Peace To Phife Dawg

Sadly the hip-hop community says goodbye to one of our favorite MCs, Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest (ATCQ).

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Another artist in my personal Top 5 is gone way too soon (Guru was the other and if we go top 10, add Heavy D.). Just yesterday at the gym, I was listening to the Tribe and the Five-foot assassin dropped, “When’s the last time you heard a funky diabetic?”, and I remember from their documentary that it was a bit freeing for him to drop that he was struggling with diabetes publicly on a track. The brother struggled and still tried to perform even with his health issues over the years.

I’m at that age where I think most music these days is garbage and not as good as what I listened to grow up. My parents felt the same way about “that rap” and I remember churches calling it “jungle music” (yea, the racism isn’t too hidden in that term is it?). But ATCQ was the group that had a very positive impact on us growing up, and I think many of the Christian hip-hop lyricists that sound so good today are fruits to those early years.

Like most fans, I’ve never met “the one they call Phife”, but he was the guy I wanted to be with a mic and his persona seemed to capture and represent where I was at in my life. I’m an avid sports fan, and Phife always sported some team logo despite having a physique that most would not consider athletic. But that seemed to be the Phife we knew from his lyrics, the guy that had aspirations like us and was going to do his thing regardless of what people thought.

“You see I’m far from a bully and I ain’t a punk”

As the record industry started elevating gang-culture and even creating fake studio gangsters, ATCQ spoke for brothers like me that, as we say today, “weren’t about that life”. We weren’t checkin’ Jordan’s or Max Julian’s in, beefin’ about colors or hanging out. We would just sit back and kick it about Rodney King, who is the best MC, who is the best DJ, whether Spike Lee movies are any good and are your Cross-Colors big enough. But we weren’t down for getting punked on the street physically or intellectually and that really was what early 90s hip-hop was all about, and ATCQ personified it so well.

Phife Expos
When was the last time you saw someone sport an Expos logo? Kids these days don’t know about Andre Dawson, Tim Raines or Steve Rodgers!

To see the video below and even hear NPR report of his passing is a tremendous tribute.

Press release from: http://atribecalledquest.com/phife-dawg/

Statement from A Tribe Called Quest on the death of Malik I. Taylor a.k.a Phife Dawg The 5 ft. Assassin

Our hearts are heavy. We are devastated. This is something we weren’t prepared for although we all know that life is fleeting. It was no secret about his health and his fight. But the fight for his joy and happiness gave him everything he needed. The fight to keep his family happy, his soul happy and those around him happy, gave him complete and unadulterated joy… until he heeded his fathers call.

We love his family his mother, his father, his son, his wife, his nieces, his family here in New York, Atlanta, California and Trinidad.

Thank you for the outpouring of prayers and support from the fans, fellow artists, music outlets, blogs, radio stations, DJ’s, social media and the music community at large. This too is part of his joy and means a lot to him. His family is overwhelmed by the support, well wishes and are thankful. His music and what he’s contributed is seismic and hard to measure. He’s affected us as much as he’s affected all of you. We’re inspired by his daily joy and courage. He wasn’t in pain. He was happy.

We take comfort in knowing he will be beside his grandmother.

“Now here I go, once again with the ill flow
Other MC’s that rap, their style is so-so
Phife Dawg was never the type that ever lacked skills
I just stay true to my roots and then I get ill
Twenty years of age but yet I still see (KNOWLEDGE)
And this year, was so-called, my Senior year in (COLLEGE)
But I chose to pursue, in a field called music
And with some hype beats and breaks you know I won’t refuse it
Get on the board lay down the track and I’ll do ten laps
Pass the pen, pass the pad, and I’ll kick nuff (RAPS)
Just come inside your jam and witness who is boss
And it won’t be Tony Danza nor Diana Ross
As small as I am, I still can pack jams
Do a freestyle and step, but yet I still slam
Not trying to say that no one can get with me
Not only is it the lyrics I write, it’s my delivery
Name one rapper that you know who has this high-strung voice
My name’s Malik and I’m unique, in other words top choice
Nothing commercial bout this, it’s mainly hardcore
Now that you got what you want, do you want more
Because I got more in store…”

  • La Schmoove – Fu-Schnickens

 

 

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“You Know, Preacher’s Kids Are the Worst”

PKs

Have you ever heard that saying?

It comes from the standard that is often set by society on those who have parents in the pulpit. They are expected to act “better than”, because their are expected to be model examples of the ideals spread by their father from the pulpit.

If you are the sibling who does not get into trouble in the family, your face likely blushes every time someone says, “You know what they say, you PK kids are the worst…your brother/sister should know better since your dad is a pastor.”

Well, that’s how I sometimes feel with my brothers and sisters in Christ when they speak on issues related to so-called race. I blush, because my Black friends who are enemies of Christ say exactly the same thing, “You know, you Christians are the biggest racist as (insert comment about KKK, support for racist politicians and usage of the bible during slavery among many other examples), and you think that “white jesus” they gave you is going to save you.” I then have to sift through fact vs. fiction and point out what the bible really says, that some are not Christians at all, and those that are, often embrace their earthly ethnicity over their heavenly heritage.

I’m now blushing over what I heard about someone in the ministry I respected named James White.

The original post has been removed and since I’m playing catch up, I’m going to refer readers over to the spectacular job done by Jemar Tisby and Beau York over at RAAN. Please check out this episode titled, Pass The Mic: Processing James White With Jemar Tisby.

I’m bring this up to reinforce that this is why I speak about race so much on this blog about fatherhood. First, the comments appeared to involve yet another Black young man and is draped in coded racist language. Inside the church and out, people who hold these views are teaching in the pulpits, our bible classes, Christian/government schools, work on the police force, work as managers, etc.. As long as Black folks act “better than” and “are different”, they are accepted by the “moral majority”. But if taken outside of the church doors (or even inside under the right circumstances like with the issue of so-called interracial dating), that is when the true feelings of the heart begin to come out.

Secondly, I want all Christians to understand that this collective sin needs to be dealt with and that the Body of Christ is suffering whether it wants to admit it or not.

The ramifications for not doing so means that Black Christians are again separating from our own family members. Of course, history has shown us that this separation (e.g. segregation) has always been desired collectively by Christians in the United States. I have wrote about my own experience a bit here and just earlier today (before hearing about the James White post), I brought up the idea of framing, and the impact it has on how people view others in this country. Statements by Mr. White ensure that I will continue to speak out and quite honestly, why I even keep my so-called Black children out of the Christian schools.

Worry About Our Man

Sadly, statements made here by Mr. White seem to indicate that he is holding on to his views, which is unfortunate. Jonathan Edwards certainly held a worldly and not a biblical view of slavery. I certainly hope Black ministers in his circle have a chance to have an open dialogue with him and point out why many are disappointed in his assumptions and the implicit bias in his statements. Sadly, Voddie Baucham, another brother I greatly respect and who has obviously influenced our home, is being used as “that Black guy”. You know…the one who “can say the same thing but if he were white, he could not”.  I do not have the time nor space right now to pick this argument apart, but it is as much of a straw-man argument as the “well what about black-on-black crime” statement. I will say, I have always felt that some of his comments were more in-house discussions, because those on the outside will not put them into the proper perspective and once again (as this isn’t the first time), he’s being used to defend the statements by James White.

Let me add one final thing.

When me and my boy Rob were attending a church that was heavily focused on Christian apologetics, Rob made a great point that, “When you teach people how to think critically about things, they will also think critically about you as well.” We later would leave the church, as they were not very cool with the idea of people in the congregation looking critically at some of their behind-the-scene financial practices.

Ironically, this is the church that I learned and listened to James White quite a bit, but it is with this apologetic critical eye that I will now turn towards Mr. White. I will also be praying for him as well.

Our Father told the story of the Good Samaritan and once again the reaction of a fellow Christian to seeing someone who fit a certain stereotype in their mind, resembles the behavior of the priest and the Levite.

The preacher’s kids are the worst. They are the worst that is in all of us. But sometimes we need to look at them and know that they need the same grace we all need and are under the same conviction of the Holy Spirit. So if they are the worst, we all need to remember,”Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”–Romans 5:20. So while we should not ignore the public comments/position by James White, we should ask why he feels so comfortable taking such a stance. Do you agree with Mr. White and how do you defend your position biblically?

 

CSD

Homeschool History/Sociology Lesson of the Day: Nixon Aide Claims Drugs Targeted Black People

This is shocking: Nixon Aide Claims Drugs Targeted Black People.

FakeMarihuanaC

Then again, is it really? Did we not already have this conversation on Cornerstonedad here and here?

“ … We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

If you are teaching your children History, Sociology or Social Studies, this information is extremely important. Whether one man’s testimony is true or not remains to be seen, but it must also be weighed with the above and from what we know during the 80’s  with Rick Ross, crack cocaine and Dark Alliance.

If you haven’t seen the movie Kill the Messenger, the trailer is below and it’s definitely worth checking out. Remember, Webb died from two self-inflicted gun shots to the head. I’ll let you think about that one for a moment.

The point is this, the War On Drugs has now become part of American culture and if we are teaching about this issue, having a proper understanding of the real history is extremely important.

1.) It helps understand our nation and the “framing” that’s often done to influence policy in America. This policy has many zeros behind it in terms of practicality and who benefits and loses. In this case, Black men have lost lives and families more than any other group in this nation, and the prison industry has turned into a new form of slavery in this country.

2.) Just as important, it reminds us that the framing above influences how people see Black folks and how we see ourselves. This stereotype of the Black drug dealer preying on innocent children, robbing and killing their own mother for the next “fix”, is etched in the minds of all Americans. Therefore, to use Rodney King or Trayvon Martin as an example, if the media or police can somehow place a joint, pipe or needle in the person’s possession, anything done to them is allowable as they fit “Super Predator” status at that point and deserve no rights.

Shout out to Hillary Clinton.

As always, teach the truth, as it’s your responsibility and no one else’s.

CSD

 

Guest Post From My Son: Adam LaRoche v. White Sox: Who’s Right? Part 2

LaRoche vs Williams

A crazy story just got even crazier…

In case you haven’t heard about Adam LaRoche and his controversy with the Chicago White Sox, you can check out an explanation HERE. But here’s the short explanation:

The White Sox’s First Baseman and DH, Adam LaRoche, has decided to retire. But that’s not the controversial part. He is supposed to be leaving the MLB because the White Sox have asked him to reduce his son’s involvement with the clubhouse.

LaRoche’s son, 14 year-old Drake, had been participating in clubhouse activities for all of last season, and Spring Training so far this year, under the permission of the White Sox’s manager. He had his own locker, jersey, everything. He was the unofficial “26th Man”.

But LaRoche didn’t like the idea of reducing Drake’s clubhouse time, so decided to retire a little early, with one year and $13 Million left on his contract. The baseball world was stunned.

But, even with the confusing story making its way on national headlines, it got even more confusing.

Here’s how:

According to our GRT sources, the White Sox told two different stories in the clubhouse…

White Sox management told players that the coaches complained about Drake being in the clubhouse.

But they also told the coaches that players complained.

So… Who complained? I don’t think the public knows. This case is so complex, I think only the inside people in the team know what really happened.

I have my own speculations, but I’m not going to tell you guys (unless you want me to tell you in the comments). I want you to research the case yourself, and form your own opinion. Also, please participate in this poll below! Feel free to comment on the post too.

Written by: Big D.

Read more baseball news at: Groundruletriple

Guest Post From My Son: Adam LaRoche v. White Sox: Who’s Right?

LaRoche vs Williams.png

The Adam LaRoche story is perfect for this website, but I had to defer to someone who now knows what’s going on on the diamond much more than I do, my son. I has written the following and I added some photos just to give us older CSDs some flashbacks of other fathers and sons we saw together on the field. Like me, I’m sure thought, “How great it would be if my dad was a major league baseball player and that was me!”

Be sure to check out Groundruletriple for all of your baseball news and even more terrific posts like the following…and thanks son!

Adam LaRoche, the Chicago White Sox’s First Baseman and Designated Hitter, has reportedly retired. Nobody saw it coming. Here’s why…

According to ESPN, “LaRoche had asked after signing with the White Sox last winter if Drake [his 14 year-old son] could have clubhouse access, and that request was granted by White Sox manager Robin Ventura. Drake not only had his own uniform and spring training locker last year, but also had a locker in the White Sox clubhouse during the regular season”.

It was also noted that, “at no point did Drake appear to be a distraction last season, and was in fact a welcome addition to the group. He played video games with players pregame, shagged balls during batting practice and was not one to draw attention to himself in the clubhouse, respecting the players’ space”.

So, what changed?

Dusty Bakers GrandSon
Did the Dusty Baker’s grandson near miss in the World Series mess it up for everyone? 

The White Sox asked LaRoche to limit Drake’s time with the team.

From what I’ve heard on the Today Show this morning, Drake went with his father to all the games, and became became the unofficial “26th Man”. Some, however, became tired with his son in the clubhouse and locker room. Apparently, some of the players met with White Sox officials to discuss this.

When the Sox asked LaRoche to dial back his son’s participation, LaRoche didn’t take it too well. With one year and 13 million dollars left on his contract, LaRoche decided to retire a little early.

The question is, who’s right?

I’m going to present both sides of the case here, and let you decide on your own. I am not going to force you to think a certain side (in other words, I’m not a politician).

LaRoche’s Case:

In the same ESPN article mentioned above, “in LaRoche’s defense, he also grew up as a kid in major league clubhouses. His father, Dave LaRoche, was a pitcher for 14 seasons, most notably six with the California Angels. So he knew from firsthand experience how valuable time in a major league clubhouse can be”.

Cecil and Prince
As guy who grew up in Detroit, we knew about Prince long before he started making a name for himself with the Brew-Crew. – CSD

Drake seems to participate in a sort of homeschooling mixed in with traditional schooling, according to ESPN. This allowed him to participate in clubhouse activities.

In LaRoche’s mind, I don’t think he sees his career as work, which I think is important, and I think it is cool. Your job is best when you enjoy it. He may think that, because it’s not work, he can bring his son wherever he wants as his father did with him. But when somebody tried to tinker with what he thought, things obviously did not go well. It’s that way with any man.

Many players stand with LaRoche and see no reason why Drake can’t be in the clubhouse, calling baseball a “family first” game. Some even threatened to boycott yesterday’s Spring Training game.

White Sox’s Case:

This is where things get tricky. To the White Sox management, I think they view this as work. This is very key. In their minds, they’re probably saying, “in this contract, this guy gives us quality work, and his gives his complete focus on his work, in exchange for millions of dollars”. That’s how a business works. The White Sox are nothing but a business that wants to make money. Their way of making money, is by winning. When they don’t win, time is wasted. Like all teams at the beginning of the year,  the White Sox made over the offseason, with the additions of Todd Frazier and Alex Avila, to assist in getting those wins.

Because the White Sox have the “work” mentality (that’s what I call it), they may see Drake as a distraction to some players. Again, they’re trying to win. So if there’s a distraction, as a business they’re going to try to figure things out, and do what they think is best for the team.

Pete Rose.jpg
Guess who has this baseball card? This guy! -CSD

While other MLB players bring their children to their clubhouse, including Ranger Prince Fielder and Tiger Victor Martinez, they do not bring their children to the clubhouse everyday as LaRoche did.

The Verdict:

Up to you, the reader. You are the jury. Do you think that LaRoche is right to keep his son in the clubhouse, or are the White Sox right by trying to reduce his son’s time with the players?

Written by: Big D.

Read more baseball news at: Groundruletriple

Video of the Day: Speaker Gets Disrespected During Talk

Respect.jpg

Normally I keep these conversations in-house. However, this one deserves to be shared. If you have a child, they need to check this out. If you’re still in school, you need to check this out. I tell my daughter all the time, “Nobody cares about you.” When someone shows that they do, treat them right.

Check out this short vid with motivational speaker Eric Thomas. This is the power of having that male influence in the home as father and teacher, in the school as teacher. and in the church as teacher.

Sadly, the disrespect he received is not even viewed as bad in most homes, schools and youth groups…

CSD Podcast #18 – The Tribe and I Give Our Review of the Movie RACE

RACE of FALSE

Welcome to our kitchen table! Make yourself comfortable, sit-back, gather your thoughts. The kids and I went to the movies to see the movie Race and decided to have a hot mic and let you listen in to one of our fairly typical discussions.

Click HERE to listen:

Forgive the noise in the background, as our dining room table is certainly not a sound-proof studio. Having the windows open on a warm day was no help either.

The kids made me so proud, as each expressed their own thoughts, aren’t afraid to be challenged, but were a bit afraid of the microphone. They made me excited (so forgive my enthusiasm), but I really got comfortable kicking it with them as people, and not children.

They did need to learn that silence on the air is a no-no!

If  you’ve seen the movie Race, great. If not, spoiler alerts abound, but I think you know how the story ended.

We teach our children to think critically about all things, most notably the bible, politics, education and especially media. You will hear some of the trigger points that we look for to tell if a person or organization has a certain bias. In media, where there are absolutely no coincidences and everything is a particular way for a particular reason, we are especially critical.

Therefore, we don’t believe in conspiracy theories (e.g. they didn’t mean that, you are reading too much into ___), but understand that every detail is intentional, whether through omission or commission.

Our soundtrack for the show?

BDP’s, You Must Learn – what else for such an occasion! This is certainly an anthem for us and one of the first songs that taught me more black history than I ever learned in my 12 years of schooling. I remember hearing the album cut and getting mad that it wasn’t the remix/video version:

If you’d like to learn more about fact and fiction featured in the film, I encourage you to check out http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/race/.

Remember:

propaganda

  • : ideas or statements that are often false or exaggerated and that are spread in order to help a cause, a political leader, a government, etc.

Source: merriam-webster

 

I leave you with comments from the above website, historyvshollywood. The movie basically ignored how the story really ended, and that explains quite a bit in and of itself.

“What happened to Jesse Owens following his success in Berlin?

In researching the Race true story, we learned that following his success at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the Amateur Athletic Union had arranged a post-Olympic tour of Europe for Owens to participate in. Owens found himself under financial strain while on the often unpredictable Olympic tour and instead decided to return home to his wife and try his luck in Hollywood. He hoped to capitalize on his fame much like Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller did after medaling in the 1924 and 1928 Olympics. Unlike Weissmuller, who found fame starring in the Tarzan movies, Owen’s skin color undoubtedly affected his job prospects in a country that was still separated by segregation. He only managed to find limited success on the vaudeville circuit. The decision to try to capitalize on his triumphs as an athlete put him at odds with the athletic union, who stripped him of his amateur status.

“After I came home from the 1936 Olympics with my four medals, it became increasingly apparent that everyone was going to slap me on the back, want to shake my hand or have me up to their suite,” Owens commented, “but no one was going to offer me a job.” -HistoryNet.com

With limited opportunities and a wife and three daughters to support, Owens did things like running against racehorses and working at gas stations. “What was I supposed to do?” Owens said later. “I had four gold medals, but you can’t eat four gold medals.” He staged a series of post-Olympic comebacks, some successful, some not. He eventually moved to Chicago and traveled the country as an inspirational speaker. He spent much of his spare time working with disadvantaged youth. Over the years, he wasn’t untouched by controversy. At times, he was called an “Uncle Tom” for refusing to take a more disruptive stance against racism. However, in the end, Owens is held in no less esteem than fellow race pioneers likeJackie Robinson and Joe Louis. All took enormous strides against racism via defining moments that helped to encourage a change in the cultural landscape. -NYTimes.com”

Source: http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/race/