Monday, September 29, 2014

#BBQ4Merica

Wendy's just won it all with this one.


Monday Kickstart: Setting the Mood

Honestly, this is a million times better than any of the real Cialis ads.


...and nine months later, Iggy Azalea was born.

And if you need something even stronger than Cialis Turnt to get you going, then look no further than Miss October 2013, Carly Lauren:


Let's go.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Respect My Gangsta: Charlo Greene

If Charlo isn't already married, I'm proposing just as soon as my flight to Alaska lands. Go figure the only black woman in Alaska is gangsta as fuckkkk...

[You'll need to turn up the sound, the quality is pretty bad.]



For more on the tale of this gangsta that's stolen my heart, check out Mashable.

Monday Kickstart: Friend or Foe

If you want to find out who someone truly is, just be sure to ask the right questions.



Yeah, that new Key & Peele is going to be real. Season Four is just a few days away.

For this week's inspiration, allow me to introduce the intoxicating Alee Rose:



Let's go.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday: "One Sweet Day" -- Mariah Carey ft. Boyz II Men

Last week, we skipped the regular weekly Throwback Thursday post. Normally that's a sign of me either being too tied up with work, or too absent-minded to remember to put together a post. Neither was the case in this instance, however.

Those who've paid attention have surely figured out that my attention was shifted elsewhere by the sudden and gut-wrenching news I received that morning. In my writings for this site I'm always honest, first and foremost, so I'll tell you that I can't remember a 72-hour period during my life when I've shed more tears. You'll forgive me, then, for this week's Throwback being of a decidedly different nature than the norm.

Given these recent events, though, nothing seems more fitting than this song. Otis was an incredible singer, and a huge fan of R&B. And this 1995 Mariah and Boyz II Men hit harkens back my high school years, when Otis, myself, and the rest of our crew seemed to have the whole world ahead of us. The photos and stories my friends and I have shared this past week have brought that time back to mind vividly and often. I can only hope we get to experience that feeling again in the next life, homie. Love you, O. Be at peace, and rest knowing we all miss you.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Kickstart: The Taste of Self-Centeredness

This clip has been around the internet for a few weeks, but casual racism has been around for a lot longer than that, sooo...



Post-racial America, indeed. Shifting the focus towards more positive aspects of our society, this week's inspiration is a friend of a friend, who's doing her thing out there in the modeling world. I'm speaking, of course, about Pittsburgh's own Mia Bella:


(And for those of you wondering: Yes, she's just as cool as she is hot.) Let's go.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Most Powerful Weapon

I've been... I've been better. These last few days have been a strange mixture of nostalgia and regret, connection and loss, hopelessness and resolve. I can hear 18-year-old versions of Otis and I laughing like ghosts on a fall breeze. And as difficult as I've found this week on a personal level, the world is seemingly falling apart around all of us, from Ferguson to Iraq to everywhere in between. I think I'm ready for a restart. I think I'm ready for the world to begin again, like Prince EA talks about here. Even if it doesn't mean seeing O again, at least it would mean creating a world that would do justice to the short time he got to spend here.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Love is Love

I had a dear friend. Someone killed him.

I suppose that, in and of itself, doesn’t make me much different than a large portion of people on this planet. And, at 35, it’s certainly not the first time I have dealt with death. But this feels different. Maybe the shock hasn’t worn off yet. Maybe it never will.

Otis, for several years of my life, was like a brother to me. We hung out at family barbecues, we cracked jokes and wasted away days, we chased girls at the mall and drank St. Ides Special Brew at graduation parties. We knew each other in middle school, became friends in high school, and then were half of a strong crew of friends through our college years. No two members of that foursome went to the same school after high school, mind you. But we didn’t even consider the thought of not kicking it with each other when two or more of us were home for a weekend or a holiday.

We worked on music together. E and Chris were masterful emcees with brilliant flows. I was the apprentice of sorts; skillful with a pen and a pad, but still raw when it came to making it all sound right on a mic. O, though, was probably the most naturally gifted of all of us. The brother’s pipes were legit, and he could stop a room with one note. He even sang at our high school graduation, something I had somehow forgotten until talking to my mother on the phone today.

Life happens, of course. You can try to fight it, but time eventually pulls each of you in a different direction. Guys get jobs, guys get girlfriends and wives, guys move. In the last ten years or so I hadn’t seen Otis—not in person. I hadn’t talked to him frequently, though the odd Facebook conversation, often centering around one or both of our birthdays (mine fell just two weeks after his on the calendar) was known to happen. Maybe we weren’t still brothers, but the mutual love never wavered. Maybe we were still brothers.

I was there when O brought home his first car, a used ‘97 Mitsubishi Gallant in pristine condition. He was there when Shanti ended my first summer romance. And he was there when subsequent summer romances with Jen and Julie came and went. I wasn’t there when he finally came out to someone in our crew, though. It was something that ate at me. I knew it was up to him to do it when he was ready, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it hurt just a twinge that I wasn’t one of the first people he confided in about it. But no matter what, that love between us was never in jeopardy. We were brothers.

Otis never really liked it in Pittsburgh. None of us professed to, though the rest of us are still here. But O got out, having moved to Florida not long after college. Talking to him after that felt like talking to a new man.

He grew up in a deeply Christian family and background, and I can only guess that it contributed to him feeling at odds with who he truly was. We tend not to think of our world as a very tolerant one today for gay men and women because more than half the states in America won’t let them marry. But when you compare that to what things were like just 15 years ago, when a young man had to pretend he was something he wasn’t simply out of fear that his closest friends and family would disown him, it gives you hope. Florida seemed to give O hope. He was free from the burden he’d lived with for most of his life in Pennsylvania, and was ready to embrace his new life in the Sunshine State.

For reasons I’ll never understand, that new life ended at 35.

People, especially those speaking in Christian rhetoric, talk about loving everyone. Loving your neighbor and your common man, even loving your enemies. Otis had one of those rare souls that was truly full of love. Love for everything and everyone. I’m not a religious man, and have often found it na├»ve at best when hearing those who practice the Christian faith speak of this blind love for all that surrounds you. But Otis was the light that stopped me from totally shutting the door on that philosophy.

Even if he didn’t like you, he didn’t truly hate you. And if he did like you, he showed you no mercy when jokes started flying. He cut up with the best of us, and wouldn’t hesitate to clown you when an opportunity presented itself. But somehow he was always laughing with you and not at you, his eyes shut tight and two big rows of teeth flashing as he convulsed with laughter. There was always laughter.

I had a dear friend brother. Someone killed him.

The laughter, though? That will always live on. Rest in peace, homie. Be there with pound and a hug when I join you.

Throwback Thursday Bonus: Death Row Records Freestyle

They say all you need is one mic. But you really don't even need that, so long as you have The D-O-double-G, Kurupt, and Daz rhyming while Dr. Dre holds it down on the soundboard piano.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Name Games

Consider this the blue collar contribution to today's "fuck this job" vibe.


Monday Kickstart: Take this Job and...

Job interviews are the worst. We all talk shit about people who get hired solely because they're related to the CEO or their aunt was sorority sisters with the VP of Sales; but the truth of the matter is we'd all gladly go that route if we had the opportunity. No one wants to sit through a forced interaction with a complete stranger for an hour, trying make them believe you're actually worth paying money to every couple of weeks.



Something tells me, though, that this week's inspiration, Miss Lindy Elyse, could charm the corner office out of any prospective employer:


Let's go.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Who Are You?

Some of the most intelligent and deep sentiment on Ferguson (and everything else). Prince EA is a smart man.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Throwback Thursday: "I Ain't Mad At Cha" -- 2Pac ft. Danny Boy

Everyone knows this track. While I've always loved it, the video has always been tarnished for me by its eerily prophetic premise and timing: Tupac was gunned down on Sept. 7, 1996 and died Sept. 13th; this video was released on Sept. 15th.

R.I.P. Tupac


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

An Ass Whoopin' -- with a Twist

That...took a weird turn.



Word to my boy Pro on the find.

Watch Your Step

I'll say this for them: These dudes are fearless. Stupid, but fearless.


Tuesday Kickstart: America's Funniest

Nobody hates the America's Funniest Home Videos/Full House version of Bob Saget more than Bob Saget.



He's spent the last 10 years throwing shade at his former self. Don't get me wrong—it's mostly been hilarious. But that just isn't sustainable for long. At some point he's going to have to find a new shtick.

On the other hand, if Nicole Mejia spends the next ten years doing what she's doing and looking this good, you won't hear me complaining:


Let's go.

Friday, August 29, 2014