"Who are you to judge the life I live? I know I'm not perfect - and I don't live to be. But before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean." ~ Bob Marley

Love & Music


Adele’s “21” album saved me from making some bad choices a few weekends ago. Especially #3 and #10.

It feels better to be missed than loved…makes my heart & my face big. Two people text me today, “I MISS YOU!”, and both times it felt good. Because I miss them too.

My little cousin, Laura, was one of those people. Her mom & my real dad are brother & sister. She is one of my aunt’s four girls. Even though she is 10 years younger than me, the woman she has grown into makes me love & respect her so much more than the others. She is my favorite.

Laura has two beautiful children by the “love of my life”. He is also the 2nd man she has EVER been with. His smooth-talkin’, charming, handsome, hustlin’ ass just got out of some boot camp, he’s in a halfway house now…and in a few months I fear he’ll be right back at my cousin’s place, bringing hell & havoc into her life. I know she loves and misses him, she wants to make it work for their kids (her daughter adores her daddy, her son barely knows him), she believes this time will be different and he won’t go back to his old ways in the streets. I know better.

Although he is ONLY the 2nd man she have ever been intimate with, he’s been with everybody. He had a son by another woman while he was in a “committed” relationship with my cousin. I know how that hustlin’ lifestyle, been there done that. The money, convenience, trips, clothes, cars and THAT MAN are NOT worth the headache, hassle, heartache, tears, time, energy….She has been through enough shit and she deserves better. Laura is hard-working (always kept a job even when her man was doin’ them, getting’ money), a loyal person, a great mom, an awesome cousin…I just wish she would move on.

I gave her my copy of Adele’s album. I am always giving music away when I am hoping it will inspire someone. When I was in WV in February, I gave my girl, Jimeia, my Badu CD, “Pt. 2 Return of the Ankh”. Her situation is more solid now than it was back then.

My situation is more solid today than it was a few weeks ago.

I’d like to credit Adele for that. If you don’t own the album, you MUST. If you haven’t heard it in it’s entirety, you MUST. Art imitates life in so many ways, every day. Music is art.

Support the people that make you feel good: family, friends, colleagues, associates. Adele. Musicians need love too. Buy the music you love and put other people on to it too.

Love & music.

(miss YOU, Ashley)

#iCant...

with gossip.

this was inspired while driving home from my sister's tonight. i couldn't write while driving, so i used the audio record feature on my Droid.

this is my first audio blog.  i had to research how-to upload audio files on a blog, it told me to add pics, make a "movie", so why not Dilla?

just some shit i had to say:

video

and remember:  "...it don't take a whole day to recognize sunshine!"

nohashtags

I damn sure ain't no angel, 
there's no devil in my soul,
blindly picking up all the pieces,
this picture will never again be whole.  

"A picture is worth a thousand words", 
it's written on my pixels and lens, 
a dope sick bittersweet love song,
real redemption requires amends.

Fuck a thousand words,
I'd be grateful for just one,
broken people don't fix shit,
feels like Hell has just begun.


thingsilove:



and then iremember:



random
iCant

“He who does not see the angels and devils
 in the beauty and malice of life 
will be far removed from knowledge, 
and his spirit will be empty of affection.” 
~ Kahlil Gibran 


 













Random Thoughts

* The tattoo(s) on my left arm is symbolic. Every part of it represents someone I love. While in the hospital recovering from my car accident, I had a lot of time to think & plan it. It wasn't a fun or freaky thing to do, it was a spiritual journey. I photo-blogged & wrote about the experience. I'm working on the theme for my right arm now. #sleevestory
* "Turning Tables" from Adele's "21" album is the deepest song I've heard in awhile. I felt that shit from her soul because I can definitely relate.

* Speaking of dope music, The Roots new album "undun" will be out 12/6/11. This is the 1st single, "Make My" ft. Big K.R.I.T. #iCant WAIT!
* Photography is my creative passion, NOT my career. Know the difference.
* Speaking of career, I am going back to school to get my Masters; I don't care how many jobs I gotta work or what I gotta sacrifice to make this happen. I need$ that.
* I really have a thing for guys with beards. Like, it's not a preference anymore, it's a pre·req·ui·site.
* Halloween is this coming weekend and I have nada for costume ideas. Mi Madre has a big party every year, she makes costumes by hand and lots of preparation goes into this. I need to plan better. Sidebar: "Halloween" (the original one) is my favorite horror movie, Michael Myers is scary, I love being scared. Gotta dig that out of a box and watch it before October is over. And I need to find someone who can handle being scared to go to Field Of Screams with me. That place is the best haunted attraction ever.

* Speaking of my Mom, now that I've finally told her I can finally tell everyone else: I'm moving back to the city in January. I gave it a year here, I tried. I can't do it anymore. I am not doing what I moved here to do, I am not happy, I'm OUT. A lot of deep family shit went down this past year, so it was good to be here, close, rest up, heal. Then there's my goddaughter, the baby & her shit. It's always someone else's shit. I need my OWN shit to be about. With that being said, I'm OUT. Gonna work these 2 gigs, save money, get through the holidays with my family, then New Year it's new me, doing me. I miss you, Philly, I can't wait to come HOME.
* I had a very dope opportunity to move very far away. Not only did I consider it, I pursued it. I discussed my options with my siblings and a few close friends. The plan was to not tell my Mom until after her birthday; I didn't want to hear all of her reasons why my move was a bad idea (and I didn't want to add to the stresses we were already going through as a family following my Uncle Steve's suicide). My brother brought it up at a family gathering at my sister's one afternoon very nonchalantly, my Mom overheard it and reacted just as I anticipated. After a lot of thought, I decided I could not and would not do that to my family at this time, I need to be here, to be close. Besides, I have a lot of shit I need to handle here in the States first. I miss you, Jamaica, I'll be back again next year. RASCLAT!

Happy Born Day J Dilla

The late, great James Yancey aka J Dilla aka Jay Dee was born on this day in 1974. Detroit's finest.
Not only was he a dope producer, he was a father, a brother, a son, a friend.....
Celebrate life and good music. Thank you, Dilla...your genius is missed.

"J.Dilla: Still Shining" from B.Kyle on Vimeo.
...and you can download DJ Houseshoes Presents J Dilla: The King James Version Mixtape...

SUPPORT & DONATE to the J Dilla Foundation
Dilla jawns I <3:





Short bio video I found on YouTube that a fan did. Kinda cool....

...and probably yours too.

#iCant

Further proof that men take video games too damn seriously. I died, resuscitated and died all over again watching this, SMH



Sidebar/Disclaimer: I do NOT condone WSHH. Someone sent me this fukkery in response to a conversation we had re: men and video games. I really fuckin' can't, people.

Tony

Hey Tony, my bad about phone.  I smoked and took some Nyquil, gonna lay down.  
I don't think it's a good idea to talk w/ you though being that you're married.  
Good luck tho getting what you're looking for? 
Not judging you, just sayin I don't think this is a good idea.  Later.
(c) Me via text
25 January 2011
12:30 am

For some reason I thought of THIS:



And THEN I remembered THAT...

...he was SO trashed! It was random running into him that night. LMAO, good times w/ my bro, Anwar. S-O Kelly LMAO

Mi vida loca...

R.J.


I walked through the employee entrance at work today for my 3-11 shift and saw 2 envelopes in my mailbox.  I was off yesterday, but when I was in Tuesday, there were 4.  Getting mail feels great.  Old-fashioned, write a letter,  address an envelope, put a stamp on it, mail.

My kids write me from placement, home, jail.  I send them cards, letters, quotes, journal prompts, words of encouragement,  get-in-your-ass lectures.  I used to think the letters from home were the best.  These kids were now free, not confined, back in the world...and they took to write me.  They tell me about their new days, about PO meetings, drug court, special schools, they ask advice, they tell me secrets...it makes the emotionally draining days worth every minute of it to connect w/ my kids.

One of the envelopes in my mailbox was from R.J. (for privacy reasons I cannot reveal my kids' identities, ethnic backgrounds, etc.)  When I started back in September, this resident was already there and had been there for some time.  He was waiting to find out if he was going to be tried as an adult and was in a very stressful time of his life.  This young man is no angel...these youth are not sent to me for singing too loud in church!  This resident was accused of a serious crime - pistol whipping an elderly couple, tying them up and robbing them along w/ two other youth.

When I was first encountered him, he was being defiant and refusing to do school work, chores, etc.  He wanted to be placed in Unit Restriction (UR), which is a disciplinary unit for violent offenders.  The only time they are allowed out of their rooms is for a 4-minute shower and bathroom breaks daily.  By not being violent and simply refusing all programs and treatment, he got what he wanted.  He was placed on UR for his remaining time at my facility.  One day I was assigned to that unit w/ another staff member.  I spent the majority of those 8 hours at R.J.'s door, sitting outside his room while he sat on his desk and told me about his family, his upbringing, his fears and his dreams.  I was off the following day, but instead of doing nothing he asked for a book.  And instead of refusing ALL his food, he drank his orange juice (because I told him that night when we talked that starving himself was ridiculous and "at least drink the orange juice" b/c he needed vitamin C since he hadn't seen the sun in so long, LMAO).

This resident is extremely bright.  Charming.  Very "grown" (he's been through a lot, seen a lot, done a lot...you wouldn't doubt this after one conversation w/ him).  And he's only 17.

So the day before my birthday, he was sentenced to 3-7 years.  He is now upstate at a very real, very big, very crowded, very adult prison.  No more juvie for him.  My heart broke a little bit.

But I also feel for the victims.  Just because my residents are children and troubled youth does not excuse them for their crimes.  I do feel that we need laws, justice, reparations, punishment, discipline...but we also need ALOT of treatment, forgiveness, patience.

I cannot get up and go to work every day believing that the youth are hopeless and all is lost.  These children are products of their environments, our environments.  They are starving for attention, for discipline, for direction, and some are just plain starving.  A lot of these situations I do blame the parents.  R.J. didn't have a single visit or phone call the entire time he was in my facility.  And his family lived two counties over.  Maybe 30-45 minute drive.

One of those envelopes in my mailbox today was a birthday card.  From R.J.  He remembered my birthday was the day after his court date...and he spent $3 that he probably didn't have to buy me a birthday card.  This kid has nothing and no one...and he thought of me.  The few lines he scribbled in that card made me feel in my heart I am right where I need to be.

For all the headaches, heartbreaks, disappointments and long double shifts, grimey co-workers and bosses who play favorites, some nights only getting one break when I really need four and we're supposed to get 2...the list could go on w/ all that's wrong in my life, about my gig and what I do.

 A quote I posted on my FB wall yesterday before any of this went down today couldn't apply more than it does right now:  ‎"Concern yourself not with what is right and what is wrong but with what is important." ~ Unknown



Duck Down Records 15th Anniversary @ the TLA in Philly!

Thursday, October 21st, 9 pm - 2 am, 21+
 

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!  

I'M SHOOTING THE SHOW FOR two.one.five., SO CHECK BACK FOR THE PICS!

SUPPORT HIP HOP, #PHILLY & two.one.five. 



Little Brother @ the TLA

Saturday, September 11th I hit the TLA w/ my ace, Chantelle.  Little Brother performed with DICERAW, The Money Making Jam Boyz (Slim, Truck & Dice were present - The Roots Crew represented!), Mars Co-Op, DJ Phsh & DJ Statik were on the wheels, Joe Scudda & Chaundon rocked...it was an EPIC show & great night for hip hop in Philly.
Phonte & DICERAW
I shot the show for two.one.five. magazine, you can check their site out HERE.  Special thanks to Kim, Chris & the guru Tayyib - that man does great things for this City.  #getfamiliar  #support
Phonte, Tayyib, Pooh 



All of the photos are also over on my Flickr.  Check em out, bookmark my page :)
Joe Scudda & Big Dho
I had a blast, it was great seeing the fellas again...the only thing that sucks about being the photographer is you're in NONE of the shots :(  No matter, I will never forget that night.  And S-O LB's manager, Big Dho, love that dude right there!  Follow him on Twitter, hilarity!  
Chantelle & Dunny 


This is LB's last tour, so if you don't catch them this time around, you may never see them perform live.  Sad but true, LB is no more.  #goodtimes