North Calackie rhyme-spitter J. Cole performs one of the standout tracks from his recent No. 1 album Cole World: the Sideline Story. The enlightening song "Lost Ones" focuses on the conflicting issues of teen pregnancy and abortion. Hollywood Cole raps in the voices of an unmarried couple dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. In the first verse, Cole raps from a man's perspective and on the second verse, he rhymes from the woman's viewpoint.
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the darkest day in American history on September 11, 2001.
I remember it so vividly because I was in New York on that tragic day and witnessed the horror and the chaos in its aftermath up close. I arrived in New York just minutes after the first plane hit the towers and the police were evacuating the train station on 34th street and shutting down ALL subways.
It wasn't until I arrived at my news desk that I saw on television screen the horror that was unfolding that day. I was one out of three journalists who made it into the office early that day. The other members couldn't make it into Manhattan because all transportation in and out of the city were shut down.
I had to report the tragic events to my various radio affiliates across the country all day. By late afternoon, I was totally overwhelmed by all of the television, radio and internet coverage of the disaster. At some point during the day, I became emotionally drained and put my head down on the desk in my cubicle and I cried.
But the day wasn't over for me. The fire marshall order us to evacuate the building and leave the city, if possible. Well, I couldn't go home because every transit system in the northeast was on shut down completely until midnight. So, me along with thousands of passengers were stranded outside of the train station waiting to get home.
It looked like a refugee camp outside as people huddled to find a spot in front of the doors -- they were all hungry, afraid, tired and distressed. I didn't catch a train until 2 a.m. the next morning. In the end, it was a very stressful and eventful day for me to say the least.
Much like Hurricane Katrina, 9/11 is another American tragedy that we must never forget. In addition, many thanks goes out to the brave police, firefighters and rescue teams who rose to the occassion to save numerous lives. And Rest In Honor, to the people who perished in the Twin Towers, at the Pentagon and the passengers who fought back on the plane that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
I will never forget.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, State Farm partnered with acclaimed director Spike Lee to film a touching tribute to thank the heroes of New York City. Nearly 150 school children (ages 8 to 11) from the New York area visited four firehouses and thanked the firefighters personally through song.
Veteran lyricist Akrobatik reportedly has suffered a heart attack and is hospitalized at a Boston-area hospital. According to fellow rapper Mr. Lif (via his Twitter page), the Boston emcee underwent open-heart surgery today (May 13) and is listed in stable condition following the procedure. "[Please] send positive energy to @akrobatikmc," he tweeted. "He is in stable condition after having open heart surgery due to a heart attack."
Akrobatik (real name Jared Bridgeman) is a fixture in the Boston rap scene who has released several independent albums via indie labels Rawkus and Fat Beats. Ak's most notable studio effort was his 2008 album Absolute Value. The collection featured such rap heavyweights as Talib Kweli, B-Real, Little Brother and Chuck D., as well as production from 9th Wonder and the late J Dilla. One of the standout tracks from Absolute Value was the Dilla-produced "Put Ya Stamp On It" (featuring Talib Kweli).
Rap fans can send their get-well wishes and prayers to Akrobatik via his Facebook page AkrobatikMC.
Blitz the Ambassador mixes the rhythms of Afro-beat with hip-hop on this vibrant new track called "Dear Africa." The song, which is the kick-off single from Blitz's upcoming second LP Native Sun (due May 3), is his loving ode to his native continent of Africa. Blitz will also release an accompanying film of the same name with the album.
"Native Sun the album is a journey backwards, back through hip-hop, the Caribbean soundsystem culture that preceded it, back to its African roots, with the final kora," explains Blitz about the project. "[Both the album and film] are about the longing for home we feel in the diaspora, and about letting go of old notions and embracing new ideas. The sound in itself speaks to that."