The Smoking Section (Masthead) Respect Our Fresh!

"The More You Know, The More You Owe..."

A man is only the sum total of the parts that have been put into him....To the kid of the street, for whom there is nothing particulary compelling about the tomorrows of adulthood, ambition is an item of immediancy. It's about accumulating repsect and its various accoutrements- about getting the rep, about having things; about making people evnious or intimidated if not both. The pressure on the homie is not to get into Stanford but to be a man; to be a man here and now becuase it's time to do something and people are watching...

Right now, I'm working on the other side of town.

And although the Eastside ("Out East" as everybody in the hood says) is only twenty minutes away, it's a whole world away socially and economically.

The look of poverty and struggle that's so impassionately repped in our current music sounds like a Wonderland of guns, violence & excitement that you can exit like a game of Laser's not.

I understand that some people haven't really had to experience situations like this on a daily, hands-on basis. The hood looks just fine when you're listening about it or you're looking out of your car window.

But when you get into it & get on its level, the face of it is filled with anger...its eyes are simulatenously ferocious and frightful.

And it's not reserved strictly to one ethnic group.

Yesterday's hood was stereotyped as being full of Black folk.

Today's hood, and today's America, is filled with socioeconomically disadvantaged people.

I care for them all, but of course, my affection of for the young Black males.

It is similar to being face to face with Bigger Thomas' multiplied and personafied.

And when I see it, I wonder if that's what I looked like to the people who reached and put a hand out to pull me up to the next level.

Because there's one thing about being a Black male, regardless of your geographical location; hood or the burbs - you know at all times you are or could become a target.

Nothing can buy you a new skin color.

I was recently rappin' with a female counterpart as she explained her disgust that 40K women had been "shipped" into Germany for the World Cup, strictly for the purpose of prostitution.

I asked her to pardon my ignorance, but I don't give a fuck about a tramp turning tricks in Germany.


I understand the dynamics of power & oppression.

I understand that what happens/is happening on a global level, and even with that particular situation, is part of the system of oppression of that tells certain groups that they have no other choices and they must accept what's given to them.

That same system of oppression is the one that tells these same young cats I deal with daily that they can either sling crack rock or have a wicked jumpshot © Biggie (can we add rap to that equation?)

But, I know I can't change the whole world.

Again, pardon my ignorance, but if it don't happen in the 615 or 931...fuck it.

Those are areas I can have an impact on & see direct effects.

If I can reach back & pull up one of these lil knuckleheads like someone did me, all is well. Allah U Akbar.



Mood Music - Mos Def - Mighty Marvel

Interesting read...

At the Corner of Progress and Peril From The Washington Post

Stray Shots

Fort Minor/DJ Green Lantern – We Major

Jazzy Jeff – The Magnificent

Pete Rock – Pete Rock Years Vol. 2 (For Props Sake)

Prefuse 73 – Reads The Books

Questlove – Sample Lesson Mix

Reef The Lost Cauze – Invisible Empire

Smiley Da Ghetto Child – Wake Up Call 12”

T La Rock – On A Warpath

Sway & Tech - Best Of The Wakeup Show Freestyles Vol. 4

Road Warrior #46 Raw Reggae Warrior

Tuff Crew – Back To The Wreck Shop




Big Mike & Big Stress - R&B Jumpoff Vol. 24

Big Mike & Big Stress - Somethin For The Radio Vol. 16


Zapp And Roger – The Greatest Hits

DJ Wally Sparks & Sleepy Brown: Funk Soul Brother (2 Disc Mixtape)

GZA - Beneath the Surface

Bob Marley And The Wailers – Soul Revolutionaries – The Early Jamaican Albums – 1970-1971 (4CD)

Boogie Nights Soundtrack Vol. 1 & 2

Life by KRS-One

Ben Westbeech - So Good Today

Jimi Hendrix - The Master's Masters (1967)

Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues - The Best Of The Blues (2003)

6.14 Stray Shots text file


To whoevever commented that I lost the passion in my writing, nah homie. None of that. It's just that a.) we've been trying to keep it focused on music b.) we have indeed been hella busy behind the scenes gettin ready for changes and c.) I try to leave the politricks and social commentary to other folk.

But since some of you all want passion, I'm gonna give it to you.

Oh yeah, to the dumbass(es) who frequently try to question my "hood status", this is the difference between me and you.

1. I hustled, pullin kick-doors, and busted shots shoulder to shoulder with some of these same youths older brothers, cousins, uncles, etc. Real recognize real. I was Gotty™ way before I got on the fuckin internet.

2. I've been working with the youth for the past eight years & they know I care about them. So I can go where I need to go...and I'm comfortable. Gimme a pack of Kools and a bottle water; I'm home.

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