Monday, January 30, 2017

bound for heaven...

Rest in Peace, Grandma

April 10, 1921 - January 27, 2017

Sometimes you expect people to be around forever. It's not possible. But with just do.

I wasn't shocked when I got the phone call that my paternal grandmother, Opal Dowling, had passed away. Her nurses had advised the family earlier in the week that she would not make it through the week. Those same nurses had advised that she would not make it through the month of December. But she did. This time, I knew it was a matter of time. So, I wasn't shocked when I got the phone call. I was saddened by the call...but not shocked. But more than being sad...I was thankful.

My grandmother got to live 95 years on this Earth. That's a huge blessing and I'm extremely thankful for that. We would all be lucky if we lived to be that age. Up until the day that she died, she knew who she was and where she was. She wasn't in any pain when she left us. I find comfort in those things. She lived through a bad marriage and divorce with my late grandfather. She raised their 5 kids the right way. Unfortunately, she outlived 2 of her kids. Grandma stayed faithful in her belief in God and she always moved forward. She lived through world wars, segregation, and she voted for a black man who became president. She saw a lot in her lifetime.

I'm thankful for the time that I did spend with my grandmother. She was a funny lady. Very funny, beautiful, intelligent, quick witted, and she had a sharp tongue. She would let you know how she felt without holding back. I think that some of what she had was passed to me. And I'm thankful for that. Unlike most kids, I didn't see her all the time. I only saw her a couple of times a year. Grandma lived in Newark, NJ. I was born in Newark but my parents and I moved to South Carolina when I was 3 years old. I'd visit Grandma on holidays or when we would visit NJ for the summer. Even when my parents divorced when I was 13, my mom still made sure that my brother and I saw Grandma when we went to NJ to visit our family.

Grandma lived in the same high rise apartment building since the 60s (i think). I know she had been there for all of my life. One of the best things about her apartment was that it had a great view of the skyline in Newark. And it had a great view of the skyline in New York City. You could easily see the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and the World Trade Center. I remember spending HOURS just staring out of that window. New York City was only 10 miles away but from her window it felt like you could touch it because it was much closer than that. I enjoyed those days being around her listening to her tell stories about my Dad. Grandma always had a funny story to tell.

As the years passed, I would joke with her about sending me a birthday card "on time." My birthday is December 9th. But for most of my life, Grandma would send my birthday card to me a week or 2 after my birthday. Sometimes, I'd get in in January. But it was cool because it came from Grandma. Unlike my cousins who lived in New Jersey, I didn't get to see her as much. When I got to college, I'd call once and awhile just to say hello. I think I called about as much as any other kid in college would call. I wish that I had called more and made more visits as time passed. But I don't have any regrets because I know she loved me and I loved her.

These past 2 years have been to be expected. She moved from Newark to Virginia to live with my cousin. She could no longer live in that apartment in NJ. My cousin and his family took excellent care of her. Grandma was in the initial stages of dementia. When I got the word about it, I had a deep fear that I would call her and she wouldn't know who I was. I couldn't live with that. I had already experienced dementia with my late Uncle Ronnie. I talked to her a handful of times but only twice within the past year. I would have much rather seen her face-to-face so that she would remember me. It didn't happen. I'm at peace with it. I have great memories of Grandma. I remember one of our last and funniest conversations...

Me: "Grandma, I saw some pictures of you."

Her: "Where did you see pictures of me? I didn't take no damn pictures."

Me: "LOL. They were taken with a cellphone."

Her: "Oh."

Me: "Grandma, you look good for your age."

Her: "Boy, I look good for ANY age!"

LOL! That's my Grandma. That's who she is. I thank God for making. I thank God for helping her make the man that made me. I know God will take care of her.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

PODCAST: the Obama Years

Check out the latest edition of The 12Kyle Podcast. On this episode, I will discuss my thoughts on President Barack Obama. I will reflect on the impact and legacy that his presidency had. I will also share a personal story about how his policies saved the industry where I work...and subsequently saved me.

LISTEN, SHARE, AND SUBSCRIBE to The 12Kyle Podcast here...




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Saturday, January 14, 2017

PODCAST: many of us have them

Check out the latest edition of The 12Kyle Podcast. 

On this episode, we will discuss FRIENDS. All of us have friends. How do we define our friendships? Who are our true friends? Can you have too may friends...or not enough friends? Are friends from social media our "real friends"? We'll also break down the hip hop classic song, Friends, and how it relates to us and how we define friendship.

I'll also give you 3 characteristics that I think every friend should have. All of this...and more... will be discussed on The 12Kyle Podcast.

LISTEN, SHARE, AND SUBSCRIBE to The 12Kyle Podcast here...




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CLICK the link below to listen on Stitcher

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Editors Note...A few years ago, me and some of my fellow hip hoppers (Rashan Jamal, CRecks, & eclectik) would get together on twitter and comically and randomly discuss some questions from hip hop that were never answered. As I was thinking about how we would go back and forth, I came up with a few of my own...

How did Rampage get picked to rhyme on "Flava In Ya Ear"?

Why hasn't Luke and the 2 Live Crew not gotten a Lifetime Achievement Award?

Why didn't people like the way that Sally walked?

Why was Memphis Bleek and Amil on Rocafella but Sauce Money and Foxy Brown wasn't?

Who allowed Snoop to do a remake of "Vapors"?

Why is Rapper's Delight so long?

Can Andre 3000 be considered on a Top 10 rapper list if he never drops a solo rap album?

Why do some people STILL think that Jay Z won the battle against NaS?

How was TI "crowned" the King of the South? Was there a ceremony?

What is blow tishes? Did LL ever explain that?

Why does the DJ always want to know if Brooklyn is in the house?

What happened to the mixtape "exclusives" that were really exclusives?

Why did we never get Lil Kim and Foxy Brown on multiple songs or a collaborative album?

What happened to the maxi-single?

Would Biggie and Tupac be as revered if they were still alive?

Why didn't A Tribe Called Quest bring back Jarobi for Beats, Rhymes, and Life instead of using Consequence?

How did the guy who admitted that he "don't smoke weed or cess" go on to make an album called The Chronic?

When Suge Knight chastised the label for having the "CEO dancing all in the artists videos" do we know not know he wasn't talking about Jermaine Dupri?

How many Roxanne's are there? Do we really know?

If the roof was really on fire, why would we let the mutha#%*~a burn?

Was there a better MTV Cribs edition than Redman's?

Why wasn't Big Daddy Kane actually on the set of the video for "The Symphony"

Why do they still call it a "freestyle"? Very few people actually still freestyle...

Did anybody ever confirm that Ice Cube got a triple double?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

off tha dome

random thoughts...

it's "Happy New Year"...not "Happy New Years"...singular not plural

it's no need for some folks to make resolutions for what they'll do in the new year. they'll be back doing the same ole BS in 3 wks

football season is almost over. I'm not happy about that

I spent a few days in my hometown, Florence, SC and brought in 2017 there. It felt good to get out of Atlanta and get back home

I finally saw Luke Cage over the holidays. it was dope

as much as I didn't like george bush...I would have voted for him 3 times before I voted for Donald Chump

speaking of Chump...why is he ALWAYS on twitter? this ain't a game, fool. you're about to be the leader of the free world and you are on twitter like it's the place to be. are you 15 years old???

if a woman goes to the gym with makeup on, she's probably not too concerned with working out. she's trying to "get chosen".

if I see one more dude trying to show off his "belt buckle" I'm gonna scream. is that the new trend? nobody cares what kind of belt that you have. just wear a belt

oh how times have changed...the New England Patriots, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Golden State Warriors are 3 teams that have sucked for most of my life. and now they are on top. go figure

hey Solange...thank you for that INCREDIBLE album. i never heard one song from you before i heard that album. sorry for sleeping on you

if I told you that I will write more in 2017, I'd be lying. and I don't want to lie to you.

i will definitely miss them...

the "Facebook poke" was/is useless

there's always one jerk who hits "reply all" to an email that wasn't meant to go to the masses

give the drummer some...

i'm not a fan of the mass text messages...especially when someone replies to everybody and you don't know them. you get random text messages from people who you don't know

my mom makes the best lasagna

i read a report that said Chicago had 762 homicides in 2016. that's more than NYC and LA COMBINED!!! that's scary and sad on so many levels

congrats to Penny Gordon on having a baby at age 50. I can't imagine changing diapers at 50.

the only thing that I want to do at 50 is play golf and chill

steve harvey ain't funny to me. I respect his hustle...but he can keep those jokes

i'm surprised at how tall my niece has gotten. i think she should try playing basketball. she's going to be at least 6 feet tall

have you ever wrote something...then read it years later...and thought to yourself "I can't believe I wrote something that dope". it happens to me often

the world is bigger than your street

never been a fan of neck tattoos

my 14 year old son, Kameron, asked could he get an earring. I laughed so hard. then I said "nope". it reminded me of the time when I was 17 and wanted an earring and I bought some magnetic earrings. I'm glad I never got my ears pierced the half nekkid women on Instagram who get 10,000 "likes" get money from it?

barry bonds SHOULD be in the baseball hall of fame

remember when Jordan got kicked out of the game for wearing these? the refs said "there wasn't enough white in them"

oatmeal raisin cookies are everything

my generation was the last generation who communicated without the internet

willie washington...still funny to this day

never underestimate the power of laughter

love is...

gotta make it back to NYC this summer...and you should come too

I ain't no joke, I used to let the mic smoke...

I wonder what's next for Simone Biles

if I ask you to hold the that too much to ask?