Monday, April 30, 2007

5 Excellent Pointz

This building is known as 5Pointz due to the 5 boroughs of NYC: Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. 5Pointz took this name in 2001 when Jonathan Cohen aka Meres assumed its management.
The story of this warehouse started years ago though, in the mid 90’s when Pat DiLillo began a Graffiti buffing service for businesses upon request. He realized the loss of this urban art he was covering so he decided instead to ask one of his clients for walls to let writers create large scale mural pieces with an advantage of being able to finish their artworks. This way color is added to the neighborhood and walls are kept looking neat, adding prestige and publicity to the building once It’s become a place of pilgrimage for Graffiti artists. And so “The Phun Factory” was born click here for article

Friday, April 27, 2007

2 Comic Covers

Update 2 More

Click here for the inked version

These 2 Covers piqued my Curiosity

This one I found at
A Cool Site check it out

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Brain Popped?

Here are the links to some really cool science and math sites, even if your students or kids don't like it you will is a revolutionary, interactive website for young people that features award-winning health, science and technology content in the form of animated movies, comic strips, experiments, interactive games and puzzles and a personalized Q&A section. It’s the source for answering those countless questions posed by children in an interesting and education way. The site was selected as a Yahoo! Pick of the Year in 1999 due to the unique content.

Kapili. Com
This site is a virtual paradise for sciences. The suite of sites Biology4kids, Physics4kids and Chemistry4kids provide a comprehensive set of tutorials with supporting interactive quizzes.

Dr Browns Chemistry Clinic
The Chemistry Clinic is a great non-commercial revision web site maintained by Dr Phil Brown. It's absolutely crammed full of notes, animations and tests all built around the UK based GCSE syllabus, the GSE Advanced AS/A2 syllabus and the KS3 curriculum.The more you dig the more you'll find. Fantastic work!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Owning Up Part 3

he theme of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) is "Taking Back Responsibility." We are consistent in our strong affirmation, defense, and protection of the First Amendment right of free speech and artistic expression. We have recently been involved in a process of dialogue with recording and broadcast industry executives about issues concerning corporate social responsibility.

It is important to re-emphasize that our internal discussions with industry leaders are not about censorship. Our discussions are about the corporate social responsibility of the industry to voluntarily show respect to African Americans and other people of color, African American women and to all women in lyrics and images.

HSAN reaffirms, therefore, that there should not be any government regulation or public policy that should ever violate the First Amendment. With freedom of expression, however, comes responsibility. With that said, HSAN is concerned about the growing public outrage concerning the use of the words "bitch," "ho," and "nigger." We recommend that the recording and broadcast industries voluntarily remove/bleep/delete the misogynistic words "bitch" and "ho" and the racially offensive word "nigger."

Going forward, these three words should be considered with the same objections to obscenity as "extreme curse words." The words "bitch" and "ho" are utterly derogatory and disrespectful of the painful, hurtful, misogyny that, in particular, African American women have experienced in the United States as part of the history of oppression, inequality, and suffering of women. The word "nigger" is a racially derogatory term that disrespects the pain, suffering, history of racial oppression, and multiple forms of racism against African Americans and other people of color.

In addition, we recommend the formation of a music industry Coalition on Broadcast Standards, consisting of leading executives from music, radio and television industries. The Coalition would recommend guidelines for lyrical and visual standards within the industries.

We also recommend that the recording industry establish artist mentoring programs and forums to stimulate effective dialogue between artists, hip-hop fans, industry leaders and others to promote better understanding and positive change. HSAN will help to coordinate these forums.

These issues are complex, but require creative voluntary actions exemplifying good corporate social responsibility.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Is Love All There Is?

" When somebody takes a child from their native culture, that is in itself an act of aggression.People will often say, love is all you need. But that is not true. Love without understanding is a dangerous thing."

Ethiopian poet, playwright and author Lemn Sissay, 39, was raised by a white family in the north of England. Here he tells how his life often felt like an experiment.

Click to read his story

Gold from the stone

Gold from the stone
Oil from the Earth
I yearned for my home
From the time of my birth

Strength of a mother's whisper
Shall carry me until
The hand of my lost sister
Joins onto my will

Root to the earth
Blood from the heart
Could never from birth
Be broken apart

Food from the platter
Water from the rain
The subject and the matter
I'm going home again

Can't sell a leaf to a tree
Nor the wind to the atmosphere
I know where I am meant to be
And I can't be satisfied here

Can't give light to the Moon
Nor mist to the drifting cloud
I shall be leaving here soon
Costumed, cultured and crowned

Can't give light to the Sun
Nor a drink to the sea
The Earth I must stand upon
I shall kiss with my history

Sugar from the cane
Coal from the wood
Water from the rain
Life from the blood

Gold from the stone
Oil from the earth
I yearned for my home
From the time of my birth

Food from the platter
Water from the rain
The subject and the matter
I'm going home again
Gold from the stone
Oil from the earth
I yearned for my home
From the time of my birth

Monday, April 23, 2007

Clearly Not the Last Word

In his interview on National Geographic World Music Podcast Mamadou aka Path of Gohk-Bi System explains the global responsibility of rapping
Click Here

Tavis gives the last word on the Don Imus Issue and brings the focus back where it belongs

Friday, April 20, 2007

Venus Keeps it Hip Hop

Venus rather play the Music
Click Here

Rappers Strike Back

Here is the other side of the Hip Hop argument

Paris the Black Panther enters the discussion

"Many artists are like children, and most will say and do what is expected of them in order to benefit financially. And although there is definite self-examination that needs to take place within the artist community, the lion's share of the blame falls on the enablers who only empower voices of negativity." Click here

Proof that the Industry chooses what negative material goes out

"Young Buck spoke of a record addressing Police Brutality that unfortunately did not make the record? Buck stated that it was this Interscope "lyrics committee" (more like committee of ONE person; Jimmy Iovine) that decided it best to leave the police brutality track off of the album. Their reasoning being, that they [Interscope/Jimmy Iovine] felt the record that portrayed violence against police officers could heighten the chances of a police officer getting shot or killed and that, Interscope did not want to be responsible in whole or in part for the death of a police officer. The interview went sort of like this:" Click here

Another Letter to Oprah by Saul Williams

“You see, Ms. Winfrey, at it's worse; Hip Hop is simply a reflection of the society that birthed it. Our love affair with gangsterism and the denigration of women is not rooted in Hip Hop; rather it is rooted in the very core of our personal faith and religions. The gangsters that rule Hip Hop are the same gangsters that rule our nation. 50 Cent and George Bush have the same birthday (July 6th). For a Hip Hop artist to say "I do what I wanna do/Don't care if I get caught/The DA could play this mothaf@kin tape in court/I'll kill you/ I ain't playin'" epitomizes the confidence and braggadocio we expect an admire from a rapper who claims to represent the lowest denominator. When a world leader with the spirit of a cowboy (the true original gangster of the West: raping, stealing land, and pillaging, as we clapped and cheered.) takes the position of doing what he wants to do, regardless of whether the UN or American public would take him to court, then we have witnessed true gangsterism and violent negligence. Yet, there is nothing more negligent than attempting to address a problem one finds on a branch by censoring the leaves.” Click here

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A letter to Oprah

Originally posted July 2006

Dear Oprah:

At the your website

You ask the question, "Do you have an idea for a show? Do you have a comment you'd like to share with us? Please fill out the form below, type your message and click "Submit" when you are finished. We look forward to hearing from you!

Here was my idea. Dear Oprah You have been quoted as saying I've been accused of not liking hip-hop, and that's just not true. I would like to suggest that you do a show dedicated to the more positive aspects of hip hop culture. This show would be useful in educating Oprahs broad audience to the fact that not all rap is negative and misogynist, and that there is a largely ignored element of hip hop called Conscious Rap that is both entertaining and prolific. The show could be divided into 4 segments
Segment 1 A discussion on Conscious Rap (rap that is informative & uplifting,) artist such as The Roots, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, ZionI, Company of Prophets (add a name that could be part of this discussion.)

Segment 2 A discussion on the efforts to get more air play for positive rap and the media broadcasters reluctance to allow them airtime (this discussion could feature advocates for positive lyrics like Dr Cornell West and California radio DJ California Davy D. Please see his website

Segment 3 A discussion on books that are targeted toward the hip hop generation, books that entertain inspire and inform. Adrian Harpers Night Biters a hip hop horror novel targeted toward urban, multi-cultural youth (most books in this genre are either in the suburbs or feature a mono-cultural character) Hill Harpers Letters to a Young Brother a book of letters inspiring young African American males to turn away from violence and to reach for the stars, also Jeff Chang's "Don't Stop Won't Stop a History of Hip Hop.

Segment 4 Lastly, a rollicking performance by artists that can move the audience while keeping it positive This would be a great response to the negative press that the Oprah Show has received and shed light on what the very essence of hip hop is all about.

Thank you for your time,

Adrian Harper

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Owning Up Part 2

2 Views on Yesterday's Hip Hop Town Hall Meeting on Oprah

"If hip hop wants to turn its back on the community, it is time to turn our back on them. Not all hip hop and rap is at fault here, so pick your stance carefully – but definitely we need to send a message."

After seeing Oprah Winfrey’s hip hop ‘dog and pony’ show yesterday, I am truly convinced that hip hop does not get it; the same way that Don Imus didn’t get it.

There is respect among the hip hop community for the guests that were on the Oprah show yesterday, Russell Simmons, Chairman, and Dr. Benjamin Chavis, President of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, hip hop rap artist Common and Hip Hop stand out executive Kevin Liles; but the message they brought was like watching the blind lead the blind. Everyone agreed there is a problem but everyone had a reason or an excuse for the problem. click here for article

“There’s an extraordinary double standard here because most of the people who were in the Ku Klux Klan were what they call ‘poor white trash,’ who were at the bottom of society. Nobody ever makes an excuse for them blowing up little girls, for the being racist. When you get these clowns in your guys’ arena, then suddenly, oh, these are just marionettes. They can’t make any decisions, so the corporation decides society, slavery. All of these things lead up to these people consistently calling people niggers, bitches and hos as though they’re helpless guys who can’t do anything. And I’m not buying it.”
New York Daily News columnists, Stanley Crouch

In light of the Don Imus issue, Oprah formed a “town hall” meeting with a panel of experts who discussed the issue, opening up about racism and the denigration and sexual exploitation of women. A conversation that needed to be brought to attention. Click here

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

if we are to see a change in what we hear

Do we understand how much it costs to get records played on mainstream radio? One rap group has publicly stated in an interview that they paid $1 million to get ONE song played on mainstream stations. That's more than the rapper gets to record his entire album. Who is it that profits so handsomely off this "gangster" rap that they can pay $1 million dollars to get airplay? The Record Company! Many of these rappers are in standard 12 point recording contracts that yield a mere $.63 per ($15) CD? Just as the NBA, if the record companies say put on a suit, the rapper will put on a suit. Likewise, when told to "keep it gangsta" the rapper will keep it gangsta!

So, it is to the Major Recording, Radio and Video companies that this fight must be taken, if we are to see a change in what we hear! Here goes a very very very small list of rappers and albums that they either totally refused to play or criminally marginalized on commercial radio.

  • Lupe Fiasco "Food and Liquor" 2006
  • Rhymefest "Blue Collar" 2006
  • Wise Intelligent "Blessed be the Poor The UnMixtape" 2006
  • Wise Intelligent "is The Talented Timothy Taylor" 2007
  • Common "Like Water For Chocolate" 2000
  • Common "Electric Circus" 2004

  • Saul Williams "Amethyst Rock Star" 2001
  • Saul Williams "Saul Williams" 2005
  • Paris "Sonic Jihad" 2003
  • Arrested Development "Heroes of the Harvest" 2002
  • Arrested Development "Among the Trees" 2004
  • Arrested Development "Since the Last Time" 2006

  • Public Enemy "Rebirth of a Nation" 2006
  • Public Enemy "New Whirl Odor" 2005
  • Public Enemy "Revolverlution" 2002
  • Public Enemy "There's a Poison Going On" 1999-2000

  • Mr. Lif "Enter the Colossus" 2000
  • Mr. Lif "Emergency Rations" 2002
  • Mr. Lif "I Phantom" 2003
  • Mr. Lif "Mo' Mega" 2006

  • Zion I "Mind Over Matter" 2000
  • Zion I "Break a Dawn" 2006

  • Living Legends "Almost Famous" 2001
  • Living Legends "Creative Differences" 2004
  • Living Legends "Classic" 2005

  • Dead Prez "Let's Get Free" 2000
  • Dead Prez "Turn off the Radio: The Mixtape, Vol. 1" 2002
  • Dead Prez "Turn off the Radio: The Mixtape, Vol. 2: Get Free or Die Tryin'" 2003
  • Dead Prez "RBG: Revolutionary But Gansta" 2004
  • Dead Prez Presents M-1: Confidential 2006
  • Dead Prez/Outlaws "Can't Sell Dope Forever" 2006

  • John Robinson "The Leak Edition Vol. 1" 2005
  • John Robinson "The Leak Edition Vol. 2" 2006

  • Scienz of Life "Coming Forth By Day: The Book of the Dead" 2000
  • Scienz of Life "Project Overground: Scienz Experiment" 2002
  • Scienz of Life "Diggin In The Archives" 2004
  • Scienz of Life "The Blaxploitation Sessions" 2006

  • Oh No "The Disrupt" 2004
  • Oh No "Exodus into Unheard Rhythms" 2006

  • Black Star (Mos Def & Talib Kweli) "Black Star" 1998
  • Mos Def "Black on Both Sides" 1999
  • Mos Def "The New Danger" 2004
  • Mos Def "True Magic" 2006

  • Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek "Reflection Eternal/Train of Thought" 2002
  • Talib Kweli "Quality" 2003
  • Talib Kweli "The Beautiful Struggle" 2004
  • Talib Kweli "Right About Now" 2005
  • Talib Kweli/Madlib "Liberation" 2007

  • The Roots "Things Fall Apart" 1999-2000
  • The Roots "Phrenology" 2002
  • The Roots "The Tipping Point" 2004
  • The Roots "Game Theory" 2006

  • KRS ONE "The Sneak Attack" 2001
  • KRS ONE "Spiritual Minded" 2002
  • KRS ONE "Prophets Vs. Profits" 2003
  • KRS ONE "Kristyles" 2003
  • KRS ONE "Keep Right" 2004
  • KRS ONE "Life" 2006

  • K-Os "Exit" 2002
  • K-Os "Joyful Rebellion" 2006
  • K-Os "Atlantis: Hymns for Disco" 2006

  • Polyrhythm Addicts "Break Glass" 2007
  • Jurassic 5 "Quality Contral" 2000
  • Jurassic 5 "Power in Numbers" 2002
  • Jurassic 5 "Feedback" 2006

  • Blackalicious "Nia" 2000
  • Blackalicious "Blazing Arrow" 2002
  • Blackalicious "The Craft" 2005

  • Lyrics Born "Later That Day" 2003
  • Lyrics Born "Same !@#$ Different Day" 2005

  • Jean Grae "Attack of the Attacking Things" 2002
  • Jean Grae "The Bootleg Of The Bootleg" 2003
  • Jean Grae "This Week" 2004

  • Little Brother "The Listening" 2003
  • Little Brother "The Minstel Show" 2005

  • Murs "Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition" 2004
  • Murs "Murray's Revenge" 2006

  • J Dilla "Donuts" 2006
  • J Dilla "The Shining" 2006

  • The Last Emperor "Music, Magic, Myth"
  • Pharoahe Monch "Internal Affairs" 1999-2000

  • Immortal Technique "Revolutionary, Vol. 1" 2000
  • Immortal Technique "Revolutionary, Vol. 2" 2005

  • Brand Nubian "Fire in the Hole" 2004
  • Lord Jamar "The 5% Album" 2006

  • Sadat X "Experience & Education" 2005
  • Sadat X "Black October" 2006

  • I Self Divine "Self Destruction" 2005
  • The Boom Bap Project "Reprogram" 2005

  • MF DOOM "Operation: Doomsday" 2001
  • MF DOOM "Vaudeville Villian" 2003
  • MF DOOM "MM..FOOD" 2004

  • Madvillian "Madvilliany" 2004

  • Heiroglyphics "3rd Eye Vision" 2001
  • Heiroglyphics "Full Circle" 2003

  • De La Soul "Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump" 2000
  • De La Soul "AOI: Bionix" 2001
  • De La Soul "The Grind Date" 2004

  • Masta Ace "A Long Hot Summer" 2004

  • Wordsworth "Mirror Music" 2004

  • Dilated Peoples "The Platform" 2000
  • Dilated Peoples "Expansion Team" 2001
  • Dilated Peoples "Neighborhood Watch" 2004
  • Dilated Peoples "20/20" 2006

  • The Coup "Party Music" 2001
  • The Coup "Pick a Bigger Weapon" 2006

  • Blue Scholars "Blue Scholars" 2004

  • The Dope Poet Society "Prointelpro" 2007

  • Michael Franti "Stay Human" 2001
  • Michael Franti "Songs From the Front Porch: An Acoustic Collection" 2004
  • Michael Franti "Everyone Deserves Music" 2003

  • CL Smooth "American Me" 2006

  • Pigeon John "Is Clueless" 2002
  • Pigeon John "Is Dating Your Sister" 2003
  • Pigeon John "...And The Summertime Pool Party" 2006

  • The Procussions "...As Iron Sharpens Iron" 2003
  • The Procussions "5 Sparrows for 2 Cents" 2006

  • Strange Fruit Project "Soul Travellin'" 2004
  • Strange Fruit Project "The Healing" 2006

  • Kenn Starr "Starr Status" 2006

  • Kev Brown "I Do What I Do" 2006

  • Slum Village "Trinity (Past, Present, and Future)" 2002
  • Slum Village "Detroit Deli (A Taste of Detroit)" 2004
  • Slum Village "Slum Village" 2005

  • Akrobatik "Balance" 2003

  • Afu-Ra "Body of the Life Force" 2000
  • Afu-Ra "Life Force Radio" 2002
  • Afu-Ra "State of the Arts" 2005

  • The Perceptionists "Black Dialogue" 2005

  • Supernatural "The Lost Freestyle Files" 2003
  • Supernatural "S.P.I.T." 2005

  • Freestyle Fellowship "Temptations" 2001
  • Freestyle Fellowship "To Whom It May Concern" 2002

  • Aceyalone "Accepted Eclectic" 2001
  • Aceyalone "Love & Hate" 2003
  • Aceyalone "Magnificent City" 2006

  • Abstract Rude "P.A.I.N.T." 2001
  • Abstract Rude "Making Tracks" 2002
  • Abstract Rude "Making More Tracks" 2004

  • Haiku d'Etat "Coup de Theatre" 2003
  • Haiku d'Etat "Haiku d'Etat" 2004

  • X-Clan "Return From Mecca" 2007

  • Emanon "The Waiting Room" 2005

  • Aloe Blacc "Shine Through" 2006

  • People Under The Stairs "Question In The Form of an Answer" 2000
  • People Under The Stairs "O.S.T." 2002
  • People Under The Stairs "Stepfather" 2006

  • Gift of Gab "Fouth Dimensional Rocketships Going Up" 2004

  • J. Rawls "The Essence of J. Rawls" 2001
  • J. Rawls "Essence of Soul" 2006
  • J. Rawls "The Liquid Crystal Project" 2006
  • J. Rawls & Declaime "It's the Dank and Jammy Show" 2007

  • Lone Catalysts "Hip Hop" 2001
  • Lone Catalysts "Good Music" 2005

  • Asheru & Blue Black of The Unspoken Heard "Soon Come..." 2001
  • Asheru & Blue Black of The Unspoken Heard "48 Months" 2003

  • Gangstarr "The Ownerz" 2003

  • The Pharcyde "Plain Rap" 2000
  • The Pharcyde "Humboldt Beginnings" 2004
  • Monday, April 16, 2007

    Owning Up

    "It's hard to defend "I've got hos in different area codes"
    Chris Rock

    Over the weekend the Imus flap targeted its sites toward rappers and their lyrics and the response was varied, but was summed up that its a larger issue than just rappers
    click here and here

    "Hip-Hop is not responsible for the diffusion of negative portrayals of Black people in America, Hollywood, the Music Industry, Major Radio/Video Broadcast Stations have been, and continue to control the images responsible for shaping the attitudes and lifestyles of Americans for decades now. If, the major outlets for Hip-Hop art are not controlled by the "Hip Hop Community" well then the Hip Hop community does not decide what does or does not get played, and therefore, cannot be responsible!" WISE INTELLIGENT

    The above sounds good, but the rap community is doing what they did when C Delores Tucker took them to task crying victim and hiding behind their first Amendment rights

    There are other forms of rap (conscious rap as an example) that can be appreciated other than songs that demean. Rappers spewing poison are not victims nor tools and should be held accountable for their comments, that negatively portray our community and send and even harsher message to our youth. I cannot defend the lyrics of the Three 6 Mafia song "This Bitch that Ho" am too smart to be convinced that its not the artist but the industry and am sick of watching its impact on this generation. For the sake of our youth it has to go!

    Thursday, April 12, 2007

    Imus and the Big Picture

    Writer Keven Powell sums up the Don Imus incident

    Now, is Don Imus the problem by himself? Of course not, which is why I think calls for his dismissal are rooted purely in emotionalism and miss the larger issues here. Bigger problem number one is a federal government and a corporate hierarchy that have allowed destructive and despicable images and words regarding women to be transmitted, without any real regulation, for far too long, to the point where someone like Don Imus believes it okay to refer to women as "hos" on a nationally syndicated radio show heard by millions. Bigger problem number two is the American society we've become where, for the sake of profit and audience size, personalities, commentators, and pundits are allowed to spew all manner of hateful rhetoric, even as such language unwittingly reinforces negative stereotypes, perpetuates individual and mass bigotry, and wounds the self-esteem of the targeted recipients.
    click here for article

    Tuesday, April 10, 2007

    Don’t Be Stressed Out!

    Kill The Tension with the
    14 Habits of Stress-Free Living
    by Joe DePalma,
    Author and Speaker
    - President of the
    Naked Truth University (NTU)

    You’re not alone! Just about every student in your school is stressed-out in one way or another. But no one has to stay that way. Adopt these “Habits of Stress-Free Living” and become happier and healthier right now!

    Habit # 0
    “Law of 21”

    If you keep up with a new mindset and take action on it for 21 days in a row it will begin to become a habit. That’s right—if you exercise, read, get up a little early, take vitamins, drink water, etc. for 21 straight days, your body and mind will become so accustomed to that behavior it will begin to accept it as a natural habit. That is when relaxing can become as easy as breathing.

    Habit # 1
    “Re-learn to Breath”

    Somewhere along the path in the stress jungle of higher education, some students forget how to breathe properly. Most students don’t even realize that they generally take short, quick, shallow breaths until they are so low on air they gasp in an overflow of oxygen. Taking shallow breaths prevents your brain from getting all of the oxygen it requires, thus forcing it to work on minimal fuel until the inevitable gush of gasped air comes rushing through.
    To get your body and mind out of the stress jungle and back into balance, you must practice these four steps of quiet and focused deep breathing.

    1) In a calm place close your eyes, push all the air in your lugs and out through your mouth. Then focus on fully inhaling through your nose, expanding your belly first and then filling your lungs completely, with your shoulders pushed back, and your chest pressed out.

    2) As you come to the end of your inhale with your eyes still closed, pause for about three seconds and feel the fullness of the oxygen in your body.

    3) Don’t “huff-out” the exhale! Gently exhale the air in your lungs through your mouth, which should be in a relaxed jaw “hoooooo” position in a controlled manor, and keep exhaling until you feel your stomach press all the way in and then gently open your eyes.

    4) Repeat this process 3-4 times. If you feel light headed, stop. This deep-breathing technique will help you to regain your mind/body balance in most any stressful time or situation.

    Habit # 2
    “Life isn't stop being surprised when it’s not”
    It doesn’t matter how privileged, lucky or fortunate someone else may seem. Everyone pays their “worldly” dues in their own way. It may be hard at times to be able to see past the glairing physical, intellectual or economical advantages that some students possess. However, to keep your stress level down keep in mind that every seemingly “charmed” person whom you encounter will eventually have to pay up a lump some of “life dues.” Nobody gets away clean! Life isn’t fair. Get over it.

    Habit # 3
    “Get off the radar”
    Every so often, intentionally get off your “Life Radar” by leaving your cell phone, laptop computer, planner/PDA, book bag, watch, etc. in your room while you go to a park, see a movie alone, walk through a museum, visit a bookstore, or catch a sporting event by yourself. Also don’t tell anyone where you’re going or how long you’ll be gone. Just go and be by yourself with no distractions, no to-do lists and no time-limits. Leaving the radar for a while will rejuvenate you and allow you to re-connect with the big picture even if you don’t realize that you have lost your connection.

    Habit # 4
    "Choose your battles wisely"
    Don’t fight the world. You’ll never win. You’ll never please or beat everyone. Take frustrating events as they come and then decide which ones are worth your precious time and energy. Realize that your time and energy are the most valuable assets that you own. Do you really want to give them away to just any jerk you encounter or any annoying occurrence that pops up? Don’t interpret letting a “battle” go without a fight as weakness. It is not weakness but rather strength. How truly strong and smart is the one who spends his time yelling and pushing against every force of life, just to eventually turn around and notice how incredibly far behind he’s fallen? Fallen to the person who simply walked past the battle to begin with. Let it go.

    Habit # 5
    “Stop calling 911 on your life”
    Your life isn’t an emergency. No matter how many responsibilities you have, or how many tasks you have left to do, if you were to die in your sleep tonight, life would go on without you for everyone else. You and your endeavors are not critical to anyone but you. So ease up on yourself. Remember the age-old advice that in 100 years there will be an entirely new set of people on this plant. So why care yourself to death about what you’re doing now? In a mere 100 years even the greatest achievements of today will just be second-hand information to a whole new crop of people.

    Habit # 6
    "Choose kindness over self-righteousness"
    You can spend your entire life insisting your opinion is the right one, but nobody will like you. The more you push your need to be right, is equal to the level of compassion other people won’t have for you. Your opinion on a given issue is simply one of many differing opinions. Your opinion on a given issue is not right, and it is not wrong…it’s simply yours. Just like everyone else’s opinion is neither right nor wrong. If you do not accept other people’s opinions along with yours, you will be unhappy, stressed-out and lonely!

    Habit # 7
    “You don’t have to clean up someone else’s mess”
    Learning to say “no” to other people’s problems is vital to reducing your stress. You don’t have to catch someone else’s ball of problems when they throw it at you. You have a life of your own with tasks and hardships to deal with. It is okay to help a friend with a problem; just be aware of when you’re making their problem, your problem. It is possible to aid someone without taking on the problem yourself. What good are two people with one problem? Wouldn’t it be better to have one person with a problem, and then someone else with a clear head who can lend some logical support?

    Habit # 8
    "More is not better"
    No matter how hard you work to acquire possessions, status and experiences, you will always have more than some, but not as much as others. It’s a race you will never win. If you truly want to be happy and stress-free, the secret is to have access to life’s extras, not own them. You’ll notice that once you begin to collect or acquire “extra things,” you are now responsible for them; and with responsibly comes stress. So, the less “extras” you own, is equal to the fewer things you are responsible for, which is directly related to the level of stress in your life. TRANSLATION: The less “extras” you own, the more time, energy and resources you’ll have to enjoy more.

    Habit # 9
    “It’s all right to ask for assistance”
    Don’t beg for help! Instead, ask for assistance. You’ll notice that people are more receptive and willing to assist others who explain their situation and ask for assistance, verses those who scream, “I need,” “Give me,” or “Help me now!” Build a mental team of helpers who you can turn to for assistance in times of heavy stress. This team can be comprised of family members, friends who you have frequent contact with, friendly professors, and even an old high school coach, counselor or teacher whom you have a continuing relationship with.

    Habit # 10
    “Give yourself 10 minutes”
    Take ten minutes for yourself every day to keep your stress level down. During this time, do not focus or direct your thoughts to any one specific thing. Simply turn everything in the room off, lie down on the floor, close your eyes, remove your shoes and then stretch yourself out and make your body as long as possible. Concentrate only on quieting your mind. Imagine you are lying on a beautiful, warm beach. Now picture that the thoughts in your head are in the form of butterflies, and as they come to you, you just let them fly right by. Once you do this they will come at you faster and faster, but as you continue to let them fly by, the butterflies will begin slowing down rapidly. It’s also okay if you fall asleep. Just keep letting those butterflies fly right past you every time you “give yourself 10 minutes.”

    Habit # 11
    “Give gratitude and it will come back”
    Have faith that when you give gratitude, compliments and express generously that it will come back to you in one way or another. Simply say thanks when nobody else does, give praise when no one seems to notice, or spend a little extra of your time or money with someone or something that really needs some special attention. Realize that spreading gratitude isn’t a give-and-take experience. All you do is give, and understand that your life is better and less stressful for it in many ways that you’ll probably never notice.

    Habit # 12
    “Express yourself”
    Once you get bogged down in obligations and stop finding time and ways to express yourself, that is when stress creeps in. No matter how busy you are, you must always leave time to be creative. Write poems, songs, books or articles; play sports or instruments; paint, sculpt, dance, sing. Whatever you do to express yourself and display your talents, never stop doing it. If you stop doing what you love to do you’ll be inviting double stress into your life. You’ll now have the stress of doing all your tasks, along with the stress of not being able to express yourself. Kill the double stress and make time to express yourself. You’ll be happier and more likely to complete your other tasks when you make time to do what you love to do.

    Habit # 13
    “Get organized”
    Disorganization is one of the leading causes of stress for college students. Organize your papers, assignments and schedule into one notebook, binder or planner. Have everything you need to complete all of your tasks in one neatly arranged place. Keep only what you absolutely need. Clutter equals stress, and it kills college careers! Throw it out. If it’s very important, someone else will have it for you to make a copy of. Take neat notes and keep all of the information for a particular class separate from all of your other school materials. Also, do most of your homework, papers, and studying in the same place. Find a quite, clean, distraction-free area and make it your organized concentration place.

    Habit # 14
    "This too shall pass"
    No matter how stressed-out you are at any given time, repeat to yourself, “This too shall pass.” Just like any bad rain storm, blizzard, or tornado, your bad relationship break-ups, very hard exams or lengthy public speaking presentations will have a beginning, middle and end. No matter how bad or stressful a situation you’re in, it will pass and your life will be back to normal and even better very soon—because now you’ll have the knowledge and experience of enduring that stressful situation to aid you when the next unpleasant situation comes around.

    Thursday, April 05, 2007

    Rock on with Yo Black Self

    Venus discovers Black Rock, the world may never be the same
    Click here and Enjoy

    Obama in Oakland

    Scenes from the Senator's St. Patrick's Day Rally
    in downtown Oakland.
    Click here

    Getting Started in the Hip Hop Biz

    When a young person tells you they want to go into the music industry, instead of telling them what a stupid idea it is, followed by why not get a job flipping burgers. Direct them to this informative article where they will learn what it takes to get into the biz

    By Wendy Day

    The basis of any successful project is the music. The music must be banging and must have appeal outside your inner circle. That means you don't just play it for your boys, you plat it for people you don't know who are most likely to be honest with you about whether or not it's on point. When Creator's Way was putting out Do Or Die's first single in Chicago, Po' Pimp, they gathered together all the local mix show DJs, club DJs, and some of the local retailers and played a few songs for them. They unanimously picked Po' Pimp as their favorite song, so CWAL had reconfirmed exactly which single to press up (and the DJs felt like they played a part in choosing the single). Why spend tens of thousands of dollars on pressing if you aren't certain you'll have the support of the local DJs and stores? click here for more

    Wednesday, April 04, 2007

    Hip Hop Glamour -or- Major Label Reality?

    There are many youth that want to get into the hip hop game, which I strongly encourage
    but it is important to know the pit fall and realities.
    Wendy Day of the Rap Coalition is in the business of explaining the hard realities of the industry

    The successes of Nas and LL Cool J are not very common within the hip hop game. Videos tend to flood our minds with visions of tinted Benzes, Versace, Hilfiger and sparkling jewelry. Stacks of money are thrown all over marble top tables like plates of red beans and rice (supporting ill-usions).
    To be frank, most artists don't own any of the clothes, cars or houses that appear in their videos. If you are Snoop or Dre, of course you do, but the majority of hip hoppers on TV are just giving us what we want to see--the glamour of hip hop. click here for article

    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    The Fifth Element

    In an era where commercial co-option has become the mainstream hip-hop norm, aesthetic notions often get lost in a hail of bullets and clich├ęd Scarface references. Yet the microphone and the aerosol can were once intrinsically linked:
    Old-school graffiti masters Futura 2000, Phase 2, and Fab 5 Freddy all put out now-classic 12-inch singles, and Masta Ace (aka Ase), KRS-ONE, and Bigg Juss (aka Lune TNS) started out as taggers.
    Click here