I Can Only Listen to the New Erykah: Part I

Time: 3:39 pm.
Date: Saturday, March 1st.
Spot: Cafe on Valencia in the Mission. SF,CA

The only thing that has my head sane right now

is the new Erykah. Telephone, My People, Me, The Healer
have been on constant repeat. Oh and the joint
from Mama’s Gun, Green Eye’s.

Oh, I got some of that new Pete too. That Jim Jones collabo
is by far one of the most grizzliest, soulful joints I have heard
since…..I don’t know when. Hip Hop is Dead, maybe. The Black
Album, perhaps?

Remember the I Can’t listen to Nas post? Well, I don’t think
I would be upright this weekend without Telephone.

Erykah is going so hard on Telephone, Its like she is talking to me.

Sometimes its hard to move/ you see when your growing publicly
But if I have to choose between/ I choose me

Had two babies different dudes/ and for them both my love was true
This is my last interview/ Can’t miss me

This year I turn 36/ Damn it seem it came so quick
Ass and legs have gotten thick/ Its so me
Me New Amerykah 2008

This time last week, I was fielding calls and coordinating
text messages from
the Tea Lounge in Brooklyn.

It pains me how personal these post are going to be.

Filthy stays on me about the fact that
when you are honest when you write, the more likley
you can take the reader to another place.

So I press on. The moment my plane landed there was 2 feet of snow on
the ground.

It was a winter wonderland.

The snow symbolized that other things were in store for me.
The trip showed me a couple of things. The first was that
with prayer and asking for help from friends, anything is possible,

It also confirmed that I would be single, real soon,
whether I wanted to admit it or not, and that hurt.

Today I am.


Being forced to reconsider your truth is real.

Erykah is underrated.


72 Hours of New Amerykah: Part II – First I was Malcom, now I’m El Hajj

Last weekend, in BK, I resided with
Mean Sexy‘s sister,
Flybug Starski
We had one of those 4am, in the gristle
conversations. We discussed our paths in life, whether
we where we wanted to be and coping and planning for the future.

It was awkward, painful and necessary. She demonstrated
to me how my people can hold me down if I actually plan
ahead and ask for help.

I met Filthy Dubois in person for the first time and that
sh-t was bugged. You ever been caught off guard by how
easy it is to chill with someone?

I think we had an entire dialog using
Illmatic lyrics. Man. That sh-t had me gone.

Filthy ain’t Black. So, I caught some sideways glances from cats
while I was walking with him in Harlem. He was not
phased. I was just like “ay, blood, these dudes are tripping”.

But then again, chilling with him, forced me to confront my
own issues of seeing Black men with White women.
White parents with adopted Asian daughters.
My issue with Black men, who get degrees,
and then say that they are not dating Black women
anymore, because we “have too much mouth“.

In fact, SJ continually got on me about how careless it is
for me to make sweeping statements about some
white folks, or about any group in particular.
We all human, no?

Clearly, I have a lot to ponder.


Last week, I wrote on my hand,
“I hate these, I am going to meet my fate moments”.

We are entitled to our truth, but that confrontation
process is not what the streets want.

I am really rethinking the racial lens through which I see things.
Like first I was Malcom, now I’m El Hajj.


Hip Hop Isn’t That Political After All: Part I.

Hip Hop isn’t that political after all.

You may think that its political, but guess what? It’s just music.

Those of us who ARE into “political” hip hop are not learning
anything new from the music that we listen to. If anything
it affirms what we already know. It’s confirms our existence
by reminding us that, while we aren’t the most mainstream of cats,
there are folks, artist, that think like us as well.

Dead Prez.
De La.
The Roots.

In fact, hip hop is so apolitical that Kanye saying
George Bush doesn’t care about Black people
constitutes BEING political.

How can that be?

Yes, he was speaking from his heart.
Yes, he had a lot to loose.

But BEING political.

The Montgomery Bus Boycotts were political.
The Freedom Rides were political.
The Abolition Movement was politcal.

Hip Hop, while it has ton’s of potential,
while it has a global impact, while it allows people
to unite who would never
be in the same room together is, as we stand today,
is JUST music.


I mentioned this idea a week or so ago
to Filthy and promised that I would write
about it.

So, here we go.


5 Years for $90 Worth of Crack

I love words. Depending on how you use them you
can alienate people, draw them in, repulse them

or endear them to you.

I had this in mind when Filthy Dubois pointed out that
most of the non violent offenders in jail for selling crack are users
as well. They sell just enough to support their habit and make
a living.
I began to reflect on the fact that NONE of the
on the crack cocaine sentencing disparity
mentioned the street value of 5 grams of crack.

So I set out to find out how much 5 grams of crack was worth
I turned to my resident reformed d-boy.

MM: How much is 5 grams of crack?
Dig Dug: Well there are 28 grams in a ounce, which is about $500.
Did the math, divided 500/28 which came to 17.8×5= $89.5.
:Are you serious? So people are getting 5 years for roughly
$90 dollars worth of crack? And then that still depends on
whether there is a markup.
DD: Why you wanna know?
MM: I have been following the crack/coke sentencing disparity
DD: I heard about that. They were talking about it on the radio.
MM: One of my homies pointed out that a lot of people in jail
for selling crack, are primarily users, so I am trying to figure out
the street value of 5 grams. Besides, folks are lobbying the
the sentencing commission to revise the crack sentencing rules.
DD: Is this a new law?
MM: Nah, its not a new law, its just that a couple of judges have decided two
cases that would impact the way other judges give out sentences.
Congress would have to change the law, which is highly unlikely.
DD: Will that affect me, I have probation left?
MM: I dunno. I can check. What is the street value or cost of 500
grams of cocaine.
DD: Man.{sighs} A whole lot of money.

That’s when I realized, no one has pointed out the dollar
amount. Grams and ounces don’t resonate with the average
everyday citizen, but dollars do.

The anti-drug war folks missed a critical opportunity to
change the way the public perceived the war on drugs.

They could have used the language to pull the folks
in by describing it in terms that were readily accessible.

I am this close, **hold up two fingers, to becoming a crack
and rehabilitation lobbyist, trill talk.


Did you know that it took only $90 worth of crack to get you 5 years?

What do you think of that?

Why doesn’t anyone talk about this issue in those terms?