Long Story Longer

shhhh

So long story longer, my boss and I got into it the other day. He yelled at me and I yelled the f*ck back, instinctively. Sorry not sorry. I did this in front of a good number of people, in particular this old ass white man who was in his office. He’s 70 something, no lie. He walks slow as shit and looks like he wears depends. And typically he’s cool. He speaks and isn’t as rude as the other 70 something year old guy who works here and definitely has racist teeth and other racist bones in his body.

Listen, I get it. I’m very well versed in the history of this country. I’m well aware of the actual politics of who gets what, when, where and how. And who doesn’t. These old white guys are on one side of the spectrum; my young(er), black, pro-black, dyke-ass is smooth across the other.

So, my boss and I ended up speaking one-on-one and smoothing things over. I explained to him that my “attitude” (go figure) stems from frustration. I am deeply entrenched in my work (in my mind, I work for myself so I go extra hard) and in all actuality, I take my work a little more seriously than others. Because of this i’ve become sort of like an enemy. Whatever, I could care less how any reject feels about me.

My boss (petty wap) expressed to me how the old white guy said I was disrespectful to the owner of the company and that’s unacceptable. He said “his words, not mine.” LOL!!! And ever since, the old bag doesn’t speak to me anymore.

Mind you, we used to have full conversations. Spoke every day. Now, he acts as if I don’t exist. (I’m an introvert, so it bothers me none. This post wouldn’t exist otherwise! See how my life is set up?!)

Did he ever hold the notion that my boss was in the wrong, that he was disrespectful by yelling at me simply because of his “authority” .. ?

Idk. But I say all this to say:

A) I know I know.. but understand not all white people are the same. Not all white men in positions and powers and authority are complete dicks, and sometimes you have to challenge them in order to come to a common ground; a genuine mutual respect.

B) Standing up for yourself as a black woman proves problematic over and over and over again. I was told I had an attitude 100 times, that I was close minded, that I took my job too seriously. That I need to sugar coat things.

This. Is. Fucked. Up.

But I recognize it and I don’t take it personal, I take it as knowledge and experience. I understand this dynamic and I maneuver accordingly.

Protecting my magic one tone at a time. Hmph.

WTF is iNDiGAWDZiLLA?

My name is my name motherfucker. It means whatever I say.

Anybody who follows me on social media, even a little bit, knows I change my name quite frequently. I was more concerned with building social media presence in lieu of actually creating content. It was holding up the process; I was worried about how my name would be perceived by different people. By my peers, professionals, strangers, etc. I even have separate accounts for @TheUrbanDilemma, which makes sense now. It’s become my brand and i’m sticking to it. But what to call myself?

I love my name, my name is dope as fuck. It’s 11 letters long, Amharic and translates to “Beautiful Princess of Thousands.” I am named after the Mother of Haile Selassie I. If you want to know what it is, ask me on twitter 🙂 @iNDiGAWDZiLLA.

As evidenced by “My Urban Dilemma” I feel like I have (an) alter ego(s). For that reason, just like your favorite rapper, I have endless AKAs now. It’s something about iNDiGAWDZiLLA that I really like though. I feel like writing about it will help me set it in stone, and not change it.

The Evolution

 

Image result for yoshi tongue

My first name (the shortened version) is very close to the Super Mario Bros. character, Yoshi, and of course I was teased about it as a kid. Honestly, it never bothered me. Mario was popular and I just thought people were lame. As I grow old(er), I grow a fascination with Japanese culture. I want to go, I feel like it’ll be like stepping inside of a video game. The pure genius of Japanese people intrigues me so much. Their technology and ancient historical presence excites the nerd in me.

So anyway, just as sweet little me grew up, sweet little Yoshi has grown the fuck up as well. After trials and tribulations, Yoshi is more like Godzilla these days in the public eye (allegedly). Yoshi/I want to shake shit up. I adopted the moniker Indigo Marley, paying homage to being an introverted indigo child, and my Rastafarian background. I felt like the Marley was unoriginal and cliche, so I was always looking to upgrade that.

So then came Indigodzilla, which can also translate to “indi god iz illa” because s/he is. Indi being me, short for Indigo, which also means “I&I” – Jah Know. But I didn’t like how it looked. I’m big on creative space, design and aesthetic. So I gave birth to IndiGawdzilla. Which led me to utter “A Tribe Gawdzilla” which sounds like A Tribe CALLED Zilla .. look. Just understand this is how my mind works and be happy it belongs to me and not you. I’m leaving A Tribe Gawdzilla alone, maybe i’ll use it for something later. But for now I let it go – it’s significant though because i’ve been heavily influenced by Tribe’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad. I stylize it as iNDiGAWDZiLLA, borrowing from Dr. Jared Ball’s iMiXWHATiLiKE styled text.

I think that’s it. That enough if anything.

 

 

Untitled On Purpose

[From my drafts]

I don’t have a thing. I think this comes from being a spoiled child in the pop culture era. I obsessed over what was new for a minute, then it was on to the next. For that reason, I feel empty. Like something is missing.

The only thing that remains steady is my fascination with history, culture, and quite frankly .. being rebellious.

But i’m at a point where I don’t know what to read. What to listen to. What to create. What to DO! I’m just here. Trying to find my niche.. but it’s difficult.

Early life crisis? I’ll be 30 next [THIS] year. If I run down my accomplishments, most of my peers would probably deem me successful. Maybe I am? According to our culture and societies measures.

Once I got on my self-identity journey, my obsessive characteristic took a new form. This time it was what I sought versus what I figured I was programmed to feel.

My new dilemma is swimming in the shallow end of the black culture pool, versus the deep end. I’m literally on the ropes.

MUST I decide?

#Haters Gon’ Hate Rant

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U Mad? Or Nah?

The artists who are on, instead of hating, endure all the adversity to make something for themselves. That’s why so much attention is given to their haters. Why? Because it’s totally irrational and illogical to hate when you can make an attempt to be who you want to be. We are humans, so when hated on we react. Ignoring shit never makes it go away. It can even make it worse. Hence racism.

I like music with not a whole bunch of name and label dropping. I like “project window” music.. what do you see out of yours? Don’t imitate what I say I see out of mine.

When there is nothing going on inside, it’s evident. We are only capable of talking about the outside and reacting to triggers. Material things and maintaining that “bad ass” attitude is what we are all about huh?

Marginalized people exist, regardless of how you feel about them, and out of that comes hip-hop music.

Desiderata states “even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.” And it’s a part of our collective human history.

Historically, critics blamed the West Coast for “killing hip-hop” by introducing Gangsta Rap. However, the accountability is misplaced. The purveyors are to blame, including the heads of major labels and radio stations, board members of the FCC, the media outlets and so on.

Hip-Hop is a multi-billion dollar industry that capitalist use to sell anything from dental services to high end fashion. Don’t get caught up in “hating” on anybody .. find your happiness!

Thanks for reading!

#Love & #Aggression = #Sex & #War

Love & Aggression
The C.O.R.E. Narrative is that of Love & Aggression. The lack of the former results in the latter. I feel the activities surrounding these emotions and feelings are at either end of the human interaction spectrum; we have to have sex to exist and we have to war if it’s survival of the fittest.

Sex & War.
It’s the story of all of our lives, whether we’re on the front lines of the repercussions or insulated from the trauma of both. But you can only be safe but for so long, Like Ab-Soul says, “nobody is safe from the war going on outside.” No one.

If we are all saying the same thing, they can’t deny the systematic manipulation. Just Be real. That’s all.

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

sbqmiccheck
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!

The #Ghetto Is Man Made

theghet

These are my observations of The Ghetto. MY OBSERVATIONS.

  • Direct descendants of systematically oppressed people reside in the ghetto.
  • I’m speaking in particular about those who didn’t make it out, and those who didn’t make it out without first slipping through the engineered cracks of society.
  • Access to capital is virtually non-existent.
  • Offers a market; unemployment runs rampant due to members being ostracized and marginalized, mainly because of poor education resulting from poor public policy.
  • Underground Industries include: dealing drugs, boosting clothes, scheming, jacking, pimping/prostituting. An array of “illegal activity.”
  • Other income generating activities include doing hair, babysitting and other odd end jobs.
  • Neighbor “hoods” are made up of families who live within them. The children and teenagers are protected by the old heads, the older members of the community.
  • Offers security, if your family is known you are protected and insulated from stupid mistakes.
  • Naturally conflict and beef arise within this microcosm of society hence “Black on Black” crime.
  • Foreigners and enlightened people in general seeking a better life through entrepreneurship have this community to exploit. This halts self sufficiency and “Black owned businesses.” (Why aren’t White and Asian owned businesses classified this way?)
  • “Black on Black” crime exists because outsiders don’t reside in the hood, therefore are somewhat safe guarded from the ill activity. Outsiders can be seen as unfairly advantaged and as easy targets. Misguided anger leads to unfortunate confrontation.
  • The police do their best to keep these communities segregated, seeing the ghetto folks as the usual suspects and the outsiders as innocent victims.
  • Jail can be seen as a rites of passage. In a way many are expected to go, and often times revered when released and celebrated as a homecoming experience.
  • Doing a bid is something that results from being forced into hood industries. Some just straight up rebel and rage against the machine though.
  • Typically youth receive a slap on the wrist from the criminal justice system; negative conditioning results from rewarding poor behavior.
  • Other members suffer from mental disorders and don’t receive proper diagnosis or treatment at any stage in life. Some mental disorders arise from no fault of one’s own; some from being in an oppressive, poverty-like environment. This can be misinterpreted as being deviant from society, also resulting in incarceration.
  • It’s not beneficial to anyone to “glorify” the ghetto, but it’s also extremely detrimental to all to act as if these people don’t exist. Why is their condition such? Let’s go backwards and see. Let’s divide the accountability accurately. Always be careful of a critic’s perspective and purpose.
  • In the movie Friday (1995) Ice Cube wanted to show that though life wasn’t all luxurious, it wasn’t all gloomy either and they knew how to have fun. Not everyone was shady, however everyone was connected and suffered from each other’s actions.

Thanks for reading!

Reagan, Len Bias, The Media & Hip-Hop

LB

C.O.R.E: Children of Reagan’s Era.

I feel like the kids who were disproportionately affected by The Era are finally making music. We are the children and children’s children of the The Era. My parents were mid 20’s, early 30’s (my age today) during The Era.

My generation has been through a lot of shit. We’ve seen the rise and fall of Black and Brown life in a way unlike the generations preceding us. We’re an assortment of attitudes; assimilators, resisters, gangsters, “get wits” … all here at the same time with microphones and computers. From the wrestling stars of my time being referenced to the headlining news stories of my childhood frequenting the lyrics of the music I enjoy today; I finally feel like I belong and am being fairly represented.

I was about 5 months deep in the womb when Len Bias died from Cocaine overdose. It was during the midst of the epidemic, give or take a year.

His story was the pinnacle of The Reagan Era as I understand it; it’s when shit got real. It represents the crossroads of many cultures; youth, race, poverty, affluent, drug, political, sports, college, etc.

This is especially relative to me because I am from Maryland, like Bias, and very aware of how Washington, D.C.’s political environment shapes our affairs due to proximity. All of the dirty dealings of a shady government seep across our borders and Washington can’t have a national embarrassment take place so close to the seat of government without repercussion.

The 80’s were when the infamous crack babies were cooked up, the children most affected by Reaganomics. The fact that Reaganomics isn’t marked as misspelled in Microsoft word says a lot. The conditions are well documented and won’t be discussed here, but I’m pretty sure you have a slight idea. The Planet Rock Documentary atop this page is a good place to start. Without Bias, a documentary about the circumstances surrounding the rising star Len Bias’ tragic death is also very resourceful in getting some background information. It’s on the flix.

To sum it up though:

  • Poverty
  • Quick Money
  • Poor Morals
  • Distorted Values
  • Broken Homes
  • Tarnished Communities
  • Lives of Crime
  • Mental Anguish
  • Scapegoating
  • Pop Culture

There is a major difference between “glorifying” the street life, speaking on the street life and living the street life. All perspectives are valid, however be careful of your definition of “glorifying.” Be careful not to forget these people really do exist, really are marginalzed, and are really misunderstood due to White Supremacy’s agenda.

As far as C.O.R.E’s are concerned, we never existed without Gangsta Rap and Trap Music and we know for certain it will never fade away. Though it may become less valuable to those who exploit it for their personal gain and our detriment; there will always be an authentic and gritty aspect to our music regardless of how it’s reprimanded by public opinion. It’s embedded in us.

Bad things happen and we must express ourselves, among each other as well as the general public. They are out-crys for a better understanding of the complexities of life.

We grew up listening to Snoop, Onyx, Junior Mafia, Bone Thugs, Pac, Nas, Ruff Ryders, Wu-Tang, NWA, Three Six, No Limit, Cash Money, UGK …  Terror Squad, Jay-Z, G-Unit, Eminem, Jeezy, T.I. etc. This hard ass music has conditioned us, whether we realize it or not. It also tells some of our tales, and the tales of our old heads.

My sister is 10 years older than me and my mother loves hip-hop (i’m talking about the real raw shit too). So before I even knew how to listen music; Run-DMC, Special Ed, Heavy D, Chub Rock, LL Cool J, KRS-One, Slick Rick, Rakim, Roxanne Shante, Monie Love, A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes, Apache, BOSS, Queen Latifah .. I can go on and on ..  were shaping my conscious and perspective. I STILL have all of these CD’s, actual CD’s in a closet. 

Not only is that music the soundtrack to our lives, but the lifestyle many of us were exposed to in one way or another. The prison industrial complex is real. The war on drugs is real. The aftermath of Reaganomics will be felt for generations to come.

C.O.R.E. is my shit DO NOT BITE MY SHIT.

wu

Thanks for reading!

#Racism; We’re All Victims

mindcontrol

 

Remember the Follow Your Passion Post? Well that same student and I had an argument about which was better, being black or being white. Of course I defended my ignorant position, that being black was obviously better. And as you can see, although we had this argument, we apparently got over  it and remained cordial.

I was never ashamed or felt less of because of being black. I certainly felt slighted though, and I would spend the rest of my life trying to understand how society got fixed to where black people were on the bottom. I knew in my psyche and soul that this wasn’t natural. And no shade, but this was one of those white girls, you know .. trailer park trash. She wasn’t of the affluent white or Jewish kids I knew. I didn’t realize it then, but I did later on.

This made me realize we are ALL victims of ignorance at some level. We are ALL divided to be conquered, stripped of our authenticity, re-branded, re-packaged and then sold to the masses all in the name of maintaining the Status Quo. It’s always been about the wealthy versus the poor, never about one race versus the other. It’s about Power. It’s about control. It’s about exploitation.

An environment unfortunately developed where a group of people gained superior knowledge; not superior genetics or skills. In order to maintain power and control over this sacred information, people became bigoted and prejudice. That is, powerful people of all creeds realized how beneficial an ignorant populace is and that mind control is a very good, if not the best, tool in their arsenal.

“Sometimes you gotta put the whole world on mute, when you’re on the pursuit, to find out what’s good for you // Everybody on the move tryna get their loot too, don’t be a scapegoat, don’t let them persecute you // Don’t be a fool dude, watch who you salute to, never be a tool in somebody else’s arsenal. Psychological warfare, what the fuck is going on here? // You only getting half the story, believing allegories.”

My ideology then is Multiply & Reclaim. Too many things separate us when we have so much more in common, particularly a common puppet-master pulling our strings.

I came up with this model: Input, Accountability, Mediation, Output. Be accountable for what you consume and allow into your life, be very conscious of the meaning of emotions surrounding those things, and before you continue or convince someone else to feel the way you do .. ask who will benefit and who will suffer.

It is important that our communities become educated on the principles of politics, how public policy is created and be aware of their socio-economic implications. Massive progressive reform is necessary for our economic and social development and it will only happen outside of the mainstream and through a coalition of our own Grass Roots organizations, advocacy and special interest groups.

Thanks for reading!