Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Track of the Moment: "The Rising"

Peace and blessings,

The next track I want to feature from Sho Baraka's "Lions and Liars" album is "The Rising," featuring Trip Lee and Erica Cumbo. The song is about (1) the magnificence and power of Jesus' life, (2) being empowered with the light that lives within us, and (3) using that light to impact the world. Below is Trip Lee's verse, followed by Sho's last verse:

"When we say the Son is out/what you really mean?/
Aye, let me make it plain/let me spill the beans/
God sent His son just to intervene/
'Cuz were were walking dead like that Thiller scene/
You want things to be better/but it's still a dream/
What God already started/He's fulfilling things/
And without Him I am still a fiend/
But instead I'm trying to walk in that light like Mike in Billy Jean/
I was all about me/what a tricky thing/
I was just trying to get ahead like a guillotine/
But now I'm following the Head He's the realest thing/
He lived and rose bro/but He died in between/
So if you want some evidence that He was really seen/
Look at the lives of the guys....(seen/scene)/
And we've opened up our eyes bro/we've been redeemed/
Praise God the Son is out/I can feel the beam."

- Trip Lee

"Look at folks in other countries believe/
He walked on water just to reach overseas/
Yeah, he's fully God/Fully man/
They thought the Son was down but He would rise once again/Let's go!...
The Good Sherpered/the barn was His birthplace/
Who else you know could stop time with a birthday?/
Many people live their lives just to get doe/
Watch the Bread of Life rise/without the yeast though/
Joy to the world/gift to all the people/
Best Christian rap you'll hear/without a beat yo/
The way we view the Son is so feeble/
That's why we live backwards/yeah we so evil"

- Sho

Thoughts? Take care, God bless, and speekonit...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

So What's in a Story? (Pt. 2)

Peace and blessings,

Continuing with a recent post on stories that change lives, I wanted to let you know about Your Story/My Story, a website ministry whose purpose is to spread the love of Christ through people's personal stories. Below are a few stories that I have checked out so far. The first deals with a woman who was healed of Cerebral Palsy, the second is about people who were rejected by "the church" when they should have been embraced, and the third is about someone whose Christ-like love shines extremely bright.

What do you think? Any video move you in particular? Why? Until next time, stay encouraged and speekonit...

Track of the Moment: "Shut us Down"

Peace and blessings,

I drove down to LA this weekend for my sister graduation, and about 80% of the time I was in the car, I was playing Sho Baraka's "Lions and Liars." To say this album is amazingly dope is an understatement. The song that is the focal point of this post, "Shut Us Down" feat. Lecrae and After Edmund, is a lasting jolt of encouragement for those who try to lovingly and accurately represent Christ, in the midst of being criticized and marginalized on various levels. The song lets us know that God was, is, and will forever be in control, and the clearest piece of evidence of this fact is that his authentic message of love continues to spread and change lives here and abroad. Below is Lecrae's verse, which in my opinion is one of the best Lecrae verses I have ever heard:

"I write to tell truth/don't write to save face/born in H-town/got the words to save Face/'Christian' means/that when I eat the beat I say my grace/If only God can judge you/how you plan to beat the case?/Can't beat it/Mike Jack couldn't either/all you get is one life/can't rewind or repeat it/I...will do this 'til the day I take my last breath/beautiful feet/I'm running 'til I take my last step/there's nothing they can do to stop what the Lord's doin'/come in the kitchen/take a look at what the Lord's brewin'/radio don't play us/television mock us/the truth is still spreadin'/there's no way they can stop us/pharisees throw stones at my glass house/but they don't see their own reflection when they bad mouth/you can lie/you can hate/you can run us down/but in the end the gates of hell couldn't shut us down/"

-"Shut Us Down" - Sho Baraka feat. Lecrae and After Edmund

What do you think? God bless, stay tuned for more tracks, and speekonit...

A Few Thoughtz: Black Panther: Power

Peace and blessings,

Ever since the events of Secret Invasion left the African Nation of Wakanda weak, MUCH has happened in the pages of the Black Panther series. I will attempt to provide a brief summary of these events, as well as of Secret Invasion, without spoiling things for those who are interested in reading up on the stories. So here we go...

In line with their their goal of world domination, the Skrulls, a shape-shifting and technologically advanced race from another planet, invaded earth. In Wakanda, they faced the Black Panther in an epic battle over the fate of Wakanda. After the battle, Dr. Doom used Wakanda's fragile state to implement his master plan. The first step in this plan was to kill the current Black Panther (BP), T'Challa. After a battle that caught the Black Panther by surprise, Doom almost succeeded, leaving BP gravely injured.

Taking up the BP mantle while her brother is fighting for his life, Shuri begins investigating her brother's attempted assassination. During her investigation, she eventually runs into the Desturi, a traditional, militant group whose sole purpose to is to "purify" Wakanda and get rid of all outsiders and the leadership responsible for opening up Wakanda to outside influence. A thorough investigation leads her to conclude that Namor, a good friend of T'Challa's, was the person responsible. Upon confronting Namor, they are interrupted by Reed Richards (leader of the Fantastic Four), who discovers an anomaly in a critical piece of evidence, which ultimately proves Namor's innocence. They soon find out that the Broker (a person who works in the "underground" market selling products that enhance people's abilities) was responsible for the anomaly that framed Namor. What they did not yet know was that the Broker did not work alone...

Once they find out that Doom has the Broker on his payroll, is working with the Desturi, and is thus orchestrating the whole thing, Doom's plan starts to take shape. In the mean time, the BP has recovered and has been simultaneously extremely focused getting back to form and standoff-ish towards his wife and family. It turns out that he's standoff-ish because he's been on to Doom's plan for a while as well, and in particular how Doom managed to infect his wife, as well other members of his family with Nanites, allowing Doom to easily acquire essential intel on Wandaka's political and military affairs. He knew that telling them anything would literally be like telling Doom, so the best strategy was to remain quiet. Realizing that Doom has been planning this for a while and is probably proposing the biggest threat Wakanda has ever faced, The current BP and her brother, the former BP, both uninfected by the nanites, assess their assets and prepare for war...

Starting from the Secret Invasion onward, I the Black Panther series has been the best story I've been reading, period. In case you're interested, I've included the video summaries of the Secret Invasion: Black Panther:

What do you think? If you've read Secret Invasion: Black Panther and/or Black Panther: Power, what do you think? If not, do you plan on checking it out? Why or why not? Until next time, stay blessed and speekonit...

Thursday, May 06, 2010

So What's in a Story? (Pt. 1)

Peace and blessings,

It's probably hard to find a person who does not like a good story. Regardless of the genre of the story or medium through which it's told, people love a good story. Since stories about people speak to the human experience, it makes sense that one story could "strike a cord" and pull in people from all ages, walks, and regions of life. Jesus knew this all too well, as He communicated some of the most profound truths about life through parables...

Along these lines, I wanted to put you on to Youth on the Rock, a Christian video ministry whose focus is to spread the love of Christ through telling stories. These stories highlight the ups & downs of life, and how they relate/contribute to the human experience. Below are a few videos I've recently checked out:

(1) First video is set to Brandon Heath's "Give Me Your Eyes," and focuses on someone trying to see others the way God sees them:

(2) The second video is set to Matt Maher's "Alive Again," and tells the story of a guy who finds hope in Christ after losing his family:

(3) The third video is set to Jeremy Camp's "There Will Be A Day," and centers around an alcoholic father who decides to change for his family:

What you think? Until next time, stay blessed and speekonit...

Marvel-ous: The Truth: Red, White, and Black (2004)

Peace and blessings,

Man, talk about a post that's about two years late, lol! When I first heard about "The Truth: Red, White, & Black" (2004), I called many comic book stores in the Bay Area trying to track it down (I would have got it from Amazon but it was too expensive, like twice as much as normal!). After contacting about 7 stores or so, I finally found it. Come to think of it, I think the last store I called that had it, only had one copy left! If you thought Steve Rogers (Captain America) was the first U.S. Soldier to "successfully" benefit from the abilities afforded by the Super-Soldier Serum (SSS), then think again...

Depicting events in a similar vein as the actual events that took place during Tuskegee Experiment from the early 1930s to the early 1970s, "Truth" tells the story of how before Steve Rogers was given the SSS, earlier versions of it was tested on Black Soldiers during the early stages of WW II. Of the many soldiers who died during these experiments (in which the black soldiers were forced/mislead into participating in), one solider was a "success": Isaiah Bradley.

My apologies in advance if I make a mistake in summarizing the story. It's been about 1.5 - 2 years since I last read it. After serving his country as the first "super - weapon" against the Nazis, Isaiah Bradley eventually gets captured by Nazis and has an "interesting" conversation with, if my memory serves me correctly, was Hitler. In this conversation, Hitler tells Isaiah the "Truth" about how much he is valued by his country in general and the U.S. army specifically.

Either sometime during or after the war, Isaiah started experiencing serious side effects from the SSS, most notably mental retardation. Learning about the atrocities that were these experiments, and the other "moral compromises" made by the U.S. during this time, Steve Rogers condemned the actions and goes to pay Isaiah a visit at his home. In many ways, Isaiah's legacy lives on through his grandson,Elijah Bradley, leader of the New Avengers. Rather or not you are familiar with the Tuskegee Experiment, I recommend you check out "Truth." A review of the book can be found here

What do you think? If you've read it, what are your thoughts? If not, do you plan on checking it out? Why or why not? Take care, God bless, and speekonit...