Bad Religion

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I used to go hard against religion.. well Christianity anyway. I’ve evolved.. but old habits die hard. In my eyes, Christianity was the reason behind everyone’s audacity to judge me, even as a child.

Once I discovered Islam through hip-hop and 5 percenters (peace Gods!), I asked my mother why in the hell weren’t we Muslim. Her answer made sense to me. It was something along the lines of “because they are oppressive to women (just like the rest of them).. same reason I don’t consider myself a Rasta.. they believe women should only wear long skirts, never pants.. f*ck that!” Uh.. say no more Ma.

At some point I became aware that most enslaved Africans of the diaspora practiced Islam before being forcefully converted to Christians. They also practiced ancient African religions as well. This solidified my preference of Islam over Christianity. Not that I was in search of a religion to practice, I was just on a spiritual journey and trying to understand things.

“I don’t recall Islam ever being force fed down people’s throats in America.”

I learned so much of the taboo and “hidden in plain sight” stuff from Moors and people who chose Islam as their religion. I feel like Islam, practiced by Black people in particular, symbolizes rejection of 2nd class citizenship in America. First of all, it’s a choice. I don’t recall Islam ever being force fed down people’s throats in America. That’s why it makes sense that Islam is under attack and has been made our 21st century’s public enemy numero uno. Only second to the people who are practically indigenous to the Americas. But I digress.

I feel like an ulterior motive of religion is to program our subconscious and give false frames of reference, good and bad. There are obvious positive and negative aspects to every religion; it’s highly subjective and interpreted differently for each individual. It should be anyway. I just wish people would be more careful not to judge someone else’s choices based on a set of principles they either chose to believe, or were forced to.

Complex Candle Company

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[Rewind] So you know that Entrepreneurial Network I blogged about recently? I didn’t mention that the online bakery, Tiny Tastries, owned and operated by my then girlfriend was a business sparked from this idea.

[Fast Forward] My wife and I had a non-traditional pop-wedding on April 1, 2016. It was a practical, small scale  wedding where we made our own decorations and favors. Little did we know our candles would be such a hit! We received compliment after compliment about how “damn good they smelled” and everyone demanded to know where we purchased them. I knew right then and there what our next endeavor would be! Our second brainchild, The Complex Candle Company, was born.

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Check out our Etsy page (in a few days, it’s currently under construction!) and see what all the rage is about! We bet you fall in love with our all natural soy wax candles, made in small batches to ensure quality. Choose from our hand selected fragrances in our 4 and 8 ounce size options. We also offer wholesale pricing including exclusive labeling options.

We hope our Complex Candle Company opens doors and extends opportunities to partner with other local entrepreneurs as did Tiny Tastries.

Checkout our most recent write up on

APW (A Practical Wedding) here!

You Will Have Sadder Days

Check out Sad Pitt’s Sadder Day Tee’s & Hats!

I can’t even afford a haircut and that shit drives me crazy. Its 2016 and i’m miserable. Why? Because i’m still not succumbing to my very own desires. I let my fears and insecurities scare me into difficult-to-exit situations. I let my addiction to escapism suffocate me to the point where I can’t afford a haircut and see an ugly person in the mirror. I’m not content and i’m not where I want to be. Not financially, physically or emotionally. And it’s all relative. I won’t live like this for life. I wonder what straw will be the last.

[written 5/30/16]
And this is just a reminder to myself. I wrote this 2 weeks ago and I can almost laugh at it now. It was a real, true and honest moment of being down and out. It may explain why i’ve been feeling SO anxious lately, in a good way. I’ve been super motivated and reclusive, reading and writing on a consistent basis. I’ve been busy making my vision of building a brand a reality. I’m trying to unplug from the dead end social media outlet and try different ways of applying my creative genius. So here’s your reminder Yeshi. You will have down days, but don’t give up!

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.’

 

There is No Such Thing as Coincidence: Trump, Clinton, Ali, Historical Lies, New Jim Crow, Pulse Nightclub.

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A recurring sentiment concerning the complexity of universal interconnectedness simply states that … there is no such thing as coincidence. At least that’s what my memory recollects at the moment.

With me recently:

  • Completing Lies My Teacher Told Me (i’ve had the book since I was 12 years old)
  • Currently reading The New Jim Crow (Finally! I purchased this book before I purchased this domain name!)

plus:

  • Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump being the presidential candidate nominees and
  • Muhammad Ali passing, and the
  • Pulse nightclub mass shooting on Latin Gay/Pride night by an alleged “Islamic Radicalist

I’m not convinced any of this shit happening at the same time is just a coincidence.

Why not? Because the way our government maintains control of it’s un/informed populace is largely by manufacturing ignorance/consent through mainstream mass media manipulation. If I wasn’t reading these books at the time, it would be hard to make such a far fetched assumption. The assumption of both parties being two separate wings of the same bird. That ultimately both parties have the same destination, just a different set of directions.

That goal is perpetuating and perfecting the system of colorblind White Supremacy, an ideology belonging to a small group of imbeciles who make it so popular it continues to adapt and reign supreme over otherwise rational people til this day. The ideology stimulates fear of retaliation (and competition) against a well deserved group that powerless white people unfortunately belong to. White Supremacy also contributes to their ignorance by implementing a false sense of superiority and police protection, garnering  their support. This is why so many of our black, brown and poor white youth find themselves locked inside the jaws of our prison industrial complex.

  • Muhammad Ali is well known for being very black and very Muslim, which in turn made him a political figure. Ali made it clear his celebration of race and religion had nothing to do with politics, but everything to do with society and culture. But remember, the mass media manipulates both the consent and ignorance of the people. For this reason Muhammad was a polarizing figure and depending on your cultural and political affiliation, you either loved or hated him. His Muslim funeral was broadcast live for the entire world to see on Friday June 10, 20016. This shed a good, clean, positive light on Islam. Because it’s hard to say anything bad about Ali’s public image, he has been severely white washed for the sake of chiming down his unapologetically Black Muslim identity.
  • Donald Trump is well known for hurling insensitive and racist comments particularly against Muslim’s (they are all radical Islamic terrorists in his eyes) and Mexicans (they are all illegal in his eyes). His sentiment of “building a wall” to “keep them out” has garnered the support of ignoramuses. What will be interesting to see is, if Donald is in fact nominated and acts on his preconceived notions of racism, how his colorblind comrades will deal. That’s why he’s dismissed publicly. Not because his contemporaries don’t agree with him, but because he’s putting their true ulterior motives on front street. Trump is rallying the poor, ignorant and powerless whites intentionally. They don’t even know they’re being had! Just like a good number of ignorant, powerless black people will vote for Hillary! This is political science! It’s proven effective in American history over and over again!
  • Hillary Clinton is the wife of former President Bill Clinton who signed the infamous federal crime bill into law in 1994. She is known for popularizing the term “superpredator.” Their attitude influencing these actions is what led to the explosion of mass incarceration. President Clinton influenced tougher sentencing including mandatory minimum and “three strikes” laws alongside major prison renovation and development. The crime bill is the cornerstone of what’s wrong with our criminal injustice system and was fully supported by Hillary Rotten Clinton. This bill is responsible for the police and prosecutor having insurmountable discretion on how and whom to apply the law. When comparing husband and wife’s feelings toward social issues today, it’s obvious how all the things Bill got wrong politically, Hillary magically disagrees with today.

Is what happened with black and brown folks and The War on Drugs happening with Middle Eastern folks and The War on Terror? Is this why people of color involved in a mass shooting is automatically linked to Radical Islam? Why aren’t white people who conduct mass shootings labeled “terrorist?” Why are we taught that White Radicalism is a thing of the past? All so we’ll be reluctant in our fight against The War on Terror? Like Ali was against The Vietnam War? Are Trump and Clinton playing good cop, bad cop? You damn right they are.

If you have a decent grasp on accurate world history, it’s absolutely no coincidence we’re at this current crux in American politics and race relations. I’m anxious to see what America will be like in the next four to eight years. Hold on tight yall!

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Code Switching

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I didn’t become familiar with this term until after creating Th.Ur.Di. I’ve heard of it, but never gave it any thought. I follow NPR’s code switch twitter account, though I never heard the program or interacted with it’s handle.

When I transferred to the predominately Black District of Columbia Public School system, I got made fun of for “talking white.” My closest friend would always mock me because I said “oh my god” all the time (lol). What’s funny though, is this same friend has the T.I. syndrome where she goes out of her way to use “big words” and takes pride in “sounding smart.” Shit, i’m not mad. Fake it til you make it … I did.  I would purposely “urbanize” certain words and phrases to where now I don’t know how I sound to D.C. folks or MoCo folks. I don’t really care either. All I ever want to be is my authentic self.

But I honestly can say I code switch. I code switch like a motherfucker because of My Urban Dilemma. I code switch back and forth to the point where, I literally “talk ghetto” and “talk white” all in the same breath. To me, it’s like syncretism. It’s about the amalgamation of  two cultures that I absolutely exist in, simultaneously.

I’m still hesitant to say nigga around white people sometimes, mostly in the work setting. Otherwise though, it flies… freely. I call white people nigga all the time. Try it, it drives them crazy LOL!

That’s all. Keeping this one short and sweet.

 

My Talented Ass Cousin @IAmKylous

 

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Kylous, Minx Lea, Moi, Hologram Don

So I have this talented ass cousin right. This nigga plays every instrument, he’s tall, he plays ball, he got “good hair”… all that shit.  I’ll make it easy for you ladies to stalk his IG. When my father told me he rapped a few years ago (about 5), I was like “lol.. ok Dad.” Because you know first of all, he’s my “little” cousin, then that’s when wack ass rap was ubiquitous. This was right before the new wave (Drake, Cole, Kendrick, Wale, Beast Coast) swam through. I must say, when I heard a few of his songs I was impressed, honestly.

@Kylous (formerly known as Kage Eheh) is a signer, rapper, producer, musical genius, visionary, etc.. One of those guys. He does 99% of his own shit, from mastering tracks to editing videos. He’s even been kind enough to let me help shoot and feature in a few.

I never felt quite right reviewing his music because I know i’m biased. All of it is dope to me, but I must admit it’s a unique sound. Remember, this bamma plays every instrument so he’s like… not a nerd but you know… not out here fronting, perpetrating an image either. If he’s not working, at the gym or walking his pit-bull… He’s in his studio. And this ain’t a little rinky-dink setup. It’s the real deal. Did I mention he was funny too?

His music is a mix of alternative hip-hop, reggae and soul. It’s for people like us, introverts and students of hip-hop. He raps from the depths of his mind and heart. His productions are sonically astounding, no sice. He’s mean on the strings! He does scores and compositions and shit these other closet-booth producers don’t. Check out his YouTube page.

He’s smart as shit too. He knows the business side of the game very well. I’ve indirectly learned so much from him about being an independent artist. More than he probably even knows, no bullshit. The site I bought this domain name from was because of him, I learned about it from reading his blog. I see he stopped putting y’all on to game though, and started applying his creative genius to his own brand. He was going the producer route but has reconnected with his artistic root. I commend that and I want to be sure I help his goals be accomplished.

I feel like he (we) suffers from what I call the “genius-complex.” It’s when you know you’re talented, you know you can show and prove but because opportunities aren’t necessarily knocking, you try and do every-single-got-damn-thing independently and burn yourself out. You get frustrated with not being able to materialize your ideas, visions and dreams. Being humble and patient is a huge gift & curse.

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Kylous has 100’s of songs and has put together a number of complete projects, the most recent Resuscitation. This is a 16 track cohesive album with each song relating to another. Hear it here on Spotify!

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Kylous’ latest video Millionaire Problems was produced and directed by him, shot by his little brother Hologram Don.

Get familiar with Kylous because he will be back on Th.Ur.Di. Blog soon come! Stay tuned for the brand new EP dropping 6/20 entitled Songs For Girls. It’s right on time for the upcoming Summer 16! Here’s the single Power, available for download on SoundCloud.

 

Be sure to subscribe to Kylous’ YouTube page for the latest tings a gwaan.

 

 

Big City, Small Dreams?

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When you’re from a small town, you dream big. When you’re from a big town, you dream small. Why? Because in a small city you know there’s more to be achieved. In a big city, everything has been done already. So it seems.

Just a thought. It all depends on who you ask. I could have it all backwards. “Life is all a matter of perspective.”

The leading quote is inspired by a group of individual creatives I look up to. They all currently reside in New York City by way of: Flint, Moncks Corner, Atlanta, Miami and Oklahoma City. As a child, I wanted nothing more to move to New York. My aunt lived up there and every time I went, for more reasons that NYC being NYC, it felt like I was in a movie.

Now what if my quote were true? Because clearly, some individuals I speak of defied those assumptions. But how? (By moving to a big town duhhh!) Why? (because of your quote, dummy!)

I don’t know if it’s because i’m on a high from seeing two of my absolute favorite acts live this week or if i’m just really, sincerely at the end of my working-for-other-people rope.

It gets harder and harder every single day to get up, drive over an hour to work, sit in an office full of fucktard reject misfits (myself included?), do a damn good job at MY JOB, do a damn good job at OTHER PEOPLE’S JOB, twirl my pen, make tea… just to clock watch and sit in another hour of traffic. (At least I can listen to my got damned podcasts in peace in my vehicle.)

I scroll through social media outlets and realize how much of a culture it’s become. If you don’t have anything of substance to promote or sell … then you’re just on there reaching. You’re being fake outraged. You’re perpetuating a fraudulent lifestyle that has you looking ridiculous outside of your circle of followers.

(I wonder if anything I typed up there would get me fired?) (I low-key want that to happen because life begins at the end of your comfort zone). (The only reason i’ve been overworked and under appreciated these past 6 years is because i’ve been afraid to take any worthy risks). (Plus that means somebody is actually reading my shit). (I real live need  my job though because i’m not about that indigent life; I have a wife and we have a child to raise). (Even though all of this is grammatically incorrect, I wonder if that question mark belongs outside of the parenthesis like this)? I digress.

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I come from Silver Spring, MD. Where I come from has both the Big Town, Little Town feel. D.C. is a stones throw away. Because the seat of government is here though, our whole area reeks of corruption. The dreams here are cut short by seeing politics play out, firsthand. The filthy rich and powerful ride the Metro alongside the desolate and impoverished. The way D.C. is being gentrified and “cleaned up” is astonishing. I have mixed feelings about gentrification. I’ll touch on that some other time.

And then all of this begs the question…. What happens to a dream deffered?

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(Again, please don’t fire me. I need to earn your money to fund my dreams so I don’t end up selling ass and crack down by the Shrimp Boat.)

Racists Have a Dog in the Fight, Radicals Don’t.

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Ok so… I don’t particularly have issues expressing my disdain for certain demographics of white culture. (Let me be frank here, racist white people.) I can explain and direct my logical and emotional conclusions to the source.

These racist white people I speak of can’t do the same. Why not? Because it will ALWAYS route back to the same source. THEIR ignorant ass racism.

I’m deliberate with whom I communicate this subject because emotions fly at an all time high when speaking about my actual Black life as if it’s a fucking anecdotal story.

Racist white people don’t realize that what they deny so vehemently, that they have nothing to do with the racism of their ancestors, contradicts the foundation of their white position right here in America today on Sunday March 13th, 2016.

Let’s clear the ambiguity. I’m not asking us to like each other or to “fix” this shit, racist white folks. That’s important for you to understand. I’m asking for blatant honesty and ugly truths.

The Big Ass Mother Fucking Racist Elephant In Middle of the Got Damn Room is just that. We don’t have to get along, just out of each other’s way. And historically speaking, you have to make the first move! But I don’t think you want to.This is why The Donald is flourishing. His blatant honesty & ugly truths.

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Imagine a radical Pro-Black candidate. Who spoke about the criminal injustice enterprise that Black Life has become the poster child for. Who exposes the systematic mass incarceration epidemic. The evil roots of capitalism. WE NEED THAT. Even to just push the envelope. To expose some alternative perspectives. To kick Overton’s Window out the fucking frame. So don’t knock Donald. Knock whoever is pandering our vote.

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My Whole Point:
What you see when these racist white people support Trump is their subconscious mind needing, wanting and yearning for that very racism they deny to exist and thrive! To maintain their unearned positions! The World is Flat! Racist white people don’t want to compete because a lot of the time… they can’t! They have relied on their positions as white people solely and being white is becoming unpopular, even on a biological scale.

Marginalized people have been mastering the art of resilience since day one, not denial.We are patiently waiting, practicing and preparing for the day we have an actual dog in the fight… where my dogs at?!

The Freestyle Approach

It’s a known fact that both Mr. Shawn and D’Wayne Carter don’t write their music. They kind of freestyle and do a copy & paste, patchwork kind of composition. I’m thinking about adopting this approach to blogging.

[Real Quick] I want to acknowledge how i’ve evolved and am okay with being called a blogger. Meh, it is what it is. I was once totally against it though. It held certain connotations that i’ve since gotten over. I touch on that in my Schoolboy Q post. Now back to balling.

So I get caught up on being a “perfectionist” and making sure things come out and are perceived correctly. I start to concern myself with grammar and sentence structure. OH MY GAWD. That’s tiresome and it’s damaging to the type of creativity I posses. As much as I love school, reading and writing essays (I sincerely and genuinely do – I graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors in undergrad and a 4.0 in my Master’s program) I absolutely hate rules, regulations and structure. I can follow them. But I don’t want to. This has stopped me from doing a number of things. Like securing scholarships that I certainly could have. I’ve always been told that I was a good writer, but because I was to be judged by others, who may not like me and my radicalism, I was always like “fuck it.”

So, like my last post “Constant Compromise in the Age of Black Creativity,” or something like that, I decided to – at the very moment I have an idea i’d like to blog about – BLOG ABOUT IT. I said to myself “stop letting it simmer and stop forgetting how you felt right in the moment, the very motivation for the post to begin with.”

Ideas deferred fester up like a sore and run. I’m not letting that happen anymore.

Word to my favorite Bus Boy & Poet.