Extremism and Terrorism Within Religion Isn’t New: The KKK and Woodrow Wilson

There were Black towns burned to the ground (Tulsa, Black Wall-street), Black bodies swinging (men, women and children), a judicial system that protected the worse of society and our political leaders who supported terrorism. This wasn’t the Middle East, but the United States of America that lead the flag in terrorism of their own citizens to which they lived in terror and when they fought back were given a heavy blow of how monstrous their fellowman can be.

Kendrick Lamar’s Billboard 100 Comments on Ferguson and More

“I wish somebody would look in our neighborhood knowing that it’s already a situation, mentally, where it’s f—ed up. What happened to [Michael Brown] should’ve never happened. Never. But when we don’t have respect for ourselves, how do we expect them to respect us? It starts from within. Don’t start with just a rally, don’t start from looting — it starts from within.”

Before I dissect Kendrick’s comments, let us stop acting as if Kendrick Lamar is a Johnathan Gentry; he isn’t. I respect Kendrick as an artist and as a person, but his comments were inaccurate to a degree. Yes self-reflection is important, but let’s not pretend or misdirect what is really happening here. Black Americans are not disrespected on a daily basis, because a few do not respect themselves or the rich heritage they come from. We’ve been disrespected and marginalized since slavery became a legal institution exclusively towards Black Americans by 1650. We’ve been disrespected and marginalized, since the days of Jim Crow and Tulsa Oklahoma. It is completely disingenuous for anyone to say Black Americans aren’t being treated properly under the law, because a few do not think more of themselves.

In addition to that it is also not rational to rationalize unconstitutional behavior by pointing at someone else’s self-loathing. It is like saying a victim needs to look within themselves to figure out why they are being victimized. How about the victimizer delve in this self-reflection as well? Anyone who knows me know I am about self-empowerment and leaving excuses to the waist side. That means I will also not accept failure from my community, but I will not defend, rationalize or legitimize others spitting on my community.

Now I will leave off with a great song from Kendrick, because I do love myself!

Favorite Verse

[Verse 3]
I went to war last night
With an automatic weapon, don’t nobody call a medic
I’ma do it till I get it right

I went to war last night
I’ve been dealing with depression ever since an adolescent

Duckin’ every other blessin’, I can never see the message
I could never take the lead, I could never bob and weave
From a negative and letting them annihilate me
And it’s evident I’m moving at a meteor speed

Finna run into a building, lay my body in the street
Keep my money in the ceiling, let my mama know I’m free
Give my story to the children and a lesson they can read
And the glory to the feeling of the holy unseen
Seen enough, make a motherfucker scream, “I love myself!”

Mick Jenkins: Chicago Hip Hop

The Water[s]

Chicago has undergone a creative renaissance in the past few years, one of a depth few anticipated. Compared with earlier regional moments, where local buzz propelled a handful of artists to the national stage, the Internet’s clear-glass window into this world—and the increased marketing savvy of even its least-established teenagers—has made the city’s multiple scenes appear saturated. This is further exaggerated by the reams of imitators the city’s bigger stars—Chief Keef and Chance the Rapper—have inspired. With limited oxygen in a competitive space, a raft of rookie artists have stubbornly hoisted themselves into the air, grasping for whichever angle best fits.


Black Sheep




Son Little – “Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches”

John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker (Coahoma County, Mississippi, August 22, 1917 – Los Altos, California, June 21, 2001) was a highly influential American blues singer, guitarist and songwriter.

John Lee Hooker could be said to embody his own unique genre of the , often incorporating the piano style and a driving rhythm into his masterful and idiosyncratic blues guitar and singing. His best known songs include “Boogie Chillen” (1948) and “Boom Boom” (1962).

There is some debate as to the year of John Lee Hooker’s birth, 1915, 1917, 1920, and 1923 have all been cited, 1917 (the date on his grave marker in Oakland, California) is the one most commonly cited although Hooker himself claimed, at times, 1920.


Hillbilly Music

 Black Hillbilly Music

DeFord’s family played tunes that were part of a rich tradition of string band playing shared by both blacks and whites in the early nineteenth century.

“White and blacks would be playing music and dancing at what you’d call a barn dance—you clean the ground off and put sawdust down on it and make it soft where you can dance. Well, they’d look out and see the Baileys and they’d say, ‘Here come the Baileys, we’ll turn the thing over to them. They would usually have a fiddle, guitar, banjo, harp, mandolin, and drums.’”

During slavery times, musicians were highly valued. In fact, many slaves were sent to New Orleans to train on the fiddle in order to entertain at plantation dances. After emancipation, many of these fiddle players kept their instruments and developed their own playing styles. DeFord’s grandfather, Lewis Bailey, was one of these musicians. He was a champion fiddle player, considered “the best in Smith County.” DeFord learned much of his style and repertoire from the early influences of his grandfather.

This style of music, which DeFord later called black hillbilly music, started to fade in the 1920’s when the record companies came south to record traditional music. For marketing purposes, the record companies segregated music into white and black series. They believed white people would buy only country music performed by white musicians and that black people would buy only blues and gospel music performed by black musicians.

Even though the Mississippi Sheiks made some early recordings, the younger black musicians who grew up playing black hillbilly music quickly learned that they needed to play the blues if they wanted to get recorded. Slowly, the older black string bands began to disappear.

The few surviving black string bands had a direct influence on many of the classic country stars, including the Carter Family with Leslie Riddle, Bill Monroe with Arnold Shultz, and Hank Williams with Rufus “Tee-Tot” Payne. The black string band tradition is all but extinct today. The last remnants can be heard in the music of Joe and Odell Thompson from North Carolina, in the style of the late John Jackson, in the driving fiddle of Howard Armstrong, and occasionally in the work of Taj Mahal.

The instrumentation included the banjo, introduced by the African slaves via the minstrel shows, the Scottish “fiddle” (the poor man’s violin, simplified so that the fiddler could also sing) and the Spanish guitar (an instrument that became popular in the South only around 1910). Ironically, as more and more blacks abandoned the banjo and adopted the guitar, the banjo ended up being identified with white music, while the guitar ended up being identified as black music. For example, Hobart Smith learned to play from black bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson, but went on to play the banjo while Jefferson played the guitar.




Freddie King

Freddie King (September 3, 1934 – December 28, 1976), thought to have been born as Frederick Christian in Gilmer, Texas, originally recording as Freddy King, and nicknamed “the Texas Cannonball”, was an influential African-American blues guitarist and singer. He is often mentioned as one of “the Three Kings” of electric blues guitar, along with Albert King and B.B. King (though he was the youngest of the three).



Howlin’ Wolf


Howlin’ Wolf was born on June 10, 1910, in West Point, Mississippi. He studied with bluesmen Charley Patton and Sonny Boy Williamson before eventually signing with Chicago’s Chess Records. An enthralling performer, he had hits like “The Red Rooster” and “Moanin’ at Midnight,” and by 1960, he had begun working with songwriter Willie Dixon. Revered by U.K. rock artists, Wolf died in Hines, Illinois, on January 10, 1976.


Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

Loved his music and style; he was the Dr. Strange of Blues/Rock music.

Born on July 18, 1929, in Cleveland, Ohio, “Screamin'” Jay Hawkins was a piano prodigy and boxer who worked with Fats Domino and Tiny Grimes. Hawkins had a hit in 1956 with his bombastic take on “I Put a Spell on You.” His career became known for its wild stage antics, with the singer wearing bones and rising out of coffins. After later appearances in film, he died on February 12, 2000 in France.

Breakthrough Song

In the early 1950s, Hawkins worked such artists as Tiny Grimes and Fats Domino before striking out on his own. It took two tries to score a hit with his best-known song, “I Put a Spell on You.” The first version for Okeh Records failed to attract listeners.

During his next attempt for Columbia Records, he and the studio musicians drank heavily during the recording session. The result, which Hawkins claimed not to remember recording, was a bluesy, voodoo-tinged single filled with boisterous vocals, including moans and other sound effects. This version gave him his first hit in 1956.





Black Messiah D’Angelo: The Vanguard-Really Love

D’ Angelo’s New Album

My Commentary

I’ve always loved D’Angelo’s music and this album is now added to my roster as well. I grew up on the Neo Soul sound; Maxwell, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and the list goes on. D’Angelo was a power house and in the same league as his contemporaries until personal issues caused him to take a long hiatus, but that can be said for many of the greats (cough Lauryn Hill). I also don’t have to remind people why he is in such an elite league with albums like Brown Sugar and Voodoo. D’ Angelo always had the talent of mixing different aspects of African/Black American culture into an amazing stew of sound. This album is no different, it just has a extra dose of political and social commentary. Especially in light of the recent tragedies pertaining to police brutality that has finally surfaced into mainstream media again since 1992 (Rodney King) or the 60’s for that matter.

This album was a must and greatly needed; not only is the social commentary there, but the musicality is devastatingly good. Again not surprising if you’ve listened to D’Angelo’s overall resume. Some damn good music. Now let’s get into the tracks with The Needle Drop.

D’Angelo and The Vanguard-Black Messiah 


This album is a 9.5

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