Lucky for you That’s what I Like.

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Journalism makes you happy. As well as being a bit mysterious. You’ve mastered the art of being mischievous. Never have you ever had an issue in that department. You enjoy going against the grain for good reason. Like challenging the status quo. Like challenging those around you to think differently, and deeper. You enjoy introducing new information, ideas and concepts to people. Sometimes, that alone is enough to satisfy your desire to Matlab Goose. Which means taking materials and labor and transforming them to goods and services. Not sure that follows but, it makes sense to me. I mean you.

You’ve always felt like you’d be an inventor. An innovator to be exact. You still feel you’ll write (and publish) a book one day. Whatever you do, you need to work with your hands and a microphone. You should probably abandon your fear of not consuming every aspect of whatever you’re into at the moment. It’s humanly impossible! Stop feeling like you have to cover all bases. Or be ahead of the curve. That’s why you must join or build a strong team. But you have fears concerning that. You have a fear of your “imposter syndrome” being exposed. This is why you’ve decided to tell and live your truth. Particularly embracing that you’ve lived a different life than most people who look like you. But be reminded, there are people who look like you and people who look like people who look like you that live a totally different life as well. Be humble.

You are an empath and very sensitive to the things around you. You know you need to cut people off and curate, let me just say it, your social media. You don’t have to feel like you’re abandoning folks. You don’t want to miss out on what “they” have going on. But “they” aren’t on what you’re on. At all. They are living their lives according to them. You do the same. Let them find their (own) way (out of your life). If it’s really that much of a distraction, mute them motherfuckers. If you realize you miss them, undo it.

Try and hone down on where your insecurity lies. Once you get a good grip on that, you can fix it and then what? You have no excuses. “Life is what you make it” and “opportunity comes to those who create it” (thanks Uncle Charla). Even though you aren’t religious, you still have certain faith about your destiny. You honestly believe you can achieve your dreams, but you also, simultaneously, with the same energy, believe regardless of how hard you try you will still fail. Best thing you can do is be honest with yourself and those around you, regardless of the possible outcome and destruction. Destroy & Rebuild. Over and over again. You have nothing to lose, everything to gain.

And like in the book the Alchemist, it’s all about the journey. Be in love with the journey. Ok ok ok, enough about you. Let’s end this here.

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Indecisive as Fuck

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I am extremely indecisive. I cringe at the thought of commitment. It’s really dumb. I’m a certified fickle-OCD hybrid. I obsess over things like a motherfucker then i’m like – next! Never to look back again.

That’s one main reason this blog is special to me. Because 4 years later, i’m still passionate about it! I can ignore and forget about it when I want but it’s always here. It’s a reminder of how much I live in my head and am my own worst enemy. That if I would just shut the fuck up and actually do something, i’ll impress myself.

I am doing the best I can to acknowledge my ego and check it when necessary. But I am extremely sure, extremely secure and it feels GREAT.  I’ve never lived my life so intentionally and on purpose. So I said all of that to say this:

When choosing my college major, I realized entrepreneurship was the only option. Well, my soul knew. My mind, per usual, had it’s own trial & error laden agenda. Tis life, right? Live and learn, don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. That includes your freedom, individuality, good credit and time.

However, I digress. Again.

So, when choosing this major – I couldn’t. I had a mental list with 14,732 bullet points on each side of why I should and shouldn’t commit to this or that major. When I applied, I got accepted into the Social Work program. Why? Because I wanted to work with juvenile delinquents. So I thought. Deep down inside my heart of hearts, I wanted to be a radio personality or news reporter. I really wish I would have pursued communications. I would have an excellent career in media. There’s still time. But back to the story.

I ended up changing my major to marketing. Why? Because I wanted to make money. I had no fucking clue what marketing was. Nothing. In hindsight – this would have been a great career path. I didn’t have the confidence and skill though, and when I saw calculus on my curriculum I knew right away to change that shit up if I wanted to actually graduate. I did take a business class that I may not have otherwise and learned a very pertinent lesson (P.L.O.C.) that has molded me into the manager I am today.

I changed my major to Political Science… well let me back track. I couldn’t change my major right away but I started taking classes geared towards Political Science. I can’t remember how, when, or where – but I entertained the idea of pursuing Public Relations. My coursework was so entrenched in other disciplines though; it didn’t quite make sense. I remember using their labs with the fancy ass Mac computers. Hated them.

So I ended up changing my major to Liberal Studies with a concentration in African-American studies. Big fucking whoop. This is all great and all, but MY GOD. I needed a degree in SCIENCE. NOT ARTS. UGH.

In hindsight – this allowed me to graduate with high honors (magna cum laude) because I was 100% invested and interested in the work. I just smoke way too much weed to try and be a teacher or something. I just rather not have to worry about those kinds of things coming back to bite me in the asshole.

All of this experience is wonderful in my pursuit of entrepreneurship – now. I get it. I needed to experience all of those things. I needed to learn how to channel my indecisiveness and make it work for me. Still a work in progress but it’s working out.

I ended up getting a Master’s degree in Public Administration – another long ass drawn out story of regret. But, graduated with a 4.0 GPA and learned a lot nonetheless.

I may be indecisive, but I am loyal and thorough sometimes to a fault. My mother always say’s “where there is a will, there is a way.” I’ve been making a way. Preparing for my opportunity. That’s if i’m not blocking it or missed it already (yikes!)

The impetus behind this post was me remembering how I would convince myself that “this major” was great because of “that.” For example, “majoring in business is great because everything is a business!” .. “majoring in political science is great because law and order rule the world!” .. “public relations is great because everything has to be advertised!” ..  and so on. I did that with every major (lol).

I realize now that it means i’m multi-faceted. Multi-discipline is mandatory. I can never just do one thing. Being a serial entrepreneur is the only thing that makes sense. I want to plan, lead, organize and control 100 different companies in 1,000 different industries.

I’ll be pursuing a certification in Project Management soon. Can’t stop. Won’t stop.

Be Secure in my Perspective & Create Things

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All I’ve ever wanted to do was be secure in my perspective and create things of use to myself and others. Use both sides of my brain. My aspirations are rooted in the deepest ocean and continue to grow beyond the stars.

There are so many complex relationships that exist within our Universe, between the two blues. I’ve been consciously examining these relationships as they relate to my space in time, since 2012. Cømplex Candles are physical manifestations of both being secure in my perspective and creating things of use.

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Candles symbolize earth, wind and fire. They illuminate; activate senses. Candles work in cohesion with other elements. They encourage ordinary air to interact with mundane sights and smells. An aroma can carry you back to a particular place and time in your life. Our candles can create those memories for the future.

Thank you for being a part of this journey and supporting the Cømplex Candle Company!

Plans Don’t Always Go as Planned

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Making a plan is a gift and a curse.

I was watching a Ted Talk the other day and my wife told me I was “such a white person” because the title was “how to remain calm when you know you’ll be stressed.”

My 30th birthday was this past weekend and we moved into our first apartment together as a married couple. She had an entire itinerary of exactly how the weekend would go, incorporating both birthday and moving plans. Every last one of them fell through. Every. Last. One.

See, me… I would have anticipated all of these things going wrong. I actually had to swoop in and call an audible last minute to assure certain things would happen on time, and smoothly. They did.

I feel like she’s learning to plan things out from me, just as I’m abandoning my obsession with planning. Almost EVERY time you plan something out, it will NEVER happen the way you believe it will. Planning is just one aspect of making plans.

I learned a very valuable lesson my freshman year from a business education course. This was one of the very first college classes I took and was all in. The lesson learned was P.L.O.C. If you simply make a plan, that’s cute. But you have to execute. You have to PLAN, LEAD, ORGANIZE and CONTROL. From the moment a plan arises, you have to improvise your ideas and anticipate conundrums… how can you not?! Not doing so is highly irresponsible.

I am a lot more disciplined and patient than most people, and for that reason my stress is well managed. My disappointments are few and far between. Expectations are the bane to my existence (I stole that from Kid Fury bee tee dubs).

I anticipate everything going wrong, and while planning things, I make plan Bs, Cs and Zs and then I laugh when things go wrong, just as I anticipated! I have a back-up plan for virtually every scenario going wrong.

People have their own agendas, own plans, and own fall throughs. It’s inevitable. Incorporate these things into your life, explore and analyze them. See them as experiences, not as disasters! Learn from them. Grow from them.

At the end of the day, a plan is something that seemed like a good idea in formulation. However, reality and unforeseen circumstances will always milly-rock on any block (of plans you thought you had!).

(I know I ended that with a shit ton of punctuation marks but whatever, figure it out English teacher and let me know the proper way to end that sentence. Also see my Freestyle Approach post before you adjust your spectacles and laugh at me!)

The Entrepreneurial Network (of Like Minds)

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So, I have this vision of creating a directory of entrepreneurs. That simple.

Everybody has needs, everybody has skills. Why not be the connection? I have a shit ton of talented friends. Some have work experience only, some have advanced degrees; others, like myself, have all that plus a mind full of ideas! Together we make up an enterprise. It doesn’t make sense that we are all under paid, under appreciated, and most of all under developed because of the lack of opportunity.

John Henrik Clarke first sparked this idea. He says Black people should be more self sufficient and provide what we need for each other. Start simple, we all need socks and drawers. Then go on from there.

Everyone has a respective skill set; just need somewhere to apply it. This seems so simple, but it must not be because i’m not familiar with anything of the sort. I could just be overlooking the fact that every business started as an entrepreneurial endeavor among friends. One example I can think of is a record label. You have a team of folks who all have a role in the end result. You have the engineers, the producers, the artists, the graphic designer, etc…

I want to create this network but I need more like minds. Who will be our target audience? What separates us from those that already exist in our place?

This idea solidified when I was a member of a message board forum “SGGDC” which stood for “Strictly Go-Go DC.” The site was built and maintained by members and hundreds of familiar people would visit this site on a daily basis; it was our twitter before twitter. In fact, twitter is what sent SGG packing.

The members slowly but surely left the board for their timeline. We discussed everything from “smash or pass” to deep philosophical debates about The New World Order. Music careers were supported and launched from this community forum.

If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.’

 

Know What’s Necessary

I used to want to know it all. Now.. I just want to know what is necessary. Know-it-alls end up under a lot of pressure. Pressure means stress. My ultimate goal is to live stress free. The real kind. Not the pretend, “talk about what I hate all day long” stress free. But the, “why are we even discussing this..?” stress free.

I go back and forth everyday with “what I want to be, what I want to do” .. it’s all relative but i’m learning a lot about myself. Like, maybe I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. Questioning every thing until I realize “nothing really matters.” Do what makes you genuinely smile.

Allison Seymour is a news anchor for Fox 5 here in D.C. and the other day during a broadcast she said something along the lines of “my dream is to have a paycheck every 2 weeks..” I feel you sister. By any (safe and ethical) means. Safe and ethical doesn’t always mean legal. But that’s another story i’ll get into on Th.Ur.Di., Blog.

I’m learning that, I am a hustler. That’s the mentality I have. And not a shady hustler, but an honest hustler. That means doing what’s necessary to get shit done, without stepping on any undeserving toes. I chose my words wisely.

I like to be alone. Or with my fiancee. Doing shit that “niggas” do. Smoking trees. Listening to loud music. Counting cash. Going shopping. I have to stop fighting these urges to “do better” and do what I want. I only have this 1 life to live!

Most things are about aesthetics to me. Dress it up and make it real for me baby.

My Issues w/ The “Pro Black” Community

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These are just little notes and blurbs strung together. Bare with it. And i’m talking about the extreme black supremacist folks. I’ll probably (not) elaborate on my position further, later. But whatever, anyways:

In my opinion, the PBC is an ego trap. The “leaders” validate themselves by degrading other people of all races, nationalities, ethnicities, alternative lifestyles and so on. They are capitalist in their own right, attempting to capitalize off of the ancient past and ignorant future. Human societies must evolve in order to survive. Evolving DOES NOT mean assimilating. Nobody, and certainly not black people, OWN the planet. But let them tell it …

I feel like their target audience is people in search of an identity, or new paradigm.  Like those leaving the church. Those folks are influenced to replace the religious paradigm with an Afrocentric one, which isn’t necessarily beneficial or relevant to them, personally. The “good life” is subjective .. there’s no uniform right way to live.

We are Africans in America; ok fine. But then let’s grapple with the scientific evidence that ALL HUMAN FORMS originated in Africa. Lose the “black” thing. Be a universal human seeking justice for all. And mean it.

I’d bet a  number of these so called black leaders come straight from the gutter and or broken homes. No disrespect, but it’s evident that shame and guilt has shaped them into angry people who want to “do onto others what has been done to them.” They are cult leaders wanting you to subscribe to THEIR notion of reality and progress.

And then they have the nerve and audacity to bash the LGBTQ community.

Who holds the authority on disgust? On human sexuality? Sexual orientation and preferences. Huh? Prototypes are subjective. Fuck your opinion of what a “black man” or “black woman” is “supposed” to look like, walk like, talk like, dress like, have sex with. SAYS WHO?!

It’s bullshit. They are hustling. Hustling hate, hustling anger, hustling negativity. They aren’t healing anybody but themselves and their pockets. What each and everyone of us individuals do, make up the human race. Besides committing genocide and harming others, what’s right and what’s wrong?

If you listen close enough, you’ll hear them contradict themselves severely when it comes to male-female relationships (particularly the male leaders).  Just be mindful of their got damn books, “services” and pipe dreams up for sale.  Just check it all out after reading this.

If they aren’t organizing a Pan-African Body Politic inclusive of ALL Black/African/Indigenous peoples, exactly what are they doing? 

I was obviously mad as hell when I was writing these notes down, because the rest don’t even make sense.. lol. I call that experiencing an extreme emotion .. I’m learning to control those! I read this book recently and it speaks volumes to my position.

 

This video .. Just let me know if he makes sense to you, from beginning through end. Mind you, I found this particular “leader” and video after my initial posting of this perspective.

Thanks for reading!

My #Urban Dilemma

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My Urban Dilemma
I was ashamed of being from Montgomery County, MD because it was a predominately white middle-class jurisdiction. I wanted to be sure that the world knew I was real which to me was an authentic black person who didn’t act white.

The only problem here is, I took my cues about being real as well as acting white without an accurate understanding of Global history. I had that flawed, watered down, anecdotal understanding of racism, yet totally oblivious to how all societies are manipulated and organized by systematic oppression.

If only my K-12 curriculum had thoroughly introduced me to the African diaspora and the purpose of Black Liberation Movements, I would have then been proud of being from Montgomery County, as I am today.

At some point, I wondered if acting white was the better option as opposed to being real. I had the choice after all, right? I was actually trying to understand what either really meant and the implications of choosing. The Urban Dilemma was born because I realized this kind of split personality. A dilemma.

I couldn’t decide what I wanted to be anymore. Do I want to make my way through corporate America (“sell-out”), or do I want to build something from the grass roots (for “my people”)? I have the knowledge and skills to do either. I realized I just needed to express myself and this blog is a result of that. It’s therapeutic.

Experiences
Two opportunities I wouldn’t trade for a million dollars is one, moving into The District of Columbia to experience the inner-city living first hand and two; majoring in Liberal Studies (concentration: African American Studies) at an HBCU deeply embedded into the Civil Rights Movement.

I was finally learning what I didn’t even realize I was in search of my whole life. Answers to the race relation dichotomy between blacks and whites. I learned that “real niggas” are actually poor and of poverty culture, not authentic black culture. This revelation finally hit me while analyzing data for my Senior Research Project on the High School Drop-Out Epidemic.

Before researching in an academic setting, I assumed most black people failed and struggled because they, like me, decided to be real and not act white. I didn’t acknowledge my privileged up-bringing versus theirs or that I was choosing to be ghetto while they were conditioned and had no choice of surviving by any means.

Ultimately, I didn’t realize there was a myriad of authentic black culture and success was more associated with access to opportunities. Out of this myriad of black culture come the noble people, the pioneers of jazz, hip-hop, and the Black Arts Movement preceding it. The people who are aware of The Urban Dilemma and uplift the positive aspects of poor and poverty culture, denouncing the status-quo unapologetically. That’s who I want the world to see me as.

I didn’t realize what strides my single mother took to raise my sister and me. I didn’t realize her relentless effort to do what was necessary to have her daughters live the “good” life versus the “hood” life. I didn’t realize we lived in Montgomery County because it had clean and safe neighborhoods, home to some of the best schools in the nation.

I didn’t realize I wrongfully assumed black people in Montgomery County weren’t authentic black people because I didn’t know being authentically anything is a result of your individual environment and collective culture. There is no actual standard for “blackness” or “whiteness.”

I didn’t realize that acting white was made out to be anything not black because black and white are social and political classifications determined and assigned by the dominant culture, who make up the global oppressors of all people.

Being real and acting white can be more accurately described as being ignorant or acting intelligently, respectively. It’s choice, not biology. Being noble means working in the best interest of your family and community to fight against adversity.

My mother wasn’t, by any means, trying to act white or assimilate into white society by residing in Montgomery County. She simply worked hard and reaped the benefits of that ethic. She was being noble.

Thanks for reading!

 

The Radical Rant

It ain’t easy being me.

Because I didn’t necessarily grow up “in the ghetto” but also wasn’t raised by “white washed” parents, I’ve always felt like one of those lost tribe motherfuckers 2pac rapped about. Like I didn’t belong. I am anti-religion, pro thug shit .. but why? It’s like I’m carving out this identity for myself and people like me. Where it’s anything goes, except dishonesty.

Is that just me being a cynic? No. It’s taking what I know (good with the bad) and making decisions that will get me from point A to point B through point Z without going ape shit crazy.

Religion like, gives you a predetermined lifestyle. It provides rules, regulations, rewards and punishments with an ultimate outcome. But it’s all made up, obviously. Being a thug for some reason is associated with being ignorant .. but what if you aren’t ignorant?

Then you should know better than to do thug shit right? But isn’t following a religion more ignorant than physically and mentally resisting a state of destitution? And what happens when you do everything you were told, everything that you saw others do to succeed.. but are still marginalized? Then is it ok to be a thug? Or Nah?

I just don’t understand where people with a radical paradigm like myself can exist, peacefully. Everybody who I look up to from the past is dead or jailed as a political prisoner. That’s not fair, why isn’t anybody with a voice and ability to reach people like me .. able to? It’s 2014. There is definitely enough to go around, who is secretly keeping the status-quo jumping?

Who was it calling Donald Sterling about reprimanding V. Stiviano for hanging with heavily melanated people? Who fostered the environment where it was okay for her to change her name to be more acceptable? What the fuck does it mean to be more acceptable?

Thanks for reading!

Don’t Call Me a #Blogger fea. @SchoolBoyQ

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Paid Dues Festival x San Bernardino, CA x 2013

I’m not a blogger. You already know how I feel about labels & concepts. I am an introspective person who uses Th.Ur.Di., BLOG as a platform to get what is inside out.

And with that being said… A blogger had made a comment about SchoolBoy Q’s Oxymoron being a wack album that he would catch an L for, but make money regardless. This didn’t make any sense to me.

The SchoolBoy Q Show I attended was sold the fuck out. As were many other of his other shows. I thought Q was going to pass out and lose his voice, I can tell he’s been going hard, working his ass off. I wondered in what context did this blogger reach his conclusion. What does taking an L mean? And then it hit me. He means people like him can’t relate to it and don’t necessarily care for somebody like him to stay relevant. They are more like Big Sean fans and shit.

What I like most about Quincey is his individuality. Nobody in the game sounds like him, I like how he changes his voice and flow often. I like how he makes ADHD noises on his tracks. Yawk Yawk. Knock Knock. Woop Woop. When you hear that, you already know. There He Go!

Your environment is your environment. I feel he was a not-so-good kid in a mad city. Not awful though, just unlike Kendrick, fell deeper into peer and old head pressure.

I feel like Q is not an imitation, but an embodiment of what the niggas he grew up around molded him to be. Gangsta is more a mentality than anything, and don’t confuse it with coon mentality. He’s from the ghetto. The drug game has two sides, the supply side and the demand side. Q expresses how his observation of junkie behavior in order to purchase drugs, led him to want to supply the drugs and collect the money.

Q went to school. He played sports, football I believe, and reveals it’s the only thing that kept his interest in school. In my experience, some ghetto families don’t value American education because it’s counterproductive. It stifles money making opportunities, all in an effort to keep them in their sub servant position. Other families see it as a gateway out of the hood though.

Back to the type of people who “don’t like” Q. I wonder why.

I imagine they are either conditioned to look down upon the ghetto, are broke or “square.” In a nutshell; a number of falsely inflated egotistical ass bloggers. The kids who got bullied by Q and don’t want him to make it for real. They secretly feign his approval, to no avail. Not until they are needed to promote his product. And this is where the dilemma arises when they need each other. And bloggers can determine whether or not someone takes a proverbial “L.”

I realized then that I wanted to be something other than a blogger/music critic. I just wanted to be me.

The girls’ guys like, like three kind of dudes; or any combination of the three. Go hard dudes, good looking dudes and dudes with money. “Hoes flock to you when your name is Q.” You have little control over your good looks, sex appeal and being attractive is one thing. Ugly niggas with money win all the time. The lames though, you know the ones i’m talking about, even with money and good looks can have a hard time keeping the type of woman they adore.

So now that the street dudes are getting clean money again, where do the lames go? The girls they happen to snatch up, they do everything they can to keep them out of reach from the other niggas she might like. “You better not be out with them niggas!”

It’s like the lames were needed as middle men… and are slowly becoming unnecessary.

The Puff Daddys’ that maneuvered their way into the in crowd are scared of being bitched out again. Some bloggers are groupies in my opinion. I watch them group with my own two eyes. They do what they do for exclusives, backstage access and other free shit. They want to be  close to and accepted by dudes like Q.

I am a true fan of and root for guys like Q, and I could care less if he stops to take a picture with me. So long as he keeps making music that I can really relate to.

Thanks for reading!