Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In Remembrance of Former President George W. Bush

Sure, Bush was probably the worst President in U.S. history (so I'm told, I haven't researched every President to actually know) but you can not deny that he is in fact that funniest President ever in U.S. history. No other president will ever give comedians more material than ol' dubya. Enjoy these bloopers and blunders by George and say a well deserved farewell as we welcome our next President, Barack Hussein Obama.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What's Beef?

"What's beef? Beef is when you need two gats to go to sleep. Beef is when your moms ain't safe up in the streets. Beef is when I see you, guaranteed to be in ICU." Could Biggie have said it any better? That my friends is beef, what happened to Biggie and Tupac (unfortunately) is beef. What is a battle? Unfortunately I'm not aware of a song that correctly describes a real hip hop beef because it seems most time, rap battles grow into rap beefs. So, I'll try my best to figure it out with this post, and with you guys help. I think as hip hop fans we tend to get the two misconscrued. A battle in hip hop is when you say "I think I'm better than you and I'm going to prove it, on wax, or through bars". A beef is "I don't like you and I want to beat you up, injure you severely and destroy your existense." The beautiful thing about hip hop is, you can combine the two and the end result can be a peaceful battle.

Obviously, we all know what Tupac and Biggie were engaged in a personal beef, which also involved a hip hop battle. What Saigon and Joe Budden are engaging in currently might as well be the same thing, to a lesser extent. However, with the way that this beef originally started, it showed promise that it would remain on wax. (I still don't understand why Saigon is so mad at the "I hit and run like Saigon" line from Joe Budden when Saigon says that is exactly what he did but whatever). Budden took a shot at Saigon and he became infuriated, but instead of responding in a song, Saigon goes on record to say, for about a year straight, that he will beat Joe Budden up, slice his Adam's apple and a lot of other exciting things that grown men like to say each other when they have a conflict. Couldn't most of these senseless beefs (Joe v. Saigon, Joe v. Ransom, Saigon v. Prodigy) be solved by simply calling the individual first and/or reaching out to them to get their side of the story? I don't think there is anything wrong with Budden calling out Saigon this time after Sai kept barking for so long, in fact, I think he wants to battle Saigon, not beef with him. He even said he reached out to him to do a song last year.

A perfect (recent) example of a rap "battle" is T.I. vs Ludacris. Someone give these men a standing ovation because they went through proper procedures the entire times they were battling. These two rappers initially went at each other because they had a competitive spirit. They are two of the best in the game, and two of the best in the south, so they had reason to take a few lyrical jabs at each other. These jabs came subliminally for a while until they finally collabed on each others respective albums in 2008. They had a enough respect for each other that they kept it on wax (despite T.I. punching Luda's manager at one point), kept it competitive and eventually reconciled to make GOOD music.

The great thing about what T.I. and Ludacris did is, they resolved any problems they might have had by spitting bars. Afrika Bambaataa's vision for hip hop many moons ago was to get kids out of gangs, off the streets and have them release their frustrations artistically. What's greater than two man resolving their conflicts by coming face to face to talk about their disagreements by rhyming words? I couldn't think of a more ingenious way to go about it. Unfortunately, the rappers of today seem to have forgetten that, YES, hip hop is just as much about battling as it is about being creative artistically but, NO, it is not about settling problems physically. If you plan on settling your problems with physical altercations your exploiting what the forefathers of hip hop had originally planned for it to be. With the release of Notorious today and Martin Luther King Jr. day being this Monday, we should be reminded more than ever that violence is never the answer. A beef can be resolved by a phone call, reaching out, a battle can be resolved by spitting bars.

I say all of this to say to Joe Budden and Saigon: Keep it on wax, make this an entertaining battle and hopefully one day, like Jay-Z and Nas or Luda and T.I., you guys can come together to make great music. You both are two of the best rappers out today, hands down, and this battle has the potential to be an epic one, if kept on a record.

"What's a battle? A battle is when two rappers settle a dispute with words. A battle is when two rappers might want to fight but keep it on wax despite the urge. A battle is better than beef, it's competitive and the end result should be peace." You can quote me on that...


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oscar Grants Killer Arrested

Good riddens. This won't miraculously bring back Oscar Grant's life but it is a step in the right direction...

DMX Speaks Live From Arizona Prison

Interesting interview by Fox News Arizona with DMX from prison. DMX is a brotha whose music I've always loved, he reminds me of 2pac in a sense because he puts so much passion into his art and openly identifies with his faults. He's had a long journey from the top to the bottom, I hope he has or eventually will learn his lesson because he is talented and does still have a story to tell. I always thought he would be a great pastor, hopefully being in prison once again is more motivation for him to follow his calling...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Chris Rock on Racism

Chris Rock is probably my favorite comedians ever and I'm willing to debate with anyone that he is without a question one of the greatest comedians of all time, regardless of race. I've seen Bigger and Blacker (which the above video is taken from) a million times and it cracks me up every time. It's been 10 years since it came out and a lot of what he said is still relevant. He's so right on the Native American (American Indian) issue though, and it's sad. I'll never debate which race, culture or group of people have had it worse throughout history but Native Americans have been overlooked a lot in these United States. This was originally their land, yet, many don't know anything about them. Many might actually believe that they had peaceful interactions with Europeans who took their land. Shame on our education system for teaching our children lies all these years and having them believe Columbus discovered this land. The oppression, brutality, violence, racism, along with most of their race being exterminated, is definitely underrated in terms of World History, not just American History. Ah well, I could go on and on, just enjoy the above video, it's hilarious...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

5 Shot At Chicago High School (Dunbar)

According to CBS News in Chicago:

CHICAGO (CBS) ― Chicago police say they believe a shooting Friday night at a South Side high school that sent at least five male victims to the hospital was gang-related.

Police say the shots came from a vehicle that pulled up outside the building as a basketball game was getting out. Chicago police superintendent Jody Weis called the shootings at Paul Laurence Dunbar Vocational Career Academy "a tragedy."

"A girl started screaming, and then we just starting hearing shots," eyewitness Robert McCallum said. "I was the first one to jump, jump on the ground because they started shooting ... Everybody piled up on top of me. It was crazy."

Chicago police say they have 200 officers in the area looking for the shooters, but no one has been identified or arrested. Authorities say they believe the shooting is an "isolated incident" and that the neighborhood is not in danger.

Of the shooting victims, three were in serious condition and two were in critical condition. They were taken to area hospitals with gunshot wounds. A sixth female was injured in the rush to flee the bullets.

Authorities say video cameras at the school could help police in their investigation.

The game, against Hope High School, was in triple overtime when the shooting happened, according to CPS boys basketball coordinator Cyrus McGinnis, who said no players were injured in the shooting.

The shooting happened outside and everyone ran back into the gym to avoid injury, McGinnis said.

Thank God no one died, but when will this senseless violence stop? Below I blogged about how police officers will willingly kill a black man, but we are no better as we exhibit the same type of behavior with the ignorance of "black on black crime". This certainly was not the fault of any police officer. I can't help but wonder when we will wake up realize that the behavior these gangs promote and are apart of does nothing but hinder our growth as a people, community and nation...

R.I.P. Oscar Grant, But, What's Next!?

Unless you've been living under a rock the past week you've heard about the despicable police brutality that Oscar Grant, a Oakland, CA resident, was a victim of on New Years Days. If you've never heard of this particular case until now, don't be ashamed because unfortunately, since I've been on my (well deserved) winter break from school I haven't been doing anything besides sitting on my ass and staying away from all things intellectual. I find it quite blasphemous to attempt to exert my energy towards "learning" when I have been forced to do for the past three months against my own will. Call it what you want, lazy, selfish, assholeish, stubborn, but this intellectual break is something that I feel I'm entitled to at this point in my life. In fact, the only news I've been concerned with the past few weeks is the news that Stuart Scott, Chris Berman and/or Stephen A. Smith reports. But that's besides the point. I apologize as I just lost my train of thought, allow me to forge myself back on track.

I have to extend major props to my homey Clif for helping educate me on this horrible occurence. Besides the fact that I have been to lazy to catch up on the latest news stories (can someone inform me on what's going on in Gaza?) I feel that I sometimes become immune to injustice in America, and that is something that I have to learn to steer clear of. My first initial reaction upon hearing a brief synopsis of this story was: "Wow, what a surprised. Another black man murdered by a white police officer." That my friends, is sad, I should never think that way, and neither should any of you. Oscar Grant was a innocent man, who along with his friends, may have been involved in an altercation of some sort prior to being encountered by the officers, but, he did not exhibit any action that was worthy of having a gun pulled on him and being shot to death.

Did he pull out a gun on the police officers? No. Did he violently resist arrest? No, not from my observation. So why did he get shot? Well, in my personal, humble, compeltely bias opinion based on my personal life experiences is that the life of a black man means nothing to a white cop. A black man, in most of their eyes, is worthless, violent and they feel as though they need to take violent measures to "tame" them as though they are animals. There is no doubt in my mind that these same police officers or any other white cop (or black cop for that matter) would have been more lenient towards a white man . Am I wrong? If am, I encourage you by all means to prove it. We tend to forget that we are only 40 years removed from the Civil Rights Era, and 30+ years removed from the Black Power Movement (and the Black Panthers were established in Oakland, what a coincidence). Which means, even though we have a black president, racism and many of the sick and twisted mindstates that were present during the 1960s and 70s are still alive in our society. Look at it like this, these police officers could very well be the children of racist and predujice parents who may have lived in the Oakland era during a time where racist were open about their intentions. I'm rambling a bit, but bare with me, because this is a topic that I am passionate about. There are just so many things that need to be "un-learned" in American society by both blacks and whites, I hope that this is another sign of that.

I titled this post "What's Next" because I wonder, what can be accomplished in times like this when you riot and destroy the very community in which you live in? I understand the anger and remorse they feel (or do I really?) but I can't help ponder what good this can do for the tragedy. In times such as this, it's always imporant to look at things from a historical perspective and correctly analyze moments in history when a group of people were faced with similiar circumstances and what they did to combat the problem.

I can't help but think that the Oakland police department knew very well the black/minority community would react with anger and proceed to riot. But what if, instead of rioting, we all mobilized and practiced a nonviolent protest similiar to that of Martin Luther King or Gandhi? While, I admire Malcolm X a lot, his methods of protesting and taking action were only relevant for the era he lived in. Martin Luther Kings method certainly worked during his lifetime and is very much needed for our generation. Even still, if that approach was taking, what happens next? The police officer is fired, the family possibly wins their lawsuit, but what's going to stop another cop from doing the same thing in the future. Because it's obvious that this has the possibility of happening again. We aren't that far removed from Sean Bell's incident people. There has to be some type of grass roots movement. We have to force the police departments to enforce stricter criteria when hiring officers and in minority communities it is absurd to think that it is acceptable to appoint a majority of white officers in those areas. Also, these officers need to be better trained how to handle situations such as these. There is no reason that cases such as these still happen throughout our "wonderful" country.

I say all of this for what though? My faith in the justice system is as low as its ever been and I don't see it improving soon. Barack Obama is the first black president of the United States and on November 4th 2008 I was as excited as any black person, but after all the hype died down I came back to my senses. He is just another politician and I've never trusted them. Sure, I hope he does great things in his presidency, I will be rooting for him, but I won't count on him or any other politician to handle what we as people (black, white, brown, yellow, etc) need to accomplish ourselves...

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" - MLK

Friday, January 9, 2009

Harold's Chicken Is The G.O.A.T.

All my Chicagoans already know what it is! This is nothing more than a Harold's appreciation post. I will go out on a limb and say that Harold's has the best chicken, not just in Chicago (sorry Uncle Remus' on the westside), but in the whole country. I'm been to my fair share of cities, not all of the major ones, but even still, I doubt their chicken spots can compare to Harold's. My girlfriend will beg to differ, but she/we has had some unfortunate Harold's experiences that she would like to forget about. She'll still tell me that Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles from L.A. is better. I seriously couldn't see how.

I'll admit though, the bad thing about Harold's is, it really depends on which one you go to. Case in point, I had some superb Harold's from 119th and Western (see above picture) this past week and more recently I had some awful Harold's from 103rd and Halsted, which is a surprise because they usually are on point. I just can't get with a Harold's (103rd) that charges extra for mild sauce and bread. WTF!? Let's see, 127th and Halsted is pretty good and I'm hearing good things about the new one that opened on 99th and Western. It's really hit or miss, so if you're going on a Harold's expedition on the south side of Chicago be weary of that. However, be sure to never get Harold's from the suburbs or downtown Chicago, for some reason they use barbeque sause as mild sauce. That's just absurb.

If you're reading this, jot down some of your favorite Harold's or other chicken places around the city/country. I'll take it a step further and say that Chicago has the best food in the country as well. Which may account for out high rates of obesity, but whatever. Name a pizza place better than Giordano's, Beggars, Italian Fiesta or Unos? And I'm sorry Philly heads (J.D.!!!) but I'll even say that our Home of the Hoagy on 111th has some sandwiches better than the Philly Cheesesteak! Even though I've never had one from Philly...


I finally gave in. Yep, I finally did the "in" thing and decided to become apart of the wonderful world of "blogging". Who knows if this whole blogging phenomenom is another quirky trend that will end soon along with throwback jerseys, spinning rims, and the rockstar fad. Eh, can't be concerned with that though, all I know is, this is a whole lot easier than jotting my thoughts down in a actual note pad. Seeing as how I can type 50+ words per minute and being a college student has forced my handwriting to be similiar to that of a preschool student, a mentally challenged one at that, I much rather do this.

In hindsight, there are a plethora of reasons why I decided to conform and join the wonderful world of blogging. Aspiring to be the next Perez Hilton is not one of them, although, I wouldn't mind the extra income. I simply started this blog to share my views of the world. I like to believe that I look at the world from a different perspective and I think some of viewpoints are actually interesting and could provide for intellectually stimulating dialogue amongst inquiring minds. I plan to blog about topics such as music (mainly hip hop), politics, religion, life (such a broad subject, I know), sports, social injustices, pop culture and of course I also plan to promote my own personal endeavors in the process (myspace.com/ThaAdvakit). As I have stated before, you can expect a unique analysis of a broad range of topics. Look at it as e-reporting from "outside the box".

Unfortunately, my first blog post is poorly organized. Hence, I'm just now explaining to you why I entitled my blog "Quiet Noise". It's quite simple if you think about it, and based on your interpretation of it you can define it anyway you find appropriate. I've always viewed myself as a quiet and laid back individual who shied away from the spotlight, but at the same time completed task and achievements that were worthy of fame. In short, I tend to go about my work without being to vocal or loud about it. I'm the type of guy who would choose to remain anonymous after giving a million dollars to a charity.

Likewise, I interpret "Quiet Noise" as defining the affect journalism/blogging can have on an indivual. Journalism/writing/blogging is an art form that is never vocal and never loud, yet it has the power to spark a revolution. It can inspire an individual and it can, at the same time, depress them. The words that I type here could very well convince someone to take part in some type of revolutionary act that will same day change the world as we know it. Although none of us probably view blogging this way, it is a truth we cannot shy away from. Although I wasn't alive during the Civil Rights Era, chills still are sent up my spine when I read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech. Hopefully, I can one day give someone that same feeling with my writing (or music).

Les I forget, the most obvious interpretation of "Quiet Noise" is the obvious contradiction and/or oxymoron present in placing these words together. This saying (which I first heard in a Royce Da 5'9'' song featuring The Clipse) simply explains the the constant contradiction that I, and we as humans, exhibit on a daily basis. Need I further explain? It's probably not necessary that I do. Plus, it's time for me to go to sleep!

I hope you enjoy the blog!