Lynne d Johnson

 

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08.26.04 12:06 PM

technology/small business editor wanted

Publication or Company Black Enterprise Magazine
Industry Magazine Publishing
Salary
Benefits 401K, Dental, Health
Job Duration Full Time
Job Location New York, NY USA
Job Requirements TECHNOLOGY/SMALL BUSINESS EDITOR

The successful candidate will assume responsibility for planning, writing and editing the TECHWATCH and ENTERPRISE departments and develop feature stories for the magazine. You will manage article assignments to staff and freelance writers, develop and maintain industry contacts and relationships and continually enhance your expertise on technological advancements, the economy, market-related trends and small business.

BA/BS plus a minimum of five years newspaper/magazine writing and reporting experience with the proven ability to conduct and compose product reviews, create compelling features and perform exceptionally under deadlines.
PC proficiency with exceptional research, as well as, oral and written communication skills required.

We offer a competitive salary and benefits package.

E-mail or send resume including writing samples that are indicative of your ability to handle technology and business features and profiles to:

careers@blackenterprise.com
Code: SBT- AH
BLACK ENTERPRISE Magazine
130 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10011

Only candidates under consideration will be contacted.

NO AGENCIES, NO FAXES PLEASE

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08.20.04 03:59 PM

Godfather Buried Alive - On First Listen

Just in case y'all missed it on vibe.com.
And I'm not saying he's got the illest flow, or even the tightest lyrics I'm just saying he spits truth.

Preview: Shyne Godfather Buried Alive

shyne.jpgA visit to the Def Jam offices reveals that Shyne's debut from that label, entitled Godfather Buried Alive, offers us a matured artist far more skilled at painting on a lyrical canvass to uncover harshful realities and unbridled pain. In the beginning, it was his voice. All we wanted and cared about was his voice, the one remniscent of the nasally guttural flow of our beloved Notorious B.I.G.

Shyne was set up to take over the throne, as one of Brooklyn's finest. But those were big shoes to fill - no pun intended. With that voice, we longed for the same depth and wisdom, and verbal gymnastics. Yeah, he gave us cocky, sure, certain, steady, but it wasn't the same. And we thought it was all a gimmick anyway. That was before all the drama.

You know the drama. The gun, the club, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs gets off, Shyne does time. Shyne signs multimillion dollar deal with Def Jam and gets his own label to speak the truth, to speak from prison, but in some cases it's almost as if he's a lost son speaking from the grave.

At least 65 percent of this album was recorded before Shyne went away, when he was filled with the stench of anger. That's what overwhelmingly comes across on this album. It reads like a diary of a wretched life on the streets, not much unlike Claude Brown's autobiograhpical novel, Manchild In The Promise Land. There's a dark cloud hovering over this album, and yet through the darkness there is a glint of illumination brought forth via witful morality tales. There's no aims of party bangers and commercial penetration, this album comes from the streets and it's breathing life for the streets.

One single already filtering through the airwaves is Shyne's collaboration with Foxy Brown, the Kanye West produced "More Or Less." This track sounds hauntingly eerie, dark, and grim. "Hip hop ain't responsible for violence in America/ America is responsible for violence in America," Shyne explains in the midst of recollections of life in Brooklyn Vietnam. With all the darkness flooding over this track, although Shyne talks about seeing big things and doing big things with celebrities, it's the gripping vision of the street life he's lived that lays it all bare.

Then there's "For The Record," a cautionary freestyle straight from phone to DAT aimed directly at 50 Cent. The track hints that 50 is nothing more than a music industry gangster and more talk than reality. Most importantly Shyne's lyrics appear to affirm what former G-Unit members have cited in various interviews - that 50 Cent is a snitch. Production on this track is extremely minimal, most likely to accomodate the non studio recorded lyrics.

These tracks are not what you're used to in terms of radio-friendly listening or party joints. Take for instance "Quasi OG," produced by Bucwild. The track samples Bob Marley's "No More Trouble," and treads some serious Jadakiss "Why?" territory. In fact, Shyne says "George W. Bush fear me." On the rest of the track, Shyne explains what he calls a 300 year problem that created young black men like him. He talks about the problems of the world in the hands of a secret society, and how capitalism breeds money and power leaving others starving and hungry creating situations in which they become messed up. "I'm here, do something 'bout me," he demands.

This is the tenor of most of the album. The closest anything comes to a party track is the Swizz Beatz produced "Shyne," with a hook sung by Ashanti. It's one of those party and bullshit tracks, on which Shyne reps it up for Brooklyn. "For all of y'all/ keeping y'all in hell/ it's cool when you ridin' with a nigga' like me."

"Martyr," is another serious track. You hear urgency in Shyne's voice and lyrics. It was originally recorded before he went away, but the beats have been redone. There's life or death, and the battle of good .vs evil flowing through the track like water perhaps an attempt to evoke purification images.

Shyne unmasks himself and faces the mirror for us all to hear. This is no industry cat. He has nothing to lose. Nothing to fear. His raucous delivery brash unapologetic. There are moments when you feel the catharsis seeping through the track. When Foxy joins him again, we get hit with a banger. It's straight-up, rugged, and raw. There's no more gangster that one could become. On "Edge," Shyne laments, "you wanna be me/ know what it's like to have a gun charge/ time running out for my flesh." The tinkling piano on the Just Blaze produced "Here With Me," opens up for "Thesis leaving niggers speechless/ All my life ain't never been right."

The final track, another Just Blaze joint, has a larger-than-life feeling. It's full of horns and trumpets making you feel as if you're in the middle of a coliseum. The snares are tripping out all over the place and yet it's somber. Shyne goes on about the Lord's Prayer and says, "God listen it was him or me." And then bang. You realize what you've been listening to.

This album is not going to be for the faint hearted. If you want to know the truth, then here it is. Shyne's truth is the truth for a lot of young black men in the inner city, caught out there, on charges. America's nightmare, but at the very same time, America's baby born and raised within its systems.

One session of listening to this joint doesn't entitle one to make or break it. It feels a lot more like hip hop than rap though. The beats are not dense or multilayered. There's a seriousness to them, on par with Shyne's message and cadence.The ethos is grimy. If you want to keep it real, if you want to keep it gangster, then this sounds just about right.

Written by Lynne d Johnson. Originally published on vibe.com, July 27, 2004.

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08.19.04 02:37 PM

The Thing About Birthdays

No matter how eventful you try to make your birthday it usually ends up being uneventful. Why? Because it only lasts 24 hours. Just as soon as you're ready to get things popping, it's already over in a blink of an eye. That's why I need to try to have birthday weeks like ej did last month. I'm trying though, at least I'm on vacation.

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08.14.04 09:05 PM

It's Good To Be The Queen (or Ruby Day)

ruby.gifI was supposed to be getting ready for my vacation and birthday celebrations, but this little beauty was coming to town for a one-day only appearance to celebrate her first birthday, so I delayed my plans by a day. She's my niece by friendship - y'all know how that is - your momma has a good friend that you call auntie. We're especially kindred because she was born a day after my birthday last year - and she simply makes my heart skip. The rain threatened the outing, but we had a good ole' cookout in the park with tofu dogs and boca burgers included. It was good to run into folks at the party and in the park that I hadn't seen in ages and just wonderful to be around kids. It's like one of those moments when all is really good and you remember the little things in life. No hustle. No bustle. Just food, friends, good talk, all while being surrounded by nature. At the end of the day, it's those little things that count. Not what your job is, or how much money you make, or what new threads you copped, or even what music you're listening to. Life begins with children, and it ends, usually right there in that soil that I was standing on today. Well not that particular soil, but you know what I'm saying - we came from the dust and we'll return to it. So it's best to enjoy all that is given to us - not just the material things.

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08.14.04 01:48 PM

Editorial position - new Latino Men's Magazine

Established publishing company is currently looking for experienced Managing Editor to work close with Editor-in-Chief to launch a national Latino men's magazine focusing on culture, style, entertainment, politics, and sexuality. Ideally looking for someone who can juggle multiple tasks, be a self-starter, have a base of industry contacts, keen knowledge of U.S Latino culture. Needs to be a published and a proven writer with plenty of ideas. At least 3-5 years of magazine publishing experience. Candidate will work in a friendly and culturally relevant environment. Very competitive salary with excellent benefits. For more info, please contact veebravo@verizon.net.

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08.12.04 07:47 PM

i think i'm in love...

with metalface's funkdigital.com's radioblog. this is how it should be done.

using a mac makes use of radio blog annoying for me. of course if i used word press there'd be this plug in, then when i tried Laszlo Soundblox the xml file was not coming together - it's mainly issues with the way my server is set up. and i did try to use this other flash player once, which worked fine, but i would have to register the player and pay a fee to be able to play more than 30 sec. clips - and not everyone was able to see the player. but in that case i should say forget all those dial up, not knowing how to download and install web browser plug ins folks.

still, still, looking for solutions to stream mixtapes like how funkdiggi's doing it.

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08.12.04 02:50 PM

what a way to get dissed...

So I'm in the corner gourmet deli getting the soy chai on when it starts to downpour yesterday. Workmate and I decide to chill until the rain calms down. Dude who works in the hot food section is also by the door waiting for the bus. He's mumbling things to himself. Workmate moves away and makes a face. I've dealt with food dude before so I know he can be garrulous. But I listen. That's my style.

I listen especially at this moment because he addresses me. "You know what's interesting about VIBE and The National Review being in the same building?" I say, "What, huh?" He starts rambling something about Chomsky, trying to give me a lesson. "I'm familiar with Chomsky," I say. "I have the Chomsky reader."

"Well then you know what's the same about VIBE and The National Review then?" He asks. And I'm like, "Huh?"

"What makes them the same?" Now he's being all surly and whatnot. I smile, but not too affectedly. Just enough to let him know to ease up and just go on and explain his damn self. "Well, anyone who works at a place like that is just contributing to the Infotainment glut that serves as a distraction to the real issues at hand. Here comes my bus."

DAAAAAMN!!!

If anyone knows anything about Chomsky's work, then you know that Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media aims to show just "how propagandistic the U.S. mass media are, how they systematically fail to live up to their self-image as providers of the kind of information that people need to make sense of the world, and how we can understand their function in a radically new way."

Read: "What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream"

Of course I didn't get an opportunity to tell him, "Yo' I teach a course that deals wtih racial and ethnic issues and though we primarily deal with America - we deal with global issues too." Nor did I get to say, "I may work for the mainstream media, but that doesn't mean I'm a full-fledged card carrying member. "

What a way to make a woman feel like the words she writes are nothing but a mirror of a video on BET. Or better yet, like she should be doing some WORK, a la Gurdjieff.

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08.11.04 05:25 PM

ahhhh....

ciara_vinyl.jpg

I just got my first birthday present - its vinyl and e'rthang. And my birthday isn't even until next week.

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08.10.04 10:38 PM

It's A Wrap

I'm finally happy about what I've done with blackthoughtware.org. I think I've set it up just the way I want it now. For the most part, it serves as a compendium of pieces I've written that have been published (and some not) that speak to this statement:

"Afrofuturism can be broadly defined as "African American voices" with "other stories to tell about culture, technology, and things to come."

I do plan on adding some never before heard or published content to it at some point, but for now, I'll keep adding pieces I've written or things I've presented that fit into the framework of how the site has been defined in its About section.

Who knows, there could be plans to bring this to the print medium.

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08.09.04 01:53 AM

The Last Meme

Because I'm doing what KB did, although the combination of my style sheets and MT didn't render the damn form and table that came with the survey correctly, nor did they like my trying to create a dashed border out of it and so instead you get this...

The \\

Last Cigarette: Newport - at the club Thursday night

Last Alcoholic Drink: Corona - to wash down the Hypnotiq and Grey Goose on Thursday night

Last Car Ride: The cab on Thursday night

Last Kiss: My Momma - a couple of weeks ago - Tongue Actions been a month (long distance relationship)

Last Good Cry: Two weeks ago while watching House of Sand and Fog - and typically movies don't make me cry

Last Library Book: Last year - One of those Harry Potter books

Last book bought: Haven't actually purchased in a minute, I get a lot of books for free

Last Book Read: Currently reading - Making Beats

Last Movie Seen in Theatres: She Hate Me - the week it came out

Last Movie Rented: House of Sand and Fog - two weeks ago from Netflix

Last Cuss Word Uttered: Shit - in an email two days ago

Last Beverage Drank: Energy Glaceau Vitamin Water just now

Last Food Consumed:Falafel sandwich this evening

Last Crush: I don't have crushes

Last Phone Call: Three hours ago to my love

Last TV Show Watched: Six Feet Under

Last Time Showered: At 1 PM today

Last Shoes Worn: Gold w/burgandy stripes Adidas Spezial still on my feet

Last CD Played: I shuffle on iTunes and haven't listened to a full CD in a minute - though I know that Los Amigos Invisibles shuffling around in there is the hotness

Last Item Bought: Energy Glaceau Vitamin Water a couple hours ago

Last Download: Bad Brains/Bad Brains From iTunes store two weeks ago

Last Annoyance: Seeing someone wash a fan in my tub tonight

Last Disappointment:having to get rid of my 1991 Mazda MX6 car b/c a 1999 Honda Civic is coming into my life with my love's move back to NYC and we can't afford to upkeep two cars

Last Soda Drank: I don't drink soda

Last Thing Written: I don't write by hand much - but probably notes I took at a meeting last week

Last Key Used: [enter/return] just now

Last Words Spoken: "Good Night" on my last phone call

Last Sleep: 4:30 PM this afternoon

Last Ice Cream Eaten: a month ago - Egg Nog Flavored Taste of the Tropics

Last Chair Sat In: sitting on my couch right now

Last Webpage Visited: http://www.buccho.com/archives/000692.html

TAKE THIS SURVEY - or - CREATE YOUR OWN!

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08.07.04 08:10 PM

Rick James Tribute Mix

Eric's got a link to real audio of an impromptu honorary Rick James mix.

And then there's Soul-Patrol's stream of "Good Ol Days" from the 1997 release Urban Rhapsody.

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08.07.04 07:05 PM

I Love The Night Life

The title of this post is actually misleading, as I'm really not a lover of the night life. Yet recent events in my world would have you to believe otherwise. Perhaps it's that I've spent most of the year working long hours, staying home, going to the gym, riding my bike, reading books and magazines, and with my right hand placed on a mouse reading through all of my bloglines subscriptions. That may very well be the reason, or it could be that the birthday is coming up and in a little over a week and I know good and well I'll be getting a little bit too old for this type of behavior. Or maybe I'm simply a little liar, and the ego part of myself doesn't want to admit that I like to indulge myself every now and again.

So it began on Wednesday night with an invitation to see a performance by Lyfe at the new "it" spot, Crash Mansion at BLVD. Originally I was thinking about turning it down, but when one of my mentees agreed to attend the function with me it was all a go. We got there late, of course hoping that by the time we'd turn up the performance would be ready to begin. No such luck, because Lyfe was outside with his boys. If you don't know who Lyfe is, think back to Showtime In Harlem, the Showtime At The Apollo alternative, when this Toledo, Ohio native took his acoustic act to the stage and set the house on fire for many weeks. He's being labeled a neosoulster, yet I'm feeling more of an Anthony Hamilton connection here just an R&B singer with an old soul. His voice conjures up the likes of Sam Cooke, and yet he's such a young man. His lyrics though, sound a lot more like a poetry slamster or a rapper. He's got that thuggish swagger, if you know what I mean. I couldn't help thinking about the Robert Townsend film The Five Heartbeats, when I heard he and his background singers harmonize though.

While there, of course I ran into some folks I was familiar with Sony label folks, a marketing exec from a rock magazine, and an up-and-coming music executive who puts on showcases and dabbles in music writing.

Once the show was over, the night was all too young, even for the likes of my grown ass. Just down the street was a club called Mission and one of the guys at the door had seen us down the street at Crash so he gave us flyers for free admission. It was a reaggae affair, and from the way the DJ was putting it down I thought I was in the middle of a Kingston sound clash. The young ladies were scandalous winding, and winding, and winding. It was pretty empty, esepcially seeing that Lady Saw was sitting up in VIP in affiliation with some new Reggae magazine coming out of Brooklyn that was in the house. For my mentee, it was a total win as he met one of the editors and the VP of the publication. We drank, we danced, we chatted it up with a few folks, and then we went home.

On Thursday, I found myself back at the Crash Mansion for The Target Red Room, featuring Sleepy Brown. I'm not even going to tell you who he is, because you ought to know. You've heard of the Dungeon Family. You've heard of Organized Noize. So then you know who he is. It was a VIBE promoted event, so there were lots of VIBE heads there and other industry folks. In fact a head honcho from Flavor Unit was there, who I said my what's up to, as well as Naughty By Nature's Treach. For what it's worth, the beverage sponsor of the night was Latiq Spirits, which I'm told is a Queen Latifah brand. She wasn't there of course.

The entire room was red, inspired by the Target bulls eye logo. Lamps, pillows, and even martini glasses were emblazoned with the logo. The combination of Target and Latiq's red color inspired the Targetini, which was a free drink for a good portion of the night.

There was some opening act, by a female singer whose name I've forgotten. I simply remember that I have heard one of her songs on the radio. Lyfe was back at Crash for the event, and I mentioned to him that I enjoyed his show the night before.

I won't even begin to talk about a super popular writer who got into a scuffle with some cat over what many onlookers say was about a girl. I don't know all the details so I'm not about to gossip, or mention any names although I was there looking in his face as the action jumped off and was a little astonished since I know him personally.

Thursday night at Crash was much louder than Wednesday night. For one, it was a lot more crowded and therefore the crowd's vocal volume was much more on blast. Perhaps the period of free drinks being poured at the bar was the explanation. One can never be certain with such things. It may have just been a more vocal crowd. I know it got me to get all big Wilma style and open up a company credit card tab for some folks sitting near me at the bar. How am I going to explain this one to the finance department? Regardless of the liquor, it didn't move me to dance. For some strange reason I wasn't feeling the vibe, although it's something I've become infamous for. I was asked several times, "Why aren't you on the floor?" One person even said, "Oh you don't want to see L get started," when she thought I was about to take a plunge. Nah, not tonight. At least not yet.

When it was all over, and seeing I had a summer Friday the next day, I decided to hang around the folks who knew "Where The Party At." Debates about Strata .vs. Canal Room soon gave way to a decision to cab it over to Canal Room since it was nearby and many other folks were headed that way.

As soon as I entered, I bumped into my neighbor, Mr. Morgan, manager of Kardinal Offishall, whom I was introduced to and I'm sure told about since I had bigged up his Kill Bill mixtape right here in this very space. At one point, I went outside for some air and to puff a social cigarette only to end up face-to-face with Sleepy Brown, lighting his for him.

Now earlier I mentioned something about the title of this post being far from the truth. For me it is, at times, or at least for one side of my personality it is. At the end of these two nights what could I say about my activities 1) I drank. 2) I danced. 3) I talked a lot more than I usually do. 4) I was shaking hands with and talking to "celebrities". But the other side of my personality, the side that doesn't really think the night life is all of that, believes that these two nights were a showcase of major debauchery. Truth be told, I'm willing to do it all over again, and to keep getting my grown and sexy on until I'm no longer able to.

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