You don’t deal with the hand that you were dealt, its all in how you Play with the hand you were dealt. Optimal words “Deal” and “Play”. If you deal with it, you may never win, never overcome, never achieve higher levels. But if you play, you will lose some, you will win some, therefore you become a Player of life and not live a life whereby you are Played. Written By,
Known for there collaborations with Lil Wayne, Juelz Santana, Jim Jones, Game, Pit Bull and just about everybody in Florida, OddznEndZ has been a production force to reckon with. Although they may not be as visually known as other super producer duos, these two talented guys are recognized through there music and they are just cracking the surface! Recently I sat down with the two of them to get the low down for new projects coming out, past projects, and to just about get a chance to introduce them to the public sort-of-speak. So sit back enjoy.
Ok, so first off I would like to say what up fellas how yall feeling?
NINO: WE CHILLIN FAM, GRINDIN..TRYIN TO GET IT YA DIG!?
JAY: WE WORKIN, THINKING BOUT THE NEXT MOVE.
Where yall from?
JAY: NINO IS ORIGINALLY FROM MIAMI, I’M FROM ALBANY, NEW YORK. WE’VE BOTH BEEN IN ORLANDO FOR A WHILE NOW. THIS IS HOME. ORLANDO, FLORIDA.
Great, now I’m very familiar with you guy’s work, but for those who aren’t can you give a run down of some projects that you have been apart of?
NINO: YEZR, WE DID “RED BANDANA” FOR JUELZ SANTANA AND THE GAME, “GET AT THESE NI@@AS” FOR LIL WAYNE/JUELZ SANTANA, “RIDE WIT DA MACK” FOR MACK MAINE FT. LIL WAYNE AND RAW DIZZY, AND “WE REALLY DO THIS” FOR DJ NASTY FT. MIMS, PITBULL, RED CAFE, AND CURREN$Y. LOOK FOR THE VIDEO COMING SOON AND ALOT MORE TO COME!!
Wow that’s impressive, I became aware of you from listening to “Ride with a mack” by Lil Wayne, MacMaine and Dizzy from Weezy’s Young Money Records. How did you guys link up with Wayne?
NINO: WELL, WE FIRST WERE INTRODUCED TO WAYNE THROUGH ELZ ON “GET AT THESE NI@@AS” FOR THE ORIGINAL “I CANT FEEL MY FACE” MIXTAPE/ALBUM WHICH GOT LEAKED AND SINCE THEN WE JUST HAD THAT DOOR OPENED..BUT OUR BROTHER MACK MAINE!!! HE HOOKED THAT JOINT UP..
Cool, So what’s the first record you cats produced that just made everybody eyebrows raise up and pay attention to you.
JAY: DEFINETLY “RED BANDANA” BY JUELZ SANTANA..SHOUT OUT TO NASTY BEAT MAKERS ON THE GUITAR. WE BEEN ON THAT ROCK SOUND FOR A MINUTE NOW.
And were you overwhelmed by the response?
NINO: HELL YEA!! THAT RECORD WAS CRAZY, AND THE ONLY REASON IT DIDNT MAKE THE ALBUM WAS BECAUSE THEY COULDNT CLEAR THE SAMPLE..THERE IS A FULL VERSION OF THE SONG NOT EVEN RELASED, CRAZY!! THEN THE GAME DID HIS OWN VERSION OF IT ON HIS MIXTAPE, AND MURDERED IT TOO.
Now I noticed you two look very much alike, are you cats related or something? If not how did you meet and start producing together?
JAY: LOL, EVERYONE SAYS THAT! NAH, WE’RE NOT RELATED BUT WE’RE BROTHERS, DIG!? WE MET WHEN WE WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL AND STARTED OUT RAPPING BUT EVENTUALLY FOCUSED SOLELY ON PRODUCING.
Oh ok I see, another thing, I noticed while listening to your music that It has a signature sound, but at the same time it’s not stuck in that “Florida” or Oddz N Endz category, it’s unique and universal, I can tell you have a lot of musical influences, who are some of the cats you looked up to and studied over the years to develop this sound you mastered?
NINO: DEFINITELY!! WE’RE SUPER DIVERSE, WE CAN FLIP ANYTHING!! WE’RE HEAVILY INFLUENCED BY ROCK AND SOUL..SOME OF THE PRODUCERS WE’VE LOOKED UP TO OVER THE YEARS ARE DR. DRE, TIMBALAND, THE NEPTUNES, DJ PREMIER..THOSE ARE THE BEST.
Wow, that’s a recipe for greatness I guess. How would you guys go about making a track? Who does what?
NINO: IT REALLY DEPENDS ON EACH SITUATION..SOMETIMES WE GO IN WITH A CONCEPT ALREADY OR SOMETIMES IT JUST ENDS UP WITH SOMETHING TOTALLY UNEXPECTED…JAY HANDLES ALL OF THE PROGAMMING AND I DO SOME OF THE ARRANGEMENT AND ALL THE BUSINESS.
And sometimes does it get frustrating in the industry as up-and-coming producers? I understand you have been apart of a lot of projects but it’s just the beginning of a long and exciting career for you in a sense, do you get to experience any of the harsh politics involved in the industry that sort of blocks the creativity? You know like A&R’s wanting a song to sound like a Runner’s or Swizz Beatz type track?
NINO: IT MOS DEF DOES!! AS FAR AS EVERYTHING ELSE U JUST GOT DEAL WIT IT, ITS LIKE LIFE THERE’S ALWAYS UPS AND DOWNS BUT U JUST GOTTA KEEP GOIN FORWARD. WE JUST MAKE WHAT WE LIKE, WE CANT WORRY ABOUT ANYBODY ELSE EXCEPT FOR OURSELVES, WE’RE NOT GOING TO CLONE ANYBODY ELSE’S STYLE, BECAUSE PEOPLE COME TO US FOR OUR SOUND..YA DIG?!
JAY: WHEN WE GO TO AN ARTIST WITH OUR TRACKS, WE ALREADY KNOW WHICH ONES THEY ARE GONNA PICK FROM THE COLLECTION. WE COULD ALREADY HEAR THEM ON THE BEATS, BEFORE WE BRING IT TO THE TABLE.
Right, I know recently the producing game has become sort of like the rapping game with the easy access to software like Fruity Loops and Reason. What advice would you give to that kid wanting to become a producer but has no clue as to where to start?
NINO: DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND STUDY THE BUSINESS YOU WANT TO BE IN!!
JAY: IF YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR CRAFT, YOU GOTTA PUT YOUR BUSINESS OVER YOUR PERSONAL LIFE.
Back to the music, any projects you cats working on right now or that are slated to come out any time soon that the public should be on the lookout for?
JAY: WE ARE WORKING ON UPCOMING PROJECTS FOR A LOT OF DIFFERENT ARTISTS. JUST TO NAME A FEW, WE GOT JUELZ SANTANA’S UPCOMING ALBUM, THE WHOLE YOUNG MONEY TEAM: CURRENSY, MACK MAINE & BRISCO, UPCOMING LIL WAYNE & THE GAME’S “BLOOD BROTHERS” MIXTAPE, LIL’ WAYNE & JUELZ SANTANA ALBUM “I CAN’T FEEL MY FACE”, RED CAFE, DUECE POPPI (SLIP-N-SLIDE), AND OTHERS. BUT DON’T THINK WE ONLY ON THE RAP SCENE, LOOK FOR UPCOMING R&B AND ROCK TRACKS FROM US. WE DO EVERYTHING.
If somebody wants to get a track from Oddz N Endz, where do they have to go? And tell everybody that myspace page, website or whatever to hear some of your music.
JAY: YOU CAN ALWAYS CHECK FOR US ON WWW.ODDZNENDZMUSIC.COM OR WWW.MYSPACE.COM/oddznendzmusic . FOR THAT SERIOUS BUSINESS HOLLA AT NINO ODDZNENDZMUSIC@GMAIL.COM . BEFORE WE END THIS INTERVIEW WE JUST WANNA GIVE YALL THE HEADS UP ON THE ORLANDO MUSIC SCENE THATS ABOUT TO POP OFF. THERE IS A LOT OF TALENT OUT HERE, AND WE ARE GONNA BRING THAT TO THE FOREFRONT FOR OUR CITY. EVERY ARTIST FROM MIAMI WORKS WITH COOL & DRE, IN CALIFORNIA EVERYONE HAS WORKED WITH DR. DRE AT SOME POINT, BUT WE ARE GOING TO MAKE THAT MOVE FOR ORLANDO. YOU HEARD IT HEAR FIRST. I’M SURE NINO WANNA GET THE LAST WORDS IN LOL.
NINO: HA HA, CATCH UP!
Thanks for your time guys.
And we out.
New cut, “Keep Pace,” from Mr. J Medeiros (Procussions) forthcoming solo-LP, Of gods and girls, which will be released by Rawkus Records on 7-24-07.June 11, 2007 at 8:50 pm | Posted in The Source | Leave a comment
Hip Hop Culture: It’s A Family Matter
By Yvonne Bynoe
Recently I was watching the talk show “My Two Cents” that airs on BETJ and the discussion was about the “Talented Tenth.” Scholar-Activist, W.E.B. DuBois asserted that it was the top ten percent of Blacks, those people with vision, perseverance and education who would lift the masses from ignorance and poverty. Later in his career DuBois discarded this theory after observing that middle and upper income Blacks were not necessarily enlightened or even interested in helping their less fortunate brothers and sisters….Anyway back to the cable program. When one guest stated that 50 Cent was a leader I immediately bristled up. As far as I was concerned 50 Cent is a multi-millionaire entertainer, but I was not aware that he supported any cause other than fattening his pockets. I have no indication that he was putting anything on the line to contribute to the advancement of Black Americans. Then as I sat back and gave it some deep thought. I had to admit that 50 Cent is a leader, not because he has done anything, but because Black folks have made him one.
In my book Stand & Deliver: Political Activism, Leadership & Hip Hop Culture, I talked a great deal about how Black people, to our detriment, have shifted our concept about leadership from “show and prove” to “who’s got the biggest mic.” In our longing to have Black heroes and spokesmen, we uncritically allow folks to step up as our leaders despite the fact that they don’t have a clue and never deliver and we also grab on to folks who have no interest in leading anyone but themselves. I suppose my real question is whether Hip Hop has the strength and frankly the capacity to make a course correction. Anyone who says that mainstream rap music or Hip Hop causes crime, illiteracy or promiscuity is a liar, but if we are honest, it is also not doing much in the way of solving these problems. As far as I see most folks within Hip Hop are heavily invested in the aspect of the culture that uses art to tell stories, to relay immediate truths. However, these same folks are reluctant to engage the notion that the most significant part of any culture are the beliefs, values and ideals that it transmits from generation to generation. While entertainment industry apologists shrug off critiques of rap music and Hip Hop by saying that it is just entertainment, most of us know better. For many young Black men and women, particularly those in the ‘hood, Hip Hop represents a way of life. If culture is a sort of roadmap that guides people on a life long journey, it is not an exaggeration to say that one’s culture can fortify that person to excel to her fullest potential or justify that person remaining in the low caste of her birth.
I don’t think that it is scapegoating rap music and Hip Hop to say that our preoccupation with telling the grimy truth about street life has prevented it from developing a vision about “Blackness” and “realness” that extends beyond financial and emotional deprivation. Hip Hop boldly and frequently talks about poverty, death, betrayal, injustice and lust, but is more timid about discussing dreams, love, partnership, and gaining knowledge of self and the world that we live in. Recently 50 Cent and KRS-One appeared together of Rap City, not only did they show each other love and respect, it was obvious that they both have a place in Hip Hop. I therefore am not advocating that Hip Hop should censor artists or outlaw particular images, but what I am saying is that we need to balance the present “what is” with the transformative “where do we want to end up”. In a more mature and perhaps even progressive Hip Hop, Lupe Fiasco and Brother J would have the same visibility and mass appeal as Jay-Z and Ludacris. In a less sexist Hip Hop Jean Grae, Bahamadia and Mystic would not still be underground rap artists. It is a collective narcissism that makes Black folks believe that cathartic, but ultimately debilitating truth-telling, carries more weight than messages of hope and courage. I am not saying that everything has to be hearts and flowers and that there is no room for gritty reality. But either some faction within Hip Hop has to rise up from the margins, relatively soon, and effectively talk to the masses about how we can improve our lives and communities, or we should stop bullshitting ourselves by saying that Hip Hop is revolutionary and necessary for social change.
Anyone who is vaguely familiar with the Black nationalism of the 1960s has heard the question, “What will you do when the revolution comes?” The only acceptable answer is that you will be a soldier in the fight for liberation. Unfortunately, even if some Messiah rose tomorrow to lead us, the Black nation may not be ready. Almost 40 years ago, France Beal said in her classic essay, Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female (1970), “We live in a highly industrialized society and every member of the black nation must be academically and technologically developed as possible. To wage a revolution, we need competent teachers doctors, nurses, electronics experts, chemists, biologists, physicists, political scientists, and so on and so forth. Black women sitting at home reading bedtime stories to their children is not going to make it.”
Beal’s pronouncement is still relevant today, particularly since in many cities, the high school drop-out rate for Black Americans is more than 50 percent. Within many Black communities, there is a large uneducated population, meaning people who don’t read well enough to comprehend a bus schedule. In Washington, DC a recent study said that 1/3 of the population was illiterate. Let’s imagine that Black folks won a revolution or finally got some states to create their own country, unfortunately this “Black nation” would not have enough citizens who are equipped to build and sustain the economic, political and cultural institutions necessary to protect our rights and values from a re-subjugation. A Hip Hop that is largely anti-intellectual is not going to help our cause.
I must say that I think that Beal was wrong on key point— One of the most radical, revolutionary things that a woman (or man) can do, is to not only fight for justice, but also prepare her children (biological or otherwise) to be warriors. This means that we have got to be serious about educating our children so that they can think critically. We also got to be serious about ensuring that our culture, including Hip Hop, strengthens and expands their identities as young men and women, not diminishes them.
I know that Hip Hop alone is not supposed to be a panacea. It is not a substitute for lax parents, failing public schools, dangerous neighborhoods or dead-end jobs. I also know that when I look at my son, I am not still not sure where Hip Hop fits into his young life. I want him to understand the legacy of racial discrimination and social injustice in this country——poverty, crime and lack of education, but I don’t want his idea about who he is or who he can become to be confined by it. Right now mainstream Hip Hop just doesn’t provide a variety of narratives about being Black: hoochies, thugs and pimps. Some cat rapping about Pythagorean’s theorem is not what I want to see, what I yearn for is a Hip Hop that blatantly articulates our collective condition, but also celebrates Black love, acknowledges the ancestors and that encourage us to strive toward excellence.
Maybe Nas is right, Hip Hop is dead if it doesn’t have the ability or the interest to school our young people about how to create a life beyond the corner, the strip club or the penitentiary. Then my mind goes on pause when I play something like Pharoache Monch‘s “Desire,” Talib Kweli‘s “Get By“or Kanye‘s “Jesus Walks.” I then reminisce about all the rap songs that have fortified me since my youth, both the so-called conscious and the so-called commercial. You know what—with the guidance of my parents I turned out just fine. I then realize that Hip Hop, like life and religion, has its share of fakes, crooks, liars, crackpots and extremists but their actions don’t alter its spiritual essence. I am not willing to summarily reject Hip Hop because people promote versions of it that don’t resonate with me. I feel obliged to continually push Hip Hop to support, in its words and deeds, the ideals of freedom and equality. But in the meantime, I understand that it is my duty as the mother of young Black man to decide which interpretations of Hip Hop are suitable for him because they affirm his humanity and are humorous or soul-filled. Similarly, I will have no problem keeping him from that aspects of Hip Hop that are buffoonish, nihilistic or suggest that intelligence and Blackness are mutually exclusive. I guess, for me, the Hip Hop that does not lead my son closer to the light is dead.
Yvonne Bynoe is a Senior Fellow at the Future Focus 2020 Center at Wake Forest University. She is also the author of Stand & Deliver: Political Activism, Leadership & Hip Hop Culture and the Encyclopedia of Rap and Hip Hop Culture. She can be reached www.YvonneBynoe.com or www.myspace.com/yvonnebynoe
Copyright © Yvonne Bynoe 2007
By The Gambler
By The Gambler
PACMAN JONES: PEOPLES CHAMP OR PRO FOOTBALL’S CHUMP ?
Tennessee Titans star Adam “Pacman” Jones can be a champ or a chump. It’s up to him. The conditions set forth by new commissioner Roger Goodell are clear. If Pacman Jones wants to play in the National Football League after his one-year suspension is complete, Jones must:
—Fully cooperate with all required counseling, education, and treatment assigned under league or court-ordered programs.
—He must adhere to the restrictions on his activities that have been agreed to by he and the Titans.
—He may not be at the Titans’ facility through May 31 and may not participate in any practices or organized workouts during the term of the suspension. Beginning June 1, he must visit the team facility once each week to meet with the team’s player development director. Also, beginning June 1, he is permitted to spend one day a week at the team facility for conditioning, film study, and other similar activities.
—In conjunction with the team’s player development director and other professionals working with him, Jones must develop with the Titans a structured program of community service or other activity. This program must be submitted to the league office for review and approval.
In addition, he has to avoid conviction or implication in any of the 10 crimes he’s been questioned about by police. The murder of a hard-working strip club bouncer, during NBA All-Star weekend in Vegas, is the most gruesome incident. Being accused of punching a stripper in the face because she picked up money when Pacman, holding garbage bag with $80,000 in ones in it, “was making it rain”, is the most befuddling.
Jones’ punishment also stems from arrests in February for obstruction of police in Georgia and public intoxication and disorderly conduct in August 2006. Goodell also wasn’t thrilled Jones failed to report the February arrest and a March arrest for marijuana possession, which was later dismissed
According to a release from the NFL, in a letter sent to Jones, Goodell wrote: “Your conduct has brought embarrassment and ridicule upon yourself, your club, and the NFL, and has damaged the reputation of players throughout the league.”
Jones’ suspension could mean nearly $3.1 million in lost wages. That’s a lot of gwop. He was scheduled to make $1.29 million in base salary in 2007. The Titans are also expected to go after the prorated portion of his signing bonus, an additional $1.81 million.
Rough, huh? Jones and his attorneys think so and argued the suspension was “unprecedented” in its harshness for someone who has not been convicted of a crime.
I caution you. Don’t feel sorry for Jones for two reasons. First, he did it to himself. Secondly, as bleak as Jones’ situation looks, he can be a hero. He has a chance to set an example for generations of young athletes by cleaning up his act, complying with the conditions and truly changing his life.
The NFL has experienced an unusually high amount of player arrests during the past few seasons. The league office fears the prevalent behavior has created a perception among fans and players that talent is more important than character to the NFL.
Goodell is using his one-year suspension of Pacman Jones as the catalytic example of a new and tougher character policy intended to hold NFL athletes to a higher moral standard.
In a 24-page letter to the league Jones’ legal team detailed at least 283 arrests since January 2000 in which none of the players involved had been suspended for a full season. The letter also said Jones, whose own arrests weren’t on the list, could take the league to court.
That’s tough talk from a person admittingly in the wrong. Jones has said in a full-page newspaper add that he realizes the errors of his ways. He’s even said he’ll use the time off to go back to West Virginia to finish up his degree. Yet, a day before his meeting with the commissioner, he was seen at a strip club. Then, Jones is ticketed for speeding with no license four days before Friday’s hearing with Goodell for a possible suspension shortening.
C’mon Man. That’s no way to show remorse. PacMan’s moves are seen as blatant acts of defiance. The typical actions of a spoiled, disillusioned millionaire ballplayer.
The time is now to put up or shut up. Jones is a classic example of the American Dream. A poor single –parent black youth growing up in the rough streets of Georgia, who parlayed his gift of football and the relentless love of his mother into college and then millions in the NFL.
We understand the social landscape most of these players exist in. Many of their friends never left the hood. Many of their family are incarcerated or fell victim to street violence at a young age. In cases such as Allen Iverson and Michael Vick, these players financially support family members, who don’t always live law abidingly.
This side of the young black athlete we understand. The unique aspects of his character, that has helped him elevate to this athletic greatness, however, is often overlooked.
Jones has a chance to show society his reserve. His diplomacy. His intelligence. His ability to admit a mistake and proactively change. He has a chance to influence societal and political views.
Many people feel professional athletes are spoiled, ghetto super-freaks, who were lucky enough to avoid having to exist in the real world. Others idolize and envy them as being almost non-human. When athletes commit crimes – even murder – the situation is often treated like a one-sided movie. The concerns of the victims and their families are secondary.
Jones can clean up his act by committing to community service, laying low and proving to Commissioner Goodell and the world that he is ready to appreciate the privilege of playing pro football. To represent the league honorably on-and-off the field, shows Jones is a well-rounded man. A man who is humble in his god-given gifts, eager to share his positive light with others, and teaches young athletes the value of character, citizenship, and teamwork in sports.
I know it sounds corny and many athletes aren’t willing to or capable of exemplifying these qualities. Still, the league executives and billionaire owners are making it clear that they desire pros without the problems.
As ruthless an industry as professional athletics is, there still has to be an appearance of morality attached to it. Kids who grow up playing sports, with dreams of being a pro, learn many of life’s lessons through participation in athletics. And they pay strong attention to their idols.
“We must protect the integrity of the NFL,” Goodell said in a general press statement. “The highest standards of conduct must be met by everyone in the NFL because it is a privilege to represent the NFL, not a right. These players, and all members of our league, have to make the right choices and decisions in their conduct on a consistent basis.”
A reformed Jones will show impressionable young athletes, struggling to make it out of the ghetto, how a well-rounded person conducts himself. His name will live on in the NFL. He’ll forever be associated with these words: “perseverance”, “honor” “reform”, “champion,” “leader”, “influential in social change.”
Very few boys become pro athletes. Learning to become men is a far more valuable skill. PacMan can chump out to the street mentality. Or he can be a pioneer and a champion of young black kids and athletes of all ethnicities.
Disprove the stereotype PacMan. Show the world that the hood produces men of honor, integrity and humility. Stay out of the strip clubs. Leave those guns alone. Speak to the youth as much as possible. Get out there on that field. Continue to dazzle fans and opponents with your speed, agility and toughness. And change the world. At least change yourself.
The Gambler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
MESSAGE IN POEM: Society v. Reality pulling you in two different directions, are you right? are you wrong? do you need to make any corrections? It can be tough out here trying to figure things out, what will this person think? what will that person think? what will I think? … Make a choice, make a decision, stick with it, make it your vision. Society v. Reality, in the end your decision, your choice, your voice. “Stand up for something or you’ll fall for anything.”
Feel free to spread the word – Until next time…
Much Love, Yo
Society v. Reality
Society says, “This is how it must be”Reality says, “Yeah we’ll see” Society says, “You must do it this way”Reality says, “You will do what I say”
Society says, “You have no other choice”Reality says, “You do have a voice” Society says, “How dare you say that!”Reality says, “There’s no need to step back”
Society says, “Oh no, that is wrong”Reality says, “Do what you do, on your own” Society says, “You are making a mistake”Reality says, “Keep it real, don’t be a fake”
Society says, “Two wrongs don’t make a right”Reality says, “Kick ass, it’s going to be a fight” Society says, “Let the proper authorities take care of it”Reality says, “Its do or die, SHIT”
Society says, “All in do time”Reality says, “I have to take what’s mine” Society says, “It’ll take its course, just let it go”Reality says, “Oh, HELL NO!” Society v Reality it’s a tug-of-warStuck between two places not wanting to handle any morePick your battles along with your fightsDay by day and Night by nightWhich is correct? What do I do?It’s just too much, which do I choose?Society says NO, but Reality says YESIs this a game? Is this a test?I have to choose, but which should it beSociety or Reality, Hell I give up, I just choose meWhichever decision I make, whether it be either / orFact of the matter is I just can’t take it anymoreToo many decisions, too many thoughtsThe choice is mine and I have to live with my faultsSince the choice is only between these two,It’s about me and yours is about you.Society v Reality, the confusion it can bringJust keep your focus, keep your faith, it’ll get you through anything.
Copyright © 2007 – Poems That Flow For Your Mind and Your Soul (including a collaboration of Poetic Flow Collection I and Collection II)
‘A.PINKS- ‘GOOGLE ME’ BLOG”‘BLACK PEOPLE….BACK 2 DA BASICS’
ALLOW ME TO REINTRODUCE MYSELF, MY NAME IS….PINKS. I AM STRAIGHT OUT OF RAVENSWOOD, QUEENS AND I PRIDE MYSELF IN BEING THE MOST CANDID RAPPER IN THE GAME. I RHYME LIKE THE RED LIGHT IS BLINKING YA DIG. HOPEFULLY, YOU HAVE SEEN MY NEW VIDEO ‘IF MY HOOD COULD TALK’ FEATURED ON VARIOUS PROMINENT WEBSITES VIA VIRAL MEDIA. BE SURE TO CHECK MYSPACE.COM/APINKSMUSIC FOR MORE MATERIAL…
ANYWHOO TODAY, THIS TUESDAY MORNING AT 2:09 AM I’M IN THE MOOD TO BLOG ON A TOPIC A TAD DIFFERENT THAN YOUR ORDINARY RAP BEEFS AND CELEBRITY COUPLES. “YOU MEAN, THERE ARE OTHER ISSUES AT HAND OTHER THAN “BAAALLIN!”…AHH YES. ON MY ‘I CAN DO THAT’ TANGENT, I’M GOING TO DISCUSS THE STATE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN PROGRESSION….YEAH! I WENT TO COLLEGE BITCH! HOWARD UNIVERSITY IN FACT, I’LL TELL YALL A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THAT SOAP OPERA SOME OTHER TIME.ON TO THE SHOW….
FIRST OFF, I LOVE BLACK PEOPLE, BUT CLEARLY, WE ARE IN TROUBLE. BACK IN ‘MY’ DAY, (I’M FRONTIN’ LIKE I’M OLD, BUT SERIOUSLY) WE WERE A PROUD PEOPLE; A PEOPLE THAT STRIVED FOR GREATNESS AND ACCOMPLISHMENT. WE ACTUALLY GAVE A FUCK ABOUT OUR CONDITION. WE TOOK PRIDE IN WHO WE ARE. WE WERE DOWN TO FIGHT AND DIE FOR WHAT WE BELIEVED IN. FORWARD TO 2007: NOBODY GIVES A FUCK!
WE ARE EITHER STRIVING FOR NOTHING OR LOOKING OUT FOR NUMBER ONE. PEOPLE TALK A GOOD GAME, BUT WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, THEY AREN’T REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON. WE ARE A RACE THAT IS PLAGUED WITH DRUG ABUSE, SICKNESS AND IGNORANCE. WHAT’S GOOD WITH THAT? I’LL TELL YOU, WE HAVE NO IDEA WHERE THE HELL WE CAME FROM. WE ARE TAUGHT THAT WE WERE NOTHING BUT SLAVES AND CREAM PUFFS.
FOR EXAMPLE, REVEREND DOCTOR MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. IS ONE OF OUR LEADERS MADE OUT TO BE A SOFTEE. HE IS MADE OUT TO BE A GUY THAT MERELY HAD A DREAM THAT ONE DAY WE WOULD BE ABLE TO FROLIC THROUGH A FIELD OF DAISIES WITH WHITE PEOPLE. NOBODY SEEMS TO REALIZE THAT HE WAS OUT THERE FIGHTING DAY BY DAY TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR HIS PEOPLE. HE WAS OUT CHANGING THE FREAKIN’ CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES. HE WAS RECEIVING DEATH THREATS ON THE REGULAR AND WAS LOCKED UPON A COUPLE OF OCCASIONS. NO DREAMER OVER HERE. ANOTHER THING IS, DR. KING IS MADE OUT TO BE THE ONLY ONE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. HE WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN THE MOVEMENT, BUT HE WAS A SPOKESPERSON. THERE WERE MANY OTHERS THAT WERE OUT THERE FIGHTING DAILY FOR US (WE DON’T EVEN KNOW ALL THE NAMES THAT WERE INVOLVED). DON’T YOU FIND IT WEIRD THAT OUT OF A WHOLE MOVEMENT THAT SPANNED MANY, MANY YEARS IS REDUCED TO DR. KING AND ROSA PARKS. GO OUT AND READ ABOUT MALCOLM X (HE WAS MORE THAN THE MOVIE), MARCUS GARVEY, WEB DUBOIS, MEDGAR EVARS, HUEY P. NEWTON (AND THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY),ETC. IT’S TERRIBLE, BUT ONE OF THE REASONS THAT WE HAVE NO RESPECT FOR OURSELVES IS THAT WE HAVE NO IDEA WHERE WE CAME FROM. WE COME FROM KINGS, QUEENS, PHILOSOPHERS, SCIENTISTS, POLITICIANS, ACTIVISTS, RELIGIOUS LEADERS, VISIONARIES, MEDICAL DOCTORS, LAWYERS, JUDGES, INVENTORS AND SO ON AND SO FORTH. GO OUT AND LEARN YOUR PEOPLE AND SEE THAT WE ARE MORE THAN GANG BANGERS, DRUG DEALERS, PIMPS, THIEVES AND ENTERTAINERS (ALTHOUGH SOME OF THEM STOOD FOR SOMETHING AS WELL). WE ARE A PEOPLE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT AND HAVE MADE MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO MANY ASPECTS OF SOCIETIES. WE ARE GREAT AND THE SOONER THAT WE ARE ABLE TO REALIZE THAT, THE GREATER WE WILL BE.
AIIGHT, I’M DONE FOR NOW. YALL LUCKY I’M EXHAUSTED. GO BACK TO YOUR AMERICAN IDOL, PLAYOFF GAMES, AND BUSTIN’ YOUR GUNS…
The month of May is American Stroke Month, which is the 3rd leading cause of death in
America that can lead to disability and even death among its victims. African Americans are twice as likely to die from strokes than Caucasian Americans and the rate of first strokes among African Americans is almost double that of Caucasians. Although the condition is more common among men, strokes actually kill more women each year. So what’s up? What is a stroke, what are the risk factors, signs and symptoms? Why are African Americans so disproportionately affected? What are the myths about stroke and how do we combat this disease? Ready? Let’s roll!
What is a Stroke: Strokes are also known as “brain attacks,” occur when blood flow to the brain is suddenly interrupted. They are medically classified under the umbrella of heart disease, which is the number one killer of all Americans regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity. There are two major causes of stroke: ischemic (is-keem-ik) and hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes are the most common types of stroke and are caused by blockages in an artery that supplies blood to the brain. These blockages result from cholesterol deposits that narrow the arteries; a blood clot forming in an artery (thrombus); and from clots originating somewhere else and lodging in an artery (embolus). Hemorrhagic strokes occur when a blood vessel in the brain weakens and burst, allowing blood to spill out into the very restricted space between the brain and the skull. In both types of stroke, the blood flow is decreased and some part of the brain is damaged. The ability to walk, talk, speak, swallow, and even breathe normally can be affected.
Risk Factors: Some stroke risk factors are preventable and others are not. The risks factors that we have control over include smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or hypertension, diabetes, physical inactivity, and obesity. The risk factors that we cannot control include age, a family history of stroke, race, and gender. Being active has tremendous benefits, and if coupled with health eating and proper rest one can: control his/her weight, improve cholesterol levels and blood pressure, prevent bone loss, boost energy levels, improve stress levels and improve overall self image. The risk for stroke increases as we get older. African American men develop heart disease and develop it earlier, but women close that gap after age 55. Also remember that if a family member, especially your parents, brothers, or sisters have heart disease, you are at increased risk as well. So know your family history. Even though you cannot control that, it will help you and your doctor to make better choices about the way you live.
Warning Signs: The warning signs for a stroke include: a sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; and sudden severe headache with no known cause. It is recommended that anyone experiencing these signs should see their doctor immediately.
The African American Factor: Medicine and research have not clearly delineated why African Americans are more at risk than other ethnic groups, but we do know that high blood pressure is the number one risk factor for stroke. One in three African Americans has high blood pressure/hypertension. Diabetes also runs rampant in the African American community and is another major risk factor for this disease. African Americans with sickle cell anemia also run a high risk for strokes. Anybody with risk factors should see a doctor on a regular basis, eat healthy, exercise, and of course take medicines as prescribed.
Dispelling Myths: There are many myths about stroke that need to be cleared up. Some believe that strokes are unpreventable. That is absolutely not true. Taking charge of your health and establishing a relationship with your doctor is one important step in stroke prevention. Also life style changes like exercising, losing weight, smoking cessation, and controlling your blood pressure and diabetes. Another popular myths about strokes is that they cannot be treated and only happen to the elderly. Wrong again! Strokes can happen to persons young and old, but if the warning signs are recognized, a stroke can be treated. There are also those that believe that once a stroke has occurred, there are only a few months of recovery. This is also not true. Stroke recovery continues throughout life and it is possible to regain bodily function when working in conjunction with your primary care doctor, specialist (such as neurologist and physiatrist) and a treatment team that include speech therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, and social workers.
We can take control of our health! We must learn the risk factors for stroke, see our doctors on a regular basis, learn our family history, exercise, eat healthy, stop smoking, and take our medicines as prescribed to control diabetes and high blood pressure. We have the power! You have the power! Together we have the power to end stroke!
For more information on strokes visit www.americanheart.org, http://www.strokeassociation.org or visit my website (www.h2doc.com) and shoot me a question at DrRani@h2doc.com. It’s Tha Hip Hop Doc, they call me H2D, come on now lets get Hip Hop Healthy. Peace, I’m out.
Dr. Rani Whitfield is a board certified Family Practice and Sports Medicine Physician who lives in Baton Rouge, LA. He is affectionately known as “Tha Hip Hop Doc” as he uses music and medicine to educate young people on health issues.
Copyright, 2006 Hip Hop Healthy Coalition