Lynne d Johnson



« May 2004 | Diary | July 2004 »

06.30.04 11:55 AM

meet the writers @ barnes & noble new york

Throughout the month of July various writers will hit up a few Barnes & Nobles stores in New York to meet with the public. Following is a list of a few who are not necesarily on my radar, but they do have either some "urban" or "music" cache.


Ronin Ro will appear at the Chelsea shop @ 7 PM on July 9. His latest title Tales to Astonish; Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and the American Comic Book Revolution. This writer is also the author of Bad Boy: The Influence of Sean "Puffy" Combs on the Music Industry, Gangsta: Merchandising the Rhymes of Violence, Have Gun Will Travel: The Spectacular Rise and Violent Fall of Death Row Records, and the novel Street Sweeper.

Tonya Lewis Lee, wife of Spike Lee has written a novel with Crystal McCrary Anthony, former attorney turned romance novelist. Their collaboration is a novel entitled Gotham Diaries. They'll appear at the B&N @ Lincoln Triangle @ 7PM on the 9th.

Erica Kennedy who has written about fashion and entertainment for US Weekly, Vibe, and In Style, has written a novel about hip-hop glitz and glamour called Bling. Shell be at the Astor Place location on July 22 @ 7:30 pm.

Eric Jerome Dickey, a romance fiction writer in the tradition of Terry McMillan, drops his 15th book in July. Dickey's latest tome, Drive Me Crazy, will be his topic on July 22 @ 7:30 PM @ the Upper West Side B&N.

Chuck Klosterman, senior writer for SPIN, who had a banging article on Metallica's group therapy movie in a recent sunday edition of The New York Times Magazine, will make his was to the Astor Place B&N on July 27 @ 7:30 PM with his latest book, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. Publishers Weekly says: "[D]espite sparks of brilliance, [it] fails to cohere....[A] skilled prose stylist with a witty, twisted brain....Remove all the dated pop culture analyses, and [it] has enough material for about half a really great memoir." And that's a lot better than some of the words his last book, Fargo Rock City, received.

Zane has another joint dropping and it's called Nervous. She'll be at Rockerfeller Center on July 28 @ 1 PM. And I want to put the rumors to rest, yes a woman can write these erotic, passionate stories. I've talked to her on the phone. She's a pretty shrewd business woman with a good head on her shoulder, who simply loves to write. She writes something every damn day of her life - and has a vivid imagination. So kill the rumor that only a man could write like that.

Will I get out to see any of them? Probably. Because very recently I started wondering why I've never pursued writing fiction. It's as big as hip-hop nowadays. Well, commercially that is.

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06.29.04 07:36 PM

my summer anthem

terror squad - lean back

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06.29.04 03:26 PM

Kill BloodClott Bill Mixtape

killbillmixtape.gifI'm a mixtape fanatic and definitely a Kardinal Offishall fan so no doubt I'm feeling his latest mixtape. I'm wondering when he'll have another album instead of making all these mixtapes. When he and Pharrell made "Belly Dancer" in 2003, I thought MCA was gonna open up the studio and let this kid get at. It just hasn't happened yet. Supposing since Interscope swallowed up MCA it just wants to stay with its Aftermath/Shady/Gunit projects for now. IMHO, Kardi has done the best integration of East Coast-based emceeing and Kingston DJing, and to top it off he's from the T-Dot (that's Toronto for those of you who don't know).

But in the interim, if you've missed any of his last few mixtapes such as Bad Man A Bad...DJ Quest & Kardinal Offishall, Fire Shots!! Kardinal Offishall & Cipha Sounds, Kardinal Offishall - The Firestarter (and the last one is not to be confused with his industry debut Quest For Fire: Firestarter) you can hear his latest mixtape for free.

I'm especially feeling this joint b/c of the Kill Bill theme and my boy Vybz Kartel is on this joint. If you're really going to represent in Dancehall right now you can't have a mixtape w/out Kartel on it. He's the hottest lyricist DJ wise in dancehall though his talent rests on slackness he's got a slick ass wordplay going on. (Just bigging up Kartel, b/c I predict that after Sean Paul and Elephant Man - Kartel is the next big thing. He might have to go to VP Records to make it happen instead of resting wtih Greensleeves, but who knows.)

Anyways, sorry for the delayed introduction, you can hear Kardi's new mixtape as a Real Audio stream from, right now. listen

Sample lyrical wit on the spaghetti western opener...

bang bang kardinal's in the city/ going after bill like dylan after diddy

bill killed tupac and bill killed biggie/ bill made hardcore niggas dress jiggy/ yo that's sticky/ sick and nah truss 'em/ if you see bill then take 'em out and buss 'em

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06.29.04 01:25 PM

hip-hop sampling book in the academy

beatscover.jpgOn the book radar this week is Making Beats: The Art of Sample-Based Hip-Hop by Joseph Schloss, visiting professor at Tufts University.

Now I know there are a lot of books out there currently about DJs and DJing and they suck. But I'm willing to give this one a chance. It's released July 26, 2004 on Wesleyan University Press. I especially find this one interesting b/c of this Jon Michael Spencer quote snatched from The Emergency of Black & the Emergence of Rap: A Journal of Theomusicology, Vol. 5, No. 1, Spring, 1991.

"The current emergence of rap is a by-product of the emergency of black. This emergency still involves the dilemma of the racial "colorline," but it is complicated by the threat of racial genocide: the obliteration of all-black institutions, the political separation of the black elite from the black working class, and the benign decimation of the "ghetto poor<' who are perceived as nonproductive and therefore dispensable...

Both the rapper and the engaged scholoar seek to provide the black community with a Wisdom [sic] that can serve as the critical ingredient for empowering the black community to propel itself toward existential salvation, that can overcome disempowering, genocide, hell-bent existence."

From the press release for Making Beats it states that the book explores the realtionship between hip-hop and African-American culture, arguing that all producers, regardless of race, make African-American hip-hop, but those who do it well are respected largely without regard to their ethnicity. Schloss comments on the significance of hip-hops multiethnic nature, especially given the charged nature of many multicultural interactions in American society today.

Overall the book looks at the social, artistic, and political issues surrounding the use of digital technology in hip-hop.

yo, that's that blackthoughtware shit! word!

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06.28.04 08:48 PM

the new yorker gets gangsta

back in the '01 when Kelefa Sanneh penned that piece on Jay-Z's hustle called "Gettin' Paid," i thought it was a major coup for hip-hop. no, not on some the mainstream must accept it shit. on respecting his business savvy. i was so feeling that, especially since duke had gotten dissed when trying to shop for co-ops in new york's fair manhattan. it was like giving him another cloak of cred that would enable a large body of folks to see just how long and green his money was. now i remember that article like it was yesterday, since i don't usually go checking the new yorker for any hip-hop coverage. besides that piece made it to da capo's best music writing (which could be a hit or miss circumstance to begin with).

truth is, no one checks the new yorker for hip-hop coverage, regardless of the shot in the dark hip-hop journalistic beauty that turns up. but cats on the block have been telling this scribe that the new yorker is getting gully with theirs. the new yorker is watching hip-hop's back. the new yorker, the say, has jockitis.

there could be some truth to this. but instead consider perhaps that the new yorker just wants a little street cred all to itself. why else would this week's ink in talk of the town be titled "Gangsta Content" and be about a little magazine called Don Diva. in the second graf, the piece even mentions both FEDS and Felon also.

here's that second graf: "Don Diva’s editor-in-chief is a former telephone-company employee and marketing executive from suburban New Jersey named Tiffany Chiles. Chiles founded the magazine in 1999, at the suggestion of her husband, who was then serving a ten-year federal sentence for bankrolling his music label, Big Boss Records, with profits from his wholesale cocaine business. A similar publication, F.E.D.S., which stands for “Finally Every Dimension of the Streets,” had been around for a year or so. And, not long after Don Diva’s début, a cousin of Chiles’s husband launched his own title, FELON, which stands for “From Every Level of Neighborhoods.” But, judging by regularity of publication, number of ads (music, clothes, jewelry, beepers, vodka, legal services), and sales of ancillary products, Don Diva’s mixture of life-style and service journalism has been particularly successful: the magazine recently launched a U.K. edition."

go forth and read the rest: Gangsta Content

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06.28.04 07:23 PM

whistle while you work...

if you're like me and your entire work day is spent at the mercy of the computer, every now and then you need a little entertainment to kick it light. and it doesn't hurt to some nice altec lansing computer speakers with an amp (with extra bass boost) to make your office walls and ceiling shake. damn, i lost my point.

oh yeah...

so, if you want to whistle while you work, and you like mixtapes, blends, remixes, whatever, then i've got something to make your work day go over really, really, nicely.

ran across vj squad1's music video remixes on squad1tv. they remind me of the one's you see on Weekend VIBE, or similarly the ones that were on the VIBE Awards

the interesting thing about these video remixes is that while i'm watching usher's "yeah" and luda is spitting his verse, the dancers are rocking to the track from nelly's "hot in herre" - and not for a second did it ever look off time.

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06.27.04 10:06 PM

i've got a new site

not like i'll ever have time to work on it. not like i've decided what i'm going to do with it. i'm using PMachine (the free version) for now. i've been looking at some free templates here, because i don't need this site to be overdesigned. i just need it to be as simple as possible. though i will need a logo and a few other things.

anyway go check it out, and remember i said it's boring right now.


addendum: unfortunately, the weblog css is not working right in mozilla-based browsers on the mac - only IE. i haven't had the opp to see what it looks like on pc yet. and i also purposely have not opened up commenting yet. it's just a placeholder until i figure out what i want to do with it. the entire site is supposed to have a black background with white text and blue links - that's the home page and the weblog portion. pMachine seems pretty easy to figure out, but i might at some point want to turn it into a portal so i might have to beef up and go with one of the nuke plug ins.


check back here for further developments with

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06.27.04 05:45 PM

cornrow chronicles

no i'm not vain, i just thought it was time to show you that i really have hair now. first two were taken about a month ago. bottom one taken in the past week.


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06.25.04 03:57 PM

finding my spot

nah you nasty folks i'm not talking about the g.

though the g, as in george and i must have selected similar criteria over at findyourspot b/c we came up with similar cities. to be quite honest, there's quite a few places selected that i'd never ever consider living in.

here's the rundown of the four pages of results this little survey came up with for me:

#1 Little Rock, Arkansas  
ah no, sorry, i don't think so

#2 Baltimore, Maryland
i could see this one since my mom's family lives there. oh man, and the seafood. yeah all of y'all who thought i was a strict vegan, i do have my weaknesses.

#3 Honolulu, Hawaii 
now this would be the ultimate spot. i've been talking about having a beach house since i was a kid. too bad the caribbean wasn't on this survey.

#4 Sacramento, California
this is even closer to reality for me. lots of water and lots of colleges/universities. and there's night life. whoa!

#5 New Orleans, Louisiana 
hmmm...i have an older sister there—one of my dad's children. i've never been and i've never met her in person. though i think it would be a nice place to visit—note to self: get down to one of those essence festivals soon. but overall, the whole cash money and chopper city side of the world there kind of scares me.

#6 Baton Rouge, Louisiana
definitely not. all i can think of is this chef who used to come on tv who would say this city's name like this...bat-on rooge. ok, that's not quite the effect. but i really don't think i'd understand too many of the locals. i'm seeing lots of seafood and gumbo, which are nice for a vacation, but for some reason i'm also seeing some men in white hoods. i don't know, maybe it's just me.

#7 Portland, Oregon 
is there anything in portland?

#8 Long Beach, California
snoop dogg? i think not.

#9 New Haven, Connecticut
been there, done that. oh it was a bore. though i do like to around the water and whatnot, but isn't it even colder than where i already live? that's a no-no.

#10 Hartford, Connecticut 
ok this one is even more boring than the previous one.

#11 Oakland, California
damn skippy. i could get with this town.

#12 Boston, Massachusetts
but everything is so old there. and it's boring. and it's cold. and i don't even like to visit there when i have. yeah, ok, sucka for the seafood, but it ain't enough.

#13 Providence, Rhode Island
i think i know why this one came up. but no. no, no, no, no, no. i'd pull out my hair from the boredom, and it's funny cuz i said i could deal with medium sized communities. plus, if i ever move out of the nyc, i'd like to get away from the cold.

#14 San Diego, California
anything that starts with san and ends with california sounds real good to me.

#15 Orange County, California
this could be ok, but probably a little too much beach and not enough to really feel like it's a city. at least not for me.

#16 Frederick, Maryland
too old and too many farms. makes me wonder what the hell i checked on this survey for this city to appear.

#17 Fayetteville, Arkansas 
there's one in GA and one in NC too, but i like none of them.

#18 Charleston, West Virginia
there's basically as much snow there as there is over here in brook'nam. and when you put west in front of va i don't get the feeling of african-american friendly either.

#19 Las Vegas, Nevada 
hmm. i don't gamble. but no seriously, i don't gamble. and i am not into shows with fallen off celebrities either. and besides, i was there in the fall/winter and thought it was a little too warm for me, so what would summer feel like? besides, and though they're vast and wide, deserts make me feel closed in. cough!

#20 Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana
i know why this is happening to me. it's because i find beaches and oceans to be important. living in the lou has never appealed to me derrrrty.

#21 Natchitoches, Louisiana
you know what. this is a joke. i don't even know how to pronounce this city.

#22 Ventura, California
pretty, but not for me.

#23 Los Angeles, California
while most of y'all think la and nyc are kissing cousins, i know the real deal. you can walk out your house looking tore up in nyc. i dare you to do that ish in la. i double dare ya. for real though, i like chilling there, but i don't know that i'd ever want to live there.

#24 Washington, District of Columbia
once upon a time i thought of living there. it's kind of small though. and a pain to drive around since everything is in a circle. i've spent ample amounts of time here and really did enjoy the times i spent there, but when it comes to careers. well there's a limit, unless i want to ride over to dulles and work for that multimedia conglomerate. if i wanted to do something in public policy or govt, it'd be keen and there are loads of colleges and universities, some of the best, which is important if i'm going to get a phd one day or ever thing about teaching full time. but no thank you, i think i might just have to pass.

of these cities, blackenterprise, listed baltimore and washington in its top ten for african-americans to live, work, and play in its july 2004 issue.

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06.25.04 12:55 AM

new york ain't really that big

believe it or not, i don't really get out that often. i mean socially. well, not unless it's somehow work-related, or possibily a meeting with a fellow blogger, and then there's the occasional brunch, dinner, or movie with a friend or my love. but really, i don't get out much.

so tuesday night when n. called me to accompany n. to a play about a drag queen's birthday that n. was writing a review of - i said sure why not. besides, i hadn't seen n. in eons. but then n. also wanted me to go to this spot where some new acquaintance of n's was having a birthday party. it wasn't a private party. it was happening in a well attended venue - but it was one i had never been to. i didn't really want to go, you know having to get up for work in the morning and all, and still having to finalize a midterm i was making for my students. but i gave in anyway. and i'm kind of glad i did, because i got to study six degrees of separation in effect.

at first i was all ho hum, i'll have one drink and be out. but eventually, some folks came to the table where i was sitting and we engaged in a conversation about being adjunct professors-three of us at the table are. we also talked about music, pop culture, critical theory, yadda, yadda, yadda, yaa.

for my first drink, i wanted a mojito, so we had to get up and go to the front bar. on our way there, i ran into c. and a friend of c's. i hadn't seen c. since last summer @ the 7th annual wordstock music & poetry festival at fort green park in august. and it's funny, because c. is a good friend of m., a buddy of mine who has been studying in london for the past year. m. came into town last week and is currently staying at my house. c. had just stopped by this spot for a bite while waiting for er (electric ride) featuring st. juste and bilal at joe's pub. and go figure, c. and m. are hooking up for dinner next week.

and so the degrees of separation begin.

so i'm sitting at the table, and i look up and i see o. now it's funny, b/c the last time i ran into o. out and about i was with n., and as i said i haven't seen n. in eons. coinky dink, huh? o. worked where i currently work for three years so our tenure there overlapped.

after getting up to say hi to o. i look over toward the bar in the back and i see j. who gave me a nigger nod (that's just a lift of the head that says "what's up). j. is a former friend of my brother's.

back to coversations at the table, the drinking of red stripe, and the discussion of students who don't believe you're the professor on the first day of class. students' disbelief is built around this idea of what a professor looks like. and while all three of us at the table who are in this situation are well in our 30s, somehow it doesn't fully hit the students on first glance. as this talk is going on, i raise my head to look around the spot. and lo, and behold, but who should i see but y.

now i met y. a little over two years ago through another n. who used to work with me at the same place as the n. who i was out with on this six degrees of separation night. after meeting y. that one time, we hung out together another time. that one time i hung out with y., y. was semi-responsible for the relationship that i'm in now. y. simply instigated, making a flame that had just sparked really heat up and burn bright.

the other interesting thing about seeing y. on tuesday night, was that it was the eve of my second anniversary with my love. at this point i'm tripping, considering y. did play a role in my relationship.

y. and y's friend, like c. and c's friend, were only at this spot as a resting place until they also made their way to joe's pub for er. the other funny thing about y., who i really don't see or even speak to all that often, is that the one time y. and i hung out, the night i met my love, y. also told me about this crush y. had on one of the bartenders at the place we were hanging that night. this particular bartender, at the time, was dating n's ex. not the n. i was out with on tuesday night, but the n. that i met y. through.

this crush also later turned out to be one of my mentees, and still is by the way. my mentee came to my attention from a blogger who i've hung out with a couple of times. originally when this mentee approached me all of these degrees of separation between us were unknown to us.

i planned on writing this wednesday morning when i got in, but i was too freaking tired. it's possible that at this time, i may have left out a person or two that i bumped into. i really can't be all that sure.

as i'm writing this, i sit and wonder, is new york really as big as most people think it is? or do you just always find certain kinds of people in similar places? i'm still unsure. but even though i don't go out much anymore, things like this tend to happen—a lot. granted i've lived in this city my entire life, except when i was at school in VA. and later upstate, and then lived in Albany during an internship. but for the most part, i've been here, in NYC—from the bx to bk—all my life. so i guess it kind of makes sense, that i'm always bumping into people i've met at some time or another.

i think i'll give it another test if i make it out to central park summer stage on saturday to see patti labelle.

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06.17.04 10:46 PM

this is why i love my webhost

usually i read blogs with people complaining about their webhosts. since i've been with lunarpages, i've experienced no down time and the support has always been helpful and solved my problems in no time both via email and the 24-hour phone support. for my $7.95/month i got free setup, unlimited e-mail accounts, unlimited e-mail forwarding, toll-free telephone support, unlimited e-mail auto responders, 30-day money back guarantee, web mail, online control panel, 800 MB storage, 40GB/month bandwidth, 2,000 Mbit connectivity, 99.9% uptime, 3 parked domains, 15 sub domains, add-on domain available, FrontPage Extensions, Dreamweaver Compatible, FTP Account, POP3, SMTP & IMAP, CGI-BIN, PHP, PYTHON & PERL, ASP, JSP & Servlets available, MySQL Database, SSI - Server Side Includes.

i don't think many webhosts can offer much better than this for such a price.

and as if that wasn't enough the cpanel (online control panel) is about to be updated with fantastico. what does that mean?

that means there'll be a slew of scripts that i'll be able to autoinstall to my site if i want to. and i just may want to. well, if not really to use them, at least to try them out, just b/c i can. besides, although donald finally got me to convert from handcoding in html back in jan. to switch over to MT (and i haven't tried MT3 yet), there are times i want to do some things that MT just won't allow. MT is nice for the HTML, CMS publishing novice, but for and HTML, CMS, XML, XHTML expert whose learning PHP (and who somewhat knows her way around Macromedia Studio MX and Adobe Photoshop and Imageready) there can be some drawbacks. (btw, the rest of this site is done in html and i just may want the whole darn thing to be database driven-which most php based CMS provide.)

anyway, here's what's being added to my lunarpages features soon...

Nucleus (2.0)
pMachine Free (2.3)
WordPress (1.0.1)

Geeklog (1.3.9)
Mambo Open Source (4.5(1.0.5))
PHP-Nuke (7.1)
phpWCMS (1.1-RC2)
phpWebSite (0.9.3-2 english)
Post-Nuke (
Siteframe (3.1.2)

Customer Support:
Crafty Syntax Live Help (2.7.1)
Help Center Live (1.2.4)
osTicket (1.2.5)
PHP Support Tickets (1.7)
Support Logic Helpdesk (1.2)
Support Services Manager (1.0b)

Discussion Boards:
phpBB2 (2.0.8a)

CubeCart (2.0.1)
OS Commerce (2.2 MS2)

FAQMasterFlex (1.0)

Image Galleries:
4images Gallery (1.7)
Coppermine Photo Gallery (1.2.1)

Mailing List:
PHPlist (2.8.3)

Polls and Surveys:
Advanced Poll (2.03)
phpESP (1.6.1)
PHPSurveyor (0.98rc8)

Project Management:
PHProjekt (4.1.1)
dotProject (1.0.2)

PhpWiki (1.2)

Other Scripts:
Moodle (1.2.1)
Noah‚s Classifieds (1.3)
Open-Realty (1.1.5b)
phpAdsNew (2.0)
PHPauction (2.1)
phpCOIN (1.2.0)
phpFormGenerator (2.07b)
phpLinks (2.1.2)
WebCalendar (0.9.43)

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06.14.04 04:39 PM

shout outs and stuff

if you've ever read his weekly column on then you'll probably want to read his blog. even if you never read his column before, check him out, b/c i said so. even if you don't agree with his views, bruah'll have yo' ass thinking forealz. and btw, he's blogging b/c of george and a white girl (see the why of it). check out jimiizrael's blog.

and i keep forgetting to mention this cat up in my piece. love having him on my radar 'cuz he gets mad technical with his. cat got his own CMS going on, and that's saying something for a bruah to be able to really get all up in php and tweak the freak outta it. there is so much going on at his site, i can't even keep up with him. go peep jonnnubian and see what i mean.

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06.14.04 02:12 PM

permanent contact high @ summer jam

i would have written this yesterday, but i was getting over a high that was forced upon me on saturday night. ya' know, a forcible high. now don't get it twisted, i have nothing against people and their individual choices to smoke weed, but um, when you're at a public venue with over 50,000 peeps and some of those attendees are under 18, um, um, excuse me, can you not smoke your weed in my face?

i guess i'm getting too old for this ish.

saturday night, i attended one of the largest outdoor urban music concerts in the country. it was the hot 97 summer jam 2004. the show, more or less, was pretty dope. kanye west did his thing with a backing gospel choir and all. john legend did the musical director bit and blew a few solos. hot stuff, and with twista and violinist miri ben-ari it was all proper. trust.

alicia keys repped for some 80s hip hop stars, bringing treach, chuck d, flavor flav, dres, doug e fresh all on stage to do a classic hip hop set. banging. truly flavorful.

luda and DTP fam repped - most especially shawnna. chick definitely spits some chi-town fire, and can twist that tongue almost as quickly as twista. she brought up beenie man to do that dude remix and it was all lovely for the crowd. who were all digging the dancehall with the most enthusiasm.

lil jon and all of his various crews rocked out, and finished their set with terror squad with that lean back joint just to shout out that PR day parade this weekend and that heavy new york and new jersey latino contingent.

chingy's receptions were lukewarm. nukkas looked mad bored and as if their highs were coming down.

g unit got everybody amped. fight broke out. nukkas throwing chairs from the stage into the crowd. sounds like a lawsuit to me. those state troopers weren't playing either. 50 was acting like he wanted to fight. nothing new there. even got angry with the crowd for not having as much energy as he felt he warranted - so he dissed r. kel the closing act. 50 sang, "I don't see nothing wrong," Banks sang, "With peeing on a little kid."

performers aside, i have peeves of course. i opened with the public smoking of weed when kids were in the stadium...and hey, some adults may not have wanted that ish up in their lungs either. yeah, s'cuse me buddy, you're in my seat and puffing a blunt in my face. i hope you don't find no paper or dutchess to roll that next one. i hope your lil baggie falls and all that ish scatters into the wind. daaayumnnn, let me stop ranting.

the seat thing is a trip. if you were not on the floor, if you did not arrive early. forget it, no seat for you. everyone wanted to be as close to the stage as possible, so anyone sat or stood where they damn well pleased, and you betta' not say nothing to a nukka' for not knowing his place.

young ladies - this is a warning - respect yourself - b/c apparently these nukkas ain't going to do it for you. why would you let yo'self be passed from one nukka to the next while he rubs his stiffness up against the crack o' yo' ass in what you two are pretending is a dance? poor thang, only looked about 15 anyway, and them nukkas looked at least 21.

the whole throwing water bottles from the seats onto the folks out on the floor. wick wack. i saw one swish swash up against this one chick's head. not cool at all. then that 50 melee, which really wasn't about 50 but will probably get pegged as thus. why audience members through chairs onto stages is beyond me, and then why those on stage throw the chairs back is even further perplexing.

here's a question: when you drink your hennessy, why you gotta' put the bottle all up behind someone's tires?

and lastly, why the hell do crowds go into hysterics when Tupac songs are played? c'mon folks, be real with me, was or is he the greatest rapper of all time?

what did i learn? next time listen to the folks who tell you they have a place for you in the media tent - then yo' ole tired ass could have avoided a whole bunch of nonsense that you know you're too damn grown for. funny thing is though, even when i was a young'n there's not a whole lot that happened audience wise that i would have found amusing even back then.

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06.11.04 05:45 PM

i am a rubik's cube

You're Rubik's Cube!! You may think you're
popular, but you're actually extremely
annoying. Seriously.

What childhood toy from the 80s are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

thanks deb for leading me to this conclusion :-)

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06.11.04 04:47 PM

the afro journals

let's see, where to begin...i think i'll start here. last august for my birthday, i went to the barbershop and got my hair cut really low with these tribal mark designs shaved in. i did it again sometime between august and september. so basically, i was a shaven head grrl - and most people have thought for the past three or four years that either i was balding, thinning, or was just one of those black sisters who couldn't grow hair. people are foolish. we know this. to be quite honest, i had blonde locs down my back for a good seven years prior to this era of teeny weenie fros and ceasars. the short hair was a choice.

sometime around september or october, i started to let my hair grow again. only getting trims and shape ups. you've probably seen some of the shots - like this one from november, or this one that showed up on monique's site in october, or the others on steven's in january. but i thought i'd probably just cut it all off again. twisting and box brading this thickness that rests upon my head was becoming a total chore.

you haven't really seen any shots since, except with a headwrap on or a hat. at least i don't think you have, well unless you saw that brief news appearance on UPN or met me at the NYC bloggers brunch in March or even saw the photos (which i don't even know if they're there anymore, but it is here).

i have been taking lots of headshots for comparison purposes though, i just haven't been posting them. there are times, as the growing process was taking place that it was hard for me to get used to. that was until about April, when i started getting the old hair cornrowed. and now i switch back-and-forth between the fro and the rows. this has really been a remarkable journey. at times i've wanted to chop it all the hell off. but now, it's coming along really nicely. i've learned to embrace my nappiness in all of its regal splendor (not hard to do since i've been nappy the majority of my adult life). i've turned it jet black so that it shines ebony victorious against my caramel skin. i'll still be cornrowing for a minute, until the fro is a big floppy wonder.

pics to come soon.

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06.10.04 12:41 PM

books on my radar

Check It While I Wreck It: Black Womanhood, Hip Hop Culture, and the Public Sphere by Gwendolyn D. Pough, Assistant Professor in the Women's Studies department at the University Of Minnesota. The book drops this month.

The author takes a critical look at the history and the culture of hip-hop and how women have used it as a whole to claim a space for themseleves. It also calls attention to the ways in which the culture inhibits their growth, denegrates black womanhood, and endangers the lives of young black girls. Read Nicola A. Menzie's interview with the author on

And It Don't Stop : The Best American Hip-Hop Journalism of the Last Twenty-five Years by Raquel Cepeda with a foreward by Nelson George. This book drops in September.

Speaking of hip-hop feminists, Raquel Cepeda has brought together 30 writers works that formerly appeared in such publications as Spin, The Village Voice, Vibe, The New York Times, The Source, and the like. The articles span from 1981 - 2003, and writers include Harry Allen, Hilton Als, Robert Christgau, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Carol Cooper, dream hampton, Kevin Powell, Karen R. Good, Joan Morgan, Robert Mariott, Greg Tate, Toure, Kierna Mayo, and many other names you've come to know as music and hip-hop journalists.

In her intro, Cepeda says, "It would be fair to say hip-hop journalism is, in fact, an extension of rap music. As a verbal art form the writings are illustrations of vivid landscapes—some sensational, some introspective, some fantastical, some of which are slices of inner-city blues, and many of which are recanted tihe lyrical mastery." Having read and remembered many of the writings contained in this volume, I can definitely attest that the pieces Cepeda has brought together here are a true reflection of the words she speaks about hip-hop journalism as an art form.

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06.09.04 01:50 AM

what a novel idea...

hashim of diesel nation and hip hop blogs made a comment on my last post that reminded me why i started this diary/a day in a life in the first place. i was supposed to be talking about events that happened in my life here. which i have done, intermixed with ruminations about music, black culture, technology, and gadgets. there are times though, when i just don't have it in me to write after or during my day's journeys. i just don't have that umph to write as fluidly as i do in my professional life. but i'd forgotten, this place was not meant to serve as substitute to the professional writing i do, but instead to enhance and support it.

and so it begins...

most of the time, i don't like talking about my family or my partner in this space, because i'm just protective that way. same goes for my students or my work place - though there might be legal issues involved in those instances anyway.

but there is one thing i can say that was truly realized and actualized in my life today. teaching just may be my calling. when i work with interns, when i lecture students, i'm elated. i could have the most terrible and frustrating day, but wednesdays when i teach and often (every day) when i'm working one-on-one with one of my interns or writers - i get high, i get high, i get high.

i don't always know whether i'm doing this thing correctly. this working with people. this sharing. yet, i often get that thank you.

today, or maybe it was monday, this new writer who is assisting me at the office a couple of days a week pronounced that even in this short period of time he's learning things from me. he just started working with me last week and though he had worked with me via email in the past, he said this one-on-one has been really helpful.

when it comes to teaching and i say the word lecture, i don't mean it in the sense that i spend the entire class time being garrulous. it's a sharing process. i give, they take, and vice versa. this is the preamble to what happened tonight during my lecture. during our sharing, as we discussed the development of dominant minority relations in america and coursed back through theories of prejudice and racism - a lot of students became excitedly articulate and passionate about the subject. in turn, that caused me to do the same. as we came to the close of the class, which never closes for some reason with me. the next professor who teaches the class following mine, always shows up before i'm completed. but as we came to a close - one student asked, "are you african?" i said, "i don't know, i might be." i mean aren't we all descendants of africa? and certainly i see myself as a part of the african diaspora. this student who asked this and the one next to her kept looking at me, with smiles on their faces. so i asked, "what, do i look african?" "no," the student retorted, "i mean are your parents from africa or something?" i just looked at her, and so she continued. "you just have very different views. you're so open. you seem to see things clearly. this sociology stuff is something else." btw, i teach the sociology of group behavior with a focus on race and ethnic relations.

if this day hasn't taught me anything, while i'm on this journey to find how i can best use my gifts in the world, then something's gotta' be wrong in my head.

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06.08.04 10:51 PM

why i don't write (here)

in case you're wondering, there are many reasons why this blog doesn't function on the daily as it once did...

1. i have a job that requires me to pay more attention to detail (including other people's writing) than is humanly possible for one person to manage

2. since jan. i have been out of town for at least one week per month, excluding may

3. i teach a course once a week for which i have to prepare lectures (because i never teach it the same way twice) and read students' papers

4. i scan through several hundred emails per day - often from two job-related email addys, three personal email addys, and one teaching-related one (let's not mention the phone calls i have to return or the IMs i respond to or the other blogs i hardly get to read)

5. i had to revise my submission for an anthology that i will have an essay appear in

6. i am desperately trying to focus on a proposal for a book idea that was discussed with an editor at an acadmic publisher over a year ago - in hopes that she's still interested

7. i write a digital music column for a magazine

8. i'm trying to tone my body, improve my health, and maintain my spiritual foundation

9. i'm working on figuring out my purpose in life - or at least my next move, as in reinvention of self to best utilize my gifts

10. i'm still loving being in a relationship that has existed for two years - and it requires the lack of free time that i have

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06.01.04 03:44 AM

a kanye west question

Is Kanye West the hardest working man in urban music right now (a la James Brown), or are we experiencing over saturation? Is all that he's doing going to make us love him and want to hear him more, or will it make us tired of him and want to hear him less? There's a host of songs currently in airplay and video rotation that he's currently featured on, and to be quite honest I'm beginning to feel like it's just a little bit too much. Here's a rundown of some of the latest songs he's featured on, and that's not even mentioning the Twista songs:

Janet Jackson, "My Baby" (featuring Kanye West) listen
White Boy, "U Know" (featuring Kanye West) listen
Slum Village, "Selfish" (featuring Kanye West) listen
Dilated Peoples, "This Way" (featuring Kanye West) listen
Brandy, "Talk About Our Love" (featuring Kanye West) listen
Jin, "I Gotta Love," (featuring Kanye West) listen
Talib Kweli, "Wack Niggas" (featuring Common, Kanye West, and Consequence)

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