Thursday, February 26, 2015

Classic Corner: For The Cool in You

by Da CogNegro

"It's Friday night. And the mood is right! Gonna have some fun, show you how it's done T.G.I.F." No, this is not the jingle for the new "Two for Twenty", Jack Daniels' signature rib deal at TGI Fridays. Rather, this theme song signified the beginning of the weekend for us eighties babies. Yes, before we were allowed to go to the club and jam to one of Teddy Riley's fifteen groups, we were treated to two hours of sitcom bliss! Well, really an hour and a half .The 9:30 PM slot was a rotating cast of failed concepts that would drive Ubu into a rampage of humped legs, missing shoes,  and humped missing legs!

You've been wanting me to sit for the better part of the decade. Obviously  your obedience school sucks!

TGIF gave us such great shows as Dinosaurs, Perfect Strangers, Step by Step and the legendary Full House. I mean, without Full House, how else would we have been introduced  to a neutered Bob Sagat, pre-bulimic Olsen Twins, the comedic genius of Dave Coulier (snickers) and Jesse and The Rippers! Did you hear what I said!? Jesse and The Rippers!!

We just pretend we are a real band, like One Direction...and flash!

But the show that left a lasting impact on my adolescent/teen years was the Cosby-esque offering called Family Matters. We all know, love and are quite familiar with the show and characters. Don't act like you've never let Eddie sleep on our couch in between his acting gigs, questioned Carl's sexuality on at least twenty-three occasions and secretly searched for Judy Winslow's other *ahem* acting ventures. I'm still trying to figure out just how many boxes of Just For Me  little Richie had to use to get the perfect bounce for his curled mullet.

Of course, the stand out star was Jaleel White's Steve Urkel. The urban myth states that Urkel's character was just suppose to be a one-off but people enjoyed the clumsy and some time catastrophic antics of the teen nerd so much that not only did he become a regular cast member, but the show soon centered around him and his undying, and quite obsessive, love for everyone's teenage crush: Laura Winslow.The Urkel shtick lasted well into multiple seasons. However, the formula was beginning to grow tiresome and redundant. So through the genius of the Gods, and maybe some cocaine, the writers thought of a way to refresh the Urkel concept by introducing Steve's alter ego: The baddest mofo in the land, Stefan Urquelle!

I'm The Juggernaut....

Tired of coming up short in winning Laura's affection, Steve decided to concoct a Cool Juice, which ain't nothing but Ultra Perm. He used this formula  to fuel his transformation chamber, which is a hit in many hostels abroad, and created this "cool" persona. Stefan was everything that Steve wasn't; cool,suave, debonair, and a great dresser. When Stefan showed up a Laura's house party, well I can show you better than I can tell you!

And that's exactly how I approach every girl that I'm interested in. I don't care what the setting is; club, tollbooth, Library of Congress etc. Of course, the one thing that Stefan lacked was Steve's compassion and this did not sit well with Laura. Therefore, he reluctantly changed back into the Steve Urkel we all know and tolerated for another five seasons. Eventually, Stefan wound up being a separate character  but neither I nor the CogNegro's readers care to unearth such tepid details and jump the shark moments.

I single-handily ruined this sitcom and created a catchphrase aiyeeee!

So why did I decide to detail a sitcom character that came out over 20 years ago? Well obviously you haven't been paying attention to my write ups as they all are so wonderfully random! The character of Steve Urkel  himself is a landmark in television...well, perhaps that is a bit grandiose. But for the first time that I could remember, you had  a young, African American male  who was an inventive genius and did not fall into the rigid confines of what can be coined as being"black". For goodness sake, he liked polka, ate cheese, and had a nasally voice. But suddenly, he was able to flip that persona into the quintessential ladies man! I'm so glad I had the opportunity tell him in person how much I appreciated his portrayal and his dedication to the character. And with that's cold as two polar bears who lost a bet on the Superbowl... "I'm  going home!"  (CogNegro Out)  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Reel Talk: Nas: Time is Illmatic

Synopsis: feature length documentary detailing the creation of Nas' debut album Illmatic and the conditions that influenced its' creation. 

Review: Whether you're a hip hop aficionado or casual listener, Nas: Time is Illmatic succeeds in detailing the intricate and painstaking creation of not just one of the most influential albums ever but also the evolution of the man who penned it.

Official Trailer

Sidebar: Join me next week as the CogNegro unveils the highly anticipated "Top Ten Movies of 2014" right here on Reel Talk! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Take Five: Nonsensical Rap Lyrics

Some years ago, I wrote two critiques on the state of hip hop entitled I Love Her, I Love Her Not. Much has changed  since then ,except the fact that the Knicks are still horrible!With those changes, nevertheless, the unthinkable has occurred: rap music has gotten worse! Maybe I am just getting old, but when I need to order a series of Rosetta Stone self help tapes to understand what is being said, then I know that this music is no longer  made for me. Sure there are some diamonds in the metaphorical "rough": Elzhi, Blu, Childish Gambino etc, but if I can count ,on one hand, the number of hip hop albums I have purchased in the last ten years, then we indeed have a problem! So you can keep your Young Thugs and Future(s)! I'll simply record my self speaking through a fan and post it on Soundcloud next to some guy who looks like he pushes pallets at Home Depot chanting "Baking Soda...Baking Soda!"

5.) Weezy F Baby and the "F" is for Phenomenal
-Lil Wayne: (Yes)

CogNegro: Well  at least we know the F isn't for "Fonics"!

4.)Rockstar, flier than an ostrich. And I cover east, west, north, south like a compass!
-Juelz Santana: (Black Republicans)

CogNegro: I never took Juelz to be the type that would carry a compass, especially with the advent of GPS technology. Ah well, perhaps he's just on a good old Safari in search of the ever elusive FLYING OSTRICH!!

3.)We from Two Different Cities, Minnesota and Philly.
-Freeway: (Best at it)

CogNegro: Though his name may be "Freeway", he obviously has not traveled on  too many. For if that was the case, he would be able to know that Minnesota is a STATE!

2.)Moving in a Grand Prix, same color as thunder.
- OJ Da Juiceman.: (I'm Getting Money)

CogNegro: I hated when I would reach in the communal box of Crayons in kindergarten and the thunder colored one was taken! Oh,  that's right, OJ Da Juiceman eat it!

1.)I can never blow all my dough. When I get at least ten  people robbed at all my shows!
-Paul Cain (Money Power Respect)

CogNegro: Now I can't imagine Paul Cain having more than ten fans (currently or in the past) but if they did spend their hard money to come support him, why would he have them robbed? Don't you want your fans to come back? Wouldn't you think the word of mouth alone would be a career killer?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Classic Corner: [E]motion Pictures

by Teresa Leggard

Awards show season, which I didn't even know was a “season” just a few years ago, is quickly becoming one of my favorite times of year. I think it’s because I love movies now more than ever. I could rationalize my growing affinity for film with this equation: sad times in the real world = need for escape. But it feels more like a second childhood kind of thing to me, or a first childhood—depending. 

From what I remember and what I've been told, I was a pretty serious kid. Not quite the Annie Hall flashback where a young Alvie Singer was distraught that the universe was expanding, but I was far from the carefree, imagination-runs-wild, believes-in-fairies type. Deemed “mature for my age,” I thought practically about things. So movies, often being the vehicles for fantasy and imagination that they were, didn't do a whole lot for me. Sure I could enjoy them, but always I was painfully aware that the things I saw were not only make believe but also highly improbable, especially for me. Animated features (cartoons in general) were my favorite kind of movies, and the least problematic, because there was no teasing. An illustration with motion and voice-over was still just a drawing. No one was trying to convince me it was real.

As an adult, I’m not so sure that the countless grown-ups who complimented my “maturity” didn’t actually do me a disservice. Perhaps it was just to placate a plump young girl with smarts, “she has to dress in big girl clothes,” they thought, “we can at least tell her she’s advanced.” But when, as a child, a grown-up says a good thing about you, you tend to keep doing that thing. So in attempts to continue being mature, I forfeited a lot of childhood things: whimsy, daydreams, risks… I didn’t ask for what I wanted; I didn’t strive to get anyone’s attention; I didn’t act out. Which is to say, I didn’t act. Oh, but I loved it! Being on stage, speaking before an audience and eliciting a response, the practice-practice-practice before a production. Thrilling! But it wasn’t practical. Getting good grades, helping out around the house, getting a job when I was old enough, that was “mature.”

Those decisions served me well, I must admit. I graduated, earned degrees, got a good job—all the accouterment of a typical, “successful” adult. But here, at this place of stability where there’s nothing left to do but work, pay bills, wash, rinse and repeat, I want nothing more than for an unknown entity to pop up on my laptop monitor and tell me to follow the white rabbit. I’m learning now that imagination begets creativity, and fantasy is just the dramatic highs and lows of real life emotion cloaked in special effects. Children don’t need help with this, but adults do. That’s why we need the movies.

Awards shows give us a glimpse into the very real world of professional make-believe. I can watch people be celebrated for choosing to live their dreams and create fantasies. I know for every actor, director, screenwriter, etc. that makes it to an awards show there are thousands who don’t. Everyone, actors especially, seems to be acutely aware that they have one of the best jobs in the world. Hyperbole notwithstanding, I’d have to agree. They play, become different people, and acquire new skills along the way. (The checks don’t hurt, either.) I once heard an actor refer to the profession as “advanced pretend.” I loved that. 

When I watch a movie, I actively try to disappear into the camera lens. The analysis comes later of course, but I’m happy to believe whatever I’m told for that hour and fifty minutes or so. I’ll go through the wilderness to return a ring or walk west to deliver a book or grow up with a first generation Indian American boy who doesn't realize his father’s efforts until it is too late to say thank you. I am enamored with these stories and thankful there’s an industry that brings them to life. It takes gall and a bit of selfishness to spend your life in a “want” field. From a bare bones perspective, people may not need movies or TV to survive, and at a time when so many are struggling I sometimes chastise myself for not having a more practical skill. I’m a writer—I can’t build anything; I don’t know how to heal people or grow food. While those skills are vital to existence, stories are vital to life. So maybe it’s not a “want” industry.  Maybe we need movies more than we know.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Reel Talk: Interstellar

Synopsis:A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in an attempt to ensure humanity's survival 

Review: Christopher Nolan is often the smartest director in the room, which usually results in a heady yet,ultimately satiable experience.However, Interstellar falters at times due to its' over thought dialogue and laborious plot that doesn't quite engross viewers to be patient enough for its' development.(C+)

Official Trailer

Monday, February 16, 2015

Corner Spotlight: Roman GianArthur - I-69

As one of the more prominent faces of Janelle Monae's Wondaland collective, Roman GianArthur is definitely cut from the cloth of 70s R&B and Funk. So enjoy your ride on I-69, where love is  mutual!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Retro Corner: Eddie Murphy Just Styled on Me (February 12th 2007)

 In celebration of my 100th entry, I decided to revisit  ,what can be considered, the first, unofficial CogNegro's Corner blog post. Enjoy this newly remastered and re-digitized post for the first time in stunning HD! That basically means I'm adding a picture of the Norbit poster and a caption!

*l*i* never went out with me again after I took her to see this garbage and I don't blame her one bit!

"Ok, I usually don’t utilize the note feature on this thing called FaceBook, nevertheless ,the recent atrocity that I viewed called Norbit has left me no other choice. I mean, it’s partially my fault! The commercial alone was rejected by TIVO. First and foremost, I will go through a checklist of various notions, items, and actions that make up a smorgasbord of stereotypical, or as my boy Derrick calls it ,“Coon Cakes”,that make up this exhibition in Minstrel Show-ism. Yea, I made up my own word! So what! Dyson does it all time!

1.Gold Teeth (Check)
2. Pimps
3. Jerri Curls (Yup)
4. Cuba Gooding Jr. (This alone suffices my claim)

alone suffices my claim)
5. Overbearing lazy, Obese, Dark Skinned black woman who is always loud….
6. Thin , innocent mulatto heroine who always is loving and understanding
7. The emasculated, nerdy, no back bone black male who is sexually incompetent
8. The thug caricature, just got out of jail, socially dejected, dim-witted bullies (Black Bucks)
9. Ribs and Greasy Chicken….
10. Black Men Who Don’t Take Care of Their Kids
11. A Mob chasing black men out of town (Only thing that was missing were the Nooses.)
12. Weaves (Ugly Colorful Weaves)
13. Cuba Gooding Jr. (I just had to stress that once more)
14. Washed Up Comic View Comedians
15. Eddie Griffen being allowed to talk
16.Clifton Powell looking for another check....

Any movie that makes “Soul Plane” look like “The Color Purple” should be avoided like the plague. The only thing that was missing was  the “Black Face! I’m pretty sure that will be included in the deleted scenes though. In conclusion, Eddie Murphy should lose his Oscar nomination for co-signing this garbage. And if he does win, he should go to the nearest pawn shop,forfeit his coveted trophy, and send us all checks for the money we stupidly spent in hopes that we might see the genius of Coming to America. Alas, he will probably just tell us he’s making Pluto Nash 2 or More Snakes on a Plane (They Didn't Die Ya'll)


Eddie Murphy Owes Me Money…

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Classic Corner : The 100th Entry!

By Da CogNegro

"So here we are! Just me and youuuuu, (OooooYea)." Oops, I just opened my latest  entry with lyrics from Jodeci's Stay. But it's appropriate because that's been my whole intention with this blog. I just wanted you guys to stay a little awhile and see what makes me..."ME". I have some ego huh!? The nerve of "I" to believe that people would take time out of their busy day and buy a proverbial ticket to the mind of a young kid from Arlington Gardens, Jersey City who was afraid of the California Raisins, well I'm still a little leery of those bastards, collected comic books, and some how manged to make it through high school ,with red spray painted hair nonetheless, without a scratch on him. Yea this kid needs his name in lights  right now! But before we change the marquee at the Apollo, "Sup Cat" has something he's been itching to say:

Interestingly enough, "The Corner" did not originate on this blog spot, Nope! For those who thought that was the case, I would like to steal a quote from my Ex when she didn't want to hear me talk anymore: "Na Na Na Na Na." "The Corner" actually began as me writing movie reviews and mini critiques via the book we call  !FACE! The original name of those entries were called "Sherman's Rants". Geez ,how original, kiddo! I simply did it because everyone else was using the "Note" feature and I didn't want to be the only kid wearing LA Gear light up sneakers while the cool kids were sporting  Jordans!

So I noticed that I was getting a considerable amount of feedback from my Norbit review. So much so, I started tackling other subjects that ranged from the controversial:Preciously Bamboozled, which was my sociopolitical critique at Hollywood's tactics of profiting off  of black suffrage,to the inane: debating why bears may play spots one day. Whatever the subject, my intention was always to provoke conversation as well as share a bit of me from the confines of my own husk.

I had a ton of ideas, however, my motivation got strained as I started focusing my creativity in other areas, mainly poetry. Someone had suggested that I create a blog to display my work. I was  initially against it for the mere idea  of  daily  postings  potentially diluting my authenticity and creative process. However, I told myself to stop being so pretentious. What resulted was a hodgepodge of personal work, arbitrary lists, and the unveiling  of D.S Williams' first album :Strength in Letters! 

Take That Self Humiliating Whammy!

The most recent incarnation of the blog came about after I returned from my cruise this past fall. I had not written an entry since the release of the album. In fact, I hadn't performed or recorded any work in years. I grew disenchanted and  would  only occasionally plug into the public sphere through Facebook status updates and random notes. However, a young man I met during my vacation  basically told me that if I have a gift and I choose not to use it, I was slapping God in he face!

 Now  for those who know the CogNegro,  you all are quite aware that I'm not the most religious chap. However, this made  a great deal of sense to me. I always thought of it as being egotistical to think that I made an impact.But truth is...I do! And there's nothing wrong with believing that! In fact, we all do to an extent! That's why this space is just as much yours as it is mine The most important lesson that I  have gained in my travels is that there are literally thousands of people waiting to see what you've painted, listen to the music you have created, read the articles you have written, debate the opinions you have posted, and be inspired by the person you are, flaws and all! Use your gift and use it proudly! If you don't, you may waste it haphazardly and nothing leaves a more permanent stain than wasted ability, well fruit punch is a close second! With that said, let's end this entry with a "Thank You" for all that have supported me on my adventure and a "What the hell are you waiting for?" for those who haven't signed up yet! Now, Hi-Fives for everyone! 

Take Five: Lupe Fiasco's Albums

In honor of the release of Lupe Fiasco's latest, and perhaps last, hip hop album: Tetsuo and Youth, we will rank the discography of one of the most talented MCs ever! So, without further ado, let show go on!


Rating: 3 out 5 Mics.
Be it Atlantic's attempt at trying to make Lupe a household name, or Mr. Fiasco's disenchantment with the music industry ,there is a  pretty general consensuses that Lasers is his "weakest" album. Now Fiasco's weakest attempts are stronger than most artists' greatest achievements. But an act like Lupe is held to a higher standard!Songs such as Coming Up and I Don't Want to Care Right Now  are desperate attempts at mass appeal, the very opposite of what Fiasco displayed on the now classic track Dumb it Down. Even songs that had that signature Lu commentary, such as Beautiful Lasers [2 Ways] and State Run Radio, were hampered by contrived choruses and the use of auto-tune (Ugh).This is not to say that the album is void of bright spots. All Black Everything  and Words I  Never Said are strong additions to Lu's catalog!

Rating 4 out of 5 Mics
Positioning your album as the sequel to an arguable classic can set the bar, as well as the  listeners expectations, quite high. It is a lofty feat that usually results in a lukewarm reception, Blue Print 2 ring a bell? However, Food and Liquor 2 presents a somewhat "return to form" for Mr. Fiasco. LU  commences to use his scalpel as a sledgehammer when it comes to dissecting the contradictions, sins, and maladies of America. Whether he's tackling religious hypocrisy in Lamborghini Angles, chastising the current musical landscape in ITAL (Roses), or challenging the reigns of  self responsibility ,when it comes to the formation of misogynistic imagery, in Bitch Bad, Lupe is clicking on all cylinders! My only complaint is that midway through the album, it starts to become musically redundant. Tracks such as Battle ScarsBrave Heart and Form Follows Function tend to blend together to the point that the selections sound like one continuous track, outside slight  audio variances and subject matter of course. Lu also gets a bit lazy on Cold War as well. Perhaps this may have been done intentionally due to the topic at hand.  Some profess that this album came off preachy. Well I for one felt that  the message was timely and relevant. In fact, it was indeed  a breath of fresh air after the poorly received LASERS.


Rating 4.25 out of 5 Mics
Perhaps the most difficult Lupe offering to grade, Tetsuo and Youth is by far his most ambitious album. Fortunately, his risk is  mostly our reward! Sonically, it is the best album that Lu Carrera has crafted and lyrically, he is at his Apex. So why isn't this album ranked higher?  Well, Tetsuo and Youth can be compared to a favorable abstract painting: you can appreciate it for its' merits and the ability to formulate your own interpretation. However, due to its' nature, the full value may be difficult to ascertain for the mere fact that it is  indeed, abstract. Though Lu's lyrical dexterity is on full display, Mural is nothing less than epic and Deliver,  along with Madonna, are quite blistering to say the least, the perplexing, or thought provoking, nature of his lyrics take away the joy of being able to be fully immersed in some songs.  Tracks such as Little Death and Body of Work are beautifully arranged!  However, even after multiple listens or ,in this case studies, one can grow frustrated at the attempt of trying to derive meaning from what is being presented. Is this evidence of a masterpiece, or pretentiousness under the guise of art? Whatever the case, this is the most opaque that Mr. Fiasco has ever been!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Mics
Ah, our introduction to Mr. Wasalu Muhammad Jaco. After teething on his Fahrenheit 1/15 mixtape series, we were all salivating at the idea of all out offering from The Coolest *****. And boy, we were not disappointed! Lu offered something fresh to the game! He was part Tribe Called Quest, part Blackstar,  1/4 of Nas and an ounce of Jay, my math may be off but hey, I was an English major! Lu truly showed he was a conglomerate of all that was good in hip hop. Kick Push showed his ability to create multiple surfaces when it came to expression. The Cool showed us a preview of his uncanny story telling ability while Sunshine gave us a peak at his sensitive side. However, Lu shined brightest when he daftly tackled social issues with  such tracks as American Terrorist, He Said... She Said and Daydreaming. Hurt Me Soul, however, has to be Lu's crowning achievement ,which contains one of his greatest verses backed by a moving Needlez beat. Even classics can have missteps though.The Instrumental has never been one of my favorite tracks, and Real had to grow on me as well .But even with those blips, Food and Liquor is indeed a benchmark in Hip Hop.

5 out 5 Mics

Well that wasn't too suspenseful was it?  When the only flaw on your album is the pitch of a sample ( Gold Watch) then you really are looking at an unprecedented opus! Lupe demonstrated that he not just merely attempts a type of song, but  could also master it as well! You want a crossover hit that will be used in countless commercials? Well here's Superstar! Want a pulse pounding rock song? Enter: Hello Goodbye. How about a whimsical tale peppered with social commentary? Well I guess you Gotta Eat. A song that is too "gangsta" to show remorse? Boom, Put You on Game. And the list goes on and on! On top of that, this album  also contains a conceptual  narrative, one in which I won't spoil. Unlike TetsuoThe Cool successfully weaves the abstract with the accessible. Are there some intricate moving parts here? Absolutely! But you  will realize that  finding the pathway to understanding isn't as murky as his latest album. Also, Lupe is able to evoke great emotion and empathy from the touching tale of Hip Hop Save My Life  to the cautionary anecdotes of Intruder Alert. The album accomplishes what every artist seeks to achieve: balance! Such a feat has positioned The Cool as not just the best Lupe Fiasco album, but the best hip hop album in the last fourteen years!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Corner Spotlight: Nikka Costa- Bullets in The Sky

Soulfully,haunting vocals? Check. Potent, social commentary? Indeed! Infectious backdrop? You bet'cha! Looks like Nikkia Costa's Bullets in the Sky accomplishes a hat trick!


(Verse 1)
When your faith lights the canon 
When your pride is pulling triggers 
And nobody is left standing 
Tell me where's the God in that 

You can say the war is over 
Try and sell that to a mother 
Sent away her heart and got back a stone 
Now it's quieter than she's ever known 

Takes one second to breathe in and out 
One decision to believe or doubt 
One heart beating echoes in a crowd 
Cryin' for change and only tears get out 

Mam's cryin' bullets in the sky 

Raining, raining tears on each side 
Fight for love don't love the fight 
Mama's cryin' bullets in the sky 

(Verse 2)
Now the fewer and the braver 
Hope and pray their faith won't waiver 
Then fate taps them on the shoulder 
A blink of an eye 

The path of fear we're being led to tread 
Is paved with wasted life


Mam's cryin' bullets in the sky 

Raining, raining tears on each side 
Fight for love don't love the fight 
Mama's cryin' bullets in the sky 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Reel Talk: Selma

Synopsis: A chronicle of MLK's campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.  

Review: Selma succeeds as a beautiful portrait of  progress  and triumph as well as a stark reminder of the sacrifices that were made to obtain basic human rights. Ava DuVernay's  skillfully captures a rare, intimate and vulnerable glimpse into the  life of the towering figure known Martin Luther King, rousingly portrayed by David Oyelowo. Bravo! (A)

Official Trailer

Friday, February 6, 2015

Good Friday: The Bronze Standard

The African Renaissance Monume :

A 49m tall bronze statue located on top of one of the twin hills known as Collines des Mamelles outside of Dakar, Senegal. Built overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the Ouakam suburb, the statue was designed by the Senegalese architect Pierre Goudiaby after an idea presented by president Abdoulaye Wadea.Site preparation on top of the 100-meter high hill began in 2006, and construction of the bronze statue began 3 April 2008. Originally scheduled for completion in December 2009, delays stretched into early 2010, and the formal dedication occurred on 4 April 2010, Senegal's "National Day", commemorating the 50th anniversary of the country's independence from France. It is the tallest statue in Africa!*

*Information derived from Wikipedia

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Reel Talk: Beyond The Lights

Synopsis: The pressures of fame have superstar singer Noni on the edge, until she meets Kaz, a young cop who works to help her find the courage to develop her own voice and break free to become the artist she was meant to be.

Review: Beyond The Lights manages to pluck familiar, emotional chords with a tender, delicate story of exposed pictures of perfection and the beauty in the discovery of flawed ambition and dreams.(B)

(Official Trailer)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Classic Corner: Success and Happiness

By Veronica Fitzpatrick

Over the last year, I have found myself contemplating what success and happiness actually are.  How do you measure success?  How do you measure happiness?  Are they just ideas that we make up in our minds based on what other people think?  How do we know when they are achieved?  I realized that all the answers are within you and things don’t have to always be so complicated.

One of the definitions for success states that it is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.  In order to achieve success, you need to have a purpose.  Does that mean once you achieve success, you need to find a new purpose in life?  The definition sounds so terminal, like it’s the end of something.  I want to keep moving and progressing.  Achieving success shouldn’t mean it’s the end and you don’t want to strive for something else.  In this human experience, we evolve and redefine ourselves over time.  Figuring out what your purpose is in life is a struggle for many of us.  Sometimes it’s like some of us are aimlessly wandering through life without direction.  We have talents and interests, but how do we decide what our true purpose is?  We study for years, earn degrees, and fight our way up the corporate ladder, only to find that we don’t even want what we are chasing.  Who decides if we are successful?  It’s all about perception.  You have to believe that you already have everything you need before you can believe you are successful.

True happiness – the state of being happy.  There have been times over the last few years where I questioned happiness and what it meant to me.  Maybe I was dealing with bouts of postpartum depression or maybe having children changed the way I thought about life.  Either way, the question remained.  Looking for corporate success does not equate to happiness for me.  I am happiest when I am spending time with my family and my friends.  I am happiest when I am spending time with just me!  I am happiest when I focus on spirituality (not religion) and my connection to every living thing in the universe.  There are so many distractions:  politics, reality TV, materialism, what you think everybody else is doing, etc.  Unplug and go off the grid for a while!  Remember ,(or figure out), who you really are before you let anyone else decide what happiness is to you. 

We all have a purpose.  We just need to shut up and listen sometimes.  Like I said before, things don’t have to be so complicated.  We can choose to be happy.  We can choose to be successful. We can choose to continue to learn and progress.  We can choose to just... be.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Why Do We Do These Things: It'll Make You Smack Somebody (NSFW)

Filmed in some random church attic furnished by a Ikea that went out of business, Alexyss Tylor drops the
"K-nowledge on the power of the "Pee-Nus"! I didn't know that my organ is actually a
"heat seeking missile...encoded with information" thus enabling me "to do what it do." Sounds like the perfect plot synopsis to the adult parody of Interstellar.  I don't care how good it is, you pull a gun  out on me and we will quickly be reenacting  a couple of scenes from Harlem Nights including, but not limited to,someone loosing a pinky toe in a random alley! You have to love how she segways from professional "sexpert" to Pearl from 227! I wonder if she accepts Obamacare?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Corner Spotlight: Kenna Featuring Lupe Fiasco- Say Goodbye to Love (Remix)

This was my official get ready and go to the club/lounge with plans of intoxication and talking  jive to all the foxes that cross my path theme song of 2007/08! Say Goodbye to Love and  say"Hello" to unadulterated revelry!


Stoned plus and quite out of his mind 
No rosemary and runnin out of time 
A seasoned veteran, let him in, fine 
He's cool, double pressed, get him, rather a find... 
Say he can't leave the girls alone 
But they'll never know like skulls and bones 
The window to his soul and the gulf wing doors 
To his club is closed, and his celly's on roam, 
He's gone 


The mission is to make you forget 
And now is all the time that we get 
How could you say you're not into it 
Trust me, God is my witness 

To say goodbye to love 
I feel like I'm nowhere 
Say goodbye to love 
I feel like I'm nowhere 
Just say goodbye to love 

It's got my mind in a twist 
I can't think or see straight 
I guess I'm leavin it up to fate 
It's all in what you make of it 

Just say goodbye to love 
I feel like I'm nowhere 
Say goodbye to love 
I feel like I'm nowhere 
Just say goodbye to love 


It's fear and loathe in here 
Whole lotta japanese clothing, weird 
Mark Ave's... 
A couple pin-ups like I bowled a spare 
Blyeh, yeah 
And Prefontaine's theme song playin on a plane 
as it sky-writes the hell vetican letters of his name 
The microphone damier, checker if you lame 
Chip on shoulder turn checker to a king 
Vegas on my body but Mecca on the brain... 
My charm's like connected to a chain 
I should check into insane asylums, volumes... 
Aesthetically rich, so that look there
That took care, that took time, but that took pear 
From apple to peach, to mac book air, yeah. 


You know it goes 
On and on, gone, gone 
On and on, gone, gone 
On and on, gone, gone 
Gone gone on 

Just say goodbye to love 
I feel like I'm nowhere 
Say goodbye to love 
I feel like I'm nowhere 
Just say goodbye to love 

Love Love Love Love 
I feel like I'm nowhere (love) 
Say goodbye to love (love love love) 
I feel like I'm nowhere (love) 
Just say goodbye to love