The Critical Eye

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rap Response to Zambian Rappers

I can officially say that I have had my fill of wanna-be Zambian rappers with their falsified American accents working so hard to be what they shouldn't. Though I admire their talents, I believe that there is a misguided movement to disrespect our cultural values and inherit what is clearly not even admirable in America. Knowing that sometime in order to reach people you have to use their medium, I have written my response to this musical foolishness as a rap:

Here you again, spouting that stuff
Guys from Chawama, Kanyama acting tough,
like you are kin with Osama.
Trippin of a blunt, acting like a .......
Dag....did I almost say that?
Gotta know this man's supreme,
living true not like you kids spitting dreams.
You flossin' like you be bossin',
your names should be in neon lights right under fakin'.
Tryna be American? How can you, when you squawking like
a doped up Pelican.

Making vidoes where you look like criminals,when the closest
you've been to being a gangsta is when you rode that bus to Mansa.
Claiming to be a Zambian, droppin the LSK in your rhyming,
but we raised you to be classy, not to spew lines that are trashy.
I hear your fake accents, tryna mimic the lines from the US.
Your stuff sounds useless, so weak that all you can do is cuss.
Abana balechinchila lelo inshiku, Yo' mama didn't come from no ghetto.
Note to self, make sure these fake Zambians get the memo.
See we just want you to be original, stop copying stuff you can't follow,
munga dimwe nyama ya mumusebo.

Here's a taste of logic, that makes your inswa eating butts look apologetic.
See I'm not a skeptic, I'm affected, so silence isn't an option, because your actions are spastic.
See I can do this with no effort, spew lyrics like a prophet.
Na bana Mulenga nabaishiba that you're up against my static, about to
be scorched by words that are hypnotic.
You've pissed of someone that is just classic, you're in my house, so get ready for
the fantastic.
I'll reduce your raps to helium, change your voice like back at Jacaranda with Ms. Panambelum.

See I won't stand by, can't stand by, till all you pee-wee rappers say bye, bye.
Seeing as you've chosen to be vulgar, I insist you continue in the vernacular.
Ati nembwa iwutukila amafi, your raps are so whack and raunchy, step back, you got my ears all itchy.
Girls in your videos butt shaking? How you get a Zambian girl to act like a donkey?
Not exactly the call of a rocket scientist, that's actually the move of a prostitute.
You passed the test, you lack finesse, step back, and take a rest.

Let me break it down for you in new lingo, put a small hurting on your verbal ego. The profundity of your erudition so far exceeds my ability to comprehend that it is obligatory for you to elucidate. And with that, I'm done, feel free to enunciate.

Friday, October 29, 2010

What happened to love songs?

So the other day, a friend of mine posted on Face Book, his feelings about a new song by Keith Sweat and Joe, called Test drive. According to him,it's the ultimate ballad. Being familiar with the lyrics for this song, I spent the next few days wondering if for some reason, I had missed the memo on, "How you sweet talk women in the new millennium."

This tune has a very catchy beat and an engaging hook, but the lyrics are awe inspiring, with deep loving and reflective verses like; "Out of all the cars, in the yard. You're the one a player wants. Got a big bank girl, I can buy the parts," Test Drive goes where other love songs fail. I mean songs by Luther Vandross with lines like; "Love has truly, been good to me, not even one sad day, or minute have I had since you came my way," are eclipsed by Test Drive's reflective; "I know you thinkin, I'm talkin about a car, but baby I'm not I'm talking about us."

Evidently there is something us Gen Xer's are missing. The way to a woman's heart in the Gen Y diaspora does not meander through her brain and down towards her heart. It's not captured by the ears and masticated for filtration to be deciphered in code. No, you've got to reach right down and grab her panties. So, saying, "Love has a mind of it's own, it comes at the strangest times, somehow it takes control, so try and try but it won't let me go, no matter what I do or where I go your love's got a hold on me," (Glenn Jones) is inadequate today. No, with today's girls you've got to go for the jugular; "You make me wanna test drive -It's hot up in here I'm a take off your top- You make me wanna test drive - Got my feet on the gas and we won't ever stop- You make me wanna test drive - Just put the roof back and let your panties drop- Down, down, touch the ground." That's the stuff that gets them wild.

You see what's most frustrating is that a lot of today's young crooners have these magnificent voices, Tyrese, Tank, Joe, Avant, Ginuwine; and yet their choice of material continues to perpetuate the unsophisticated palate of Ghetto romance. In Tyrese's immortal words, "You know we be tearing it up, breaking @#$% that Ghetto love. So, how you gonna act like that?" I mean how could Teddy Pendergrass even think of singing, "Think I better let it go, looks like another love TKO?" When girls today are scrambling for songs that talk about; "I'm what you need, you need a lift girl, I'll be the seat. Come on and sit on it, ride on it, but don't you move from it."

I feel like I'm in a Barry White time warp. Caught up in his line, "Tell me a secret, I just don't wanna know about any secret but I wanna know about that special secret." I'm still glowing from knowing that, "Love won't let me wait, because the time is right, to spend the night, in a wonderland. So move a little close to me, you owe it to yourself." That's what I remember trying to conjugate as I navigated my way around a woman's head. Where did those words go?

Now, we are bombarded with; I keep it comin so my wood-grain telling me to go North, go East, Go West, Go South, down. Ridin in your Cadillac,keep your feet by the brake if you ain't ready yet." Lord, you took Luther away for some reason and just when we thought Brian McKnight might help us with, "My shattered dreams and broken heart are mending on the shelf. I saw you standing close, holding hands with someone else," money took his creative spirit and made him sing rubbish. Please help us, because somewhere, even my brothers that I grew up with, those who should remember what a true love song should be about, are now touting Test Drive.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dating in the new millenium!

So the other day, driving to work, I'm listening to Steve Harvey like I usually do (don't judge me!). He's always good for a serious laugh before one walks into the jaws of the mundane. There's a segment they do that's similar to 'The Dating Game'. A man or woman has three possible dating choices. The decision is based on basic information provided during a questioning period and after the prospect has viewed a profile. You get the picture.

Well today I listened as a man with the help of the presenters questioned three women. Turns out this fellow is about 50 years old and a widower, looking for a love connection. As he navigated the road of initial courtship on national radio, asking these women things like; "What do you like to do for fun? Can you cook? What are you looking for in a man?" I couldn't help but think that none of his questions were sparking the kind of information that men are interested in. He was asking the typical things that give you a general view of someone and really didn't seem to have any eliminating capabilities. In my mind, this means that he'll quite basically look at the profiles and go with the woman he believes best physically represents what he is looking for.

So as he continued his downward plod, I started forming my own series of questions in the back of my mind. His line of questioning was leaving me unfulfilled and empty and thus I felt compelled to step in on his behalf. There are just some things that most self-respecting men would need to know prior to a date with any woman, let alone a 40 plus year old.

Not having been in the dating game a while, I started putting together some poignant questions. My list may appear somewhat superficial and not be exhaustive but you will have to excuse me, I am a man. I believe that some, if not all of the following should be addressed;

1. Are those your real eyelashes? If not, do you intend to grow any and if so,
when?
2. Are you using any control top garments and upon removal, will I have any shocked
reaction?
3. Do you have any fake teeth? This includes bridges, crowns, or any other
reconstructive dental surgery.
4. Are you wearing any shape enhancing devices that squeeze and change your natural
shape? Once released
5. Is that your hair? If not, how many other people can you be in a month and will
you be surprising me often?
6. When you take off your hair, will I prefer that you didn't?
7. Do your kids live with you and if so are they rug-rats or delinquents? How old
are they and if any is older than 18, why are they not in college or out of the
house?
8. If you claim you are a Christian woman, why are you on Steve Harvey show looking
for love?
9. If you are such a catch, how come your last husband left you and your kids?
10.Are your eyes really green or will that change like your hair?
11.In your response to a perfect Saturday date you said something about waking up to
a late breakfast. How quickly do you get to third base?

As you can see, this line of questioning will very quickly eliminate quite a few women. Like I said this list is not exhaustive and can definitely take a turn here and there. However, on a radio show, these questions provide critical guidance and direction for the man with an eye to maximizing his potential to find the perfect mate. We need some men who can keep it real! I'm just saying!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Ghana's World Cup

Ghana's eventual loss today was devastating. All of Africa was tied into this, our freedom moment. Uruguay was never a colonizer but somehow, just by their origin, they represented more than just football opposition. Deep down inside we were tying them to the colonizers and oppressors who have tread on our soils. Their South American connection felt repetitive of past World Cups and this, this was Africa's moment.

As Asamoah Gyan stepped up to take the penalty today in the waning minutes of the overtime game against Uruguay today, hundreds of millions of people were holding their breath. If you're like my wife and I, then you barely sat down for a minute of the whole game, stealing occasional glances at the television, while seemingly trying to do innocuous tasks around the house. For the millions of us rooting for Ghana, the only remaining African country in the 2010 World Cup, it more than intense. Luis Suarez, whose handball created this opportunity for Africa to unite in one shining moment, was making his way back to the locker room weeping desperate tears. After Gyan sent the shot hard against the crossbar and over the goal, the camera showed Suarez in exasperated relief, realizing that his very life had been saved. My own laments come to my ears as I questioned God's loyalty to our cause.

There was just this prevailing feeling that this was the year that an African country would break the jinx. This confirmation that we would finally lose the moniker of 'potential' bridesmaid and actually become part of the bridal party. The Black Stars were showing the world that African football has finally arrived at the highest level on the world stage. It took me about six hours to calm down today, eventually needing to go to a garden store to buy some flowers and do some subsequent planting. Therapy, I needed therapy.

Ghana has nothing to hang its head down about, nothing to be ashamed about. Mightier teams have fallen, and earlier in this tournament. Italy, England, France, and Brazil all have made their exit. Ghana put on valiant effort and unlike Luis Suarez whose handball made him an unlikely hero because of the outcome, reminding us again that Africa continues to knock on the door of greatness. This was just not a game, it was our continued strive to forget colonialism, Apartheid, neo-colonialism, elitism and racism. All these seemingly unconnected things are the subliminal, unsaid things that these games represent to us. Uruguay may not have been a colonizer, but their origins allow us to use them as a symbol of all we have fought against.

I want to shout, "Our civil rights were violated, this is racism!" I can't because, this is football and FIFA is doing all it can to send the message that this game transcends race, color, creed, economics and nations. This is the beautiful game - that one game that is truly a world sport. What transpired today was just what Asamoah Gyan said, "It's hard luck. You know, we had opportunity to win this game," Gyan said, "but unfortunately, that is football for you."- (Associated Press http://soccernet.espn.go.com/report?id=264116&cc=5901&ver=us)

Today, we witnessed why this game is so great, why even after losing a job almost a month ago, I have been carried through what should have been a difficult period with nothing but memories of the opportunities to watch each and every game. With my first day of new employment coming next week, Ghana's exit could not have come at a better time, somehow Uruguay, Netherlands, and whoever wins tomorrow, don't raise my gander. I'm really not interested anymore and will watch only because football is my religion. I will not worship at the altar because my favorite African preachers have left and the choir isn't singing any of my favorite songs.

As for Asamoah Gyan, my hats off, much respect. Stepping up to that penalty kick, he carried the weight of all of Africa. His shoulders should have been sagging as he stepped up to that ball. We were all riding on his shoulders, offering advice on how he should place that kick, how hard he should kick it. His miss was our miss and as Ghana's fortunes go, so went Africa. We are reminded however, in Asamoah's statement about the resilience of Africans, we never dwell on the pain, but recognize that our success is in the fact that we're still standing here today. Ghana played beautiful soccer and Africa rejoiced, Ghana lost and so did Africa, but that was only today. Tomorrow will come.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mr. Mugabe -Syphillis Untreated Can Cause Brain Damage

Please read the heading above. You got it? Now read it again. You see, how else can you explain the actions of our renowned African continental idiot, President Robert Mugabe. He has decided to send two of every animal in the Hwange National Park to Kim Jong II of North Korea as a gift. That's right, two of every animal.

This blithering rocket scientist who has single-handedly managed to destroy the livelihood of millions of Zimbabweans, is now a zoo-keeper? His tenacious stance of unmitigated foolishness is to be admired. After all, where else can a disease wracked brain still emit puffs of such spontaneous buffoonery and be called "His Excellency"? This guy is literally becoming a legend. Somehow he has managed to hold some sort of hypnotic sway on the military, because in any self respecting African country, he'd be gone by now.

What escapes me is, how did the doctors fail to see the tell-tale lesions that the spirochete bacteria leaves? Couldn't they have treated this sooner? Floundering around for words to explain this despot has become our lot in life. I've had to explain the difference between Zambia and Zimbabwe so many times, it hurts. Americans are geographically challenged anyway, so every time they hear his name, I get, "Isn't that your President?" Uuuuuuuuugh, it's so irritating! Now this? I'm wrapping myself in Saran wrap and as we speak. Maybe I'll perish before this actually happens. Doesn't make sense? Well neither does any of this.

This ridiculous display of smoldering stupidity reeks with the pungency of a country that is resigned to its fate. Zimbabwe has fallen into the self resigned abyss of futility. Populace too down-trodden to revolt, and leaders too drunk with power to admit their descent to neanderthal. Mugabe has very few leaders that support him anymore. What remains is this little pint-sized despot partner of his from North Korea. Given this, I can understand his need to show grand homage to his cheerleader and benefactor. But two of each animal? Come on Robert! Get real!

There are times when a revolution screams for a few good men. When the need for change does not require the interference of another country. These are times when the indigenous population, armed with some Penicillin, needs to catch a 'sick' man and heal him quickly. The systemic, redundancy of perverted fallacies that have become the diatribe of a disillusioned syphilitic must cease, one way or another. That last sentence, really felt good. He needs to send two of something to North Korea, I could suggest some things but I don't think they would be appropriate.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Apartheid comes to America

The regurgitated stench of discrimination and its putrid and vile sibling, racism, has reared its ugly head in the state of Arizona. In the twenty first century, as a black man sits in the White House, we are seeing the clear signs of fortified self-righteousness, infused with a shot of malignant ignorance. Masked as a protectionist/isolationist movement, Arizona - with its myopic and politically inept Governor, Jan Brewer - has established, again, why America's claim to greatness is questioned around the world. One small step for Arizona, one giant step for racism. What next? Tattoos identifying immigrants?

What's scary is that this bill passed through a legislative process that actually requires many hours of debate by educated and informed people. The real fear is not the bill itself, but that there can be such clear hatred and abject idiocy presented to the world in confidence. Many years ago on the Southern tip of Africa, Dutch descendants arrived and in time established one of the most powerful countries in Africa's history. They would soon resort to draconian methods to maintain their power over the indigenous population.

"With the enactment of apartheid laws in 1948, racial discrimination was institutionalized. Race laws touched every aspect of social life, including a prohibition of marriage between non-whites and whites, and the sanctioning of ``white-only'' jobs. In 1950, the Population Registration Act required that all South Africans be racially classified into one of three categories: white, black (African), or colored (of mixed decent). The coloured category included major subgroups of Indians and Asians. Classification into these categories was based on appearance, social acceptance, and descent. For example, a white person was defined as ``in appearance obviously a white person or generally accepted as a white person.'' A person could not be considered white if one of his or her parents were non-white. The determination that a person was ``obviously white'' would take into account ``his habits, education, and speech and deportment and demeanor.'' A black person would be of or accepted as a member of an African tribe or race, and a colored person is one that is not black or white. The Department of Home Affairs (a government bureau) was responsible for the classification of the citizenry. Non-compliance with the race laws were dealt with harshly. All blacks were required to carry ``pass books'' containing fingerprints, photo and information on access to non-black areas." - http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~cale/cs201/apartheid.hist.html

The Arizona bill gives local policemen the right to detain people that they suspect are illegal aliens and proceed to verify their legal right to be in the United States with the relevant federal bodies. CNN reports that; when asked what criteria will be used to establish reasonable suspicion of someone's legal status, Brewer (Governor) said, "I don't know. I do not know what an illegal immigrant looks like." Part of the law states, "A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, WITHOUT A WARRANT, MAY ARREST A PERSON IF THE OFFICER HAS PROBABLE CAUSE TO BELIEVE THAT THE PERSON HAS COMMITTED ANY PUBLIC OFFENSE THAT MAKES THE PERSON REMOVABLE FROM THE UNITED STATES." In essence, police now have authority to harass anyone in Arizona, that doesn't fit their mold. Speak with an accent,and you'll probably get detained. "A little too brown there my brother, yes, you too. Hey, you're Asian! You're definitely suspicious."

There is nothing more repugnant than racism when it is disguised by legalism's intelligent language and backed by force. This has been the very reason for freedom and resistance movements from time immemorial. That inner drive that causes men, who seek to feed their families, to leave their homes in search of food, has caused many to venture far beyond their lands looking for opportunity. Walls, waters, hills, deserts have not stopped them. Nothing would have been discovered in this world, no new territories explored if not for that very innate God-inspired drive that mankind was given. Apartheid did not stop millions of African men from jumping on a train (Stimela) and heading down into the dungeons of the gold and diamond mines in South Africa. They knew they were risking their dignity and their self respect, but they would rather feed their children than watch them starve. Willing to risk their very lives, they went anyway.

Historically, it has been clear that when Caucasians chose to do this, they were called explorers and pioneers. When people of other decent follow these same paths, they are aliens. The Arizona bill will require that aliens carry their registration cards at all times, as stated by CNN; "The bill requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect that they're in the United States illegally. It also targets those who hire illegal immigrant day laborers or knowingly transport them." It is clear that myopia is a prevalent disease amongst Arizona politicians but by putting the decision in the hands of policemen who sometimes have difficulty making out the difference between citizens and criminals, we again go back to the, "Where is your passbook?" question that was the moniker of Boer policemen.

There is an irony here as aliens, make laws against other aliens. The generational claim that has been staked here is somewhat convoluted as historically, much of the land once belonged to the very people now being targeted. The natives have been placed on reservations and the descendants of colonizers now stake claim. In the movie the Matrix, agent Smith delivers a poignant monologue about the similarities between humans and a virus. There is an illegal alien problem in Arizona, but it is far from being the Southern neighbors with their brown skin, working in jobs that even released convicts will not accept. The illegal aliens are not the day laborers mowing lawns and doing construction jobs without health insurance.

The real illegal aliens who need to be shipped out and checked for their papers are the politicians who have clearly lost their connection to humanity and human values.
The ones who take isolated incidents and conjure them into a picture that fosters fear and apathy amongst the populace. There has never been any danger from south of the border. I believe fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia and not Mexico. I can guarantee you that Saudi Arabia has probably not seen any reduction in its visa quotas. You see, they have oil, a lot of it and America needs it, a lot of it. The illegal aliens who need to be stopped while driving to work are riding around in government vehicles with Arizona tags, on their way to legislative meetings. Those are the ones who need to be arrested when on public or private property for MLWS, making laws while stupid. These very same aliens need to be e-verified through the racism program that sometimes uses water-boarding to confirm responses.

When one visits the Statue of liberty, there is a poem written on an inner pedestal entitled the New Colossus. In his sonnet the author Lazarus states;

"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Lady Liberty has always represented what this country stands for, a place where anyone can be anything. A place where its okay to come empty, poor, down-trodden, weak and persecuted. The land of milk and honey where dreams come true. That's what America has always represented. What can't be okay is for us to sit by as we watch Apartheid and borderline Nazism take a public face and erase dreams. How can we sit and dialogue with quiet refrain as Jim Crow laws are refashioned and dressed up. What once was a land where Mother Freedom beckoned to those adrift and disenfranchised, has become the land that is willing to sit by as ethnic hatred wells up and finally, becomes law. No it's time for the illegal aliens to go, starting with Governor Brewer, "Your papers Miss!"

Friday, February 5, 2010

Unmasked

No longer afraid of things that go 'bump' in the dark
Not hiding under the covers as dusk becomes night
I don't feel insecure when alone in a crowd
Nor singled out when I disagree out loud
I'm walking in my anointing, free and unmasked

Not looking for my name to be written in the marquee
Quite content with setting the stage
For someone else to come be the star of the parade
I'm okay with not having my name on the list
No bouncers or black ropes being pulled at my behest
Walking in my anointing, free and unmasked

I can look you in the eye, when I speak these days
See once I was afraid, wouldn't dare to meet your gaze
I've been all twisted, torn up, and left for dead
Can't quite remember how it started
but I know that it was all in the games we played
Look at me now though, free and unmasked

I don't know if you'll ever know how much I've bled
The rivers, valleys, mountains and deserts, I've tread
The death, pain and suffering left in my wake
Like waves in an ocean, ripples that won't ebb
Look at me now though, free and unmasked

I wonder if the wind tells stories to the birds
If butterflies go somewhere special when they are afraid
Is there somewhere out there trees sing before bed?
Where the moon howls at dogs and dogs smile even when sad?
I dream of a childhood void of pain and dread
Of bustling youth, filled with promise and salvation instead
But then, I wouldn't be here, nor would I be able to claim
"Look at me now, FREE & UNMASKED"