Compton project. Unlike his ambitious debut Venice or his classic sophomore release Malibu (both R&B dominant), .Paak let his hip hop alter ego press its way to the mic this go ‘round. Oxnard, .Paak’s hometown and the least known of the three California cities he’s chosen to title his albums, is in its own way a tribute to the days of .Paak’s rap roots coming up in a hip hop dominant culture. Oxnard has its just share of star power, with features from Cali King Kendrick Lamar, aforementioned rap gawd Dr. Dre, modern GOAT J. Cole, iconic Quester Q-Tip, cocaine rap avant Pusha T., and hip hop’s global ambassador, Uncle Snoop. Snoop is the guest MC on Anywhere, a laid-back track that evokes early ‘90s nostalgia (my fav off Oxnard). Ironically, it’s one of the few tracks that .Paak doesn’t rhyme on. Other standout tracks include the Kendrick feature Tints, the Cole feature Trippy, and the album’s showstopper 6 Summers. I can’t even explain it. You have to listen for yourself. In my unbiased opinion (and as a fan who owns all of his projects including his NxWorries collaboration project with Knxwledge), it’s the not the machine Malibu is. But what it does share with Malibu and Venice alike is a full dosage of soul, fly production, and .Paak’s unique and witty pen. You’ll love it. (8/10)
I would like to end this by wishing our Crew UnB CEO @themisterceizzo a blessed born day. He’s a hard working family man who deserves nothing but the best in life. Cheers lil bro. It’s our time. Cheers ###
PALZ: Ortiz and Me
Until it’s over,
I’m the eyes watching your back at all times.
I’m the vote of confidence you seek whenever you’re uncertain.
Doesn’t matter if you’re up a million or it’s 4th and impossible;
I’m right there at your side.
If it’s us against the world, come one, come all.
Even if they have us encircled with no way out,
I will stand tall.
We both go out like that.
Today’s a good day to die, anyway.
Regardless of the charges, no matter the circumstance, I’m rocking with you.
The answer to a skeptic’s “why” is simple.
He’d do the same for me.
I had the opportunity to kick it with the best friend, Jose Ortiz the Great this past Saturday. When I tell you we’ve been through it all in damn near 20 (wow), believe me...even down to a suicide pact (Snapple Facts). Times have changed, and for the better. My brother is dedicated to his job and is enjoying all the privileges good living has to offer. Nowadays, I’m calm and he’s even calmer. This is the same MF who at age sixteen walked around Soundview Projects with a Mossberg shotgun tucked down one of his pant legs (long shotgun down my pant leg limping...RIP Prodigy). The same MF who would catch a clean jux in Garvey Park to provide for the team’s Friday night NASA expedition when funds were low. One thing I learned about my bestie early on: ain’t much talking when it’s GO time. That’s drama or a job. When it comes to the fade, the bestie and me are one in the same—we get quiet when it’s approaching the time to shake. Both our last words are simply “aight.” We both agree that’s there’s nothing else to say after the talk gets a certain degree of spicy. Not realizing our demeanor shift will sho’ nuff result in your ass getting whooped sum’n awful. But like I said, my nigga Cuervo keeps that same energy when it’s time for a job. That nigga would leave out the crib, head to the west side, do his two step, and be back in the crib before other family realized he had been out. If I tell you anything about my best friend it’s that he’s as thorough as they come. Many things erode, but thorough lasts forever. In the fifteen or so years we’ve been doggies we’ve seen our share of ups and downs. All palz go through it time to time. I’m the mercurial one. When I’m mad I hate the entire world: enemies, strangers, family, friends, best friends. That’s a fault of mine. I’m man enough to admit it. But my nigga never spoke down on my name or returned verbal fire. He just waited for a nigga to regain his bearings. Did I mention the Mossberg? I’m gon always appreciate my nigga for that. I’ve severed my share of friendships/relationships because of my temper/slick ass tongue. My bro always held me down. No matter what. We ride together, we die together.
I never had a brother. I have a step brother. But we don’t share any blood. My mama dead. Ion fuck with his pops anymore. So, basically, I never had a brother. For a time I considered my first cousin DJ Green to be my brother. We started out close. We were close for a time. But I came to realize that he don’t got my back the way I got his. He’s selfish. Always has been. I love him. He’s my blood. There was a time (recently) that I’d die for him. Not today. Like I said...he’s my blood. I love that nigga. Always will. But he can catch these hands. Any day. And I’ll work him like a part time job. But he knows that. I’m the apex predator. Anyway...big ups to the Eaddy brothers, my CEO and his younger (not little) bro Darnell (Mo). Those two guys got my back no matter what. The CEO brought me down off the ledge befo’. Straight jacket. Him and Lady UnB thought highly enough of me to name me god pops to the prince. And my brother Mo, that’s my twin grimey right there. We’re both retired (whew) trap legends in traps that would swallow you lame hustlers whole. And y’all ain’t even fucking with hoe money. Mister don’t play. We too share that in common, along with sports and flowers. So you already know...all the CEO gotta do is let a YERR loose. That’s your ass, Mr. Postman. Big ups to my other official bruvas from another: my nigga Rahgie from the Hali, Mr. Ten (my PNC), Rich Murda Dem Hemmings, and my VUU rat pack bros Rock & St. Louis. Can’t forget my lil bros Sean and Lo. To all my lil Englewood youngn’s who I helped see through. Big ups to the CEO’s bestie Curt McGirt. Big ups to my teams: 4 Cornaz, Rat Pack, Huntley Fam, NFL Clique, Jeff Mob, The Super Vvillains, all my baby girls, and...McDonalds (y’all asses wasn’t mad when Q-Tip shouted them out on the track). That was in honor of my first team, A Tribe Called Quest, my favorite squad all-time. RIP Phife Diggy. P.S. I haven’t eaten at McDonalds in months. But God...
Last but not least, big shouts to the entire Crew UnB. Love, infinite.
SPECIAL EDITION: A LETTER TO THE AGING
Dear people aged 35 and older:
I’ve drafted this letter in earnest, as the result of the triumvirate catalysts of drugs, alcohol, and The Beatles Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. If you’re familiar you know the track “When I’m Sixty-Four”. For research’s sake, I just looked up Paul McCartney’s age: he’s 76 (and the lead on the song). The point is, Paul’s way past 64. Mr. Lennon and Mr. Harrison been gone. Paul was 24 when the sessions began. He spoke of 64 as if it meant being old and decrepit. It was blatant humor, tongue-in-cheek game spit to one of Paul’s young tenders. But my wasted interpretation leads me to the topic of this letter and tonight’s blog...old niggas gotta stop career hating on my young niggas. I’m absolutely tired of it. And I’m finna call each and every one of youse out. And you deserve it. Young folk, sit back and kick your feet up. I got this.
SIDE NOTE: Sgt Pepper’s... is such a fly album. I feel the R&B influence in it. The reprise of the title track ain’t nothing but a Clyde Stubblefield drum beat (Mr. James Brown’s drummer to the youth and ignorant old fake music aficionados). Oh yeah...You MF gotta stop faking and listen to Rock and Roll. Good music is good music.
BACK TO REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING...
It’s about time that you old heads (I’m a certified old head but I’m not a certified hater) stop with the young nigga player hating. It’s quite disgusting. Totally. Being the journalist I am, I’m going to be as impartial as possible and call it 50/50.
So, I’ll begin with my age group. True indeed, a lot of these young MF are absolute weirdo material. You dress crazy, your music is trash, and you let an electronic device control your little fucking entitled lives. There, I said it. It’s the fucking truth. Period.
Now I shall proceed with my spin: I FEEL YOU YOUNG NIGGAS. COMPLETELY. ABSOLUTELY. Now, now...some of you dress like you’re mildly retarded (my bad, exceptional). And yes...73% of your music is absolute, utter basura. And yes, you are entitled. But guess what??? It’s your MF thing! Not mine!!! SALUTE TO MY YOUNG NIGGAS!!! DO YOUR MF THING!!!
Now, I’ll place my scholar cap upon my forehead and appease the journalistic part of this blog and break my argument down atom by atom...
In conclusion, I feel like it’s time to end the generational divide and try to come to some type understanding. And if that’s too ambitious, let’s just employ reciprocal respect. Next time you’re shaking your head at the actions of 17 year-old, remember what it was like when you were 17 whole years old and how rebellious you felt. But don’t get too nostalgic. Pay that damn cable bill before Verizon cuts your WiFi off. To the projects I’m ghost shorty rock, one love.
Ty Thompson, God’s Favorite
#MNR-The Death of a Dream
More Than Just Friends
by Ty Thompson
I’ve oft envisioned a date with Amy.
It’s just she and I, the elevated ambiance of the luminous quarter moon,
And a fine spirit for our fancy.
Deep within her eyes I see the torment,
her lone wish to be loved unconditionally.
I hear her plea, I feel her anguish.
If only I were the antidote to her complex melancholy.
If only she knew that her gift shall bless me for life’s duration.
Her melody is my refuge.
Sadly, my vision was merely a mirage.
There was no date, nary an opportunity to express just what she means to me.
C’est la vie.
It’s quite alright though, sincerely.
You are my enchantress of sorrow, my heroine of despair.
I’ll always love and appreciate you
Amy was so amazing.
I’m so tired of hearing angry Black folk with influence encouraging other Black folk to abstain from voting under the “Your Vote as a Colored Person Doesn’t Matter” narrative. That’s the most ignorant shit I’ve heard in forty years of fuckery. The comedian Corey Holcomb is one of narrators of this particular narrative. Come on bruh. Infinite respect to you and your craft, you’re one of the best. But shut your silly ass up with that ignorant bullshit. If you choose not to vote that’s your right. But don’t encourage ignorance. Suffrage is an essential right to any and every democracy. There is no democracy without voting. Voting only fails to work when marginal citizens choose to forego their civic right and duty. And then elections are lost because pockets of eligible voters choose to stay at home rather than carry their sorry ass down to the precinct and press two, tree button dem behind dem blood clot curtain. Then you same idiots complain about the rain falling down on your head from Capitol Hill or one of #45’s golf courses. Just shut yo dumb, ignorant ass up. For those with a shred of common sense, fall through the polls tomorrow. I’m not concerned with whom you vote for. I just hope you vote.
On around this day fifteen years ago, my bro P.R. from eastside Harlem was assassinated by a couple of treacherous MF he’d just made an up with out of state down Bmore (jux, lick, etc.) Everything went according to plan until the same MF he just did a job with turned their guns on him. The day I found out we were ciphing in Smurf’s crib next door in 2095. It was Smurf, his wife Eisha, and me. Manny from upstairs in my building (210) came to the door hysterical. When we heard the news all three of us went into our own bubble. Smurf stormed back to his bedroom. Eisha just sat at the table and kept saying OMG until I couldn’t hear anything at all. I got up and took it back to Jerz. Immediately. I couldn’t believe my bro wasn’t gon come walking from 15th around to the front of the building with his trademark Dominican “what’s good!” and soon after beginning a two man trek to the newest, livest reefa spot. Then we’d come back to my building, hit the bat cave, and burnî two Dutches full of Mango Pinga. P.R. was a good kid. He left here before he really got a chance to live. What’s even crazier is that I can remember his death being the end of the Voltron squad: me, my cousin Leaha, my bro Cuervo, Smurf, Eisha, Laddi, Pretty J, Doreen and her soft ass husband Alex. We all casually hung out together in our projects, but it was love. Everyone went their own way after the bro died. I dunno if his death was the reason. It prolly wasn’t. But it marked the end of the Jeff traveling squad. It’s funny how you can dead go from hanging out regularly with a group of folk to not seeing or hearing from them for years. After P.R. I lost a lotta brothers in a hurry. I think about the decisions that we all have made that literally decided our fate in a split second. Sometimes I have to heavily sedate myself to keep from thinking about death. Highs and lows. Life and death. Don’t mind me y’all. I’m fine. Sometimes I just sit back and let the sick thoughts enter. Then I put it down so you can read it. Relate to it. You’ve been through your own share. It’s never easy. But you’re never alone.
LONG LIVE FREDDIE MERCURY
Bohemian Rhapsody was a damn good biopic. I only waited about 25 years for it.
LONG LIVE QUEEN
P.S. The Live Aid scene was electric.
Big ups to the Crew. I’m glad my brother Mo is back home. First Team All Heart.
Until we meet again...happy trails to you.