Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Verse of the Day: Dre Murray

" Yo this track is cooked up like some grits/and you know that the verbs that I spit/got you looking at my words with a squint/but this hear is heaven sent/no credit taken/dog they checked the tomb and it was vacant/that vision right there/man it got my feet shakin/got my hands clappin/the reason that i'm rappin?/Why I go back to the hood and dudes' cappin?/man you changed/They be like 'what happened?'/I got hooked up with Christ ya dig/changed my whole life and i'm glad he did/didn't have a dad/now i'm his kid/didn't have a wife but he found my rib/I feel like a superstar/forget a house on 'cribs'/He got a mansion with space/dog and I got dibs/I was rowdy for the world/but now i'm His/dead to the world/but now I live"

-Dre Murray
From the track "Gettin Rowdy" from "Best of
the submissions V.1"

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A "Dream" Deferred

Peace and blessings,

I want to address these photos, but right now i'm not sure how. I'm still trying to process them. Although these photos courtesy of
  • The Smoking Gun
  • were taken from different Universities across the country, they all had one thing in common. Each of these "parties" were thrown on or round MLK day. More on these incidents can be found by clicking on the links. What makes it worse is that these degrading events seem like teh result of a well thought-out plan involving some major universities. SMH...

    This photo was taken of
  • Texas Law School students

  • Convinced that things are all bad? If not, peep these pics of
  • UCONN Law School students

  • Still not convinced? This pic of
  • students at Clemson University
  • says way more than any photo should say.

    I feel like watching "higher learning" or something to get my mind right. Take care and speekonit...

    Monday, January 29, 2007

    Myspace helps a woman find her brother's body

    Peace and blessings,

    I saw this today and found it interesting. A woman was looking for her brother and posted it on myspace. Within hours, someone contacted her and that lead led her to her brother's body. This is an example of one of the benefits of being part of an internet community. Pray that God provides comfort to the victim's family. Take care and speekonit...

    Saturday, January 27, 2007

    Pics added to previous posts!

    Peace and blessings,

    Pics have been added to "Pt.2" of my summary of the Holy Hip-Hop Awards (posted January 16, 2007) and the post I did on the potential educational import of superheroes ("More than meets the eye?", February '06). Take care and have a blessed rest of the weekend. Enjoy and speekonit...

    Friday, January 26, 2007

    Verse of the Day: J-Kwest

    "The flow been since puberty hit/but back then I was spittinwhat to do to be rich/then God said 'J, you can do for Me this'/'teach them how to gain'/It's my duty in this/Here game that I don't play in/Where lives dyin/chalk lines gettin drawn like preschool games/Outline baby mommas named Cherise who made/her bed lying with a man in the 13th grade/thing is she was barely pushing 13 age/exchanged gifts/no money so they switched out rings/right before he moved on yo he gave her his AIDS/generous, the same day he dontated a baby/and, man the pain don't stop when she dies/cuz we live in the city where the rain don't stop/on the stoop everyday with the same drip drop/stay dry with my Kangol and real hip-hop/but, we still listening to R&B/wondering who we ARE/who be trying to BE/meanwhile the flow ARE/who we dying to BE/she ARE a black queen and a king he BE/"

    Track 2 of the "Are and Be" album

    Wednesday, January 24, 2007

    A Beacon of Light

    Peace and blessings,

    Out of the various churches i'ved visited or been apart of thus far, one thing is certain: Witnessing Jesus move in peoples' lives and hearing their testimony is something one must experience, because trying to use words to describe it does not do it justice. Hearing about the miracles Jesus performed and the lives he healed (e.g. mentally, emotionally, physically, etc...) is one thing, but to listen to the pastor or a member of the congregation speak about their personal encounters with Jesus is phenomenal. What's even more phenomenal, in my opinion, is when people encounter Jesus in settings outside of the church. If you have not read or heard about the story, let me introduce to you
  • Harmony Dust
  • ...

    As someone who was abused as a little girl and had a rocky relationship with her mother, her problems would increase as she got older. In the midst of financial problems and going to college (a combination in which too many are familiar), she decided to strip to make some extra money. What started as temporary became much more (e.g. she only planned to do it for a few months, but it turned into a few years), and her self-esteem started to feel the effects. In the midst of all of this, she started attending a church.

    One night, she recall hearing a song that she had heard three years ago once she first started dancing, and took it as a sign that it was time for a change. After giving her life to Christ she left stripping. She now has a ministry called
  • Treasures out of darkness
  • . The purpose of the ministry is to reach out to women who are strippers, and to reveal Christ's love to them. Not only did she have the strength to leave and demand more for herself, she also was humble enough to reach out to others in a similar situation.

    If you haven't already, make sure to check out her article and website(links provided below). These type of testimonies demonstrates the applicability of God's love to all areas of our lives, and the fact that He meets us wherever we are at. Furthermore, most of the women Jesus spent his time with were those who were social outcasts who probably had low self-esteem prior to encountering Jesus. Even though Jesus undoubtedly has the power to transform anyone's life, it does not excuse the personal responsibility to treat one another with love and encouragement, so that we do not contribute to situations that make it more likely for women to engage in that lifestyle. Who knows what would have happened if people reaffirmed Harmony from the beginning of her value and worth. Ahh, the power and love of Jesus. Until next time, speekonit...

    Monday, January 22, 2007

    Rhyme, Reason, and Revolution

    Peace and blessings,

    I pray everyone had a safe, blessed, and productive weekend. Below are a couple of links about rappers who are contributing to righteous causes domestically as well as internationally. Ahh, the power of the voice...

    The first link is about rappers in the Bay Area, California who are tryiing to raise awareness of the struggling schools in the Bay Area, as well to raise money to improve those schoools. One of the rappers, Kontac, is also a teacher at a school in East Palo Alto.

    On a similar note, 20 or so rappers are coming together for a "Save Darfur Tour," aimed at raising awareness of the past and current genocide going on in Sudan, and the plight of its refugees. Peep the website below for more info.

    Man, could you imagine a concert in the likes of like a summer jam, but whose sole purpose was to raise awareness about and pull resources together to address domestic and international injustices? Call me an idealist, but a pray that the actualization of such a vision is on that rear-view mirror steez: It may be closer than it appears! What do you think? Speekonit...

    Thursday, January 18, 2007

    Featured Artists: Japhia Life, Rob Hodge, T.K., and S.O.G.

    Peace and blessings,


    If so, then I've here are a few tracks to curb your musical appetite. The first two tracks are from Japhia Life. Unfortunately, these tracks aren't on any of his albums ("Pages of Life," "Hell's Diary," and "Fountain of Life,"). The first track is entitled "I wanna go," and is heartfelt song about the pain that is present when lives are lost, and the faith that one day we will see them again in heaven. It is truly a beautiful song, and it's liable to put tears in your eyes. The second track is a freestyle he did to "Diamonds from Sierra Leone." To say it's sick would be an understatement. You may experience some difficulty listening to it, as it may stop at times. Hopefully it doesn't though, because the world needs to hear it!

    The next two tracks are from affiliates of Japhia Life. The first track is called "most hated," and it is on Rob Hodge's album entitled "Born King." It features Rob Hodge, Japhia Life, S.O.G., and T.K. (Tru Knowledge). My favorite type of hip-hip songs are "posse cuts," where 3 or more MCees just spit of a hot beat, sometimes even without a hook. This is one of my favorite posse cuts of all time (and believe me, I do have plenty). The last track is entitled "Face-off," and it features everyone I just named with the exception of T.K. Enjoy, eat up, and speekonit...

    Wednesday, January 17, 2007

    Holy Hip-Hop Awards '07: A Little Taste of Heaven Pt. 2

    Peace and blessings,

    In the first part of my recap of the awards show I only discussed the happenings in the lobby prior to me actually entering the awards show. Here is my recap of the rest of the evening.

    Awards Show: Unlike other music awards shows, the artists did not receive awards based on how many records they sell, or their popularity. In fact, there was a t-shirt being advertised by one of the vendors that read "It's not about the money," and on the back it read "Ministry or Industry?" Instead, artists were honored for the type of ministry their music aims at, their ministry work in their local churches and communities, and so forth. In between the various awards, artists from around the country and the world took the stage for God-filled performances. Japhia Life, who also received an award, performed the hit "We Cry Blood" off of his album "Fountain of Life." During his reception of the award, he spit what I think is one of his illest verses acapella. For album info, peep the holy hip-hop resources. Other notable hip-hop performances include Sean Slaughter and Mona J., The Army of God, and Mr. Del and the crew (not sure if the crew members had a name). One of the tightest performances of the night came from "Real Talk," a hip-hop dance group from Norway.

    The Lobby Reloaded: After I left the awards show, I went back into the lobby (the venue was set-up to where people could go in and out of the awards show). This is where the event got crackin' on a whole new level. There was a DJ and turn tables in the middle of the lobby, and they allowed for those in the lobby to engage in some hip-hop of their own. First they had an artist showcase, where up and coming artists had the opportunity to perform a song or two and pass out demo cds to those in the lobby. Most notably was the group who performed a song about women strip, encouraging them to get out of that lifestyle, and to start seeing themselves they way God sees them. After the artist showcase, the DJ opened it up for anyone who wanted to spit a verse or freestyle in the cypha. It was beautiful to see a variety of folks ranging from upcoming artists to female hip-hop pioneers (I forgot the woman's name, but they said she used to battle Roxanne Shante back in the day) to little kids dropping a line and repping for Christ.

    Overall, the holy hip-hop awards gave me a glimpse of what can happen when God is lifted up through artistic expression. Another thing that I noticed at the event that I have not seen at other hip-hop events I've attended is the different age groups that were present. There were whole families who attended the awards show (parents and children). I've already decided that I will be in attendance next year (I think it's always held in Atlanta), and hopefully I can attend some of the holy hip-hop events earlier during the week (the awards show is only one event among the many holy hip-hop events held during the week). Until next time, speekonit...

    Tuesday, January 16, 2007

    Holy Hip-Hop Awards '07: A Little Taste of Heaven Pt. 1

    Peace and blessings,

    Last week, I was blessed to attend the Holy Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta, GA on Saturday, 1/13/07. To say it was "off the hook" and "the best musical event i've ever attended" would not do it justice, so let me break it down for you.

    The Lobby: Like a child in a candy store, I just couldn't wait to give the attendant my ticket and get inside. I remember while standing in line, I said to myself "this is going to be off the hook!" and a lady in front of me looked back on some "he must not get out much" steez, lol. In within 30 minutes of entering the lobby, I had spent all of my money. Now, I hit up the ATM before I came to ensure that I wouldn't leave broke (well, it sounded like a good plan at the time). Given that it was a hip-hop event, I planned on spending money on cds. What I didn't plan on was spending about 80% of my money on clothes and comic paraphanelia. The clothes I purchased were from a Christian-based company called "Agape Wear," which is based on Isaiah 61:10 which states: "I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." (NIV).

    In terms of comic paraphanelia, I came across a Christian-based comic book called "Animus," which is about a young superhero who controls the five elements. Animus is guided by a spiritual mentor who helps him control his powers and use them for the right purposes. If you've read my piece "More than meets the eye?" (February '06), then you'll know why I hopped on that with two feet and a pogo stick (props to Spirit for the phrase, lol). Gotta run, but the re-cap of the actual "hip-hop" aspect of the awards show is coming soon. Take care and speekonit...

    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    "Real Talk" Has Moved!!!

    Peace and blessings,

    This page has moved, and the new address is

  • . From this point on, future postings will be viewed on that page only. Thanks to everyone who has visited and commented on my page, and I pray you continue to show love at the new address.

    Friday, January 05, 2007

    Media With a Meaning

    Peace and blessings,

    Below are a couple of videos that I think convey important messages. The first is called "when a gun draws" by Pharoah Monch, and talks about the consequences of guns, from the perspective of the bullet. I think it provides a powerful counter-narrative to the over-saturation of violence that is promoted in movies and music videos. Although i may sound corny for saying this, but a minor warning that this video contains explicit language and content, lol.

    The second video is of Common's "I have a dream." It is off the soundtrack of the movie "Freedom Writers," which opens today. The trailer for the movie is also below. The video and message is dope for a couple of reasons. One is the emphasis it gives on writing as an avenue for personal and social change. Two, anything inspired by MLK deserves notariety. Enjoy, take care, and speekonit...

    Wednesday, January 03, 2007

    "Greater love has no one that this..."

    Peace and blessings,

    The following is a link and video of a person who risked his life to save another's at a New York subway stattion. With all of the bad things we here about us doing to each other, it's a breadth of fresh air to hear about the good things. Especially an act of this magnitude. God is good, all the time. Until next time, speekonit...

    "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command."
    -John 15:12-14 (NIV)

    Monday, January 01, 2007

    Let's Start the New Year Off Right!

    Peace and blessings,

    I want to start off by wishing everyone a happy new year, and may God provide for you and your families this year and the years to come. From now one, I will frequently post Christian hip-hop songs from the artists that are in my holy-hip resources section, as well from artists that are not in the section. The jump off features two tracks from Lecrae, "Tha Church" and "I did it for you." These tracks are my favorite songs from each of his albums. Artist and album info is provided in holy-hip resources section. Also, if u have any suggestions of tracks I should post, let me know and i'll see if I can find it. Holla back and speekonit...