This Has Got To Stop

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I, like a lot of people have decided to keep my opinions on the tragedy that took place in Ferguson, MO where young #MikeBrown lost his life, somewhat mute, until the piercing feeling of outrage was felt.

Yup, folks I’m there, I am currently in sate of outrage directed toward quite a few sources. First, the media, for its disgusting portrayal of the true story line, the facts associated with the case, and the lack of any positive light being shed over any area of the issue. Second, the authorities of Missouri for mishandling the case from the start and the inability to maintain order, while appropriately protecting and serving its citizens. Third, #newblack people acting brand new to racism and directly blaming their fellow Black people for the way the tragedy unfolded. And lastly my people for allowing “The Man” to set us up for so long.

The media. As much love and respect that I have for the media and mass communications community, the lost of integrity and half truths being delivered to the masses is alarming. It absolutely disgusts me to watch Fox news and any of it’s sister stations, but to see CNN and MSNBC take similar stories and platform guests and allow them to spew bias and lies, no Sir. Fox News, since when does identifying a person as to having marijuana in their system during an autopsy investigation news worthy? When you are a unarmed Black male, being killed by a white police officer any piece of negativity is assumed evidence to justify the killing, right? As much as I hate to make this statement, I admit I have turned to social networks to stay updated and informed about the events that are transpiring in the #MikeBrown case. Fuck the news. The way this particular event is being played out on the major news outlets baffles me. Like where is the regulation, the validation, and the justification for some of the news stories and discussion panels that are being aired, any one?

The media is only showing what they want the people to see. Nothing new. We only see short snippets of the peaceful rallies and non-violent demonstrations that are taking place across the nation. You don’t get to see the huge number of supporters that turn out each day to protest peacefully. But you do see the small percentage of outrage protesters that are feed up beyond belief and display their frustration in the typical nigger essence. Become violent. You do see large numbers of people of all races being arrested daily, but the media does not show them being released due to lack of reasons to hold them nor the police brutality. The media will allow you to see some of the very crafty, witty and dead on signs created by protesters. But that is only to bring more spotlight and viewer ratings to their station to further discuss their agenda. To ensure they have an audience to scrutinize and pick out everything wrong with that picture.

The authorities. Did the law officials and enforcement of Ferguson, MO, really think they could just brush this tragedy under the rug without any form of repercussion, back-lash, or reverberation from the community? An unarmed, young, Black, male being shot multiple times in broad daylight, in the middle of his neighborhood, by a white male police officer as he surrendered, and you thought no one would say anything about it?

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I truly think this is what the authorities expected. My theory is evident by the slow reaction by authorities addressing the public. The delay of pertinent information and case details being communicated to the people. This delay actually was the fuel to the communities outrageous fire. Once the citizens of the community noticed that they were out numbered and unheard, they took it upon themselves to up the ante. Only then did the police and authority of Ferguson begin to take action. Almost, anytime you take action after a reaction, 99.9% of the time it’s too late. And you see how this story plays out. Military tanks, strong arm tactics, tear gas, violations of amendment rights, unfair control tactics, all because the authorities were a little tardy to the party.

Only after, what, day 8 of protest and a city on the edge, did the authorities of Ferguson began to answer some of the communities concerns. The ah-ha moment, when authorities actually realized the citizens had something to say, after they have been deprived of that simple freedom. Only, after 2 nights straight of violence and unethical control tactics by enforcement and the community, did some sort of “we hear you citizens,” occur.

Highway patrol Captain Ronald Johnson issues a statement.

“And beyond the investigation itself, we will work with the police, civil rights leaders, and members of the public to ensure that this tragedy can give rise to new understanding- and robust action-aimed at bridging persistent gaps between law enforcement officials and the communities we serve.” 

Again, too little to late.

#NewBlack.  The twitterverse has recently introduced me to the term #NewBlack.  This term is used to describe famous or affluent Black people who are so privileged that they may not experience the same strife and injustice as us regular Black folk encounter. Sometimes they side with opponents believing that racism no longer exists. They are so far out of touch with other Black folks that they point the finger at Black folks and say we are the cause for such injustice and racism.

Pharrell a leader of the #NewBlack stated recently in an interview with Oprah;

“The New Black doesn’t blame other races for our issues. The New Black dreams and realizes that it’s not pigmentation: it’s a mentality and it’s either going to work for you or it’s going to work against you. And you’ve got to pick the side you’re going to be on.”

Really Pharrell, so all the racial injustice, police brutality, and profiling that a Black person experiences is in our mentality and not the pigmentation?  Do non Blacks know this, because they are usually the ones that make our mentality a reality.

One #NewBlack went on a rant stating that if Black people would got out and voted more, than none of the injustice and so called racism that is being experienced would exist. I can agree to a certain extent that our people do not make up half as much of the voting community as non Blacks.  But I don’t think the reason Black people don’t vote is because we are too lazy to go to the polls.  I feel there are a number of reasons; 1. Voting hours, most polling places and hours are out of the convenience of struggling families working around the clock to merely survive, 2. Some people rather make no decisions rather a uninformed decision.  Some of these same  people do not have time to do the research on a particular person running for office.  So instead of blindly picking a person they have no information on, they would rather not partake in the voting process at all.  I don’t agree with this decision , but it is a decision that a lot of minority families make every time during election time. 3. Voting laws change all the time, If a voter gets turned away from one election, the likelihood of them returning to try again is slim to none.  

But is lack of voting the true reason?  As if a new law created from the government gods that would make any offense based on race to be an illegal offense punishable to the highest of courts, that would end racism? Really?  No mandate can change the way a person thinks, the beliefs that a person was instilled since birth, a way a person is taught from generation to generation.

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The sad truth is that white people have been formulated to believe that all non white people are a threat to them, so therefore their lives are less valuable. And the fact that the darker your skin tones create a higher sense of threat with a lower value of life. This is our truth.

White people know this as well as non white people, so it angers me to hear #newblack people say that we have overcome racism and discrimination ourselves before anyone else can. WTF?? We see it everyday how white people value just about everything else over a Black person’s life. Think about it,  any crime against a dog, would receive a more severe punishment than taking the life of a minority.  This white cop took the life an an unarmed Black male and the authorities have to review the case to see if charges will be brought against him, smh. George Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed Trayvon Martin even when authorities told him to stand down, he was acquitted of all charges. I could go on and on about different situations where you have to question is my Black life worth the same as yours?

But why when were all created equal, under God? 

Another #NewBlack person stated that protests and social media causes do not work.  Of course, this statement came from a very influential Black person that could easily reach out to the heads of major corporation, and to some powerful politicians and congressmen, to actually get things done. But for me and other people like the protesters across the nation, don’t have the privy of having such well connections.  This all we got! Yeah, the acting of protesting is out dated, but what are we left to do? How else could we bring national attention to a small-town demonstration of people uniting for justice? This is all we got.  And it worked. 

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If it had not been for the many #MikeBrown, #Ferguson, #Dontshoot,#WeMatterToo, #Justice, then how else  could a vast number of people unite to discuss what going on, and to vent, and to share some of the same injustices on the other side of the globe.  Trust me it’s been working.  People have been flooding social media with the various hashtags combined with personal experiences to get people to notice, something has to change.  Writing a single letter to my congressman would not get the job done.  It took the masses to make a voice for people to take notice.  Hell, it took 3 days after #MikeBrown’s death before President Obama, was even briefed on the tragedy.  So what are the people left to do? Use the same approach as our forefathers used, protest to make a point. This all we got.

I, as a young Black woman, can definitely relate to the visibility and reality of racism, still to this day, almost on a daily basis. I have non Black co-workers that make comments and stereotype jokes, often without recognizing the bias and disrespect of their words. In the grocery store little old white women still use the term girl when asking for my help to reach something on a high shelf due to my height.  

I can recall once at grocery store in a particularly upscale area in Houston (I don’t live there, just shop there), a young Hispanic guy was ringing up my items. When he was done scanning everything he automatically hit the EBT/Lone Star button as the form of payment, without asking first.  I nor have I every been a recipient of government provided food benefits, I’ve defiantly tried to apply, so no shade.  But for the cashier to racial profile me, judge my groceries, and due to it being near the first of the month, he assumed I would be using a Lone Star card as my form of payment. This really bothered me,  I’m sure he didn’t intend to display poor judgement and racial profile to his customers, but that’s exactly what he did. 

Another time, I was in, Rocky Mountain, SC. I was working a promotion at a car dealership where they were giving away free turkey’s to all customers that came in and took a survey with me.  The line was wrapped around the building.  This one older white guy, dirty overalls, missing quite a few teeth, was my next interviewee.  The first thing that came out his raggedy mouth was, “Oh my, you look a whole lot lighter (skin tone) from the back of the line girl, and prettier too. Now give me my free turkey, girlie.”

Now my racism stories do not hold a candle to the stories that I hear daily, that Black men experience. I truly do share your pain.  So I find it very difficult to understand when people say racism no longer exists.  Yes, it does. People just have been experiencing racism for way too long, we kind of became immune to it.  And racist people have displayed their blatant racism for far too long, it apart of their lifestyle, their thought process.  No way to change that. 

And lastly, my people. My people we have got to better.  We have to better prepare ourselves mentally and physically to take on this harsh, unfair, unapologetic world that we live in.  I do agree that all minority parents have to have the talk with their minority children to get them to understand the rules of the game.To equip them with the tools and weapons necessary to fight the daily fight of survival.  

The first step is education.  No matter your economic status, your age, your location, we have to read more. We, my people, have to read.  There is no excuse, no short cut, no lack of resources that should prevent you from picking up a book to learn more, anything. You may not have access to the best books or the best education systems, but do not allow that to be a crutch.  I’ve learned that any form of reading can create an increased curiosity to pursue more knowledge.  Once you uncover one truth, you being to dig deeper and find yourself deep in a whole new wealth of knowledge, to a sense, that creates a whole new perspective on life.

The next step is to accept reality.  I am Black female. Your are a Black male.  We are minorities. Once we accept the fact that we are born into an un-level playing field, you can better prepare yourself for the obstacles that are sure to come. Don’t expect anything, but be grateful for everything.  Don’t expect life to easy, and without a fight, but accept all life’s challenges with grace and dignity. Preparation is key.

A strong foundation is another key element.  Anyone can build a foundation.  The single mother raising her minority son’s on her own can build a strong foundation of love and support.  She may not have the all the knowledge and the resources but a strong foundation does start with love.  She can love the hell out of her sons which means, she will go out and find the right people to help her family, she would do all she can to keep her family together, and work very hard to ensure their survival.  The young boys would see her effort and know that an important tool in survival is hard work and dedication.  The boy will grow up knowing that any challenge or obstacle can be overcome or achieved through hard work and determination.  

These are only my opinions, and penning this blog has help to alleviate some of my outrage and frustration that I have been experiencing. I do pray for #Justice in the tragedy of #MikeBrown. But I am a realist, and I know that Justice does not always fall in our favor.  I pray that our community does become stronger, and our foundation becomes more solid as we have all been affected by this issue.

Stay strong my people, and live long. And What I Said It.   

Remy Ma Coming Home

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It has been a long time waiting, six years to be exact. Reminisce Smith aka Remy Ma will be released from New York’s Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women July 31.

We all remember the “When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong” episode/real life situation in which she shot at a former homegirl of hers for stealing 3 stacks from her purse.

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Six years later, she is ready to put the past behind her.  The first thing she wants to do when she comes home is get her hair snatched and a good mani and pedi. Who can blame you boo boo, that’s a fantastic welcome home present!

While behind bars she married her fellow NY MC boo thang Papoose.  He is eagerly anticipating her release date so he can take her out for their first date together as husband and wife.

I am personally excited to hear that one of the few REAL female hip hop artist is ready to return to the game.

She says she has been doing a lot of writing while locked up, as well as listening to the radio.  I pray that she does not allow what she has been hearing on the radio to influence her tough as steel, straight out of NY flow.

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I truly hope she comes back with avenges to regain her title as the Queen of Hip Hop. Maybe even rejoin Terror Squad and Slim Fat Joe, that would be a good look.

We miss you boo and ready for your return. And what I said it.

Regular or Deluxe?

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Should I cop the regular version or the deluxe version?  This is a question I ask myself just about every new music Tuesday.

I usually debate if the album is worth the extra $3-5 bucks for 3-4 additional songs, 2 of which I’m sure I already heard. But, I really think about posting. How can I stunt on instagram (@shebrown84) with a picture of the regular version album copy?

I usually just go ahead and get the deluxe edition.

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Is this the intent of the artist? Do they really expect fans to dish out additional money for a few extra tracks that are usually lackluster, at best? Or, does the artist really feel they are giving true fans an added benefit by spending a little more, to get a little more?

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I don’t get it.  As a fan we are already supporting your vision by copping the album. So now we are forced to spend a little more to hear a track that should never have made the album cut. I’m tired of it. It’s not fair.

Maybe artist should consider another options instead of extra tracks as the deluxe albums’ added bonus.  I compiled a list of things I personally would prefer to pay my extra cash for instead of a few extra cuts…

  1. Free Merch- I would prefer to receive artist merchandise if I pay for the deluxe edition. A shirt, a poster, exclusive towels, something.
  2. I like video discs- I think it’s pretty cool when artists put together a few videos as a bonus.  Especially the uncut version we would never get to see.
  3. Customized album option- Give fans the option of pre-ordering a CD with the songs that we want. #whoop This way we can pick the songs we want from a list of tracks the artists intended to be on the album, along with deluxe cuts. I would gladly pay deluxe charges for a CD of all my favorite songs that I help my favorite artist put together. Seems like a great idea to me.

I want artist to continue to appreciate the fans and their continued support to their craft.  Just by making your fans feel appreciated will guarantee their continued support. Use me, but don’t abuse me.

And what I said it.

Jeezy, Jeezy, Jeezy!

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Young Jeezy did a hell of a show, Friday night March 28 at Houston’s Arena Theater. He ran through his massive hit catalogue for the fans of H-town.

He started off his set, with his verse on Shorty Lo’s “Dey Know Remix”.  The crowd were on their feet. Jeezy burst out with so much energy, it was hard to keep your seat.

Jeezy filled the stage with a whole heap of fine ass thug background standers.  Like really, some nice looking shoot-em up style niggas.  Just the kind I like. And, I love it!

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Arena Theater Houston, TX

Young came out looking dapper as always.  All black everything. A leather black jacket, leather fitted cap turned to the back, black jeans, and J’s.  Being in Houston, that leather coat was not going to last long. Shorty into his set, he stripped down to reveal a black short-sleeve shirt with leather paneling.

Jeezy was looking good! Looks like he put on a few pounds since I last seen him.  But he rocks it so well, and I thought he was slimming down a little too much for my likings.

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Even though Jeezy does not have a hit record in rotation currently (aside from his feature on Rick Ross “War Ready”), nor has he released a new album (since 2011’s TM:103), he still drew an impressive crowd of die-hards.

All of Houston’s Street Kings and Queens, Hustlers, Gangsters, Ratchets, THOT’s, and Baby Momma’s were in full effect. Even Slim Thugga Mother Fucka graced the crowd with his appearance, taking pics with the ratchets. Such a hometown hero.

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The Houston Arena theater has an awesome rotating stage set-up. I know me and Jeezy caught eyes on more than a few occasions, and I exchanged a few flirtatious smiles with his sexy entourage. All in all, it was good night.

Jeezy definitely put on for our city! And what I said it.

G’s Up! YG 4Hunndid

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I must admit I was pleasantly surprised when I heard YG’s debut album My Krazy Life.  Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson better known as YG dropped his first full length album under Def Jam/ CTE records March 18th.  Crediting Young Jezzy and DJ Mustard for their production talents.

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Bravo.

West Coast born and raised, YG the 24 year old emcee has definitely proved himself as an up and coming artist. Fuck it, he has arrived.

“I think the West Coast is an extremely legendary place, but at the same time I think there’s a new breed of guys, YG included, Kendrick included, guys that are just writing their own chapter.” Drake tells Complex.

“To actually come in and see a nigga really dedicated with a body of work and come from a real place and a real lifestyle, ’cause I’ve seen him out there, that’s a whole ‘nother feeling,” states Kendrick Lamar.

The plaudit doesn’t stop there. Jeezy describes his album as “Timeless, not just what’s hot today or what’s good for tomorrow. 10 years from now, it’s still a classic album.” I agree Jeezy.

What was most surprising about the album, was the kid’s diversity. I heard a couple of his hit singles, but I didn’t know what to expect from the full album.

The West Coast King of Ratchet Rap, told Bet.com that he has spent the last three years honing his craft as an emcee and writer. I can personally see his growth from his 2011 hit “Toot and Boot it.” He had ok lyrics in the song, but his confidence and presence was not developed yet.

Today, you can see the maturation. Like on the successful single, “My Nigga”  This gangsta rapper’s confidence is now emerging, he comes in riding the beat almost singing. On the club banger “Right Left” DJ Mustard creates a beat reminiscent of the great DJ Mannie Fresh’s “Back that Azz Up”.

“I’m giving you that realness in every line, even my party shit,” he promises. “Mother Fuckers that ain’t heard my music think I’m a single artist, but even my singles is real life shit, you feel me? Even if it’s some party shit, that’s a reflection of where I come from, the culture of the West Coast, we known for gang-bangin’ and partyin’.”

I feel you boo. Songs like “Meet the Flockers” and “1 AM” are so real and so street, I found myself laughing and thinking I could actually see this nigga hitting houses licks.  Nigga shit is a common theme throughout the album.  Even his artwork on the album cover is photo’s of him doing typical nigga shit in the hood. And I love it.

There are songs like “Sorry Momma” featuring Ty Dolla. YG paints a very realistic picture, of the young thug stealing his mother’s last few dollars, but makes a promise that those days are over.  “Sorry Momma, I know I aint shit / I know I lied a lot, I know I aint slick / Them last few dollars, yeah that was me who stole em out your purse / Yeah I know it hurts.”

Or on the song “Me and My Bitch” he talks about not being able to trust a bitch, because his main bitch cheated and left him feeling all embarrassed. “She text me like I love you /  I text her back like fuck you.” Po’ baby. Just listening to the album track by track you feel like you are living his life through his art of storytelling.

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Most new artist would love the opportunity to have a big name co-sign them in the way that Young Jeezy did for YG. But the Young G knows that it takes more than a co-sign to survive in the game.

“I’m just telling you on some artist shit, it’s on you. You can’t blame the next nigga for your success or failure. It’s either on you, or you on some little boy shit. This is a grown man business, so you gotta act accordingly.”

Well put, boo. With a solid album to back him, YG is riding high on the west coast as well as the East, and all the hoods in between.

YG 4Hunnid !! And What I Said It.

 

 

 

LIL BOOSIE HOME!!! And what??

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I guess all the free Lil Boosie campaigning paid off because as of Wednesday March 12th 2014 Torrence Hatch was released from Angola prison, cleared of a first-degree murder charge in May 2012 but served a mandatory 2 year sentence for drug possession.

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I love Lil Boosie as much as the next hip hop fan, but a press conference really.  To release the statement: Honey I’m Home, naw, no thank you. That’s injustice. It’s not as though he was a prisoner of warfare, or wrongfully convicted of a horrific crime.  He caught a possession case while locked up on a first-degree murder charge.  I am truly grateful that he beat the first charge, but he could have been home if he didn’t ketch the second case. Why should I applaud him for that?  He did his time just like any other black man lock up on drug charges. Do their time and come home to hit the streets.

My little cousin did a 3 1/2 year stint and  we threw a small celebration to show that we love and missed him.  We didn’t call the local media to arrange a press conference for him to give a shot-out to all the fam that held him down while he was away.  We didn’t call Quanell X to escort him from the prison door to his mama’s car waiting for him in the parking lot. We did none of the such, just a regular Black people fish fry with the “Welcome Home” banner attached to the garage.

Maybe its because my little cousin never accomplished his ghetto dreams of becoming a hood superstar.  Please do not forget how we hold our neighborhood trapstars, and hood celebrities in high regard.

Why does the Black community supports and even glorify a person for going to jail? In the hood, going to jail and doing real time solidify’s a persons character. A badge of honor, earned stripes.  In a true sense it justifies the reason you went to jail. No matter the crime.

Think about the whole TI situation and his multiple cases.  The hood was in a frenzy when it was known that TI would serve a lengthy sentence for gun possession.  Almost immediately Free the King t-shirts were being printed and sold on your nearest hood corner.

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T.I. was arrested with a arsenal of weapons enough to supply a small African village. There is nothing celebratory about that fact.

So now that Lil Boosie is home after being arrested for a murder charge, we are supposed to salute that man for coming home.

The murder victim will never come home.

And what I said it.