Monday, December 20, 2010

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - Ghetto Musick

If you couldn't tell from previous posts, most notably the ones entitled "Da Art of Storytelling", I'm an Outkast homer. Since they burst onto the scene in '93, I've ridden with Big Boi and 3 Stacks on pretty much every thing they dropped. This past weekend, VH1 Soul did me a solid by playing 5 'Kast songs in a row. And one of them is one of my all time favorites in "Ghetto Musick".

The 808s on that joint are like the 808s used for "Bombs over Baghdad" but on crack. Meaning the sound is sped up even more than the already fast drums for BOB. As soon as Dre starts off with "Turn me up, don't turn me down..." it's officially on. Then Sir Lucious Leftfoot drops his classic verses spliced in with the Patti Labelle sample on the hook, it's a match made in heaven. Shoot, I know it still goes hard when my 1 year old stopped on a dime whatever he was doing, was mesmerized by the sound, and started getting crunk himself LOL.

OutKast - Ghetto Musick

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - Sobb Story

Leaders of the New School. LONS for short ha! Busta Rhymes, Dinco D, Charlie Brown and Milo. When they dropped "Just another case of the PTA" I was hooked. It's hard to describe to their style, it was just different yet dope. Then when I heard them on the classic posse cut "Scenario", I was like, their CD is mine. And I wasn't disappointed. The only thing I was disappointed by was their breakup a few years later....

My favorite cut from them all time is "Sobb Story." Don't ask me why. Well you can ask me and I'll tell you it's simply for the hook "I know you and you know me..." Such a great I didn't have nothing-now I do-now I'm the local celebrity type story. Just gravy. You can only imagine my joy when I heard this on the radio earlier this week.

Leaders of the New School - SOBB Story

Friday, December 17, 2010

I like Big Butts and I cannot lie.....

There's an epidemic sweeping across America people. And honestly it has been happening for quite some time now. I dunno when this marvel occurred or when it started but I damn sure have taken notice. You with me? Still trying to figure out what I'm talkin' bout Willis? It's not science related, not sports related, and definitely not money related. It's human related or to be more specific glutues maximus related. In simpler terms the butt. In Honest Man terms, the booty. As in R. Kelly's genius of a song "Feelin' on yo Booty". And that epidemic I'm talking about is white girls having black girls' asses....Oh yes it's damn true!

Ok, I'm assuming for my sistas reading this, they are probably spending 5-10 minutes on the above paragraph cussing me out, questioning my manhood, and any other related gesture that sparks outrage. Everyone one else is going, I'm with you Honest Man or Really Honest Man? and are ready to keep reading. Before I go into my history lesson, let me say for the record, I always hold the black woman's booty to the utmost of highest respect (Did I reel some of the sistas back in with that line? LOL probably not). But seriously, if you give me a choice of Jennifer Lopez, or Tichina Arnold, I'm going for PAM! Now let's get back to business at hand.

It was high school when I first took notice. It's just one of those things with dudes. We definitely are scoping out a woman's body. Especially one that milk did a body good. And considering I went to high school with a lot of white girls, it was damn near impossible not to peep a snow flake's goodies when it made sense. And I was noticing how a couple of chicks actually were thick and curvaceous in as Ginuwine describes it "Those jeans!" At first I thought I was crazy, like they only look good because I see them all the damn time and just chalked it up to me being delusional...

As I got older, I put that stuff out of my head, especially when I was in A town. Too many non snow flakes around for a lifetime. I barely remembered thinking that white girls had booty during this period since I rarely saw them. It was like the world was normal again. Black chicks had booties for days, and I was like flies on shit trying to get at 'em. So I graduate college with the sky is blue, the earth is round and all is well type logic.

Do you read King Magazine? I read it for the insightful "articles." And in the late 90s, I was reading this great "article" on the chick from "Blossom" aka Six. And when I kept reading that "article" I was like Van Damme this white girl got ass for days. Initially, I felt crazy, like what the hell is wrong with me. I was trying to tell myself that I'm either working too hard or the alcohol has caught up with me. But oddly, a few weeks later, I was hanging with my boys and I'll never forget this. We were having guy talk doing the usual who's the hottest chick on the block type convo, and one of them goes "I'll tell you what. Ya'll remember that chick from Blossom? Have ya'll seen the King magazine with her in it. I'm tellin' ya'll cuzzin that chick got ass for days!" Ding Ding Ding Ding!! That readers is what we call confirmation and validation. It wasn't just me that noticed.

After that it was a domino effect. It literally seemed like I would be somewhere random, look up, just so "happen" to catch the backside of some shorty, she turns around and I'm straight trippin' she's white. Like how is this possible?? The gods have lied to me?? Or for art thou cursed me :-)!! Then the ultimate came when Ice T broke out his wife Coco and I'm like oh hell naw, it's official now. White chicks with black girl booties have arrived. And when Kim Kardashian "blew" up, it was Van Damme, the game is over. Cue the hate from sistas worldwide. I would get into arguments with my homegirls like you wilin or hell no but I counter with you just mad cuz that white girl is stylin' on you LOL. Don't hate, congratulate! I didn't say I was gonna leave the sistas for the kryptonite, I'm just complimenting the lady's bootiful style....

So for the fellas out there strugglin' with this and have been ashamed to admit what they saw, the Honest Man has officially given you the OK to let it out. No reason in keeping that to yourself cuz we all in awe of what's happening across America. I don't know if it's due to working out, due to a change in eating habits or having their genes spliced with an ounce of Serena serum but yo it's something that is certified and approved by the Honest Board of Governors. Let the haters hate cuz I know the playas are playing....literally!

Today's Lesson

I don't want my sistas to view this as an article of me abandoning or promoting other bruhs to abandon you because I'm not. I'm just making you aware of an awesome and inspiring movement that's happening in your world. Trust me, you still the queens of our castles. Just be leery of that duchess bending over.....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What's wrong with Today's R&B?

The Honest Man is in a sad state of mind readers. And sad because of the current state of rhythm & blues music, better known as R&B amongst the bruhs. But I have christened it rhythm and bullshit lately because of all the bad music I've heard on the radio. And I don't know if it's me just becoming more of an old fogie and clinging too hard to the past. Or maybe it's me not embracing how r&b has evolved over the past decade or so. Or maybe it's just I'm right, the masses are wrong, and they don't recognize good from bad music. I think it's a combination of all 3....

I have 400 plus CDs of music. You'll be shocked to know my collection comprised 40% of R&B, 40% of Hip Hop, and 20% of Alternative. Hell I was shocked myself when I reviewed my cases. And I was going through my soul collection, I was even more shocked at how diverse it was. Sam Cooke. Marvin Gaye. Supremes. Parliament. The Deele. The Jacksons. New Edition. D'Angelo. Mary J. Blige. Ne-Yo. If you're not following the pattern, that's me doing a transition from the oldies to current music or decade to next decade. Starting with the 50s and acts like Ray Charles and the Coasters, you'll find good music in every decade up until the current one we just entered. And no matter how silly or corny the songs may appear now, I can find the genius in a record like "I got a woman" or "Ain't no Mountain High enough." Then I stop and wonder "Where did it all go wrong for R&B"

I was watching VH1 Soul the other and they had an hour where they showed nothing but old school R&B songs, ranging from the 70s through the 90s. I literally was having nostalgia moments remembering when I used to make "Quiet Storm" tapes (yes playas tapes!) off the local radio's after hour mixes and try to entice some honey to be mine. Or when I used to get nervous as I was slow dancing to a dope R Kelly song with a girl and hoping not to mess up. But one thing I noticed about the songs were how subtle they were in their approaches to member of the opposite sex. I'm not naive enough to think that bluntness in songs didn't exist. Adina Howard, Jodeci, Millie Jackson, etc definitely had "Gimme some now" records but still it was recorded in a way where you are like "yo this is my shit!"

I go back to subtle because it seems R&B has lost it way. I hear songs now on the radio and the originality is just lacking. There are more folks trying to emulate the Adina Howard approach instead of the Anita Baker approach and it just comes off wrong. No more "I wanna caress your body and can't wait until we are one" liners, it's now "Immma take yo pants off, girl ohh yooo booty's soft, I'm about to knock that coochie off" and I go wow, is there even a point to the song. No mystery whatsoever. It's like the girl that always showing her goodies off. Yea her body is dope but how many guys haven't tasted her goodies?? Give me the girl that we know has a dope body but is classy enough to not show the entire meal and rather let you guess what's underneath.

I was talking with my boy about this recently and I was trying to explain to him that it's not that I don't like R&B because there acts out there today that I support (Janelle Monae, Ne-Yo come to mind) but it just seems there are more bad acts out there today than good versus the opposite effect no more than 10 years ago. And that's disheartening. My wife gives me shit for not giving today's R&B a try but I say why bother. I already know what the record is going to be and sound like. Disposable, trendy, and not a timeless classic. I mean let ask you readers do you think someone like Beyonce's records are timeless or good for the current time period? And how do you stack her records against someone like a Aretha Franklin? Sade? Hell I'll use someone closer in age..Mary J Blige? Do you think you will want to hear her bust out "Single Ladies" in 25 years?? And that's what I'm getting at, it's frustrating.

So what do you do? I continue to support the acts that I like and even the new ones that either I hear by chance or someone sends me a joint to listen to. But I am not an active R&B supporter anymore. Not with what's out there in today's market. You can have whatever they call that R&B. As you pop champagnes and dance to "LOL", I'll be poppin' in Debarge's greatest hits going "Damn that El cranked out some jams." And if you need further proof, ask yourself if you think your favorite rapper is going to sample a current R&B song. Makes you go damn don't it!

Today's Lesson

I don't hate today's R&B readers, I just pity the fool! Call me old, call me bitter, or call me what the young people say a "hater" but after you finish calling me names, take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself, will I be listening to this in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? And if you are struggling with that question, that should already answer my question of is this good or bad r&b...MESSAGE!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Da Art of Storytelling Part '10

"To the Honest Man,

I don't hate Black Mamba but I pity the fool" - The Sports Guy

The Honest Man is an avid reader of Bill Simmons, better known to Sports Junkies as the Sports Guy. If you're unfamiliar with him, he offers a hilarious take on sports often citing 80s movies references to emphasize his points. And while technically he is a sworn NBA enemy of mine by being a Celtics fan, I look past his Kobe hate and accept him for what he is....a funny ass dude.

He wrote a book recently called "The Book of Basketball: The NBA according to the Sports Guy." I've said this many times to friends and I'll use the word again. Fascinating read. Just fascinating. Dude was hitting all kind of points to the point you are repeatedly saying to yourself "Damn this dude is right!". So anyway was part of his promotional campaign, he did a tour of book signings across the US.

Just so happens he came to Texas this weekend. I was planning to go solo and get my hardback signed but the Honest Wife had other plans. She asked me earlier in the day if I was planning to take one of the kids with me. Mental thought was HELL NO but outside words were "I had not planned on it but if you want me to, I guess I can take one." If you aren't following this is the initial grounds of psychological battle to see who wins. It should be noted my youngest kid is a busy body and just gets into shit. Not a bad kid but he just wants to touch everything in sight. And that's who the Honest Wife wants me to take with me. Took a bookstore. With tons of everything. So he can get into shit when he gets bored. She even throws in "Well you can take the stroller, put him in it, and also take a pacifier in case he gets rowdy." You see how she did that America? Just straight laid it out so it's impossible for me to outwardly say "Hell no!" So with that in mind I lay down saying let me get some rest for the improbable fun....Bad sign #1.

The book signing was scheduled for 4pm. I called Borders at noon to get an idea of what time I should get there. They told me 3pm since they will be giving out color coded wristbands and lining folks up by color. Of course the catch is they tell me over the phone that I will have to purchase his revised paperback (I have the original hardback) and that's $18 to get the wristband. I'm going, not gonna happen. So they say in that case it's first come, first serve. That's bad sign #2. After that "fun" call, like I said, I laid down and meant to take a quick nap. I woke up at 3:30 :-(. Borders is 20 miles or 30 minutes from my house. I'm not dressed, my kid is not dressed, I'm helping my wife and the other kid get dressed so they can leave, etc. By the time it's said and done. It's 5pm. Bad sign #3. My wife even throws in, I don't expect ya'll back until 8 or 9ish tonight. Great! C'mon son, let's see if you can set record time for displaying your displeasure for being bored.....

We get to Borders about 5:30. As the Honest Wife suggested, I put my kid in his stroller BUT kept the pacy in coat because I'm like you too big to be sucking on some damn pacifier. We get inside and that line is literally wrapped around the bookstore. I took a quick glance and it looked like 100-150 people are in line. Keep in mind the joint started at 4 so that means shit was probably out of control at 3pm. Great, I'm bracing for the worst, already asking God to bless me and the boy with patience. Add in that we literally are the last people in line AND we so happen to be in the kid section AND my son starts freaking out over a Dora the Explorer Christmas book, you can imagine what my facial expression looked like. If you're keeping count, that's Bad sign #4....

About 5-10 minutes into standing in line, a worker walks up and goes "Sir do you know you can go to the front of the line because you have a toddler. We know it's hard on kids so are allowing those with infants and toddlers to go the front. You just need to purchase the book." I showed her my hardback and re-emphasized I'm not buying another book for just 2-3 more new chapters and she goes fine but you have to spend at least $5 on something to get a wristband and go to the front. Just so happens that Dora book my kid freaked out over was $6.99. 5 minutes later and $7.57 less (tax included), we literally walked up to the front on the line. The lady was like oh yes as soon as this person finishes, you are next. ARE YOU SHITTING ME??? All because I brought my kid who I originally did not want to take?? After exchanging hellos, the above signature that kicked off this post is what I had the Sports Guy sign in my book (SIDE NOTE - I was expecting more dialogue but dude commentated the Heat-Warriors game the night before in Oakland, then flew to Dallas for this so he was visibly tired. I didn't mind b/c he should be exhausted).

I was out of Borders by 6pm. I was back home at 6:30. I called Realist, Gangsta D, the Honest Wife, my inlaws, the world because I was that excited!! I told the family, look we broke as shit but you know what, for all the good that came to me today, daddy's waving the beans and rice for tonight, you can have pizza...with meat!! My kid is a huge Yo Gabba Gabba fan so when we got outside, I told him "Son having kids is AWEEEESSSOMMEEE!!" in DJ Lance voice.

Today's Lesson

For all you marks tripping about having kids and dealing with them, I guarantee you that about 50 of those cats last night were like damn I wish I had a kid. Shoot I'm still thanking God as I write this for hooking me up. Big ups Sir, Big Ups indeed.....

"You better go and get, the hump, up out your back now
It's about four, or five, cats off in my 'Llac now
We just, shoot, game in the form of story rap now
It's like that now, it's like that now"

Friday, December 10, 2010

Well looky looky here!

I told you earlier this week my new crack is the SNL sketch "What Up with That." What I didn't know was that this sketch started last year (thanks Wikipedia) and that this joint has filmed 6 different sketches. So in honor of that readers, I'm posting the remaining four. Ooooo weeee, what up with that, what up with that

Featuring Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakas

Featuring James Franco and Gerard Butler

Featuring Al Gore, Mindy Kaling, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Featuring Mike Tyson, Jack McBrayer, and James Franco

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Movies the Honest Man Loves - The Street Figther

HBO has been showing a cult favorite of mine for the past year or so and that is The Street Fighter starring Sonny Chiba. No not that foolishness with Guile, Ryu, Ken, and friends but the 70s kung fu flick that generated an X rating for one crazy scene. While that scene is bananas and there are some graphic scenes, trust me it's not X rating stuff. If you want pure gore, peep Lone Wolf and Cub (another day readers lol).

Anyway, Sonny Chiba put out 3 of these joints - The Street Fighter, Return of the Street Fighter, and the Street Fighter's Revenge. All are good but nothing beat the original. They say that cat Chiba is a bad mutha...Shut my mouth cuz I'm talkin' about Sonny. And ya best dig it. If you got HBO, check your listings, it's showing on the HBO Zone channel. Otherwise go rent it. Trust me, the Honest Man wouldn't lie to you :-)

Monday, December 6, 2010

A shockingly good Saturday Night Live sketch

I'm not a big Saturday Night Live fan. Every now and then they have a few good sketches but overall, I think a good portion of their stuff is corny. But it seems every so often, they hit paydirt with one sketch and I'm like this shit is hilarious. The latest is with Kenan Thompson and this spot called "What's up with That!". It started during whatever episode Kanye West was on and last weekend they did another. As long as they don't get crazy and turn this into a show or full length feature, SNL's got a gold winner on it's hand....OOOOOOOO WWEEEEEEEE, what's up with that!!

What's up with That - f Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams

What's up with That - f Morgan Freeman and Ernest Borgine

Friday, December 3, 2010

Remember the Titans

You make sure they remember, FOREVER, the night they played the Titans! - Coach Yoast

Tennessee Titans football. Tennessee Volunteers football. Georgetown Hoyas' mens' basketball. North Carolina Tar Heels mens' basketball. Los Angeles Lakers basketball. Those are the teams I follow hard core. Period. Been a fan of each for 20 plus years. Yep I was there when my Oilers were "snuck" out of Houston by that crazy tycoon Bud Adams. And I was still a fan of the Volunteers during the recent 2 year coaching drama culminating in Lane Bitch.I.Am resigning to pursue his "dream job". Not that I'm bitter LOL. But I say all this to say that good and bad, I'm a fan of these teams thick and thin....

The way the seasons have gone for the above had me reminiscing over the good times for each. In particular I found myself really dwelling on my Titans. Case you have not been keeping up with times, the latest chapter of the Vince Young-Jeff Fisher-Bud Adams drama went front stage 2 weeks ago. And I sit here going where did it all go wrong?? I won't dwell on it because lost in all of this is that they started the season strong and now are 1 game under .500 but yet they can STILL win the division if they get their act together. You have to fall backwards to move forward but damn I wish they would stop falling over themselves.

Anyhoo, I was thinking about the good times in Titans history and couldn't help but remember the greatness of the 2000 playoff run. More specifically January 8, 2000. The game that kicked off the impropable Super Bowl run. Better known to you mortals as the Music City Miracle. I still remember that game. Me and a bunch of my coworkers went to SRO's in Southwest Houston to watch the game. Big Rob, who was a Cowboys fan. J Dub who just like watching football. Wally, another football lover. Alisha, my homegirl that just liked watching football (note a theme LOL). And my man Big Lath who is the ultimate Bills fan. So you know there was plenty of trash talking that day. Imagine being me as Buffalo kicks that FG to go up by 1 with 16 seconds. And if you are me, you don't think McNair has the balls to imitate Elway and get those boys in FG position. So everyone's telling "Yo Smooth, guess you gon' have to wait until next year." Shoot I'm even going here we go again, always the bridesmaid, never the bride. But like a good fan, I stay until the very end.

So what happens next. The Bills kick off, Wycheck gets it, and instantly I'm going what in the sam blazes is Tennessee doing. Don't they understand the point of the game is to win. Why in the hell is Wycheck's slow ass returning kicks?? But then all of sudden, he turns, throws to Dyson and he's off. I'm literally sitting there quiet, going "Please God, for the love of everything that is right, please, please, help me!!" Then POOF, he's gone, my folks are slowly getting louder until BAM, the Touchdown and pure CHAOS at SRO's. Lathan's going forward pass, basically in shock, and I'm going...Don't ever underestimate the heart of a champion :-). See for yourself...I wish my current Titans could draw from this as they need their own miracle to salvage the season

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Movies the Honest Man Loves - Menace II Society

1994. Senior Year High School. Summertime in da SC. While I'm waiting to embark on one of my greatest rides at Morehouse, I'm at home just killin' time. One way I killed time was renting movies, especially after the family hooked me up with the TV/VCR combo for college. So the first movie I rented was one I had been waiting to watch for a year...Menace II Society.

If you've never seen Menace, shame on you. I personally think it's better than the more celebrated Boyz in the Hood. I mean after watching this, I truly thought I was hard :-). Out there walking the suburbs, quoting O dawg "What'chu say about my mama?" over and over. And it only got worse when I did start college, met D-Lo, and learned he was just as big as a fan. Me and him damn near watched this shit over and over every day. It was so bad, we knew EVERY line word for word. That's how much I loved this movie.

If you've never seen it, no fear, I've posted one of my favorite scenes below. It's the infamous "faggot ass Chauncey decides to educate white folks" scene. CLASSIC. Trust me, the rest of the movie is just as good. So go rent this movie...FOR HAROLD!!!

Tomorrow is never promised

Hey folks! Yep, it's been 2 weeks since a post. And that has happened for bunch of reasons. The primary one is the Honest Wife has suffered 2 deaths over that time and I've been supportive of her. If you've been reading the blog this year, you know between the missus and myself we've had a lot of setbacks this year on the family front (8 deaths in 2010, 9 total since November 2009).

Honestly, that takes a toll on you. It didn't help that the recent ones happened in November and even worse during Thanksgiving week. So I zoned out. Just stepped away from everything to one help my wife out as she's the one who's dealing with emotional pain from the recent deaths. And then also just to reflect on everything that's happened and remember what I should be blessed to have.

Tomorrow is not promised readers. Live your life to the fullest. And if you have loved ones, make sure you are telling them that whenever possible. Because you just never know.....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Your weekly inspiration - You're the Best!

Is there any child of the 80s that is NOT a fan of the "Karate Kid"? And I mean the original one with Ralph Macchio, not the remake with Big Willie Style's kiddo. For that matter do any of the Generation Yers know who Ralph Macchio is? For shame I say if you never saw this movie. It has all the elements of those "classic" 80s bully movies. New kid in school that has "problems" making friends. New kid makes quick enemies by trying to get with the school bully's girl (in this case ex-girl). New kid gets his ass kicked on a daily basis. New kid gets a "mentor". New kid fights back. And new kid ultimately fights for respect from the bullies and for the love of the girl. You indeed New Kid are the best! Don't believe me, peep one of the greatest cheesiest songs that is Ultimate 80s

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dollars and Sense

The Honest Man just saw "Avatar" for the first time over the weekend. Yep that Avatar. Nope not the cartoon show on Disney XD, but that marvel James Cameron dropped on people in December 2009. Yep almost a whole year went by before I saw it for the first time. I posted that on my facebook page and the peanut gallery went literally nuts (pun intended). Some even hit me up on personal emails or IMs, going how in the "life of anything" did you not see this in a movie theater?!?! Glad you asked because your friendly neighborhood Honest Man is about to do a lecture on Dollars and Sense.

I have young children. I have young children that are now aware of what they see on televisions, movie screens, in public, etc. I have young children that will imitate what they see at the drop of a dime. The Honest Man does not want to expose my young children to things they should not see because unlike some parents, I want my kids to you know behave and grow up like kids and not be acting like adults at age 5. What does this have to do with Avatar Honest Man?!?! In Dragonfly Jones voice, "SI-LENCE, SI-LENCE Young Padawan." The Honest Man is give you background information

So knowing that my kids are young and I don't want to expose them to things they shouldn't see, it makes it a lil harder to just simply take them with me to movies. In fact, having young kids definitely cuts down on frequenting movie theaters. I probably average 3-4 visits tops a year to the movies because of this and what I'm about to mention next. Wait, I hear someone in the back of class. "How come you just don't get a babysitter?" Wonderful question, glad you asked :-)

Do you know how much a babysitter cost? Try $10 a hr. And that's on the cheap end around these parts. Let's look at a movie like Avatar which is roughly three and a half hours. Well you need time for the babysitter to arrive so let's be generous and say 4 hrs. You can multiply right? 4 times 10 is what class? There's more to that linear equation. So that's 40 bones gone from jump, plus movies these days, even with me trying to take advantage of my student ID (yep I still use mine, sue me!), that's roughly 9-10 dollars per person so another 20 gone for me and my wife. Then add in getting some popcorn and soda b/c you know Mommy and Daddy normally don't eat these things around the kiddies, that's another 20 dollars. Still got that mental calculator class. 40 + 20 + 20 equals hell naw in my book. I see another hand up. "Why are you paying someone, don't you have family in town?"

Another fantastic question :-). And that answer is nope, sure don't. The closest blood relative lives 4 hrs away. And our close friends here all have kids of their own and typically are looking to get away from it all themselves. So the default primary option is hire a babysitter. Of course when family comes in town, if they offer to watch the kids, then we take them up on the offer and that number reduces in half, which is a Honest Man winner. But how often does family come to visit? Making sense of it all yet (pun intended!).

For me to see two movies in a year with the above outline, that's 160 dollars. That's more than my cable bill. And I get to see the movie once versus watching it repeatedly On Demand or on whatever day the episode is showing. Don't get me wrong, there are other options too. I can go with my bootleg connect in my Uncle and get the joint. Or I can try to see the movie during a long lunch break when no one is watching. But again, the frequency of either is not high either. So when people ask How have you not SEEN this movie, there's the Honest Man answers. Because the dollars don't make sense :-)

Today's Lesson

Yep, I really wish I could see every hot movie that comes out and be able to have water cooler talk the following day. But unfortunately, it's not a part of the cards. And frankly, I'm not as pressed anymore. I'll see it when I see it and that's the bottom line because the Honest Man SAID SO! Class dismissed.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dear Cousin

The Honest Man is going to keep it real with you today. I'm hurting people. This has truly been the most trying year for me in terms of dealing with the losses of loved ones. Starting in November of last year and to date, my wife and I have lost 7 people in our families, with the most recent being my first cousin this past Saturday. I've dealt with death for awhile now but never in this frequent manner. The closest pain I felt to this was losing my uncles ('95 and '96), cousin ('97), and aunt ('98) in consecutive years. But never in the same year. So today's post is an open letter to my cousin, whom I had grown apart from since we were kids. Rest in peace Shalanda, I really do miss you.

Dear Cousin,

I don't know where to start. Where did the time go by? I remember when all 7 seven of us were little and used to meet up in the summertime at Grandma and Granddaddy's house to hang out. Definitely a lot closer at that point than we were as adults but that's what happens I guess when we decided to take different paths as we got older in life. I'm not here to pass judgment on you, or anyone else because truth be told, none of us are perfect, we all constantly have our struggles with the Devil, just albeit some have it harder than others to overcome.

We had our disagreements and unfortunately, all of us let time and bitterness consume us to the point where we frankly were not acting as family members should act. But I wont dwell on that. I dwell on what's important and what I want you to know. I want you to know that no matter what has happened in the past or what's happening today, I always love you. From doing little things (but big in the grand scheme of things) such as reading a poem at Granddaddy's funeral on behalf of us grandchildren to the big things such as you were dealing with a lot in your own house, I'll always love you.

Maybe this is a sign to the remaining 6 of us to get it together, stop the foolishness, and start rebuilding our relationships. I do know that we as a group have lost too many people in the past 3 yrs for us not to get a sign from God that nothing is promised. God decided it was time for you to come home and join Uncle Danny, Aunt Cookie, and Granddaddy with Him. I know I had been trying to reconnect with you guys for a minute and I kick myself even more now for not trying harder.

No tears from me since I'm still shocked you're gone and plus that's not the type of person you are. I'll do my best to honor my part in reaching out more to our family and I hope that you are now at Peace. The next time we talk, it will be in Heaven. Take care Shalanda....


Your cousin,

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Your weekly inspiration - Maybe she can clean out the CABOOSE

The Color Purple is one of America's greatest tragedies. And I mean great in the sense that it was nominated for 10 plus Academy Awards in 1985. And lost every single category. To...drum roll...Out of Africa. If you've seen both, then you understand why even 20 years later, I'm still bitter over that shit. Like seriously?? That boring ass movie was better than one of the greatest films of all time, not just 1985??

Anyway, if you've read the book, then you'll appreciate how true to form Spielberg adapated Walker's classic story. There are so many great scenes in this movie ("You told Harpo to beat me", "You aint nuttin' but a heifer, h-e-i-f-e-r", "You so UGGLY") but my favorite is the infamous Thanksgiving dinner scene. Most people will go for the part when Whoopi puts up the fingers and utters "Everything you did on to me, will be done on to you" BUT The Honest Man's favorite is when Mister is running down why Celie won't succeed and Adolph Caesar throws in his 10 cents with "Maybe she can clean out the Caboose!" I laugh EVERY time I hear that line. LOL, see I'm doing it right now....

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - Jump Jump

1992. High School. Who knew that two little boys who wore their clothes backwards would set not just hip hop but pop culture on fire? I know it's not "cool" to throw disses on Kris Kross but true heads know these cats have every damn body going "I'm the mickety mickety mickety mickety mack mack..." during lunch breaks. JD was smart to take a Jackson 5 sample, add in some drums tunes, and you have music history. And in case ya'll suckas don't know...CHECK IT OUUUUTTT!!

Kris Kross - Jump

Monday, November 1, 2010

Election Tiiiime!

Alright America, it's November 1 and what does that mean to you? Maybe it's a countdown until Thanksgiving for you. Maybe it's your day after to recover from all the Halloween parties and trick or treating you did over the weekend. Or maybe it's just another day to kick off in your mind, another fucked up week of work. But to the Honest Man, it's the day before Election Day across the US.

Originally I was going to post another "Songs in the Key" but I felt this message was more important than reminiscing on what you were doing when you heard whatever song I posted. So much is at stake. The Republicans looking to take control of the Senate. The Democrats fighting to keep it. President Obama investing a lot of time because he understands the ramifications of what happens if the Republicans overtake Senate. The nasty (and unintentionally hilarious) Gubernatorial, Senator, and even District Attorney races happening in multiple states (I see you Nevada). Whatever your political party preference, I implore you to get out and vote.

I'm not gonna pull a Diddy on you, knock on your door doing the Harlem Shuffle, or even create some T-shirt with a catchy slogan like "Vote or Die" on them (nor charge you 29.95 for it either). But I am gonna run up on you and annoy the shit out of you until you cast that ballot (Think Shiny suits and repeated lines of "Can't stop, Won't stop").

As a minority, I truly do not understand how any of you cannot vote. Back in the day, the only people allowed to have a say in electing officials were white men. SLOW-LY over decades, minorities went from having no voting rights to having the right of 2/3 of a white man, to finally being able to vote but not without having to burn bras, stage sit ins, hold rallies, etc until the message was heard and rules were changed.

And don't give me that "my vote doesn't matter" foolishness. If all you do is sit around, bitch & moan about the government but never do anything about it, then the only person you can blame is yourself. Change always has, and always will start with YOU. Stop trippin' get out and vote...And in case you wondering, the Honest Man took advantage of early voting and voted last week. Take that, Take that!

Today's Lesson

Really? Does this merit a full paragraph. Go vote jabroni!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - My mind's playing tricks on me

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!! Nope readers, really it's not. I felt that today's video post was necessary, simply for just this one bar. "This year Halloween fell on a weekend, me and Geto Boys are trick or treating." Period. And this year, Halloween indeed falls on a weekend, Sunday to be exact, but my kids, not the Geto Boys, will be trick or treating....

Geto Boys - My Mind's playing tricks on me

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - It's Your Birthday!

It's the Honest Woman's birthday today. And I felt considering we are both generation xers and grew up during the Golden Age of Hip Hop, that one song was appropriate to celebrate the occasion. Nope, not Marilyn Monroe's birthday song. Nope not Stevie Wonder's birthday song (a great song by the way). Yep, a icon back in the day, the man that beat the Man in his right for freedom of speech. The one, the only, Uncle Luke!! Celebrate your birthday wife cuz IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY!! Hydraulics!!

Luke - It's Your Birthday's a wonderful thing!

Teaming. It's a wonderful thing when you work in on a great team. It can feel like family in a sense. You know when you are a close team when you do something like what the Lakers did Tuesday night during the ring ceremony. If you didn't see it, man, I'm just saying. And don't start rolling your eyes or talking that cynical shit about "Yea right, they're fake" foolishness. Thought this was touching. Had me thinking about current and past teams I've been involved with as the fellas were introducing one another. It's kinda hard to describe but I wish more of my teams were bonding like this one. Oh well :-)

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Honest Man's NBA season preview

It just dawned on me that the NBA regular season starts Tuesday. As in tomorrow. As in the 2010-2011 season will officially be upon us tomorrow. As in my team, your team, America's team, aka the back to back NBA Champion LA Lakers begin defense of their crown tomorrow. And I feel I owe it to the sports readers on my page to give you the Honest Man's own NBA 2010-2011 Season Preview. Don't worry, I'm not going to do a team by team breakdown. I mean who in the hell cares about the T-Wolves. They suck mejor cuelo :-).

Western Conference - It's no secret who I think is going to win the conference. But even using my head and not my heart, it's still a purple and gold show. I mean seriously who can take down LA in the West when they are at full strength and healthy?

- Oklahoma? They lack the consistent 3rd scorer to compliment Durant and Westbrook. They are young, they definitely can run up and down, they're solid defensively, and they've got a good coach. But unless Harden or Green morphs into that #3 position, you are going to need more than Durant/Westbrook to overtake LA. Plus they need a deep playoff run with painful results before they understand what it takes. Give them 2-4 years though, they are going to be hell to play. LA included.

- TrailBlazers? Aw yes, everyone's anointed team two seasons ago. It's kinda funny, Kevin Pritchard was celebrated as the GM that everyone wants to be back in 2008 because he had Brandon Roy, drafted Greg Oden, traded for Rudy Fernandez, and supposedly had a team full of depth and on the rise. A few injuries here and 1st round playoff flameouts there, now he's unemployed. The team is good but it's not great. And that's what people miss. Oden, Pryzbilla, and Camby don't scare opponents offensively. I like Roy but I think they overwork him for all the supposed depth they have. Good team but I don't see them as NBA champs now or in the future.

- Nuggets? Joking, these cats never were and never will be known as elite. And for everyone who has sense, stop calling Chauncey Billups Mr Big Shot. He has one ring. Big Shots have more than one ring. It's kinda like how people keep saying Reggie Miller is clutch because of 2 great games he had in '94. He's not. Not with one finals appearance and no rings. Back to Denver, I can't take a team seriously when it's #1 option plays defense like my 1 year old plays offense (it doesn't exist), and it's #3 or #4 option talks a lot, tweets a lot, but doesn't do a whole lot to back it up.

- Spurs? I don't care if they get Splitter, Jefferson's game returns, or George Hill overtakes Mr. Longoria as the starter. It was over in 2008. Put on NBA TV's marathon of Spurs games if you want to remember them as champions cuz pimpin' it's OVA!

- Other West? I. can't. see. it. Rockets? Please. Suns? The sun has set. Utah? Losing Boozer, and it pains me to say that, will hurt more than people think. Clippers? Shockingly on paper, that team could give some teams the business. Just depends on how Baron feels, which is a shame. But the rest? Better go ahead and get ready for the 2011 lottery.......

Ok, so you like, oh you biased, not gonna talk about the East. Well the East doesn't need a breakdown like the West because it's straightforward. Miami, Boston, Orlando. That's it. Everyone else is playing for the right to get beat by those teams next spring. Atlanta can't do it because Joe Johnson is their #1 option instead of their #2. Chicago is missing shooters to go with it's great penetrater and equally good defense. I can't see past that. Wizards, Nets, Raptors, Knicks, Cavs...let me stop. That's horrible enough in it's own right. Just painful.

As for the East Elite, contrary to what some may believe, I think Miami and Boston can beat LA. I have more faith in the latter because of their point guard. All the bandwagoners keep talking about what Lebron will do to Artest if they meet up and that's great but what about the other matchups. Anthony vs Bynum? Bosh vs Gasol? Bryant vs Wade? Fisher vs Chalmers or Arroyo? The benches? C'mon son :-). As for Beantown, you saw the series this summer. Yea they can match up fine. As for the Magic, until Superman figures out how to avoid his kryptonite (translation: develop a low post game), they will continue to falter in the late rounds.

So there you have it? In a quick summary, the Honest Man's NBA 2011 season preview. Oh yea, tell the Laker haters to dress warm. It's cold where you gon be next year ;-)

Friday, October 22, 2010

What the Honest Man is Listening To - Deluxe Edition

After Commissioner No Class posted up the emergency Honest Man emblem in the sky, it dawned on me that my readers have been robbed of the Honest Man's current musical rotation. So instead of the normal one current song per what I'm listening to post, the Honest Man is hitting you with a barrage of goodies that should keep the sucka music criminals on ice for at least the remainder of the month. So get your mind right fam, I'm hittin' you with that new new (not to be confused with Nu Nu) music!

Rick Ross f Drake & Chrisette Michelle - Aston Martin Music

Don't let your hate cloud your judgment. Yep, Ross is definitely fool's gold after being exposed as an ex PO but as much as you want to hate, you can't front on what he's releasing as singles. Super High was dope and this joint here is PURE GOLD. Sleep if you want....

Kanye West f Swizz Beatz, Raekwon, Mos Def, & Charlie Wilson - Lord, Lord, Lord

If you missed my last What I'm listening to post, then go dig in the archives and remember, I'm a Kanye homer. But even the hardest cats out there gotta respect this track. Just a beautifully put together track with my man from the Gap band, MISTA Charlie Wilson just singing "Lord lord lord lord lord LORD, Looooorrrrrddd" I love this shit ha!

Chris Brown f Andre 3000, Drake, Kanye West, TI, & Fabolous - Deuces (remix)

Remember when Chris Brown was left for the music graveyard after the Rihanna mishap? Remember when he got some bad advice to drop an album not too long after that mishap? And remember that shit tanked something awful? Flash forward to 2010. The infamous MJ tribute at the BET Awards. The dropping of "Deuces" and how the internet forced the radio to play the song because heads were rocking. Well folks, the remix is even hotter. If you ain't feeling it, don't worry, I'm giving you the deuces and saying "bye bye"

Gucci Mane f Nicki Minaj & Pharrell - Haterade

Aight, facts first. I fuck with Gucci Mane. I told ya before and Imma tell ya again. I fuck with Gucci. Up next Nicki. The coke bottle body with the even sicker flow. Can't stand her album singles but love her on other folks tracks, kinda like a new age Foxy Brown. And then you have one of the greatest producers in music history. Which means the Honest Man is posting on his list. Get your haterade hater!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Your weekly inspiration - D Muthaphucka D!

1991. Columbia, South Carolina. West Columbia to be exact. A random Saturday night in the Honest man's room, which is part of the Honest Mama's house. Channel 19 aka WLTX aka CBS shows a movie that will change my life forever. That movie was "Do the Right Thing." Released in 1989, the movie was Spike Lee's breakthrough movie. Critically acclaimed, Oscar nominations galore (Supporting Actor, Director), it has stood the test of time and ranks on many folks lists as one of the top influential movies of all time.

Today I post a scene that resonates with anyone who has seen the movie. And for those that have not, this is one of MANY scenes that should have you contacting Netflix immediately after you peep this scene. Oh yea the movie itself? It's about race relations and what happens emotions boil over. Just a great character study on how different cultures interact with one another. Still don't believe me? Just watch. TWENTY MUTHAPHUCKA TWENTY!! Learn to speak English in this Muthaphucka....Damn, I'm poppin' in my Blu Ray NOW :-)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Today's Spotlight - I present EXHIBIT H!!!

I told you cats if we cool and you come with something I can get behind, I will pump it on the blog. Well today's spotlight is courtesy of my musical brotha from anotha motha, the infallible HaaL Electronica. My man HaaL has been laying beats for years. He's also one of the few members of my musical council that I actually will listen to and respect the opinion.javascript:void(0)

So he hit me with the link to his plethora of beats that he has been making. And I thought I share with you fortunate folks what the HaaL has been cooking :-). So go to his site at Soundcloud, take a listen and let the honest man know what you think. You want more info or a connection, just contact me via the batline aka the gmail account.

Don't get it confused holmes, he puts it down. Consider yourself blessed....CRUMBS!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Why oh why did I drink Paladino?

It was a café on the westside, midtown 
Said they had the best cap of cappucino around
So I stepped in, and I ordered a cup
Someone grabbed me by my throat and said, "Shut the fuck up!" - MC Lyte

The title and above 4 bars basically sum up my thoughts about the rapidly becoming famous Carl Paladino. Man's been making headwaves all over the great state of New York as he is seeking to become governor. He's been so unintentionally funny that someone created a "Shit Carl Says" running site of updated euphemisms he spurts out.

Now before I go into my "issues" with him, let's do some background. Paladino was a Democrat for 20 plus years before he converted to Republican in 2005. No issues with that from me as I do not view myself as siding strongly with one party over the over. He's backed by the Tea Party. Again no real issues besides my normal I think those cats are a little extra (another day, another blog) but it fits my everyone makes their own choice deal. Now the the constant willing to throw stones at folks, particularly the gay community and how what they are doing violates family values, well that I take issue with because of who's throwing the stone.

Carl's been making headlines lately about his displeasure with gay pride parades, gay marriages, the messages that current Governor Cuomo sends when he attends these events with his children, the family values are out of whack, etc type comments. Let's focus on that. He's saying that gay marriage violates family values and we lose sight of what this country was built on. And according to him, that means no same sex marriage. Same sex marriage violates the sanctity of the traditional marriage and corrupts the thinking of those who believe this is right.

You know what makes his comments funny. Is that he VIOLATED the sanctity of the traditional marriage when he cheated on his wife about 12 years ago and 10 years his mistress gave birth to their lovechild?!?! Jigga what the fuck are you talkin' aboout Willis? How can you pass judgment on gays when you don't follow and believe the values that you are criticizing them for? That's like me whuppin' my kid for waking up early every morning because I'm sleepy and he woke me up. What I am saying is it doesn't make sense.

In his warped mind, he's decided that fucking around and ignoring the values of marriage don't apply to him but apparently applies to a specific group. I knew a guy once that told me that when he gets married, he's going to cheat on his wife. See how fucked up both of these statements sound. I'm always mind boggled by the minds of man sometimes. "It's okay for me to fuck around but it's not okay for you to." Riiiiight.

I think a sore spot for me is when folks like Carl start to the public callouts when they have skeletons in your own closet. I mean I'm not gay, I'm not enamored with the lifestyle but I don't have the right to go out and pass judgment on them when my life hasn't been squeaky clean. Paladino just needs someone to step in ala that Wrap it Up skit from Chappelle Show. In other words, wrap it up B. Fo' real!

Today's Lesson

Like Lyte said, why oh why did I drink Paladino? Sit yo dumb ass down man and find a different platform or topic to focus on. But stop playing that Ned Flanders role when you living like Quagmire. Ya dig what I'm saying readers! The madness has to stop.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - Mothership Connection (Starchild)

I miss the 70s. Specifically the soul of the 70s. There was great range of soulful sounds in this decade. Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5, Isaac Hayes, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, I could go on forever. What made that decade (and for the most part the 80s) so great was the creativity in place. And at the forefont was the man they called George Clinton. And he was backed by the funky fresh nasty sound better known as Parliament.

I feel the need to post a classic gem from George's band here. Because I feel sometimes the only song the new generation knows is "Atomic Dog" and that's because the Qs play it ALL the time at their frat party. But peep their discography young caterpillars, it's pretty deep. And today I drop one of my favorites from Parliament. Get down wit yo bad self man. Don't make me sock you with the bop gun.

Parliament - Mothership Connection (Starchild)

Your weekly inspiration - Going to Hahvaaad!

Have you ever seen Good Will Hunting? If not, you are seriously depriving yourself. The movie is dopalicious. Yep, you know it's big time when I'm breaking out the slang instead of proper English. But for the ebonically challenged, the movie is one dandy of a good piece of the-a-ter.

Anyway, there are so many great scenes in this movie but my favorite is the Harvard bar scene for multiple reasons. Rich vs poor, smart vs smarter, arrogance vs asshole, man vs man for a girl, yep it's all in there. Cleverly written, it's a classic case of watching the evolution or ascension of intelligence levels. Almost like watching nerd Bloodsport except the next stage has brains instead of brawn. If this scene doesn't want to make you go out and see this, I don't know what to tell you. And after you watch, tell me how you like DEM APPLES!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Today's Spotlight - Troy Brown vs the World

Ok you got me readers. Yesterday broke a "record" for the Honest Man. I had gone 11 days in a row with a post and I meant to drop one yesterday but was mulling my sorrows over my Volunteers getting their asses beat like some stepchildren by Gawga. But no excuses right? Rain, shine, snow, football blowouts, dirty diapers, runny noses, it don't matter the Honest Man has to come with it.

I wanted to do a lil spotlight on my man Brand Electronica's brother, the infamous Troy Brown. Dude's been an MC for a minute and has been rolling up and down the Atlantic battling cats here and there. So BE drops a new joint on me and I said you know what, the Honest Man is gonna start giving him some pub.

SIDE NOTE: If you got something that you want promoted, let me know, the Honest Man is here to help out those. Who knows, we could be helping out each other. Just don't come with that bullshit. And by bullshit, I mean you come at me with some movie in the mold of say "Bout it Bout it" talking about help me out. I'll help yo ass to the unemployment line.

This is the first time I've seen him do a tag team battle rap but check him out. He's got some witty punchlines in there. Hell I don't even have to guts to jump in an atmosphere like that and try to half ass rhyme. Peep him out, leave ya comments, and look for future spotlights on the man, the myth, and hopefully the legend...Troy Brown!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

This week's Sign of the Apocalyspe - Getting ejected for butt slapping!

Aww yea, the Honest Man's favorite time of the year is almost here. It's when both college and pro basketball and football are in full swing. Sorry baseball and hockey lovers, you gets the Dr. Dre Deez Nutz special when it comes to my television. I might take in a MLB playoff game here and there in October but otherwise, fuggedaboutit.

Anyway, the NBA preseason has started. I've been somewhat watching because it's um preseason. But I was reading one of my favorite sports columns, Ball Don't Lie, and they posted this recent NBA preseason highlight between the Suns and Raptors. By the way, if you are not up on BDL, shame on you, it's like an orgasm for the basketball lover. They post great stuff ALL the time. Not that cookie cutter bullshit you read on the Disney network (Except for JA Adande, he's fantastic).

Anyway, this video is showing an ejection of Grant Hill. Yea that Grant Hill. That Grant Hill who always has the "golly gee" look with him. That Grant Hill who've I've only seen get angry like once or twice on a player in a game and show his darkside at the same time (Remember Alonzo Mourning!). That Grant Hill who's a repeated winner of the community award from the league. And he got ejected this week. For the old school BUTT SLAP?!!?! Surely you can't be serious, but apparently the refs were :-(. Take a look and decide for yourself

Definitely this week's sign of the Apocalypse

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Winston James

"I don't hate Balboa but I pity the fool!" - Clubber Lang

Have you ever seen "Rocky III?" Personally I think it's an American classic. Italian man gets beat up badly by a big bad black man, then learns to be the big bad black man with the help of another big bad black man that the Italian previously beat. But that's another story and not the point of today's post. Today's post is about a classic line from that film that describes my feelings towards Winston James, better known in his non Boondocks appearance as Tyler Perry. I don't hate TP but I damn sure pity the fool.

Let's first talk about what I love about Tyler Perry. I love his hustle. I love the fact that he came from the poorest of poor families to rise above his situation. I love the fact that he overcame a rough, emotional upbringing to beat the odds. I love the fact he believes in himself when others did not and that he currently is #5 on the list of richest folks in Hollywood (It's true, it's damn true). I even love how he suckered TBS into not one but two shows for 100 plus episodes and reaping the financial benefits now that they are in syndication. So what's my beef with him and others who get mad when I opt not to support his stuff? Well let's talk on it shall we...

I first learned about Perry probably in 2002 or 2003 when he came to town and black folks I knew were falling over themselves to get tickets to his play. Can't recall the name of the show but I know Madea was in it and it was something like Madea meets the prison or some off wall joint. Now true I was prejudiced in my first thought of why in the fuck would someone name a play meets the prison (or whatever it was called) and was immediately turned off. It sounds like a bad skit on In Living Color called "Mama done forgot to fry the chicken and now the damn house is hungry." And I felt like a loner because both men and women are like "Yo you going to see TP's show?" or "You gotta check out the videos!" and I'm like aw hell naw...

BUT I'm a dude that does like to support my own. So as I was dating my wife, one of TP's movies was adapted for the big screen, "Madea's Family Reunion." She pleaded with me to take her and if you understand courting, you understand you going to that movie (wink wink). So we up in the theater watching it, and literally like within 10 minutes, I'm mentally going "Calgon please take me away" because the shit was cliche and my Negrodamus sense kicked in. It was telling more buffoonery is coming Honest Man, just wait. And boy did it come. Hot grits, ex convict gardeners, the "climatic" family meal, basically watching a people version of Prego, because it was all in there. And I remember my wife laughing her ass off and I'm going this shit is corny but her laughing had me laughing at her. When it ended, I said ok, I've done my time, gave him a chance. I'm soooo good on TP.

It's funny when I publicly mentioned I don't care for Tyler Perry, it's like telling his supporters you don't believe in God. Here are some samples

"I don't understand how you don't like Tyler Perry. The themes in his movie are Christian related and he's trying to spread the good word."
"You like all those bang bang shoot 'em up movies but not his movies.
"How can you watch someone like Martin that dresses up like a woman and say it's okay but criticize Tyler for doing the same thing?"

For starters, I don't think God ever intended for his messengers to spread the good word by cross dressing. Find me the quote or passage in the Bible that okays that portrayal (I'm waiting). Second, the difference between Martin and Tyler is that Martin never publicly tried to say his movies have Christian themes. NEVER. For the record, I have no issue with him pushing that theme because it's definitely needed but please don't tell me dressing up like a woman is the right way to go about it because it's not. Third, I'm a dude that likes mental stimulation in a movie. That means when I walk out, I'm going damn, that's impactful on so many levels. Want some examples? "Do the Right Thing", "Love Jones", "Precious". Guess what? These were directed by black folks. Wow, imagine that!

And before you start rolling your eyes Perry lovers, I do think Perry has gotten better in recent years. "Why did I get married" was a good movie. I think "For Colored Girls" has potential to be a good one from the preview I saw. But when I hear a new Madea movie is coming out, I'm going colored me blind because I can't see paying my money for the following: Madea does some cussing, Madea does some tussing, and Madea does some fussing. Toss in some resurrected black actor or actress that couldn't find work except with TP and we got ourselves a movie. Yeah!!

Today's Lesson

Like I said, I admire Perry for hustle. Cat is an inspiration to me as I try to unlock the key to my own American dream. But admiration and me parting with my cash to see his movies is another subject. If you want me, I'll be next door watching the "Social Network" Cheers!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wake up Everybody, little kiddos beware!

Every now and then, I get questions from folks about how do I get my kids to sleep at night? Or how do I get them up in the morning? And I must say, I'm usually baffled by those questions because to me it's straightforward. I'm the parent, they the children. Period. But apparently not everybody follows that mantra.

Both my wife and I's parents are old school. Raised in the country. Raised with kids don't give parents grief. Which means raised with "discipline." And I don't mean go sit in timeout for 5 minutes or go stare at the wall for 10 minutes discipline. I'm talking that sit yo silly ass down before I go get Herman (that's what my Dad called his belt) type discipline. And that my dear readers is the family heirloom that gets passed down from generation to generation.

So for those struggling with wake up and night time portion of the day with the kiddos, I invite you to watch the first few minutes of this classic Bernie Mac episode. Gotta treat those kids like prison convicts Wanda!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mr. Sanchez goes to the Daily Show

When are you going to learn America? When are you going to wake up and realize how ingenious Jon Stewart is? And when are some of you going to learn to stop underestimating how smart this man is?? Did we not learn anything from him obliterating Cramer on his show earlier this year?

I think one reason I like Stewart is because he doesn't spare anyone. No race, religion, gender, or sexual preference goes unturned in his eyes. It's what I wished the other social commentary media types (cough Limbaugh, cough cough Beck, choke O'Reilly) would do more of. Put your bias aside and just speak on it.

So today's constestant on Stewart's Summer Jam screen is the infallible Rick Sanchez. Oh you don't watch Rick Sanchez aka Rick's list on CNN? Don't feel bad, not a lot of people do. And it has nothing to do with race, dude just isn't that good. The couple of times I watched his show, I walked away confused and wondering what point is he trying to make.

By now, you know what's happened but in case you don't here's the cliff notes version. Sanchez called out Stewart and others last week by saying he's a bigot and Jews run the media. And he was promptly canned from CNN. Now if you know Steward, you knew he was going to "speak" on it. And boy did he :-)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Hurty Sanchez
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Monday, October 4, 2010


"Remember that class where I taught y’all how to make it rain? That’s what I’m going to be doing. Every. Single. Night. Dollar dollar bills, ya'll." - Kenny Powers

Did you know I finished in the top 10 of my freshman class in high school? Did you know in high school that my parents divorced during my freshman year? Did you know that my grades slipped sophomore year because I was so emotionally drained from the beginnings of my parents separating to the actual final proceeding that I didn't give a shit about school? Did you know my high school simply thought my grades dropped because I was in over my head in honors classes? Did you know my mom sat me down before my junior year and gave me the real talk? Did you know I "bounced" back when others struggled that same year? And did you know I ended up finishing in the top 10 of my graduating class, completing the circle, and proving the critics wrong? Maybe that's why I don't believe you when you say your home life doesn't spill over to your work life.....

Did you know I went to college on a full ride? Did you know that I let my ego get to my head and focused more on girls and partying than on school? And did you know I lost one of my scholarships and was put on academic probation on two others? Did you know my department chair told me he didn't think I would graduate on time? And did you know my mama read me the riot act while I was 1000 miles away interning? Did you know this was happening right before junior year? Did you know I took 23 hours first semester junior year with 4 classes being majors? Did you know that I took 20 hours second semester with 3 classes being majors? And did you know that I was on the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Executive Board, working community service, AND folding clothes at Abercrombie and Fitch? And did you know I still partied and chased girls? And did you know I got off academic probation junior year and ended up on the Dean's list? And did you know I graduated with honors? Maybe that's why I don't believe you when you say it's too hard, that's impossible....

Did you know that while I was getting married, I was working on my master's degree AND working full time? Did you know that for 24 straight months, every other weekend (Fri nights, all day Sat, and Sun afternoons) I was in class? Did you know that I was working in IT Support which meant every so often I draw pager duty? And Did you know that on "special" weekends I would be "lucky" enough to have the fortune of being on-call AND being in class in the same? And did you know sometimes those weekends turn into about 5-10 hours of sleep because I'm up working server issues and trying to complete this marketing research paper at the same time? And did you know that added in this was attending marriage counseling for a year because it was mandatory for the church? Maybe that's why I don't believe you when you say you are busy....

Did you know that I was giving you just a snippet of what I've done in my life? And are you processing the above or just saying man these are a lot of questions? Or maybe you're just more curious on other things that the Honest Man has done in his life? And maybe that's why I'll stop here for today :-)

Today's Lesson

I'm no pariah nor are my stories the stuff that dreams are made of. But I will say I have seen, done, and accomplished some things in my lifetime. So as Diana sang so eloquently in the panned "Mahogany", 'Do you know where you're going to, do you know the things that are in store for you, do you know?' Marinate on that for today readers!

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - I Like That Edition

You down with Black Eyed Peas? I was when they dropped "Behind the Front". Backpacker. Underground. Native Tongues Like. They got hit with all kind of critical praise. Then something funny happened with them. They dropped their Behind the Front for Fergie and went to a more commercial type sound, thereby hurting my association with them

BUT...they did a retro thing back in '04 off the Elephunk album. They dropped this gem with pretty much all my favorite artists both hip hop and R&B. And the results are what you hear below. Try to sleep all you want to, this joint is dopalicious as my man K-dawg would say.

BEP f Talib Kweli, Q Tip, John Legend, and Cee-Lo - Like That

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What the Honest Man is Listening To - So Appalled

I'm a Kanye homer. Yep I acknowledge he's a jackass and could use some etiquette training but still I'm a homer. And I'm a homer because he's one of the few in hip hop that has a progressive mind. Most find and repeat the same formula album after album, verse after verse. Not Yeezy, dude has a different sound on every album he puts out. And that's why I'm a homer. In case you wondering, other hip hop artists I'm a homer for: Outkast, Jay Z, Lupe Fiasco, Little Brother, Dr. Dre. Probably leaving off a few folks but you get the drift.

So 'Ye and the Jigga man have decided to drop an EP in November along with 'Ye's own personal album so that means Christmas is coming early for the Honest Man. One thing that the wunderkind is doing is releasing a new joint every Friday. One of the joints he dropped and I'm bumpin' is so appalled. SICK beat, just sick. Don't believe me, just listen. And become a Homer in the process. Doh!

Kanye West f Jay Z, Swizz Beatz, RZA, Pusha T, and Cyphi the Prince - So Appalled

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Brat Pack

It's beautiful day in the virtual neighborhood readers and do you know why? Because it's another daily dose from yours truly :-). Jokes aside, today we're talking about a precocious young man that has caused mass hysteria among the public that has not been seen since the Beatles. Any idea who I'm talking about? It's Lebron James, better known to you mere mortals as King James. It seems the King has made some iffy decisions in the eyes, particularly the lauded "The Decision." Pretty much had cats straight burning his jersey in Cleveland while shouting Fuck You Lebron in the same process. Then recently while talking to Soledad O'Brien, he decides to play "The Race Card", citing that as a reason for some of his backlash. Oh boy, a clusterfuck at it's finest. But I found myself asking, is he really to blame for all this or a product of society creating this entity?

There are some great articles out now on the recent snafu with James, his advisors, and the race card thing. Jason Whitlock. JA Adande. Bill Simmons. Mike Freeman. Great articles about Mr James incorrectly playing the race card in this situation. I agree mostly with them but I found myself wondering were we as society guilty in part of James' decision. And before you say hell no, hear me out....

Peep out my Generation Y post first before reading any further. Now back to this. When was the first time you heard about Lebron James? If you are a hoops junkie, you first heard about Lebron when he was 15 years old. This kid from Ohio that was tearing up the AAU and summer camp league circuits. His "legend" grows as more and more media outlets start discussing how great he was going to be. And then icing on the cake, came when he was 16 years old and his face graces the cover of Sports Illustrated. Sixteen years old. Sports Illustrated. You don't think his head was gassed then? Add in NBA General Managers saying they would take James #1 in the draft if he came out then and bam Lebronmania begins.

From that point, his popularity soared. To when he entered the draft to when he dropped 25 in a row against Detroit to his mano a mano duel with Paul Pierce to the Finals appearance to his daily Sportscenter highlights to the MVP trophies to now the Decision. Whatever he did, the media was at his doorstep, making sure to glorify the greatness of Lebron James. Hell he even had a documentary made with his homies documenting his high school years. And yet folks are wondering why Lebron doesn't get it. Are you shitting me?

He doesn't get it because he's a product of a manufacturing farm called exploitation. We were quick to jump on the bandwagon and exploit him for his "gift", making sure everyone knew who he was, what he was doing, and how great he would become. For half his life, he's been told he's the Chosen One and he soaked it up. I don't know about you but if I grew up like and folks were pumping me up left and right, I'd be juiced. I just think it's funny now that some of the same folks who kissed his ass are not ready to throw rocks at him because he didn't continue to walk on the same path that society hand crafted for him.

Don't get me wrong, I think Lebron's way about leaving Cleveland was stupid. But look at who decided to even agree to that shit. The race card play was a bad one too and Freeman does a great job of questioning why race now when you've never been a socially conscious dude in public prior. But again, who decided to even let him air that. You can't be mad at the monster you created folks is what I'm saying. You tired of kids being spoiled and what not. Then stop contributing to the madness. In the case of sports, we now show high school games on tv, dedicate entire days to kids announcing their college decisions, create manufactured shows to "follow" kids' lives, and then expect them to follow our rules.

Today's Lesson

Don't be mad when the dog you trained or tried to train for years bites you on the hand. In the era where we create fake reality shows are you really that shocked by Lebron's actions? I think some of us need to get off that high horse and start living in a real reality. Don't be mad when the next person you anoint as royalty doesn't follow your plan.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - We're a Winner Edition

It's a new month readers. We're in the home stretch of 2010 and for those who need some motivation to keep it moving, here's an oldie but goodie from the Honest Mama and Pop's golden record treasure chest.

If you don't know about Curtis Mayfield, you need to get a clue. He's the man that is responsible for classic "Superfly" soundtrack. For you folks that still need a clue, go listen to your favorite Snoop albums :-). Like Prego, yep it's in there! Now you'll get a pass if you don't know the Impressions b/c even I didn't know who they were until I got a lot older. But they are Curtis' first group and they dropped some great gems, like this one. Get motivated folks b/c we're all winners!

Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions - We're a Winner

Jimmy Eats Hip Hop

Jimmy Fallon. Justin Timberlake. The Roots crew. Late Night TV. And when you cook 'em all in a pot like gumbo, you get a scrumdeliumpcious musical treat that keeps you smilin' until the last morsel. Good look for whoever came up with this idea. Hell even the Soulja Boy bit was tight. I tip my white russian glass to you sirs!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wall Street 3: Sense of Entitlement

"Wall Street 2 may have come out last week, but you ain't Shia playa." - Reverend Doctor Page

Today's post is focused on the generation behind me. I'm talking about the folks born in the mid 80s aka Generation Y. And I feel the need to talk about them because I'm starting to notice a few things, actually a few bad things, based on interaction and conversations with a few of them. I'm not saying these few people represent the whole generation but I will say I hope these few are not an indication of what we should expect from the generation. Now that I've set a record for saying "few" in one paragraph, let's focus on What's going on!

Before I go into the Honest man rant, let me explain a few things about Generation X. Growing up, the following things were either non existent or not fully developed yet: Internet, cell phones, instant messaging, google, facebook, twitter, blogs, mp3 players. You know what was the big thing when I was in high school? Pagers. Yep, they're like dinosaurs now, completely extinct. I mention these things because the above has historically transformed society to the point it's how we interact and view things today. Good or bad, the impact has been huge. Could you imagine if that stuff didn't exist today? Probably not if you were born starting from 1984 and on....

When the digital revolution started, it opened up a Pandora's box of new access into people's lives. Privacy is now a premium as you can learn a lot about an individual simpky by doing searches on the internet. It's kinda crazy if you think about it. If someone really wants to know about me, they can type in my name, and within seconds get a quick look at me. And that's what our society has morphed into, getting quick results, and using that information to make a faster mark on society.

One thing that troubles me with the digital revolution is the accompanying sense of entitlement that has also developed with it. I'm starting to see a trend in recent college graduates and first timers to Corporate America that they are entitled to making big decisions after less than 5 years in workplace. Are you shitting me? Maybe because I was brought up old school where the folks around me made me pay my dues before they put me down but that attitude is very prevalent today.

It's actually scary to be honest. Recently I've had conversations with a couple of folks and it worries me that one day I could be working for those people (although I'd quit my job before that happen LOL). One of those topics happens to be around promotion. They keep talking about how they deserved to be promoted. How they are doing so much more than their teammates. If you let them tell it, they've saved the world (translation company) from the evil doers of the world (translation competitors), and now they want the key to the city (translation promotion). Let me break away from proper English, to say "Yo what da fuck you talkin' 'bout Willis?"

I don't understand the sense of entitlement. You're doing a good job. Are you doing a great job? And are you doing a great job on a repeated basis? One thing I remember asking a peer who was adamant about being promoted was "Are you better than me?" That was because I wanted him to understand that you have teammates on your team and you have to constantly ask during promotion, are you better than your peers? And I don't mean your gut tells you yes type bullshit. I'm talking about the proof in the pudding. Are your accomplishments that much better than your teammates? Have you impacted the business more than your teammates? If you can definitely say yes to these, then you got an argument. But if you wavering, then um, pimp Imma need you to cool on the promotion talk.

The other thing that worries me is the lack of apathy to take advice. When I started working, I was very eager to learn from those that had been working longer than me, whether it was 5 years or 25 years. I was cocky but not in a sense where it showed through my actions and work. I kept my stuff humble until I had that definite I'm kickin' ass moment (which came around my 5 year mark). Now when I try to help others behind me, I just get blank looks. Or the typical "ok" response which means I know they don't give a shit about what I'm saying. And that's disappointing because I would like to think I could make a person successful based on my track record. But again the entitlement thing kicks in and it's frustrating.

Let me end with this. Like the above quote that started off this post, if you are not making a huge impact in your role, like say Shia is in Wall Street 2, then you need to know your role and shut your mouth. It's really that simple. No one is saying that you can't speak, or carry someone's football pads, or not be aggressive, or not seek to be successful. But you cannot go about it by arguing with cats that got skin in the game, or being bold to say a 20 year veteran is clueless or saying you deserve a promotion when you've brought in like 500K in revenue to a billion dollar business or telling someone they don't know what they are talking about when the only big you've done is run the student computer lab in college. Make sense? Get a clue Generation Y. I got faith in ya but damn ya'll do got me worried....

Today's Lesson

Think of yourself as Luke Skywalker and me as Yoda from Empire Strikes Back. In other words, "Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will." Take a good look in the mirror young folk, pay your dues, and understand I'm just trying to help you out. Let's end with some Marvin....

"Brotha brotha, far too many of you lying,
Brotha brotha brotha, far too many of you trying,
wiki sites (BROTHA), virtual fights (BROTHA) don't punish me (BROTHA) with your mental tease (BROTHA) promise me (BROTHA) that you will see (BROTHA) What's going on!"