Music and the fickle

Lotta folks know me as an artist too..I been ACTIVELY involved in hiphop 19 years. I was introduced informally by a babysitter to Tribe Called Quest first single “I Left My Wallet In El Segundo” then I was formally introduced by my sister, via Heavy D (R.I.P.) LL Cool J, X-Clan…I fell in love with lyrics….then I was Ultra West Coast (Snoop and Dre HEAVY)…then 94…I was introduced to Common Sense’s I Used to Love H.E.R. and Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth’s Main Ingredient….

All that to say that my introduction to this was during the “Golden Age” of hip-hop. Even the mainstream had lyrics, fast forward to today 2014. I struggle not becoming the GRUMPY old man, but I can’t help it as the quality of the art has gone down. But why? Is it artist or fan fault? I say its a mix of both. Artists now are so commodity driven that they will go for what the fan wants, and fans are of a different genre and relate to different types of hip-hop than when I was a neophyte to this.

As a fan I remember every Tuesday was a BIG DEAL, Going to Coconuts, or Sam Goode, or Crow’s Nest in Chicago to get whatever was out, even the singles at $3.99. Now folks don’t’ respect the music. There is PLENTY of good solid fruitful hip-hop. but most folks won’t go far for their own but will justify going to say a Beyonce or a Gucci show. But they personally KNOW THAT artist….

Many a artist goes through it and it’s super frustrating but it builds character. However asking, what will it take to change that?


Stereotypes and Education

Another busy week…one of the things I do amongst many is being a Professor. I am professor at a school where we get to be creative and at a relatively young age, I teach graduate students. My second semester of it and I must say it is quite enjoyable. Teachers/Professors do NOT get enough respect and compensation let me say that first and foremost. The students make it memorable but for the 3rd time I have dealt with breaking a stereotype and making a “non-minority” “feel some kinda way.” Let me paint the picture. After my class, I am heading to the FACULTY lounge.  The lounge is FACULTY keycard access ONLY. A Faculty member was walking in and i was going in behind him.. and grant it.. i had on jeans, sweatshirt jacket nice kicks and fitted, (not your usual faculty outfit but again im not at a Business School) I walk in and he literally stops  me and says in a most aggressive tone. “May I help you?” Now what makes this funny to me is the gentleman is all of 5,5. I say in my Samuel L. Jackson, voice, “NO I AM A PROFESSOR” with the same wince in my eyes he had as Jules Verne. Oh the gush of red on the face was priceless. A Few minutes later, I am walking out he tries to save face and say “Oh my God, I am sorry I didn’t know, what is your name…and in sarcastic form, I say PROFESSOR insert my name lol and then my administrator comes out and tells him oh yeah he’s one of my best professors, and the look on his face is the look I can only imagine when Conservative Republicans had when they knew President Barack Obama was going to win the election in 2008 and 2012.

Why is it that other races are so comfortable assuming that Black Males can’t be in such positions? In light of that it made me reflect, do I have to wear a 3 piece suit ALL the time to be taken seriously? (Though I must admit I am dashing in it lol). Now if I had on a janitorial jumpsuit, would he have just let me in because he felt that role is what fits? Stereotypes and assumptions are a big part of racism? However as someone who as worked in constantly in fields that traditionally most Black Americans have not had the resources to venture into. This is NOT the first time I have dealt with this, and I only wonder how may of my other educational comrades have dealt with this and how have you dealt with it.

Job Hiring…

Who comes up with the logic for this…for instance if you have ever been to an open call for modeling,  the talent pickers are never “easy on the eyes”. Same can be said in other fields. HR is not an easy field,  let alone hiring, that being said…employers want perfect candidates that aren’t real. Why…because the usage of canned descriptions. The irony is that the want customized resumes but give canned expectations….example “agency experience” where advertising or CIA LOL. Another is “works well in a fast paced environment” is that an office or NASCAR event? Employers not get to disrespect disagrees…ex oh you didn’t go to X school which is an Ivy League school for their Masters. However they do have a Masters in the field required…Irony is the HR person and manager only have a Bachelors…lol. In my view such biases are the majority of  the Un and underemployed.  Question is…what will It take to change such practices?

A New Beginning…

Its been a while, and I have been meditating on the writing aspect…With a big enough following and a lot of requests, i am gonna get back into the gift that God has given me..Writing

My subject matter will range from

Architectural Theory

Urban Life

Fraternal subject matter (Greek & B.G.L.O.)

And lastly

A LITTLE personal

I dont know where this ride will go, but I will say this, it’ll be interesting


It’s been a while…

Greetings, I thought about why the hell did I have a blog for… oh yeah to share thoughts in a different forum..
well whats been going on….
Finished 2nd Masters Degree
Working on skating Documentary-Inside Out.
Juggling full time employment w/
A Think tank
and 3 companies…
Recovered from Knee Injury,
and getting close to God (MOST important)

A lot going on… yet something is still lacking…been doing a LOT of thinking of long term stuff
and really trying to grasp certain things…first time in a minute i just wanted to write.
A lot of moves im looking to make in the next few moves, and its the realization that they are about to happen and the balancing of what will happen with them, is whats got me like wow! Then my own words hit me… Cant be afraid of success AND failure!!! So I press on… bout to go back into the booth full time now… i got music to make…just to get things out my head… to free my thoughts, free my mind, heart and my soul… it’s REALLY about to get interesting… stick around!
L’Chaim to LaVerite (Toast to The Truth)

Being A Black Male in Chicago 2011

Greetings everyone
Yeah its been a while, I been through a LOT and lost a LOT. Those that know me know what that is but im here.

However back to the subject.
For those that dont know, in Chicago its been some flash mob beatings going on in downtown Chicago, with young Black males basically jumped random people that has EVERYONE profiling ANY Black male in casual clothing.

Now where are we going? Folks dont get mad but this aint for my Black women, no disrespect.
But being a Black Man in this country is like being a perpetual target. And thats if you have NO goals.
If you are educated and not the norm you are REALLY treated like a pariah (He uses such big words and speaks good english lol)

I myself have been through a lot seeing this first hand and as well with close constituents. And its always the same, even in this tough economy, Black men suffer even more, with an unemployment rate that is double and triple the national average. Folk say go get a job, but what if you want more. Should you lower your standards, most folks will not hire a black man in a front position because they feel that Black men will scare away customers. In my original industry of architecture it is perceived that Black men are only good for production drafting but nothing that requires thinking.

I know many like myself who also are have education and experience but its not enough. And yes EVERYONE is suffering but Black men are still seen as inferior and we have to prove ourselves not only qualified but not a threat which is an oxymoron.

Because and intelligent Black men in this country is still perceived as a threat much is done to subdue the power of intellect. Now the media is a WHOLE different monster in the image of Black men, but when ever positive actions are done no one wants to put focus on it. At what point will a PR campaign to be done on the positivity of Black Men?

Chicago is full of many Black men that are contributing to the improvement of society from the Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha (my fraternity) to the average man who takes care of his family. However that is never noted, but the violence of a few. So as you read this and see a young Black Male, dont see the negative and dont be afraid.. and most importantly dont assume, but the guy with a fitted cap on and a tshirt maybe more educated than you!

Faith in Education

Quite a touchy personal topic.
Education is something that I value you HIGHLY
As someone who has two degrees and about to begin the grueling process for the a 3rd I value learning but in today’s world I have begun to question what does Education really mean.

I remember coming up, and being the children of two parents that never set foot in college we (my sister and I) that the key to being “successful” (whatever THAT means) is going to school.
My parents were baby boomers so they saw things and lived through times where it was much more difficult to get a college education, so my sister and I intuitively knew we had to do this.

Fast forward to current times
What motivation do you to tell kids to go to college? I know its a taboo subject but lets be real for a second here.
Education has been supremely devalued and almost everyone has a “piece of paper” If you are unemployed you are told to “update your skill sets” by getting certificates and the like but all the costs money.

Articles like this
don’t motivate one to be better as it is.. so then I say this.

If you go to college and incur say 30k in debt, it would make sense to (depending on industry) to get a job to pay off that debt in a reasonable time-frame! (i.e. less than 30 yrs) but the very thing that is made to bey a key to open doors is the very thing that prevents you from walking now.

At this rate, you will need to have a PhD to be a receptionist, all the while most folks who do the key decision making have no degrees, oh the irony!

When I was in architectural school, I used to marvel that the best architects we studied in school where the ones who either didn’t go to school or left, maybe the knew something we didn’t.

Food for thought
N Guy

Ham and Cheese Chronicles Vol 3: 11/12/10; Human Resources Departments, Killers of all things positive

Good morning good people of fb, twitter, and all mediums of social networks.

This topic here is especially sensitive for myself as well as many.

We all are pretty acquainted with how rough the economy has been over the last few years. Many have been laid off and of course folks have been doing what they have needed to get employment, why, well you because you need to pay bills and do all the grown stuff as well do the whole upwardly mobile thingy.

Now if you have been blessed to maintain employment in the last five years, consider yourself blessed because the next part I am going to tell you may shock you.

No more applications:

Now you have to go to EACH company’s website and fill out a LONG profile.

AND send the resume.

Now I have talked to a few HR Managers and they say that, that part is done to ensure fair

hiring practices are done! Go figure.


You submit this after 20 minutes (and this is just 1 application)

and you get the standardized response of “Thank you for applying to xxxxxx, we have many applicants and we will get back to you in xxxx time, please don’t respond to this email.

And you wait,

and you wait

Then after say, 30 days, they tell you, they filled the position, but thank you for your applying and we will keep your information for the next 6 mos to a year.


I filled out this sweepstakes for nothing?!?!?!?

Now imagine doing this all day everyday!

Most of those how to get a job sites, serve no point and more than ever, its about who you know.

So I ask.. truly Why does HR exist at this point?

If you are in HR please share your thoughts, if you been through this process I want you to respond by saying





Good afternoon everyone

Hope everyone has a safe Halloween.

We are also amongst the voting season…

On Tuesday Nov 2, we will be halfway, through the presidential term of the first Black President. Since his election this country has suffered through further economic decline, unemployment and other things. However it hasn’t been all his fault. I am going HAM & CHEESE on American Political Culture. I know of many folks that voted for the first time back in 2008, which was a beautiful thing. Now, particularly, many African-Americans are immediately disenchanted because they aren’t making a million and walking around in a racial and economic utopia. President Obama said from the beginning that it will take time and he ALONE cant’ do it.

We use that and mix that with conspiracy ideology to justify our inactivity to NOT vote. Many are quick to say its rigged or that our vote means nothing, or immediately indoctrinate themselves with a conspiracy theory to justify their inadequacies (Insert Obama is Illuminati, skull and bones etc). The truth of the matter is that deep down I think some people have become comfortable with the victim mentality and choose not to elevate themselves. Oh sure, many say they want change, but who is really willing to get past the microwave pop culture of today and focus on the laborious journey of progress?

It is convenient to have the savior complex of expecting one to lead us to a proverbial promise land, but accountability is must be spread. I will say I have not agreed with everything that President Obama has done, but he has made a diligent effort to improve what has been done to us over 8 years. After listening to political pundits, analysts and the like, the Boston Tea Party members have no interest in helping everyday people. The America they are trying to “take back” puts most Blue collar Americans of ALL colors at a financial disadvantage, and we are fast fading in economic relevance in the world economy.

SO: Whether you agree or not is not the issue, just don’t let apathy and disenchantment motivate you to do NOTHING. If anything if you are so disenchanted with the “system” then I challenge you to either VOTE or step in and do What Che “Rhymefest” Smith did and run for an office. Yes many will not win, but action taken is more respect than inactive words and thoughts.