Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Songs in the Keys of the Honest Man's Life

The Honest man loves music. And I constantly listen to music for motivation. So from time to time, I'm gonna share songs that have motivated me to do something over my lifetime. Enjoy!

Jadakiss f Styles P and Eve - We Gon Make it

If rich people have Chicken Soup for the Soul, then poor people have Ramen Noodles for the Pockets. This song is that bowl of Ramen Noodles and motivated me to get that Campbell's chicken soup. Great for any occasion, getting ready for a party..Check! Got a big test and need energy...Check! Trying to cop that salary increase from your boss..Double Check! Yes, we gon make it!

Straight Eye for the Straight Guy

"Those shoes don't match with that fucking outfit"
- Martin Lawrence, Def Comedy Jam

America, I've had it. I'm finished. I can't do it. I won't do it. And more importantly, I will not stand. What'chu talkin' 'bout Willis you ask? Heck I'm just talking about Shaft. No not John Shaft but his bad dressing cousin Jack Shaft. Heeeee's a bad dressing man that no one understands and he doesn't have a woman....Jack Shaft...and naw bruh we cain't dig it.

Ok, you can thank the great people at VH1 who created the "Black to the Future" segments for the above odes. But seriously, I'm relaunching the Honest Man's version of the Fashion Police aka the Straight Eye for the Straight Guy. The reason is simple: too many of you jabronis are out there perpetrating like what you got on is fresh but are too stupid to understand the basics of fashion. Let's strap on our seatbelts again, the Straight Eye's court is in session, and I'm handing out citations like you wuz Tupac

Fact #1 - You don't rock linen in Winter

I saw a dude rocking white linen in February. Let me repeat, he was rocking WHITE LINEN IN FUCKING FEBRUARY. I seriously wondered if he rode the short yellow bus to school as a youth. For the fashion challenged, it's pretty simple, you wear linen only in Spring and Summer. It doesn't matter if it's hot as hell on an unusual day in Fall and Winter. You do not wear linen. Period. Put that shit in your storage closet and wait until the first day of Spring hits. Otherwise, I'm purposely going to throw fruit punch on your pants and scream, YOU DON'T WEAR LINEN IN WINTER TRICK.

Hopefully me constantly repeating linen and frequent use of caps will discourage you. If not, Beware of Red Kool Aid.

Fact #2 - Dark versus Light suits...

Every man should have two suits in their closet. One for hot seasons, and one for cold seasons. For the former, you can wear dark, light, whatever, anything's pretty passable. But for the latter, it must be dark. I don't care how great those alligators go with that pink suit, you rock DARK suits in Winter time Killa Cam.

I was at a conference recently, where for the most part, the attendees did the right thing. But some dudes, oh my god, it was like I wanted to go into a nearby phone booth and do my Super Straight Eye to the rescue routine. Be like "My man, do you understand that shit you wearing is not seasonally acceptable?" Here's a dollar, buy a clue...Geez

Fact #3 - The art of matching

Straight Eye, thy arch enemy is Tacky Man and I'm stand in your way of elevating the confused from the second string to first string. Aw, where do I start? Ok, let's tackle business casual clothes first. If you rock a striped shirt, then your pants should have no stripes. And vice versa. Pretty simple right? You'd be amazed at how many co-workers I see fuck this rule up badly. But they swear on they mama's grave, their shit is John Blaze. Um no it's not.

Let's talk about the ties you wear with the right suits in the right seasons. If you wear a white shirt with a suit that has no pinstripes, the tie of choice should have some patterns in it. Stripes, circles, diagonals, whatever, most patterns will do. Now if you wear a striped shirt, then the tie, and the suit should be one color. Too many stripes makes you look like a zebra. And you don't want me throwing grass at you do you zebra?

This one, I'm not gon front I was guilty of not matching my clothes back in the day. Then I turned 6 and it was all uphill from there ;-).

Today's Lesson

Don't be that guy. If I catch you in a fashion no-no, I'm breaking out the cuffs, locking you up, and forcing you to watch a marathon of From G to Gents. And don't noooobody want to watch that.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Today's Black History Minute

It's Black History Month readers and the Honest Man realized that we are more than halfway through and I have not blessed you with a Black History fact at all. My forefathers are probably looking down upon me going wondering if they sailed on those long boat rides and spent those long days in the fields for nothing. I'm here today to repent my sins and share a great tale.

There was a young black man from the Southeast United States that was working at a fast food chain. He was a good student, decent athlete, and had dreams of attending the same institution as the Honorable Dr. Martin Luther King. But while this young man had these good things going for him, he lacked direction and focus on what he would do with this life in the long-term.

As fate would have it, one Sunday morning at work, his assistant manager, also black, and 5 of his co-workers, white and all high school classmates of the young man, were at work with the young man. Since it was about half an hour until store open, the assistant manager had all 6 employees sit in a round table, ironically with the young man sitting next to her. She asked each white employee what their post high school plans were and one by one, they told her about their college plans.

However, when they finished talking, she did not ask her fellow African-American what his plans were. Instead she congratulated the 5 students for their future plans and commented that she hoped they would come by and visit her and the young man when they were on school break. Shocked by her comments, the young man interrupted his boss and told her that he was not only going to college but going on scholarship. The assistant was completely surprised by both statements and openly questioned the young man saying "You're going to college??? On Scholarship?" The young man quickly countered in token Kunta Kinte voice "Yessum I cans reads and writes."

Little did the assistant manager know that out of those 6 students, the young man had higher GPAs than all but one of them. But in her mind, she was brainwashed and bamboozled to believe that black folks were meant to pick cotton or in this case, ask customers if they want fries with that. As for the young man, he learned a valuable lesson that day. One, you need to have goals or you end up sounding like his boss. Two, never underestimate the ignorance of people. Last, sarcasm can be a great tool.

The young man would go to obtain his college degree, a MBA, get a good ass job (shoutout to Yeezy), become internationally known, nationally recognized, and locally accepted in the community. But his greatest professional accomplishment would be writing the Honest Views from a Honest Man blog :-).

Today's Lesson

Never underestimate the power of the stupid. The fact that I had to break out the slave voice to reiterate my intelligience is something that should have never had to happen. But on one hand, it did motivate to get up, get out and do something (shoutout to 'Kast) because I wouldn't have made it if I never even tried.

This Black History Minute has been brought to you by the Miller Lite Genuine Draft Fund, who will donate $1 for every hit to the United Negro College Fund.....NOT

When the Honest Man stops being real

There's no reason to like lie to one another. Because, you know, some of us are gonna like and some of us are gonna hate either way.
- Real World Boston

I secretly wanted to be on the Real World. When the show first came out in the 90s, I loved it. It was a cultural melting pot full of different races and social classes. I had a whole plan mapped out. My name was going to be Muhammad and on the first day tell my roommates "I'm Muhammad, I'm racist, and hate all white people. Now which one of you devils is my roommate?" They would call me angry man and my controversy would generate high ratings. I turn those ratings into the Angry Man show via MTV. After a few years, I would be "humbled", no longer bitter, and release the book "No Longer Angry". RATINGS GOLD

But that was back then when the Real World was truly real and not this fake shit they started dropping in the late 90s/early 00's. Now the producers purposely prod the roommates to face off with one another to draw ratings. So it's the same shit season after season. They need to surprise the public, do a Real World Atlanta, put 4 white people and 2 heterosexual black males in East Point. Then you will see real recognize real. It would be eerily similar to Dave Chappelle's Real World Hoboken. And for those that saw it, the joint was funny (see below).

Watch more Chappelle"s Show videos on AOL Video

Today's Lesson

Maybe I'll change my name to Jamal, show up on that bootleg Real World show on CBS (Big Brother), and just piss people off for the sake of pissing people off. Dare I say ch-ching!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Know Your Role and Shut your mouth

Ok, people I need to kick the actual factual for the dumb and stupid of the world. Just because we work together does not mean you are entitled to know about my personal life. EPMD released an album called "Business Never Personal" and you mofos need to listen to it. To me, telling you something personal means we need to have built a personal relationship. Here's an example of what I mean.

My wife and I are expecting a child next month (more on that in a separate blog). I just started telling co workers last month. At this point, you are saying, man Waldini you are cold for waiting so long to tell them. But think about it this way, if someone constantly emails, calls, or instant messages you with work questions, then you are inclined to give work answers. It's not like I'm going to say "Yea we need to crank out those budget numbers before Friday and oh yea, my wife's pregnant." Usually the smarter, sensitive person will mix in work questions with personal questions ('How's the family, how's the wife, etc'). I let my co workers know that normally you only ask or ping me with work stuff so why should I feel obligated to inform you about my wife. I mean you didn't care about my personal life before so why now?

Today's Lesson

You can call me a dick if you want to but you can't tell me the above isn't rational thought. Truss, I got no problems telling you about my life. But if you step to me with questions about the Wii, I'm not going to tell you I got a PS3 too ;-)

Slim Shady versus T.I.P

Did you see the Grammys last night? Yep me neither. The Honest Man is normally not a fan of award shows as they are too long, very predictable, and oh so boring. However, I did want to see the TI, Kanye West, Jay Z, and Lil Wayne performance of "Swagga Like Us" for two reasons: One, the song is dope and two, MIA (the artist's voice they sampled) was going to appear live on stage. I saw the video online this morning and was like wow. Even Kanye's retro do couldn't fuck up that great performance.

So it got me wondering, was this better than Eminem and John Elton's live version of "Stan" a few years back? To me that performance is legendary. Unexpected and pure hip hop at it's fineness. The song was straight fiyah when it dropped but that Grammy performance made me have a man-crush. Ok maybe not that deep but you get the point.

Both videos are posted here. You be the judge and submit your comments

Eminem f John Elton - "Stan"

TI f Kanye West, Jay Z, Lil Wayne, and MIA - "Swagga Like Us"

Waldini's Take: I still take Em's performance because prior to the show, it was very unlikely this pairing would happen, especially with Slim Shady taking a lot of heat for previous anti-gay remarks. Swag is up there especially when you got a 9 month pregnant lady who should not be allowed to travel.

The People's Champion

I decided to give you guys a treat and give you a sample of the Honest man on microphone. Consider yourself fortunate :-)!

Today's Lesson

The Honest Man is about as honest as it comes people. Believe dat!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Audacity of Hating on Hip Hop

"Rap is crap" - West Texas Rednecks

I mentioned in a previous post that Hip Hop is my favorite genre of music. It discovered me in the mid 80s via my cousin blasting Run DMC's "Rock Box" and the rest is Waldini history. It covered all areas from street life to conscious rap to regional representation, it was just pure dopeness. However, not everyone shares my love. I don't have an issue with people not liking rap because it's not meant for everyone. What I do have an issue with is when jackasses make blanket statements about the music and sound like idiots in the process. The Honest Man is here to break down what I mean.

Example #1 - "They don't play any real instruments, they only sample"

I get this frequently from so called "true" musicians. Their claim is rap is unoriginal, nothing more than a trend, and not real music because no instruments are used. Hey stupid do you ever listen to anything besides the radio? And do you ever watch anything besides MTV and BET? Granted there are artists who live and die by sampling, not every rapper samples.

For starters, popular acts like The Roots, The Neptunes and Outkast rarely sample. Their beats are either played with live instruments or creating from scratch off a drum machine. And then you have independent artists like J-Live or Del the Funky Homosapien that sample only when necessary too. My point is there is more to rap than the stuff that's played on the radio and shown on TV. But if you have a closed mind then it's pointless trying to get yo dumb ass to open it up and explore.

Example #2 - "They don't talk about anything of substance"

Have you ever heard the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"? Great song but do you know what it was about. LSD. Not shitting you. It has been hailed as a classic. The lyrics make no sense, the composition is very out there but let the experts tell it, this is what true music is all about. Give me a fucking break. Beck put out an album called "Odelay" which had songs like "Devil's Haircut in my mind" and "Jackass" on it. Again great stuff but another what the fuck is he talking about. Oh I get it, I need to smoke that sticky icky, come up with a bizarre ass song like "Shaniqua's booty is lying with Peter in Heaven" and that'll change your mind right? Get the fuck outta here.

There have been plenty of hip hop songs that definitely had a message. "Be a Father to your Child (Ed O.G. and The Bulldogs)", "Brenda's got a baby (TuPac)", "Fight the Power (Public Enemy)" immediately come to mind. For those seeking a current song, peep Big Boi's "Sumthin's Gotta Give." Even with his corny songs, the Fresh Prince put out songs with a message. But don't sit there and tell me that rappers don't talk about anything of substance. If you are judging rap based on listening to what's on TV, then you are completely clueless and uneducated on the message that hip hop brings.

Example #3 - "It's not original like Rock and Roll"

"Higher Ground," By The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
"I Didn't Mean to Turn You On," By Robert Palmer
"Hard to Handle," By the Black Crowes
"Twist and Shout," By the Beatles

These songs were hits for the above groups but um they were originally song by r&b artists. Don't try to get Luke Skywalker and claim this isn't true, it's impossible. It's very damn true and just a small portion of songs that were remade into hits for rock and roll bands. You notice these songs happen in different eras and reinforces that yes even the precious rock and roll is not completely original in all their songs.

Yes I'm very aware R&B artists have remade rock and roll songs but you don't hear fans of r&B going a certain genre of music isn't original. Don't be a hypocrite and act like rock and roll is sacred. The artists have remade songs like Jesus turning a two pieces of fish and bread into a bountiful to feed the masses. Yea I said it, I used Jesus in my comparison. You got problems with that ;-)?

Today's Lesson

As my boy Gangsta D frequently says "Get your weight up, not your hate up". In other words, do your history before you make stupid ass remarks in public. I don't want to pull your card in front of your people ;-)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Shoot 'Em in the Kneecaps - "24" edition

"Let me make this right" - Agent Walker during every episode so far of "24 - Day 7"

Good readers, I know it's been a minute since you last heard from (ok it was only a week but it felt like an eternity). With the recent layoffs all over, I had to work on my own strategy for making sure I'm an asset and not a liability to my current employer. But I'm not here to talk about sad days but rather give you my first "Shoot 'Em in the Kneecaps" edition for 24

The premise is simple. Each season, there are certain characters on 24 that drive me absolutely crazy with their stupid ass decisions. I feel someone, namely the Honest man, should roll up and cap 'em in the kneecaps to teach them a lesson. Don't act like it's just me. You can't tell me you were itchin to shoot Kim in the kneecaps for getting caught in a bear trap. Or President Logan for being weak. Or Wayne Palmer for being completely useless as a president. Without further adieu (drum roll please), your "Shoot 'Em in the Kneecaps" nominees

  • Shoot the President in the kneecaps for not keeping a secret. Dude told you to come ALONE and what do you do. You start telling the world "He's coming, He's coming".
  • Shoot Jack in the kneecaps for trying to make Tony have a conscience. If I'm Tony, I'm telling Jack, you go ahead and turn yourself in but I ain't doing jail time. You not my conscience chief
  • Shoot Shawn in the kneecaps for trying to be hard. 4 episodes you were Mr Sensitive trying to save your wife. 3 episodes ago, you save her, treat her like crap and focus on your jumpoff. Last night, he tries to get hard and call people out
  • Shoot Dubaku in the kneecaps for having the scariest mug and voice this side of Mississippi. I literally sat there and told my wife that man if he were my daddy, he would scare the shit outta me "Waldini drink your milk..." Yes Daddy
  • Shoot Agent Walker in the kneecaps for so many things. Let's just pick bad acting for this go round
  • Shoot that American engineer in the kneecaps for being a wuss. Lesson #1, if someone plays the I'm a kill your family card if you don't do this, you need to respond "Mofo, you might as well kill me now b/c if my family is dead, you gon see what crazy is truly like" But naw this fool lets this man turn him into a martyr
  • Shoot that American bruh for agreeing to Dubaku's plan to use the engineer as a bomb. What American you know is willingly going to sit there and be sacrificed. I would have shot Dubaku and then try to plead for a deal.
  • Shoot the Oval Office in the kneecaps for not using technology properly. If you are using all these fancy gizmos to quickly locate this kindred plant, shouldn't you use the same technology to locate where Agent Gesh and the First Gentleman are. GEEZUS PEOPLE
Aww, I feel good getting that off my chest. All that pent-up anger inside, I needed a catharsis to release that negativity. That felt pretty good :-)

Today's Lesson

We're only one-third into the season and I know there will be at least one more edition of this. I'm wondering if I should do one for "Heroes" because Lord knows they got even more characters that need to be taken back and "relieved"