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Posts from August 2008

The Ghetto Family Vs. Mickey D's

Proud husband/father and vlogger Dejuan P recently posted a heee-larious video of his family trip to a ghetto-ass McDonald's restaurant in New Orleans. I think we can all relate to this video. Its midnight, your stomach is growling and you decide to make a Mickey D's run. Or a White Castle run or a [name your restaurant here] run.

Now imagine doing that with your wife and child in tow -- A hilarious family sitcom ensues.

Lately, YouTube has become a cesspool of crap, but Dejuan P is one of the best channels to watch on the video-hosting website.

So check out this clip -- it's pure comedy.


Repost: Po' Folks

Blog Note: This post was written on Aug. 8, 2002. It was inspired by my fear of unemployment. Back then, I was worried that my full-time writing gig at a radio company was coming to an end because Clear Channel was selling off (or unloading) some of their assets, including the company I worked for at the time. It happens in the business world, conglomerates do this all the time. Usually, when companies do this, it means layoffs or a business completely dissolves. Long story short, Clear Channel sold our company to another radio conglomerate, but my job was left intact. As of this year, I've been happily employed with this same company for eight years.

But in '02 it was a scary time for me. This post is so relevant because of the recession we are going through right now and the economic uncertainty that awaits us. So here's a rare occasion in which I push my music criticisms aside and get personal on my blog. From my days, I write about my early experience as an up-and-coming music journalist. **Re-edited for clarity.

"All my life been po'
But it really don't matter no mo
And they wonder why we act this way
Nappy [boy] going to be Okay . . . okay"

-- Nappy Roots, "Po' Folks"


Here's a real personal side of me: In 1998, I was an unemployed music journalist.

I had to apply for unemployment benefits after losing my editorial gig at a hip-hop fanzine called Beat-Down magazine. It was a cold January morning when I went down to the unemployment office. Once I arrived and looked inside, my heart went into my underwear. It was depressing. I felt like I had died and walk inside a morgue. Hundreds of unemployed people with sad faces were sitting down, some were also standing, waiting for a job counselor to call their name. I'm almost left the joint it was so dreary. I had to fill out a 10-page form with my information, submit it and then take a number. I was number 221 and they were just calling number 98 and it's 10:30 a.m. It was going to be a loooong day.

When my number was finally called, I was able to speak to a job counselor and everything seemed cool. She told me that I would get a check every week (Yippee!). However, I had to report to her every Monday on the progress of my job search. "Yeah, right," I said to myself.

Then she said, "Let me offer you some assistance -- what kind of job are you looking for?" I told her that I am a journalist looking for an editorial job. I told her that I like to interview people of all walks of life, tell stories and inform the public. She looked at me with her raised eyebrows as if to say: "Boy, you better stop bullshitting and get a real job."

She tried to get me to go to this job interview for a gig as a shoe salesman at a department store. "You can interview customers about their new shoes," she said to me with a sly smile. "Writers don't make a lot of money, you better stick with reality sweetheart."

I understood what she meant and it is true. Writers and/or journalists don't make a lot of money. When was the last time you saw a journalist living the life of a Hollywood star?

But damn it! Don't tear down a nigga's dream because it's not your reality.

Do ya smell me?

To make a long story short: I went home. I cried. I ate a turkey sandwich. I typed up a bangin' resume. I sent an e-mail query with a cover letter, my resume and a few published clips and e-mailed them to hundreds of music websites and print magazines. Within 48 hours, I received a bunch of responses and I started my freelancing career, writing music reviews for various music websites, most notably the defunct music website SonicNet.

Yearly salary (freelancing) in 1998: $2,000.
Yearly salary (freelancing) in 1999: $6,000.

Experience: Priceless.

Was I still broke?
Hell, yeah.

In 2000, I nabbed a full-time job as an editor/writer for a hip-hop/R&B music/entertainment website.

Yearly salary from 2000 through 2008: None of your damn business.

Ha! Ha! I got cha!

I'm very thankful for being employed in today's horrible economy. The recession has left a lot of people wondering if they are ever going to reach financial stability.

All have to say is that . . .

All my life I've been po'/
But it really don't matter no mo/
I'ma keep hustlin' and strivin' everyday
Nappy boy is going to be okay . . . okay."

Holla at your po' folks!

Yes They Can!

The Future First Family (hopefully) getting their "cover shine" for Essence magazine's September issue (on newsstands now).

Also in the issue:

Faith Evans: Silent No More
Thirteen years after the East Coast-West Coast rap wars, which led to the murders of her husband The Notorious B.I.G. and his former friend turned rival Tupac Shakur, Faith Evans finally speaks out. The Grammy Award-winner talks exclusively to Essence to set the record straight on drug abuse, ghosts from the past, and how she has found happiness with her husband and four children.

Hurricane Katrina: The Storm Within
Three years after Hurricane Katrina, much of New Orleans still struggles to rebuild. But in the midst of the devastation lies the hidden danger of deep emotional wounds—a problem that officials are calling a mental health crisis.

The State Of Black Women’s Health
While Black women are making progress, there are still critical steps to take on the road to better health. In this special report, see what doctors say about where they stand, where they're headed and where they can get the best care possible.

Condom Sense
Is your man complaining about using protection? Quiet his concerns with these four life-saving comebacks.

PLUS: Rihanna, Fall Fashion Guide, Terrence Howard, Money Rescue Guide


A Golden Video

Kanye West -- "Champion" (Music Video)

Kanye West may not be the fastest man on Earth, but he certainly deserves a gold medal for making some of the most creative videos in pop music.

Just in time for the 2008 Beijing Olympic games, K-Weezy unveiled a new video for "Champion," his anthemic ode to being the best of the best. In the clip, a rangy puppet version of the rhyme-spitter is allowed to compete in the fictional United Games. "I don't see why I need a stylist, when I shop so much I can speak Italian," spits 'Ye as his sunglasses-wearing alter ego air-boxes, dances, jogs and lift weights while training for a big sprint race. Not surprising, the puppet wins the competition and the glory.

In addition, Kanye drops the bomb track, "Jocking Jay-Z," which he (and Hova) recently performed on the final outing of his Glow in the Dark Tour. The track most likely will appear on Jigga's Blueprint III disc.


If you want to watch some more puppet tomfoolery, check out this brief clip of Bert and Ernie reciting "stick-em-up" lyrics from M.O.P.'s hardcore track "Ante Up." Sesame Street never looked so gangsta before.


Thank You: Celebrating Five Years

"I just wanna thank you, for being around/
And patiently waitin and holdin me down/
It's easy to see, for [Mr. T]/
That without no you, there could be no me . . ."

-- Xzibit, "Thank You"

I'm well aware that this is a month late. I never said punctuality was my strong suit.

Nevertheless . . .

On July 23, 2003, I debuted Beats and Rants on Typepad after taking my initial steps into the blogging world via (Check out the crazy posts I wrote over there, it's hilarious!). Over the five years that Beats and Rants has been on Typepad, I have been blogging about music, life observations and, notably, my infamous obituaries ("Can we please have a moment of silence . . . ").

Through the years, I accumulated a hugh readership, but also I lost a lot of readers due to my content.
My blog tally is 460 posts, 1,158 comments and 51 TrackBacks.

All and all, I just want to say . . .

Thank you for the five years of support and readership.
Thank you for the five years of comments -- good and bad.
Thank you for the hater-ation.
Thank you for the spamming (You Bastards!).
Thank you for the music links.

Thank you for the love.

Here's to another five years of blogging.

So for my 5th Anniversary, I'm going to repost some of my most popular and controversial write-ups here on Beats and Rants. Don't worry, I haven't gone anywhere. I will also continue to add new posts, as well. A little bit of the old and new. Ya feel me?

Once again . . .

Thank you, your welcome.