Thursday, December 31, 2009
1. Am I achieving my objectives?
2. Have my career objectives changed?
3. Am I doing what I’m good at and what I enjoy?
Personally, I don't make resolutions. I don't knock those who do. As we turn the page on a new year, I just try to focus on being a better person. Better than I was the day before. If I do that, then I'll be a better father, husband, son, brother, friend, homie, etc. I think it's important that you ask yourself questions.
Ask repeatedly if you have to!
Why should you ask yourself?
You can lie to the world but you're less likely to lie to yourself.
May 2010 be a blessed, safe, and healthy year for you.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Group- any collection or assemblage of persons or things
That is the definition of a group...according to the dictionary.
As we celebrate hip hop week, I am reminded that we've seen our share of great groups. I have always had a great deal of respect for hip hop duos/groups. They have helped mold and shape the hip hop culture. You gotta respect those dudes even more. I imagine that it's hard to stand out as an MC when you're in a group. Sometimes your skills can be overlooked when you're in a group.
Over the years, we've seen some great groups...
WU TANG CLAN
DE LA SOUL
A TRIBE CALLED QUEST
Just to name a few!
But if I had to pick ONE group as the best of all time...I'd say Public Enemy!
And that's hard to say because the groups that I just mentioned are great groups. But when I measure their impact on the culture, lyrics, and album content. I gotta say PE.
What about you?
Who is the best hip hop group of all time?
(And you can only pick one!!!!)
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I'm a fan of hip hop
And I know you're a fan of hip hop
And in every fan...there is an emcee! An emcee that's dying to be unleashed!
Have you ever stood in front of a mirror and lip synced the words to your favorite hip hop song? Have you ever put on an instrumental track and tried to freestyle? If the answer is yes, then you're a true fan. If the answer is no, then you a probably lying. LoL
One track that immediately comes to mind is Brooklyn's Finest by Jay Z featuring Biggie. Those are two of my favorite MCs. I would chop my arm off to get on that song to rock with Big and Jay.
What about you?
What song(s) would you love to rap on featuring your favorite MCs?
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Dope beats...dope rhymes...what more do y'all want?
A young LL Cool J told you that he needed a beat
Don't we all?
When it comes to hip hop, most people hear the beat long before they hear the song. That's natural. Hip hop beats are so distinctive. They run through you. They move you. They make you move. Some of the songs with the dopest beats often intrigue me. I wonder if the lyrics came before the beats. Or if the beats inspired the lyrics.
When I think of some of the best beat makers in hip hop...a few names come to mind...
Jay Dilla (RIP)
Just to name a few.
When I hear a beat like the beat from Biggie's song Dead Wrong...my head starts knocking. But that's just one beat.
What about you? What beat moves you?
Who are some of your favorite hip hop producers?
Monday, December 21, 2009
It's hip hop week...again
Time to celebrate a passion of mine.
And I have to start with the ladies...
It goes without saying that women have played a HUGE role in hip hop. From the onset of the genre, women were very influential in molding the art form. If you ask any male pioneer in hip hop, he'll tell you that one of the reasons that he picked up a mic was to impress a woman.
Much like those before me, I've always appreciated a woman who was into hip hop. Especially one who was knowledgeable about it. Over a period of time, we've seen some great women in hip hop.
Then came the age of the video vixen. There was time in hip hop when the music video was a direct correlation to the song. In the age of the video vixen, that concept went out of the window. It seems like every video has some scantly clad woman jumping around. Don't get me wrong, I like looking at a beautiful women as much as the next guy but when you see the same "formula" for every video...it gets redundant. As we've gotten older and we make an attempt to introduce our children to hip hop, it gets harder when you see that it bares little resemblance to what you fell in love with.
So, where do we go?
Where are women in hip hop? What is their role? One of the biggest female influences in hip hop is Debra Lee, who is the VP of the train wreck called BET.
What is the state for the women in hip hop?
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
There aren't many things that are certain in life.
For me, one thing is certain At 12:00am on December 9th, my cellphone will ring.
It'll be my mom calling me to wish me a happy birthday!
It never fails. She knows that I never liked for people to make a big fuss about my birthday. She told me.
"Boy, we're gonna celebrate every year. That's what you are supposed to do. I don't care if you don't want nothing. You'll at least get a cake and a card."
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the best birthday gift that I ever received. It was December 10th, 2006. My right hand man...the man who runs my house...the man who I haven't been able to win a stare-down with...the life of the party...the youngest in charge...Brandon! Look how you've grown over the years. Daddy loves you, man.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Errybody and their momma has given their 2cents on Tiger Woods
Did you think that I wasn't gonna do it, too?
If you think that I'm gonna use this post to blast Eldrick Woods...I'm not. I'm gonna offer a different perspective. Peep the following excerpt that sheds some light on the situation.
words by Bill Tisdale (www.HitBooks.com)
My observations about Tiger Woods is the subject of my book, "Walking With A Tiger." I wrote the book years ago and preached a sermon series about my son and I attending one of Tiger's tournaments. He's in a bit of a pickle now to put it mildly. What do I think now?
Tiger did a low down despicable thing. I think the same thing that I said a few years ago in the issue, "So What About Jesse?" That issue was about Jesse Jackson and Bill Clinton, but it also could have been about David, Solomon, Samson and tons of other leaders, pastors, priests and public figures. As a pious pastor I should only say, "How dare Tiger to do such a low down despicable thing!" Many write in prayer requests when their spouse has been unfaithful, "What was he or she thinking?"I have a good idea what he was thinking. I would like to be pious, self-righteous and perfect sounding but I can't. I can't because if I am perfectly honest with myself, I'm not sure if I could hold up under star pressure. I'm really not sure. You ask, "What do you mean you're not sure that you could hold up? You're a pastor! Of course you could hold up!"As Joan Rivers used to say, "Can we talk?"
These are Tiger's circumstances:
1. He is an Alpha Male. This is a man used to winning. He has a passion and drive to win. He practices unceasingly. He is a. They are us perfectionist at his game. At his best he is undefeatable. He is the best at his sport in the history of the game. He is the epitome of the alpha male.Alpha males are biologically driven by testosterone, the male hormone. The SAME hormone that's usually responsible for aggressive drive to dominate and win is the SAME hormone that's responsible for "guess what?" Yes, that too. I've counseled with a lot of couples, and I see the hormone at work. Men who are highly driven are usually highly driven in all areasually the ones whose wives complain their husbands had an extra-marital affair. They rarely complain of the men's lack of interest in amorous activities.Men who are rarely tempted don't seem to be as highly testosterone loaded. When sitting across from their wives, the wife is likely to complain about her husband's lack of interest and/or performance in "that" area. Is this an over simplification? Sure, but the general principle is what I've observed. So Tiger is an alpha male. That's pretty obvious.
2. He has more willing beautiful women presented to him in one day than most men will have available to them in a lifetime. Women, let me ask you a question. Who is the world's most handsome and enticing man? Now imagine a different one just like him after you every day. That's what Tiger faces.
3. He's the first billionaire athlete. A billion dollars can do wonders for your looks, but Tiger is a good looking man without the billion. So couple a billion dollars, world fame and good looks and you've got a proverbial super chick magnet. As a matter of fact, a million or two will line them up and a billion is a thousand million.
4. He's in awesome physical shape. I occasionally play golf. It's not my favorite sport because it's too passive for me, but walking 18 holes and doing all that swinging is a reasonably good workout. Do it every day plus hit a few hundred practice balls on the range and it keeps you in excellent shape. Better shape equals more testosterone. More testosterone equals...
5. He's young. Enough said.
6. He's away from home a lot. His work causes him to travel a lot. That means sleeping in a lot of hotels (alone if he's strong) all over the world. The isolation from your wife (and that assumes that the relationship is good and that you really miss being away from your wife) in strange lonely places can do things to a man. If you say "Not so," then you aren't speaking from an honest man's perspective with a good drive (I'm not talking about a good golf drive either). People think that Tiger's greatest battle is his PR image and the wrangle with his wife. I don't think so. I think his greatest battle will be with himself and the tons of women who will now throw themselves at him even more.
7. His greatest battle will be to not do the same thing again. None of the above mentioned factors will change but two new ones are added.
a) The women now know that Tiger is vulnerable and that he makes errors in that area. Like sharks smelling blood, they will be drawn more and circle even tighter.
b) Affairs often bring an increased coldness into the marriage. When a wife has been hurt seriously, her heart freezes and it takes a long time (if ever) for it to thaw. Hurt and the fear of repeat may keep her heart cold. So Tiger has two intensified problems. The forbidden women will be hotter, more forward and willing, and his wife has the probability of being colder. That combo is not good. It is not good at all. So Tiger's internal battle with the same thing will likely be harder and any line once crossed is much easier to cross again. Am I a weak man? No. Have I ever cheated on my wife? No. Have I ever been seriously tempted? That's another book. If I were in Tiger's shoes past and present, how would I do? God only knows about me...but perhaps you would be much stronger in those circumstances. In super extraordinary circumstances, it takes supernatural Divine power to sustain you.
The strength of an ordinary man is not enough.
Even the strength of a tiger is not enough.
Note: Two out of three married men and half of married women commit adultery at some point in their marriage. Those are the non-celebrity, non-billionaire stats.
Monday, December 7, 2009
"My money is funny. And my credit...won't get it." - Martin Lawrence on an episode of Martin
That sentiment can apply to a TON of people in this country.
The big C
Credit...good or bad
As someone who has spent the last 10yrs in the mortgage industry (7 as an underwriter), I'd like to think that I know a little about credit. I do. I look at it every day! I've seen some horrible credit reports. I've seen it all. Fortunately, I'm looking at great credit reports now because bad credit doesn't exist.
Or does it?
Of course it does.
So, what is credit? What is good credit? Great credit is when your credit score falls between 700 and 850. When I talk about credit, people always ask me..."Kyle, how does credit work and how do I get my scores up?" Credit scores are merely a statistical analysis of a person's credit files, to represent the creditworthiness of that person. A credit score is primarily based on credit report information, typically sourced from credit bureaus. You get your scores up by making payments on time on the debts that you owe (house, car, credit card, student loans, etc).
We're in a recession. Unemployment is at an all time high. Foreclosures are weakening an already unstable housing market. People are having to make tough decisions. Do I pay this mortgage or do I eat? Do I pay this student loan bill or do I pay my rent? Do I pay this car note or should I resort to riding public transportation? Lending institutions have tightened credit guidelines. Years ago, almost anyone could get a house or a car no matter their credit. And that's partly why we are where we are. We're in a hole and we're not getting out anytime soon. I think, at some point in time, lending institutions have to get the credit flow going again. It has to be monitored and regulated, though. It wasn't before.
I've always said that I wish that every report that I read had come with an explanation. There's a story behind each situation. I think that 95% of people want to pay their debts. I know I do. I think there are some circumstances that sometimes prevent that from happening. If you go through a divorce, you're credit is prolly gonna take a hit. What if you have to take care of an ill family member? Somethings gotta give. More often than not, it's a bill or an expense. The only advice that I can give you is this...
* get your credit pulled as LITTLE as possible
* be smart with credit cards and your credit limits
* if you can't pay a debt on time, notify the lending institution. they may be able to offer some other solutions for you.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
One of my favorite movies of all time.
I watched it the other day for the 2000th time (i guess)
One of the most important scenes in the movie was when Nina decided to take the advice of her best friend, Josie.
(for those who haven't seen the movie...I'll break it down for you).
Nina was beginning a synergetic relationship with Darius. She gets approached by her ex-fiancee who invites her to leave Chicago and move in with him in New York City. She is confused. Should she stay and build on what she has with Darius? Should she move to NYC to see what has left with her ex. While neither she nor Darius would classify their involvement as a relationship, they both knew that they had something special. However, they both described it as "just kickin' it."
Faced with a crucial decision...Nina seeks the advice of her best friend, Josie. Josie is single. Nina has a man. Therein lies the problem...
Why would you seek the advice of somebody who wasn't riding in the same boat that you were in? That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Don't get me wrong. As a friend, they are there for you no matter what. But could she really speak to the situation with a clear understanding because she was not in a relationship?
For example, I'm married. I have friends who are both married and single. In fact, some of my boys are single. As a married man...could I ask JFresh or Clark a question about marriage when they've never been married? Both dudes are very cerebral and could give me a great deal of insight on how a female may think or act. But would I really seek their advice on marriage???
Which brings me back to Love Jones.
Don't you think you should seek advice about your relationship(s) with friends who aren't in a relationship?
Have you ever gotten bad advice from a friend?