Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Freaknik ' 94

"Hey Mom. I'm going to Atlanta this weekend."

"Ok. What's going on in Atlanta?"

"I'm going to Freaknik."

"Huh? What the hell is a Freaknik?"

a conversation between me and my mom (April 1994)

Truth be told...I didn't know the answer. It was something that I had heard about. I was a college sophomore at South Carolina State University...a 3.5 hr drive from Atlanta. The buzz on campus was that Freaknik was the spot where black kids from other black colleges came to hang out. It was supposed to be this one big party in Atlanta. The Black College version of Woodstock...is how it was described to me. I wasn't sure what it was but I was determined to see for myself. It had been a long semester and we had just finished Spring Practice for football. Our final exams were just a few weeks away and I needed to blow off some steam.

This would not be my first trip to Hot-Lanta. I visited a few times as a kid. My family drove down to Atlanta from my hometown, Florence, SC to see a football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Giants. At the time my uncle, Harry Carson, was playing for the Giants so we got a chance to see him play relatively close to home. I found Atlanta to be a nice city but it was scary for kids. One year we came to see a preseason game in the early 80s. This was at the height of the Wayne Williams drama. We couldn't go outside without an adult. I remember how cautious my parents were and they didn't want to let us out of their sights. Looking back on it now...I understand. Nonetheless, I had never experienced Atlanta as a young adult. At the time the city was bubbling. There was a burgeoning hip hop scene there. And the city would host the Olympics in 2 years. Sounds like a perfect place to party, right?

One of the first things that I noticed that there were a lot of black people in powerful positions. The city was virtually run by black people. That impressed me. Anybody who knows me knows that I'm about my people. When I saw that, I was hooked. Atlanta always struck me as a place that was fast...especially for the south...but not as fast as New York City.

I remember parking the car near Fulton County Stadium (now Turner Field where the Braves play) and me and the crew began to walk. We walked down Piedmont Rd as we were headed to Piedmont Park for a free concert. I had no idea just how far that was. Me and my boys walked...and walked...and walked. The cool thing about this trek...we weren't the only ones. With so many streets being blocked off, you had to walk. I remember making a detour down Auburn Avenue and all I saw was a sea of black people! The city officials said that Freaknik drew 250,000 students that year. Well...they were wrong. There was EASILY 500,000 people in the ATL that weekend. There had to be 100,000 people on Auburn Avenue that day. It's fitting that we were all on Auburn Ave considering it's history! So many people...and it was ALL love. It didn't matter where you were from. If you were young and black, you felt like you were at home. There was a performance on a stage in on the street. Some young dudes from Atlanta who went by the name of OutKast. They didn't even have an album out but they were killin the crowd! We saw celebrities and athletes who seemed to be just enjoying the atmosphere. I remember being on one side of the street and watching a young Snoop Doggy Dogg roll up some weed with an Atlanta cop standing 10 feet away from him! And the cop didn't say a word.

"Want a cheap trick? Betta go down to Freaknik!!" - Lil Kim (Crush on You)

One thing that I learned very quickly was that freaked me was just one big ass party! No matter where you were, A party could break out at any moment. For example, we were stuck in traffic in the SWATs on Campbellton Road. Traffic was at a standstill. Out of nowhere, somebody turned on some music at a liquor store in the parking lot. And from that moment on a party started! Everybody got out of their cars and just started dancing. People were exchanging phone numbers and getting to know each other. We stayed in that one spot for at least 30 minutes! And nobody seemed to care at all! LOL! It wasn't just the residents from Atlanta. It seemed like there was somebody from nearly every state.

One of the biggest appeals to a young man like myself was...well...the women. When I hit Freaknik that spring, I was single. I had not met my future wife yet and I was fresh out of one of my many, ill fated 3 month relationships. For me, coming to Freaknik was like therapy. I don't think I've ever been around that many beautiful black women. I must have fallen in love (at first sight) 20 times that weekend. LOL. The women were really cool and everybody was just looking to have a good time. Freaknik, for at least this year, didn't consist primarily of women doing crazy and sleezy stuff on the street. It was a cool vibe. Young black college kids from all across the country were on one big cool vibe. Everybody's experience with Freaknik was different. I enjoyed the whole weekend. Were there people trying to hook up with each other? Of course. But I just enjoyed the vibe. It was at Freaknik that I heard one of the dumbest and corniest pick up lines that I've ever heard...

We were all waiting in line to get some doughnuts from Krispy Kreme. There were 3 fine women in front of me. A dude approached the 3 women. He turned to one of them and said...

"I see that you're wearing a DKNY (which stands for Donna Karan New York) shirt. Do you know those letters represent four of my favorite colleges?" She looked puzzled. At this moment, he probably should have walked away but he was determined to impress her.

"D...for Duke
K...for Kentucky
N...for Nebraska
Y...for Y-oming!"

Wait...did he just say Y-oming...and not Wyoming?? I laughed sooooooo hard until I couldn't breathe.

Freaknik was filled with moments like that. Good times. Great laughs. Great music. I would attend Freaknik for the next 3 years. But it wouldn't be the same. The vibe gave way to ratchet women and some locals who saw an opportunity to cause trouble. City officials deemed it a "traffic nightmare" and found ways to shut it down and discourage people from coming to the city for the event.

Looking back on the conversation that me and my mom had...I'm not sure if I STILL know what Freaknik was. It was a party. It was a vibe. It was a movement. It introduced me to a girl named Atlanta that I fell in love with. I still get that rush when I walk through Piedmont Park today...just as I did that weekend.

Monday, July 13, 2015

20 words you should never put on your résumé

I came across this article on Business Insider. I think it's some good information that I think you might find useful...

While many large companies use automated résumé screener software to cut down the initial pool of job applicants, loading your résumé with meaningless buzzwords is not the smartest way to get noticed.

"Nearly everyone is guilty of using buzzwords from time to time, but professionals are evaluated increasingly on their ability to communicate," says Paul McDonald, senior executive director for professional placement firm Robert Half.

One of the major problems with using buzzwords and terms, according to Mary Lorenz, a corporate communications manager at CareerBuilder, is they have become so overused that they've lost all meaning. Another issue, she explains, is that many of these words don't differentiate the job seeker from other candidates because they're so generic.

Instead, Lorenz says job seekers should speak in terms of accomplishments and show rather than tell.

"Avoiding overused terms can help job seekers convey their message and stand out from the crowd," McDonald says. Here's what you should avoid:

20 words you should never put on your résumé

1. 'Best of breed'

When CareerBuilder surveyed more than 2,200 hiring managers last year, it found "best of breed" to be the most irritating term to be seen on a résumé.

"Anyone can say they are 'best of breed,' a 'go-getter,' a 'hard worker,' or a 'strategic thinker,'" Lorenz says. "Employers want to know what makes the job seekers unique, and how they will add value to the specific organization for which they're applying."

2. 'Phone'

Career coach Eli Amdur says there is no reason to put the word "phone" in front of the actual number."It's pretty silly. They know it's your phone number." The same rule applies to email.

3. 'Results-driven'

"Instead of simply saying that you're results-driven, write about what you did to actually drive results — and what those results were," Lorenz suggests.

4. 'Responsible for'

Superfluous words like "responsible for," "oversight of," and "duties included," unnecessarily complicate and hide your experience says Alyssa Gelbard, founder and president of Résumé Strategists.

"Be direct, concise, and use active verbs to describe your accomplishments," she suggests. Instead of writing, "Responsible for training interns ...," simply write, "Train interns ..."

5. 'Highly qualified'

McDonald saying using terms like "highly qualified" or "extensive experience" won't make you seem better-suited for the job — in fact, it could have the opposite effect. Instead, he suggests you focus on the skills, accomplishments, and credentials you bring to the role.

6. 'Seasoned'

"Not only does this word conjure up images of curly fries," says Rita Friedman, a Philadelphia-based career coach, "it is well-recognized as a code word for 'much, much older.'"

7. 'References available by request'

This outdated phrase will unnecessarily age you, Gelbard says. "If you progress through the interviewing process, you will be asked for personal and professional references."

8. 'NYSE'

Vicky Oliver, author of "Power Sales Words" and "301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions," says you should spell out any acronyms first and put the initials in parentheses. For example, "NYSE" would read "New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)."

"For starters, acronyms are capitalized, and all caps are harder to read than upper and lower case," she explains. "It's also really difficult to wade through a piece of paper that resembles alphabet soup."

9. 'Team player'

"Who doesn't want to be a team player? If you’re not a team player, you’re probably not going to get the job," McDonald says.

But using this term isn't going to make you stand out from other candidates. "Instead, use an example of how you saved a company time, money, and resources on a team project or in collaboration with others."

10. 'Ambitious'

"Of course you would never say you're 'lazy' either, but calling yourself ambitious doesn't make any sense on a resume," Friedman says.

"It can imply that you're targeting this job now, but will quickly be looking to move up in the company because you won't be satisfied in the role, leaving the employer stuck with doing a new job search in the very near future."

11. 'Microsoft Word'

Yea, you and everyone else.

It's assumed that you have a basic proficiency in Microsoft Office, Gelbard says. Unless you have expert proficiency, there's no need to include it on your résumé.

12. 'Interfaced'

"Words like this make you sound like an automaton," Oliver says. "Most recruiters would rather meet with a human being. Keep your verbs simple and streamlined."

13. 'Hard worker'

It's true that a company is less likely to consider you if you haven't worked hard or don't come across as someone who will put in what it takes to get the job done, but that doesn't mean writing "hard worker" will convince hiring managers of your efforts.

"Give concrete examples of how you’ve gone the extra mile, rather than using a non-memorable cliché," McDonald suggests.

14. 'Honest'

Honesty is one of those things you have to show, not tell, Friedman says.

"It's not as if there are some other candidates out there vying for the job who are describing themselves as 'duplicitous' or 'dishonest.'"

15. 'Punctual'

Being punctual is great, but it's also pretty basic to holding down a job. Don't waste the space on your résumé.

16. '@'

Unless it's in your email address, avoid casual texting language like @.

"A resume is a formal document and is often the first impression a potential employer has of you," Gelbard stresses. "Business language should be used to reinforce that first impression and text-style or casual words should be avoided."

17. 'People person'

Cliches like "people person" are impossible to prove, Oliver says, and recruiters have heard these phrases so many times they're likely to feel their eyes glaze over as soon as they see them.

18. 'Hit the ground running'

"This one is a pet peeve of mine," McDonald says. "The expression is unnecessary and doesn't add value. A recruiter isn't going to be able to place you if you're not eager to start the job and you aren't committed."

19. 'I'

Avoid using personal pronouns like I, me, my, we, or our, Gelbard says.

"A person reviewing your resume knows that you're talking about your skills, experience, and expertise or something related to the company for which you worked, so you don't need to include pronouns."

20. 'Successfully'

"It's generally assumed that you were successful at whatever you are including on your resume," Gelbard says. "There is no need to say that you successfully managed a marketing campaign or successfully led annual budget planning."


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Hip Hop vol 3 (show preview)

We're BACK!!!

The 12 Radio Show is back on the air! 

On this episode, we'll talk about various hip hop topics. Join us for an informative and introspective look at hip hop.

Join host 12kyle and special guest, Q the 6th Man. If you're a fan of Hip Hop, you DON'T want to miss this show!

Tonight's show will air from 9pm-11pm est. You can call in (347)215-7162 or listen online www.blogtalkradio.com/12kyle

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

off tha dome (12 Radio Show)

WHO : 12kyle & co-host, Coogie Cruz

WHAT : 12 Radio Show (off tha dome - random topics)

WHERE : www.blogtalkradio.com/12kyle or (347)215-7162

WHEN : Tonight from 9pm-11pm est

WHY : Because we said so!!!

Join us as we cover random subjects that will make you think and make you laugh! You don't want to miss this show.