Ride Along DVD Giveaway!

photo(15)The good folks from Universal Home Entertainment sent us over 10 Blu-Ray copies of the movie Ride Along, starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, for us to give out to our readers.

So with that in mind here’s how you win a free copy of the Ride Along Blu-Ray. Be the first 10 people to email me the answers to the following 5 questions:

1. What is Ice Cube’s birth name?

2. What is the name of the first film (not TV movie) that Kevin Hart starred in?

3. Where is Kevin Hart from?

4. What was the name of the character Ice Cube played in Boyz N The Hood?

5. What city did the movie Ride Along take place in?

Email all answers to panama.jackson@gmail.com with the subject heading “Ride Along DVD Giveaway”. Good luck!


I Don’t Understand Why Puff Speaking at Howard University’s Graduation Is A Thing.

P. DIDDYSo Sean “Puff/Puff Daddy/P.Diddy/Diddy” Combs, possibly Howard University’s most famous dropout has been summoned to speak at their commencement exercise in May. This has apparently ruffled some feathers. And by some I mean way less than a lot. But enough to garner debate and discussion as if it were a thing so let’s pretend its a thing. Assuming its a thing, I honestly cannot understand for the life of me why anybody would have a problem with this.

This can’t be because he’s a college dropout. Should Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates or Steve Jobs (RIP) be the commencement speaker I’d wager that not one single person would bat an eye. All those men have changed the course of human history. Maybe it’s because they’re the kind of college dropouts we can get behind? Me no know. Puff changed the course of history as well. He helped turn hip-hop into the multi-billion dollar industry that it is today, for better or worse. Fight me.

It can’t be because he’s not successful enough. Puffy is chasin’ that billion dollar net worth like his life depends on it. He has managed to successfully run Bad Boy Records and turn it into an empire while jacking holding the publishing rights to various artists you know and love (See Badu, Erykah). While he has definitely tanked more careers than he’s managed to usher into longevity, his business sense has fostered the careers of everybody from Usher to Outkast to Mary J. Blige to Jodeci to Biggie to Faith, etc. You see where I’m going. While very few people signed to him survived Bad Boy in tact, he put everybody in a position to win. And win they did for a while. Puff’s worth has been over $500 million for quite some time. That’s not because folks are handing him things, its because he’s been ridin’ around and gettin’ it…coincidentally a mantra that I’d wager 90 percent of HBCU students invest and believe in. HBCU students like the ones he will address in May.

It can’t be because he’s not inspirational. Love him or hate him, the man’s life story hasn’t been an easy one. He scrapped to get where he is and it isn’t like you wouldn’t listen to Puff give advice on how to make it in America. Hell, we seem to like to listen to Jay-Z and they pretty much have the same story. The only difference is Puff was cuttin’ the checks WAY earlier than Jay was. Hell, Puff’s most famous lyric might be, “Don’t worry if I write rhymes, I write checks.” Undoubtedly ghost-written, but important nonetheless. Gangstarr has an album called The Ownerz…Puff IS one. I remember telling my father I wanted to be an NBA player before I stopped growing and he told me not to play for a team, own a team. Real n*gga talkin’. Shut the f*ck up ho.

Quick aside, I went to Howard’s graduation a few years back. Current Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was the keynote speaker. I can’t tell you a damn thing he said. Hell, I had to look it up to find out who the speaker was. There’s no point to other than graduation speakers are largely forgettable unless its a President or Oprah. I’m pretty sure David Satcher spoke at my graduation. I only remember this because he went to Morehouse, not because I can remember a single thing that he said. Graduation speakers are largely just pomp and circumstance.

So perhaps the issue is because people are attaching some type of unnecessay status to both Howard (I love HU and all, but let’s not pretend that HU is some beacon of Blackness and who speaks there determines some sort of status in the world community…plus, Morehouse had Obama last year…we won) and what it means to be a commencement speaker.

To me, and I’m the end all be all authority on this subject considering how many leatherbound books I have in my home, the commencement speaker really should be somebody with a grand message. To that end, you could probably find a homeless person who could deliver a great message that would change your life. I really do mean that. What you need is somebody to inspire you through the struggle as you cross the threshold from idealism into the grand abyss of “why didn’t I stay for another year”. Ultimately we all want a celebrity – like a real one – and only a few schools actually are able to pull that off. I’m fairly certain that if Tougaloo College could pull Puff they’d be happy as hell. Hell, they’d be happy with Chef Roble. The top shelf HBCUs and most of the top tier universities are obviously able to do this. It’s an honor to speak at these places so I’m sure they don’t take it lightly. I wouldn’t. In fact, it is my goal at some point to give a commencement address. It’s on my bucket list. I don’t even care if it’s DeVry or Capella (does that still exist?).

So this has to come down to he didn’t graduate so he shouldn’t be speaking at a graduation. Which is just stupid. Puff is a successful business man. Nobody would ever argue this. Puff won at life, like Zuckerberg and Gates and Jobs and any number of other people who didn’t need to finish college to make the leap.

I’ve seen quite a few articles talking about this (and by this I solely mean Puff speaking at HU) and they’ve been met with some interesting “why Puff” rhetoric in the comments though nobody could actually come up with a good reason. Short of his club shootout NOT GUILTY verdict and that promoter issue he had in the early 90s where some kids ended up dead because of overbooking, Puff has managed to fly mostly above the fray. So either folks just think that Puff, a business man who likely respects the hell out of the fact that the school that would be his alma-mater (though they’re giving him an honory doctorate), will get up there and say “take that take that…you’re nobody ’til somebody kills you” and then spit his verse from “All About The Benjamins” (which actually would make for a compelling speech), or we REALLY think that giving such a high honor to a rapper is crossing the line.

Actually let me amend that last paragraph, the worst thing Puff has done and he didn’t even know it is place Stevie J on the Hitmen (spawned some of the best songs to ever come out of Bad Boy) which would eventually lead to Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta. If that’s your argument, then you got me.

Are there seemingly more conventional choices? Sure. But would they be better? Who knows. Maybe Puff gets out there and blows everybody’s mind. Maybe he doesn’t. But anybody claiming he doesn’t deserve that kind of shot is sadly mistaken. Anybody.

I’m sure Puff doesn’t care about detractors in any way, shape, or form. In fact, I’m sure he’s listening to track 2 off of No Way Out counting money and scratching his balls with a golden scepter. Coincidentally produced by Stevie J. That man made hits.

What you need to do is check your distribution, his songs bump in Houston like Scarface produced them.



If No More Race Cards, Then No More Racism. Right.

Even Michelle Obama pulls the Black card with a smile.

Even Michelle Obama pulls the Black card with a smile.

Do you know what I legitimately hate? I hate it when people (namely white people, not all obviously considering my, ahem, pedigree) imply that if Black people stopped making race an issue, then race would cease to be an issue. As if every Black person refrained from assuming that racism existed and stopped making any associations between the color of our skin and the conditions that exist in America (and/or globally) then things would magically be…okay. Not even better, but okay.

Are there times when some Black folks run the race card unnecessarily? (And for this post I will basically be using race card and Black card interchangeably since 95 percent of al race card mentions are really just Black cards. And yes, Virginia, I made up that stat.) Yes. Just yesterday I accused the unexplainable weather patterns of being racist in nature. I’m pretty sure that race has nothing to do with it, but there’s still about a 2 percent chance that it’s personal. Because I’m Black.

Real talk though, I honestly don’t get it – hence why I hate it since I’m afraid of things I don’t understand. Actually, let me not tell that lie. I do get it. I get it because if I wanted somebody to get over something I’d probably tell them the same thing. Hey, I ran you over with my car but I’m over it you should get over it too. And since so many white people do indeed think that racism is a thing of the past, especially considering Obama’s coloredness, then it stands to reason that the only reason that racism would NOW exist is because Black folks won’t let it go. Nevermind that a solid HALF of the country did not vote for him.

Which is interesting if you think about. A conservative white person will likely opine that racism cannot still be an issue because our country managed to put a Black man into the highest office in the land. This falls apart for so many reasons if you would take the time to look at the people who voted him into office. Yet and still, a person who did not vote for him would still make the argument that his ascendance is proof positive of a new day. Which it is, symbolically. It’s a win for the history books. It’s a win for what it represented. It didn’t represent the end of racism; it represented the possibility that racism could end. One day. Eventually. Long after anybody reading this site is dead and gone.

The other reason I get is because I’m not sure the vast majority of white people actually believe in institutional racism. Like Richard Pryor stated in his infamous, “those people are resisting arrest” routine, the view is that all actions occur in a vacuum. There’s no correlation to many white people. Even many poor white people might struggle with the idea that redlining took place. Or the most poignant test of all time in my opinion where you submit resumes with ethnic names vs “normalized” names and see who gets called back. I remember having a conversation with some white friends of mine in grad school about that and despite accepting it as fact – they couldn’t deny the numbers placed before them – they still struggled with it being true. I mean, come on, not in America where everybody wins!

Which probably explains why so many think that if you stop saying “Black this, Black that…” the issues go away because from the outside looking in there are no issues. Stop and frisk is a preventative measure, not profiling. And catching one person justifies the 99 that were profiled unnecessarily.

Or you get people who say stupid sh*t like this:

It is striking that during what many had hoped would be a post-racial America, racial division has been amplified, owing not least to sustained media attention. Then again, maybe we’re experiencing the final death rattle of our racist past. Perhaps all those suppressed thoughts and feelings of anger, hurt and frustration had to rise to the surface before they finally could be eradicated.

I tend to be one of those people who does believe that its darkest before the dawn. I truly do. Despite my less than stellar church record, much of that is rooted in my belief in God. It’s no wonder so many Black folks are religious, you need SOMETHING to keep you holding on. But I also can be realistic and to to listen to some non-sensical woman basically chide Black folks for playing the race card against other Black folks is irony that I’m not even equipped to handle. Then to even surmise that all of the alleged race-baiting happening nowadays is perhaps going to bring us out of our racist heritage (and it is a heritage)? If I could tell this woman “N*GGA please” I would. You can’t kill racism by hoping Black folks just let it go UNLESS white people acknowledge that racism is still a problem and in effect attempt to change it. It’s the same argument with rape culture…victims can’t fix the problem, it has to come from the folks who are rapin’ everybody out here.

Basically, the ones who perpetuate the problem by being the problem in the first place are the ones who have to do the heavy lifting.

But I’m sleep.

So for now, I’m like the combination of Capitol One and American Express. What’s in my wallet? My race card. I don’t leave home without it.

Not for nothing and I hate to be pessimistic AND end this on such a loaded statement, but I don’t actually think America will ever truly make it to post-racial.

Until the aliens show up.

Love 40.


REMINISCE Tees & Tanktops For Your #SummerTimeFly

remdraftcarolinabluev2Cop your REMINISCE tee in honor of the best damn 90s party happening in DC right about now. It’s that super fly Carolina blue for the cool summer breeze that has to come. And even if you aren’t in DC, its just a fly tee anyway. We’re livin’ in the last days right now…. Shouts to the Boogiemonsters.

REMINISCE Tees: http://www.teespring.com/reminiscetees

remtankgrayblacklettersAnd for the fly lady (or man actually as well ) out there, we’ve go the the fly tank top swagu going on as well. For those days its warm outside and especially warm in Liv at REMINISCE! Cop you one and join the movement, because everything is a movement!

REMINISCE tanktops: http://www.teespring.com/reminiscetanks

Are You Smart or Smart Enough?

[Admin Note: Earlier today on Twitter, somebody mentioned a post I wrote almost 10 years ago - literally almost 10 years ago as in June 2004 - as part of a convo they were having. I figured it must be a sign from The Sign Company to revisit and share. Mostly as a means of looking at life from the lens of a then just turned 25 year old and what my thought process was. This post was about my thought process as a parent almost 5 years before I had a kid. Let's see where I was coming from.]

Screen-Shot-2012-05-25-at-11.09.29-AMEver had a broke hug? As in hugged a broke person??? I do it all the time and in kind, I give lots of broke hugs. They suck so I want my kids to be able to give rich hugs. So I have a plan.

I’m not a role model and may never be. But a thought I had yesterday really brought it home for me. I realized that when I have kids I’m not going to tell my kids to be geniuses or even to be smart.

I’m going to tell them to be smart enough. Why do you ask? I’ll tell you why.

Because I’m learning that smart people don’t get to be millionaires. Athletes, entertainers, black folks who started stuff back in the 1900?s offspring; they all get to be millionaires. Me? I’ve been considered smart my whole life and I’m broke. I’ve been to college, twice. Still broke.

Debunking a Popular Misconception: If you are smart you can be rich. This is wrong. If you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time with or without the right idea, you can be rich. You know why? Smart people are risk averse because smart people know that they can get f*cked up financially by just one bad decision. So smart folks don’t take those chances because we realize we have something to lose. Smart enough people just have their balls and their word, so they take chances because at the end of the day, we all we got…oh yeah, and a million bucks in the bank.

There were a lot of smart enough people in the NBA draft the other day. Smart enough to stay eligible because they knew millions awaited them. I’ll bet lots of them fellas became honor students when they realized they could make the draft. As a result, the number of black millionaires just increased by like 20. And what’s worse, that might be 20% of all the black millionaires. 50 Cent is smart enough to know that 9 shots, which everybody is capable of getting, could make him a household name. Bingo…50 cent made like $21 million last year.

So I’m going to tell my kids to be smart enough; smart enough to make it through high school while dribbling that damn ball from the house to the school. Or singing they ass from the church to the house. I know lots of folks in college, graduate school, professional school. All of us have debt…Shaq doesn’t have any debt. Kobe doesn’t have any debt (aside from that potential debt to soceity…different talk show). 50 Cent, Dre, Cosby, Chris Rock ain’t got no debt. Jocephus from the University of Maryland Law School…debt. Anquenetta from UCLA Med school…debt.

I was doing a web search for black millionaires. It was quite eye-opening. I couldn’t find a single damn estimate. I kept finding stats like, “the number of black millionaires has risen 75% in the past 6 years.” Nowhere did they tell me what it rose from. Not one site had any estimates of the number of black millionaires. What I did find was that in America in 2003, there were roughly 2.3 millionaires…out of about 280 million people. That’s less than 1%. So I know our numbers must be really small. The fact that I couldn’t find any numbers indicated to me that there must not be that many…like maybe 100 or 200 at most…including rappers, actors, and ballplayers. Which probably accounted for the majority of them. So that’s what I’m pushing for.

My kid wants to be a rapper??? I’m going Richard Williams style on they asses. They are gonna be the best 12 year old rappers ever. Next Jay-Z…let’s make it happen. You wanna be the next 50…I’ll drop you off in South Side Jamaica Queens n*gga you heard me so we can start your legacy. Because smart rappers are broke too. Look at Talib Kweli and Mos Def (his rap career anyway) or Jurassic 5 or hell anybody that ain’t Jay-Z, Dre, Eminem, 50, or Outkast. Oh yeah, and Cash Money, and Master P since both of those camps were smart enough to capitalize on the times.

Now don’t get me wrong, if my son wants to be an astrophysicist that’s all well and good. I’m sure DuPont will pay him a nice little bit of money. And I’ll push him to be the best damn astrophysicist he can be while his sister is on TV singing her ass off Whitney style while I’m coaching like Joe Jackson from the sidelines. And we know how great a coach he was. And I also know that there are black millionaires that made money by good ole fashioned hardwork. Well, shit I ain’t talkin’ bout them. AND most black millionaires are entertainers anyway. I see I said.

This may sound ignorant, but have you ever heard Jay-Z or Russell Simmons talk. Smart enough to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done. And they got millions to blow. Me? Broke.

Smart enough. That’s my parenting strategy.


Interesting to see where I was back then and how much I still agree with those thoughts now. I definiely believe in the idea of being smart enough to succeed versus too smart for your own good and staying reserved. What do you think about that concept? Also, anything you remember from your youth that you’ve carried forward to now or any, “I was here 10 years ago but I’m here now” ideologies? Talk to me.

I’ve been writing for a LONG time.