Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Whispers - Rock Steady Official Video

Years ago, I was a partner at a small record label handling promotions and distribution. It was then that I met Sound of Los Angeles Records Chief Dick Griffey (He had a really raspy voice) and his second in command Virgil Roberts. While the meeting did not lead to a successful partnership it left a lasting impression on me. For one, Mr. Roberts stopped me in the middle of my proposal and asked how long I had left til I got my college degree. I answered, a year and a half at least. He stopped me several times advising me to GET THE DEGREE!
Dick Griffey was the Real Deal! A Real Record Industry Player! A Real Independent, Self Made Mogul.

At the time of our meeting, he was taking the SOLAR Record Label and converting it into the J.Hines Record Distribution Company. Berry Gordy of Motown Records always struggled in the long term because he didn't control the manufacturing or distribution of his labels records. It was litchpin that eventually proved to be part of Motown's undoing.

Game peeped Game!

Dick Griffey, a Night Club Booking Agent along with fellow Pioneer Don Cornelius started Soul Train Records in 1976. Like Soul Train it was independent but Don Cornelius and Dick did not stay in the Record Label business together. They made a cool split and Dick started SOLAR Records. (THE SOUND OF LOS ANGELES) Dick had a serious eye for talent! He took two Soul Train dancers Jeffrey Daniels ( Pop Lock Dance Pioneer and He showed Micheal Jackson the Back Slide or Moonwalk) and Jody Watley and created Shalamar! This group had hits with two lead singers before settling down and gelling with Howard Hewitt. Just think what if Don had hated on Dick saying You can't use my dancers? We would have missed out on somthing great! But these Brothers were cool!

He took a young Pre-Baby Face guitarist named Kenny Edmonds out of a Funk Band called THE DEELE and made him a Solo Artist! After Bootsy Collins dubbed Kenny "Babyface" then Kenny and LA Reid lit out for Atlanta and started LAFACE Records! They produced Whitney, Usher and TLC. ( You might have heard of them)
He was responsible for ushering in many a Pre-Luther Vandross Baby Making period with hits from the Whispers and Midnight Star. He shook the fat off of many a booty with Lakeside, and gave the Women Everywhere the FIRST ALL GIRL FUNK BAND in Klymaxx!

He gave Leon Sylvers III his shot! In return, Leon wrote and produced hits for SOLAR all through the 1980's. Dick Griffey was so bad that he gave Two Young Prince Proteges a chance to produce records. You may know them as Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. I think they went on to work with some chick name of JANET Jackson!

Now back to my meeting with Dick Griffey. I met with him for only about 15 minutes with the other partners from the label but I can recall reading an article in the now defunct New Times about how Dick Griffey and Virgil Roberts were being sued by Eric Easy E Wright and brought up on RICO Charges for allegedly helping a up and coming Mogul by the name of Marion "SUGE" Knight get Dr. Dre, the DOC, Michelle and a few others released from their contracts with Ruthless Records and providing some the start up capital for Future Shock Records Better known as Death Row Records. Of course, Suge ruled the nineties with an Iron Fist, oops, I mean HITS!
Of course, it was never proven that Dick Griffey and Virgil Roberts were part of any conspiracy to coerce Eric Wright into releasing Dr. Dre and neither Messrs. Griffey or Roberts were never convicted of Racketeering. (that would make them gangsters) Of course some or all of it may be urban legend. Needless to say I went into my meeting though with both eyes open and a firm grip on the door handle. Just in case (Wink)

Well, our label wanted a press and distribution deal. In other words, we just wanted the manufacturing side of J. Hines (Solar) and for them to place our records in the stores alongside their other products. One thing that any aspiring recording artist should know is that Product Placement is super important!
Dick Griffey had 30 Plus years to learn and build relationships with the record stores, radio and promoters. NO Matter How HOT Your Artist's RECORD IS IT MEANS NOTHING IF YOU CAN'T GET IT PLAYED, PROMOTED and PLACED IN A GOOD SPOT IN THE RIGHT STORES TO BE SOLD! Dick Griffey understood that better than most Record Execs ever will and he did something about it.

Recently, the Mogul succumbed to complications following heart surgery. He leaves behind his Wife, Children, Grand Children and numerous Brothers and Sisters that loved, admired and respected him.

God Bless! Rest in Peace until The Lord Returns for you!

BE Prayerful! BE Mindful! BE Careful!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review: Undercovers

NBC's Undercovers starring Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw
I watched Undercovers last night. Two Black leads on a major network in an action/drama. Historic! We haven't seen a Black lead performing in this kind of role since Dr. Bill Cosby was on I Spy in the 1960's!
Yeah, it's been that long!

Now, I get that the show can be compared to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith."  They are similar.  Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw play a married couple who are "Retired" CIA field agents. They own a struggling restaurant and are both called back to active duty to complete one mission.

Now, the show is produced by JJ Abrams, cool! The show has car chases, stuff blowing up, exotic locations, some light comedy relief and most importantly two very good actors who also happen to the very definition of Eye Candy!

Problem! For Boris Kodjoe, that's the problem with Undercovers! Style over substance! Years ago, he was casted alongside his real life wife "Nicole Parker" in 2005's UPN produced "The Second Time Around." That show suffered cause it had NO PLOT, NO SCRIPT! But damn, those Black People were Pretty! Nicole Ari Parker, Melissa Desousas, Danielle Nicolet! All EYE CANDY! No substance, no plot, weak, wooden characters! This show suffers from the same thing.

If a Black Couple were as purdie as these two and owned a restaurant they would be a very PUBLIC couple. They would be featured in UPTOWN magazine, on the cover of VIBE, they'd be at parties with Russell Simmons.  Chef G. Garvin and The Neely's would do interviews with them and they'd schmooze! A moderately successful Black couple like that could be considered a POWER Couple in the Black community

They'd be on the cover and sooner or later some Baddie from the past would eliminate them! For any story to work it has to be plausible.  Both Black Folks are wearing coveralls in an Madrid Bank working on the Security Systems? In Madrid? The idea that Black folks are CIA operatives is not unbelievable just ask any Afrikan American political group. 

By the way, group of possibly White American Writers, Black Folks who work for THE FBI, CIA and Various Police departments or belong to the Republican party, for example,  are not looked at favorably by a large majority of Black Folks!

Our (Afrikan American) views of Patriotism for America is different than our Euro-American Brothers and Sisters.  But all that aside, You want ME to believe that Gugu Raw is a CONTRACT KILLER/Covert operative that specializes in misinformation and overthrowing countries but there is NO Darkness in her soul? What kind of tests did you give her to determine that SHE would be a suitable operative? This should be included in the writing!

Some of y'all suspect a few people of being informants NOW! (Laughter) No, if this show fails and I believe it has. It is because of shoddy writing. You have to tell a good story! You must have well developed characters, they have to be interesting. These aren't! The IDEA is interesting! No, I think that certain screeners are desperate to appear diverse and intoxicated on the IDEA of  having two Black leads in a series that look as appealing as these two.

A good story, a well developed plot and interesting three dimensional characters.  This show only has 1 dimensional characters that are extremely pretty, a sub par plot and a sub par story.

Sorry Boris! Better luck next time!

BE Prayerful! BE Mindful! BE Careful!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

YAY For Mike Vick! Redemption Step 2

Mike Vick is now the starting Quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.  KEWL! Now, I am a DIE HARD RAIDER FAN and that ain't gonna change but I'm happy for Mike Vick! I got tired of football folks acting as if Mike Vick was a washed up has been.  Mike Vick had a $100 Million dollar contract and was on the cover of Madden just a couple of years ago. Mike Vick was one of the most feared of a new style of Quarterbacks! Big like a linebacker, fast like a running back that included Dante Culpepper. 

He went to jail for financing a dog fighting ring! He trained, fought and killed dogs.  He was disgraced, he was fined and he was incarcerated.  That's right! He was JAILED and he lost his FORTUNE! Philly gave him a shot after two years of incarceration.  He backed up Donovan Mcnabb!  Philly wanted something or someone  different and they BOOSTED UP KEVIN COBB, the Young Quarterback heir apparent.  COBB is not ready yet and Mike Vick is NO Has been.  He's a Proven STARTER who committed a CRIME, got caught and served time!

There are still people who don't want to ever let MIKE VICK have a day in the sun.  That's a shame! Forgiveness and Redemption are things that we value so much. Well, at least that's what we always highlight in the movies.  Mike Vick's been hanging with the always classy Coach Tony Dungy, so he's not gonna say this but since I ain't hangin with TONY DUNGY i'll say it for him. 

Years ago, I was surprised to learn that Actor/Comedian Tim Allen is a convicted Felon! He sold cocaine, He was a real Drug Dealer! He got caught and did time.  Right before he went to prison, he started to do stand up. He told the comedy club owner that his name was Tim Allen Dick (Yes, that's his real name) and that he would be going to jail soon for selling drugs.  He went to PRISON! He came out and went into comedy.  Funnie, didn't he have a top 10 family comedy called Home Improvement? Yeah, he did.  He has told his story but no one ever says HEY! There goes Tim Allen the DRUG DEALER! He does movies! Family Movies of which I am a fan! Well, except for Santa Clause 3.

Movie Star/Television Actor/Convicted Felon TIM ALLEN

Eff all them folks that won't forgive and move on! Mike Vick didn't RAPE a College GIRL! He was not accused of SEXUALLY Assaulting anyone. He did not drive drunk! He did not cheat on his taxes! He did not fire a gun in a nightclub.  He did not spit on a fan.  He did not drive his vehicle onto the sidewalk and take out "Fluffy" Grandma's faithful yorkie! There are some in Professional Sports that have been accused of and that DID some of the above that are playing and living their lives.

HE fought PIT BULLS for ALOT of MONEY! HE fought PIT BULLS for ALOT of MONEY!

HE fought PIT BULLS for ALOT of MONEY! HE fought PIT BULLS for ALOT of MONEY!

He killed the losers and the ones who would weaken the breed. He is now a Felon, he can't vote now.  He will always have to explain what he did when he was in his 20's for the rest of his life! It may keep him out of the Hall of Fame one day! Some dog lover who has a vote may decide that Mike Vick can not enter the hall even if he does good works and great football for the next twenty years.

He fought some Damn Dogs! DOGS not HUMANS! THEY are NOT THE SAME! You've forgiven and given second and third chances to far worse for far worse! Get over it!

Thank God (IAM) for Redemption and MIKE I'm routing for you!

BE Prayerful! BE Mindful! BE Careful!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Update! Reggie Bush Gives up the Heisman!

It's amazing when a Black Man dates a White Woman all the problems that he encounters in LIFE from that point become the fault of dating the WHITE Woman! Example! Billy got hit by a car! Shouldn't nuh been effin with that White Girl! Comedian Chis Rock!

Reggie Bush Loses the Heisman! Shouldn't Nuh been effin with that White Girl!

Heisman Trophy Winner and Current NFL Star Reggie Bush has returned the Heisman Trophy amidst allegations that he was ineligible to play during the 2005 University of Southern California Championship Season after the NCAA sanctioned the University for NCAA Rule Violations.  The University has vacated all their victories and the Championship banners, disassociated themselves from Mr. Bush, changing the Media Guide to reflect only five not six Heisman Trophy winners, receiving a two year post season Bowl ban, and forfeiting 30 Scholarships. 

For this writer this serves as a cautionary tale for all Marquee High Profile College Athletes in ALL SPORTS! There are plenty of people who want to make money off of you and they will use many different means in order to gain your favor and entice you to accept gifts. In Mr. Bush's case, it was gifts given to his family, including money to buy a new home. For Mr. Bush it was supposedly a new vehicle which he drove on to the campus.  Athletes DO NOT accept GIFTS! Don't DO it!

For the University of Southern California, I'd like to say this! STOP BEING EFFIN HYPOCRITES! If Reggie Heisman Trophy Winner Bush drove on Campus with a NEW EFFIN VEHICLE you should have pulled REGGIE and HIS FAMILY in and made sure this was KOSHER! Now, giving you the benefit of the doubt, maybe you didn't know. Or maybe you felt as the Bush's did that while it might have been wrong in the spirit of the law it was not wrong technically cause the ATHLETE didn't accept any monies directly!

Reggie, You a great Trojan! There I said it! Even if the University has decided to set you adrift in the battle! YOU STILL A USC TROJAN and the TRUE 2005 HEISMAN WINNER! Go out and BE TRUTHFUL and HONORABLE about this situation. Spare no names cause they have not done the same by you. By the way.....

I don't think it was cause you was Effin around with that White Girl! That ish is hilarious though!

BE Prayerful! BE Mindful! BE Careful!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11th!

I was off work when my Girlfriend called me and told me, "Turn on the News!" An airplane just hit the World Trade Center.  I was thinking that this was a freak accident.  I wondered how in the hell did a pilot managed to do that?  Then, as we were speaking a second airplane hit the tower! My God!

Within a week, I understood the absolute horror of what had occurred. Osama Ben Laden didn't win because he and his followers committed a heinous act of violence, they could win, because there were and are some people in AMERICA that would finish the job that he wanted to do for him! Those people.....are us!

We have seen the enemy and it is US! POGO Comic Strip!

When we stop believing in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution then we are no longer AMERICA! We believe in the Freedom of Religion, Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Speech! We do not believe in slavery! We believe that a person has the right not to be harassed and arrested without cause.  Well, there were some who are being detained indefinitely! There are those who have been investigated without warrant! Why? Fear! That's not the way America should be run.

That is the way of Osama Ben Laden and others who feel that they are the chosen, the anointed ones who can decide what people should believe.  Well there is only ONE GOD and Osama Ben Laden is not IT!
I have the right to believe what I choose and to criticize it when I believe it to be necessary and I will not let that freedom be taken from me! This is America! Good, Bad, Worse and sometimes better!

I believe in everyone having the chance to better themselves but not at the expense of someone else! With in a week of September 11, I started a newsletter called "Outside the Lines" the document and give voice to what was happening! Why? Cause, a Muslim Friend's Uncle was assaulted in New Jersey at gunpoint because he was a Muslim.  Two Men in suits walked up into the Shades of Afrika bookstore where I once worked with a can of paint and painted over some political graffiti that read "Free Mumia Abu Jamal and Leonard Peltier!" BLU Magazine which was a far left magazine cover politics, arts and music was shut down and the commune that supported it's staff as well.  This was not the America that I was taught to defend!

It was What Osama Ben Laden and unfortunately what some in America would have it to BE. 

You will not win Followers of Satan! YOU HAVE LOST! As long as we remember that Freedom does not begin and end at who has the biggest gun! WE WIN and WE Remain AMERICA!

To all those who's lives were lost in the horror of September 11, 2001 We remember you! To those who are alive and remember in the words of Songwriter Dave Frishberg "I hope my children live to see.... a land like my country used to BE.

BE Prayerful! BE Mindful! BE Careful!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Todays Weapon! Ahisma! Do no harm!

I wrote on the principle of Ahisma (Non violence) on Mista Jaycee's Stretchin out http://www.stretchinout.blogspot.com/ not too long ago but it got me to thinking.  Yeshua (Jesus) when speaking to the crowds and his disciples "Bless them that curse you!" "Love your enemies".

This week, the news covered alot about this So called Christian Pastor who planned to burn copies of the Noble Quran on September 11.  Was this a Christ-like response to the horror of that day? Of course not! What is non violence really? It does not mean that I don't hit you back when you hit me! That's wrong and simple minded.

True NON-Violence means that you wrap yourself in the armor of LOVE! Without the supreme love that comes from the DIVINE you can not combat the forces of darkness.  If you wrap yourself in the armor of love, and eat the bread of the divine. (Bless them that curse you) then you are first dealing with the darkness in yourself! I'll admit it! I got pissed at alot of what the Pastor proposed to do. 

I know Muslims and have family members and friends that follow Al-Islam.  I listen to them and how they feel their religion is portrayed and understood in this country. Well, what about mine?  I've taken the time to read the Noble Quran, it's a beautiful book.  I hope and invite folks to read the Bible because it's a beautiful book.

Most of all. I hope that people would try to live the principles in all the Holy books. Love God (IAM) and each other and if not then treat each other with respect.

Ahisma! Do no harm!

BE Prayerful! BE Mindful! BE Careful!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

You will never Burn My Quran!

You will Never burn this Christian's Bible, Gita, Yoga Sutra or Quran. These words are in my heart!

Jesus never had to Burn Anyone's Holy Book! Maybe cause he knew HE was HOLY!

BE Prayerful! BE Mindful! BE Careful!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rumor! Reggie Bush to be stripped of his Heisman Trophy

Pro Football Star/Heisman Trophy Honoree Reggie Bush

University of Southern California Alumni and Heisman Trophy Winner Reggie Bush must be privately saying what the Eff?  I know that I am! The NCAA determined that the Student Athlete received improper benefits while playing at the University and in a draconian move stripped the University of 30 scholarships and Bowl play for the next two seasons.  The University is not allowed to associate with Reggie Bush in any way while the University is under penalty.  In response, the University, sent it's Heisman Trophy back to the Heisman Trust without being asked, changed their media guides advertising that USC has 6 Heisman Trophy Winners to 5 and painted over the murals honoring Bush.  Why?  Reggie Bush won the trophy for what he accomplished on the field! Did he use steroids? Did he cheat on the field? He proved he was the best on the field fairly and honestly.  His team proved they were the best team on the field as well.

The current rumor is that the Heisman Trust is considering stripping Bush of the honor advising that he was not eligible for the award during the 2005 season.  This seems peculiar, did Reggie Bush do anything that to dishonor or defame the Heisman? No! He's been a honorable dude in the NFL.  This seems to be an unprecedented move as well. USC Graduate/Hall of Famer and former Murder suspect OJ Simpson has not been stripped of his trophy! He has not been the most honorable dude or a great representative of the Heisman Trust since leaving USC. Murder trail aside, OJ Simpson has gotten into constant scrapes with the law even before that Bull ish conviction in Nevada. Yeah, I said Bull ish! USC could have covered OJ's murals and disassociated itself from him and no one would have blamed them.  But Reggie Bush? What the hell? How many recruits is OH JAY Simpson gonna bring to USC?  No, this reeks! It totally reeks! Hey USC! I guess, the checks in the mail too for all the money the University of Southern California made because of Reggie Bush! Glad to know that since you've held yourself to such high standards of integrity and honor that you will BE doing that too.

Hey! How bout vacating all the victories too! Taking down the banners! Come on! HONOR! INTEGRITY! It's about right RIGHT? Not the 30 lost scholarships or the two year bowl ban! Right? The University of Southern California of course will allow Bush to keep his education and degree right? You won't be asking Reggie to return any scholarship money right? Of course, if you do then, YOU wouldn't feel angry if Bush charged you a Million dollars a year for his services while he played there? Since he wasn't a STUDENT right? He must have been a PROFESSIONAL right?

Reggie Bush should be able to keep his Heisman cause he won it fair and square. USC did not deserve to be penalized to the extent they were but it serves as a reminder to all Student Athletes and especially to the BLACK STUD! Opps! I meant STUDENT ATHLETE that they will use you, and when THEY are DONE they will throw you away!

BE Prayerful! BE Mindful! BE Careful!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

New Poetry! I Scream Poem!

Written for a Female Homie that needed a poem

I scream! …. I Scream!

It seems I never have the boo-tay that fits these jeans!

Bell leg, straight leg, hip huggers or low rises are never

Manufactured with these thighs in mind!

This statement is not subjective just an unfortunate fact that Levi’s and Lee don’t care that they lack
A pair a jeans that fit! A Pair of jeans that Fit! A PAIR OF JEANS THAT FIT a WOMAN with a Real pair of HIPS!

Why is it so difficult a demand for the manufacturer to meet? A pair of jeans that flatters a chick with some backseat meat!

Bell leg, straight leg, hip huggers or low rises are never

Manufactured with these thighs in mind! This statement is not subjective just an unfortunate fact that Levi’s and Lee don’t care that they lack

A pair a jeans that fit! A Pair of jeans that Fit! A PAIR OF JEANS THAT FIT a WOMAN with a Real pair of HIPS!