Southern Hospitality

Margaritas are good.  Especially when they are made correctly.  There’s so many flavors to choose from.  Apparently, in Athens, GA. A Confederate-themed bar called General Beauregard has a not so politically correct flavor that contains watermelon.

Racial Tension

Reportedly, there was a staffer who went to make copies of the bartenders’ recipe sheet at a local print shop.  It was here that an employee who was assisting the bar employee noticed a drink called a Niggerita. Taken aback, the employee snapped a photo and uploaded it online. The post was taken down no too long after, but not soon enough for the photo to go viral.  The establishment issued a statement, of course denying that such a drink exists.

The Real

The true fact remains that there are places, not only in the south but other places as well, where this type of racial insensitivity is the norm.  It doesn’t help that the bar is Confederate-themed.  That’s why it is almost comical to me when people act as if we are crying over nothing when we say that there is still racism alive and active in America.  It’s laughable that things like this happen and our concern receives little recognition.  Quite honestly, if the drink had been called some sort of gay slur the bar would probably be shut down by now.  It just puts our existence in perspective.

How Do We Ignore Racism?

It feels, sometimes, as though we have become immune to racism.  The Niggerita is a sly attempt at humor at best and in no way comparable to innocent black lives being taken by overzealous law enforcement , but it is a small reminder of how America views our race. So do you shut down the bar because they have a racially insensitively named drink, which they adamantly deny? Or, do you carry on as if nothing happened because we don’t expect much more than these types of antics, especially down south? It’s an interesting and difficult question to answer.  In fact it is a question we have been trying to answer since our existence.  Perhaps that is why we are still dealing with it.  Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.


The Aging of Hip-Hop

Yesterday, I saw an interview with Mystikal on YouTube.  I was originally watching an interview with Master P and YouTube chose the next video for me.  I watched, because I had always been a Mystikal fan, way back when he was shouting “I’m out that bootcamp click.”  In the interview he talked about his rap career and where it was headed, then that’s when my wheels started turning.

Back For The Second Time

Mystikal spoke about how when he first got back home he was ready to get back to the music.  He mentioned that Master P was doing other things at the time and he ended up going with Baby and Cash Money.  He said it was this deal that basically saved his life.  He took the opportunity, with P’s blessings, and so this as his chance to get back to his passion.  This is when I started thinking about the age of Hip-Hop.

Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number

As a fan of Mysikal’s work and seeing other YouTube videos of him rhyming, I understand there is still a need for him in the world of rap.  He noted himself in that very interview that he, for a moment, wondered if the rap game still needed him.  With that admission of doubt, I wonder how many rappers ponder their importance to the rap game.  Perhaps Hip-Hop has grown older than we anticipated as youngsters reciting hood anthems and playing cassette tapes until the tape popped.  Are others like Mystikal burdened with the pressure of acceptance? I suppose to a certain degree we all are.  His passion burns so deeply within that he is in search of that avenue to let that passion flare and entertain the crowd like he has for so many years.

The Game Just Ain’t The Same

The more the game changes the more it seems the same.  People who are passionate about what they do will never succumb to the pressures of the outside world.  As Hip-Hop ages, the passion that drives its influencers ages as well, but like fine wine. Maybe it’s because I’m from the old school and still appreciate the Hip-Hop that I grew up with, but when I see talents like Mystikal, Ice Cube, Dre, Master P and Snoop doing their thing, I’m excited about Hip-Hop again.  The truth of the matter is that Hip-Hop has never been just about music.  It has always been an entry of the hood’s sacred diary and our passion is what powers the pen.  Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE!


Relationship Clause

Yesterday, I watched an interview on the Sway in the Morning show.  He was interviewing DJ Khaled.  I’d seen Khaled interviews before and always have admired his business sense.  He actually has developed a lot of business relationships with a lot of people and it has afforded him the claim that “We The Best,” like the name of his label.  But it was something else that sparked my interest during this interview.

Q & A

There was a segment in the show where Sway was asking Khaled to choose between two individuals and declare who the best one is out of each category.  The choices would often be between two people who Khaled had great admiration for or had business dealing with each.  This made his decisions harder.  I laughed because Khaled seemed utterly uncomfortable answering the question of who the best was in each category.  Finally, he said it was too difficult.  He said he had relationships with each of them and could not decide because he respected those relationships. I laughed no longer at his uncomfortable squirming in exchange for marveling at his revelation.


It’s not a foreign concept.  I think at some level we all understand the importance of relationships.  It is just some aspects or instances in our lives that cause us to lose sight of the importance of those relationships.  Perhaps cluttered by the vision of our own desires or agendas, we forget to value those relationships.  Khaled’s admission of these values brings a refreshing outlook on a very competitive hip-hop culture that mimics the dope game so closely, that foiled relationships have become common place in exchange for one’s selfish agenda.  This idea transcends business relationships though.  This includes romantic relationships and friend relationships as well.

Lesson Learned

It’s a simple idea, yet our own selfishness sometimes stands in the way.  The value of relationships are immeasurable. The best thing about relationships is that when valued and nurtured correctly, they turn out to be beneficial for both parties.  With this in mind, so many relationships are mishandled and the benefit fades away for both parties.  Khaled handles his relationships effectively which speaks to how he has become so successful both in the music game as well as being a restaurateur. Maintaining healthy relationships is just as important as building them because there is no point in building something that nobody can use.  Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE!


On The Home Front

Today while I was at the gym I saw an infomercial about giving aid to a foreign country.  I was unable to hear the sound so I’m not sure exactly what the cause was, but it made me think.  As I churned away on the Arc Machine, my mind seemed to churn just as fast.

Giving Away What We Need At Home

I’m always charitable at heart.  I think for the most part, once we become adults we understand the importance of charity and just being able to help others in need.  With this in mind, I understand all of the help the children campaigns and sponsoring underprivileged children in countries that barely have running water.  I guess my concern is that with all of the foreign aid and contributions of many Americans on a consistent basis since before my time, why are these places still under so much financial stress?  Another thing I begin to think about is the places like Detroit, where the head start program was taken away and summer programs are being cut due to financial woes.  Where is the hotline to call in and donate to Detroit.  For this matter, where is the hotline to donate to Chicago, which has been coined “Chiraq” due to its ramped violence and casualties due to gun violence?

Charity Cases

Perhaps it is an old adage.  It’s just tough to understand how we can focus on other places and seemingly neglect some places in our own back yard that need just as much, if not more, attention.  It may be a position that draws criticism, but in all honesty, a place where we as black people still have to be subject to illegal searches and “justified” murders at the hands of law enforcement, is not a place that can be putting more effort abroad than on the shores of its own mess.

Foolish Pride

The term “Proud American” is somewhat absurd to me.  How can we claim to be proud Americans when we don’t take pride in our own neighborhoods? Oddly enough, the black community inside of America has this same issue.  We often times don’t take enough pride in our own neighborhoods but create financial wealth and prosperity for communities that don’t acknowledge or contribute back to us. In a way, maybe that’s why I feel this way about contributing so much to other countries.  It is a more innate feeling I have about my own community and our frequency to put our efforts, both physically and financially to sources outside of our community before putting into our own. Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.


Sticks And Stones May break My Bones…But Words Will Never Hurt Me

TMZ caught Master P coming out of a store and asked about Lamar Odom.  P said some things and of course the most ridiculed thing he said was that he thought Kobe Bryant was phony for showing up to the hospital and being all emotional.  He also went on to say that Kobe could have done more to Odom back on the team because he knew that was the one thing that he loved to do. Because of this statement, P got plenty of backlash, including from D.L. Hughley. Hughley said that P comments were out of line because there is no way to blame another man for one man’s action.  Especially in the case of people who are having issues with addiction.  Both points I see clearly, but something P said in a later interview on the Big Boy Show, made me think about something else.

Words of Choice

P was on the radio with Big Boy at 92.3 LA and stated that he may have had a bad choice of words.  He said he would like to change that and maybe should have used the words “doing the most” instead of phony. P went on then to say it was just his opinion. Then I thought about it.  In a nation where everyone fights for freedom of speech and the right to say anything they want under the laws of the Constitution, why are people so upset about a man’s opinion?

Opinions and Facts

I think most had a problem with P saying or questioning rather, the validity of Bryant’s sincerity in the moment.  It may even be safe to say that P has no knowledge of the true relationship between Bryant and Odom.  With this in mind people turn their noses up at his comment.  I don’t see the harm in it myself.  This is just one man’s opinion.  Coming from where I come from, there is some rational thinking involved in his opinion. It’s how we feel, especially in the black community, when it appears that people who were not around during your struggle, show up and nearly put on a performance to show that the love is still there. I know some people like that right now.  If something were to happen to me at this very moment, there are some people who I just really don’t expect to see at my bed side.  I might too, think that it is phony or as P said, “doing the most.” Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.


Pistols In The Pulpit

I heard some disturbing news from my hometown yesterday.  There was a pastor in Detroit, who shot and killed a member this past Sunday.  There were so many things that went through my head that I could barely think straight.  What I would find out next made things even worse.

Church Folks

Now originally, reports from Fox 2, a local station in the city, stated that the pastor shot a man wielding a weapon who was trying to attack him.  Instantly, I figured some deranged soul was probably trying to rob the pastor.  I mean, it has happened on more than one occasion in my hometown, so it’s the first thing that came to my mind.  Then I learned that not only was this not just some crazed individual, it was a member of the church.  A member who in fact had a close relationship with his pastor at one point.  The news report goes on to say that the pastor says he had been stalked by the member.  Perhaps this was a plea to justify the shooting.  Then more information began to develop.

The Preachers Wife…And Your Wife Too

It turns out that there was an alleged affair between the pastor and the member’s wife.  It was this that prompted the member, whose name was Deante Smith, 26, to confront Pastor Keon Allison, 36.  The alleged affair is also said to have produced a child between the two that the pastor paid to abort.  While all of this is alleged, it prompts two very important questions in my mind.

Faith and Fury

The first question is how much is one person’s faith tested when a man who seemingly was trying to do the right thing by his wife is pushed to the edge after being betrayed by his pastor, who some say was more like a mentor and father figure to the man? It’s an unsettling feeling when you see someone who was trying to do things according to the bible without succumbing to the world after being betrayed by this pastor who served as his portal of spirituality fall at the hands of that very man whom he at one point looked up to in admiration. Smith’s family is in disbelief of the situation, while authorities scramble through investigations to see if the pastor will be charged.  Your faith is tested to the very fabric of your soul knowing that a man who has been betrayed in such a manner, especially by his pastor and ends up losing his wife as if he was truly the one at fault here. The second question may surprise you.

Pastor Packing in the Pews

Is it normal for the pastor to have a gun on him at service?  The incident happened at 1:45pm officials said, this is 15 minutes into the 1:30pm service that was scheduled.  So, are you saying that the pastor was about to be teaching the word of the Almighty with a pistol strapped to his waste under his Holy robe?  This is a concern that nobody has seemed to address.  Personally, I’m not comfortable with my pastor toting a pistol in the pulpit.  To me that is no different than having a teacher in a room full of students with a 9mm on his belt trying to write the lesson on the chalk board. Regardless, there is a man who lost his life at the hands of a man who he once admired.  A man who reportedly had betrayed the trust of a young man and ultimately took his life.  I imagine that the pastor may have indeed feared for his life.  I also believe that he feared for his life because he knew he had betrayed a man and hurt him so deeply that he may have believed that his karma had shown up at church that day. Now he has an even greater Judge to answer to. Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE


Kicked Out The Hood

Today, I looked at an old interview with Spike Lee on the Breakfast Club.  It was actually from 2013.  He was talking about funding for movies and things like that.  The thing that stuck out the most for me though, was his thoughts on gentrification. I actually agree with Spike Lee on a lot of points he hit.

The Context

The word gentrification for many inner-city citizens almost comes across as a bad word.  This is because it represents change.  The connotation of the word is nearly reprehensive to some, because not only does it mean change, but it in some ways means exclusion.  Now, I will be the first to admit that in my hometown of Detroit, there are some places on the east side where I grew up that could use a heavy dose of gentrification to say the least.  The problem though is that the ones who are left are either forced out by development or priced out by real estate. The crazy thing is that the lot that someone’s house is sitting on would be bought for $40,000, then re-sold at over 100,000 once some new high rise or townhouse is placed on it, then the person who once lived there has no chance at ever returning to their neighborhood.

The Hope

The promise of a new invigorated neighborhood in exchange for one that has become downtrodden with blight and mass evacuation is what holds the idea of gentrification in contention with its naysayers.  I agree to a certain degree, as I mentioned before there are a few areas in my old neighborhood that would benefit greatly.  Where I become concerned is with the neighborhood itself.  Like Lee said in his interview with the Breakfast Club, it is the loss of the origin, heritage and history of the neighborhood that concerns me.  When a neighborhood has history and culture, once it is demolished and replaced with high rises, townhouses and Whole Food stores, that history is erased. The culture changes and people who celebrated their pasts would merely have pictures and distant memories with no way of returning to their stomping grounds. Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.


King of the Hill

Yesterday, I learned that a fight ensued following a high school football game this past weekend.  I paid attention to is because it involved my alma mater Detroit King High.  Reportedly a fight broke out following the King victory spurred by a player from the opposing team throwing a punch during the handshake line up.  After this, of course, teammates reacted and it turned into a scuffle.  Now I’m learning that because of this, the King team was disqualified from the city championship that was scheduled for this coming Friday.  Perhaps I’m biased because this was my team many moons ago, but I don’t think it’s fair.

Game of Life

I’ve often likened football to life.  In the sport you form comraderies, build friendships and form bonds with the people on the team.  Much like how a family bonds together.  Often times though, just like in any other sport, athletes get held to a higher standard than most.  Now in a perfect world I suppose one should get punched by another individual and not retaliate, but as it is in life and on the field, sometimes our reactions streak faster than our thinking.  In this case, the clash was ignited by any angry player from the opposition.  With that being said, why is the team who reacted being punished for what was obviously provoked by the opposing team?

Standards of the Game

I understand that players must be reprimanded and such, but to disqualify the team from participation, I believe is a bit much.  Perhaps it is the level of expectation that we hold for adolescence, which I suppose is a good thing, but at what point is the repercussion too much?  These standards are not only at a high school level. This standard follows the athlete through college and even in the pros where professional athletes are basically frowned upon for having human reactions.  Somehow it is as though people don’t expect athletes to react like normal human beings once they’ve taken on the role of being an athlete.

King of the Hill

I have a soft place in my heart for the King Crusaders of Detroit, Michigan.  One because, of course, I played football there when I was young, but also because in the inner city schools, sometimes sports are the only things that motivate our youth and to have that taken away because you were trying to defend yourself is both a lesson in life and hypocrisy.  Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.


A Tough Gig

We live in an age of technology.  Almost everything revolves around the use of the internet.  That is why it is surprising that so many internet service providers are looking to place a data cap on their customers.  Most homes that have cell phone users inside, use their home wi-fi connection to avoid high usage fees from there cell phone provider.  With these new caps in place they may be in a bind with their cell provider as well as internet provider.

Information Highway

It almost seems to be a cruel joke. Every company has an online presence.  They encourage us to visit their sites online.  We are encouraged to pay and view bills online to preserve trees. There are even some phone services that are provided via the internet.  With this in mind, it seems senseless for home internet providers to put a cap on the data usage of its subscribers.

Cap Offenders

Comcast has just notified customers that there will be a data cap enforced.  The cap was already existing in some areas before, but now after examination of users’ usage, it has been summed up by Comcast officials that the average user uses less than the data cap’s 300GB anyway, so most users will not have need for concern.  Other providers like ATT Uverse, already had data caps in place.  In fact the Uverse data cap is 50 GBs less than Comcast.  These types of limitations had already began with cell phone providers who once offered unlimited internet services.  The lone few subscribers who are grandfathered into old unlimited plans however are fortunate to keep their old plans but have to pay full retail for new equipment.  This is because if they take an upgrade it renews the contract and since the unlimited plans are no longer available they lose that privilege.  Most subscribers who are grandfathered in, willfully pay full retail as not to lose their unlimited data. Others create usage charges because they are unable to stay beneath the threshold. People who are used to having unlimited access from their homes however are less conceding.

Data As Utility

Currently, the internet is a service that actually does not incur any tax.  Subscribers who complain to the FCC are looking to have the unlimited usage maintained and are asking that the internet be filed as a utility.  The only issue I have with that is that once it is a utility then it will be taxed.  This means it will be regulated and may cost as much as paying for an overage. It’s somewhat of a double edged sword.  Either way you’re going to get sliced. If you’re reading this right now you better check your data usage, because of course, we’re on the internet as we speak. Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.


The Money Blues

I, like a lot of Americans have a slight disdain toward law enforcement.  Yes, we agree that they are needed, maybe even more so than ever, but the pain and death that has come at the hands of some law enforcement agents is despicable. However, I will be the first to admit that it is definitely one hell of a job.

Protect and Serve

We look to law enforcement to do just as their title suggests and that is to enforce the law.  As of late there has been several incidents where they seemed to have over enforced the law.  With this in mind there is a stigma associated with law enforcement and the people they protect especially those in the black community.  It is true though that as an officer of the law you are placing yourself in danger each day that shield is placed on your chest and that pistol is locked into the holster.  The danger of crime coupled with the community’s disapproval makes it a daunting challenge. But how do you compensate something like that?

Paying the Price For Crime

Statistics show that median salary for law enforcement in major cities is only at $34,000 a year. Can you imagine going into the streets in cities like my hometown of Detroit, Chicago or New Orleans in a heavy crime area, risking your life for $34,000 a year? As much as I dislike the actions of the few law enforcement agents who abuse their power, I have to admit that the pay for this position is drastically lower that what it should be. Of course there are sergeants and detectives police chiefs who make a substantial amount more, but it takes years of experience to get to these stages.  In the meantime officers are risking their lives to make less than an auto worker in a year’s time.

Risky Business

It’s reported that in areas where the economy struggles, there are officers who make as little as $12 an hour.  When you look at this though, the first thing that comes to mind is that financially strapped communities normally present the most opportunity for crime.  With this in mind that officer making $12 an hour is placed in a pretty compromising position every day and makes considerably less than some of his counterparts.  I respect real police officers and the risk that they take day in and day out for subpar pay.  When cities are strapped for cash, the law enforcement and fire department should definitely be making more than the politicians who decide their fate. Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.



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