Music Spotlight: “Wash & Set” by Leikeli47

wash-and-set-album-stream-leikeli-47-1504885723-640x640Ok if you haven’t figured this out already, I am kind of a music head…kind of and I just like sharing music with others.  Most of the time my tastes don’t line up with whoever I’m sharing stuff with because I try to push the envelope to get people to open up their mind to different styles.

One of my favorite new releases of the year!

Leikeli hails from New York and dons a ski mask pretty much 24/7 making her that more interesting to me. She’s so creative, and I can guarantee you that you’ve never heard anyone like her in todays rap game.  “Wash & Set” is an awesome piece of work.  You can tell Leikeli is all about loving the skin she’s in, being a woman and being f**king unapologetic about it.

Tracks to make sure you check out:
“2nd fiddle”
“Attitude”
“Bags”
“Elian’s Revenge”
“Braids tuh’da flo(w)”
“Wash & Set”

Enjoy!

Spotify
Apple Music

Wednesday Weekly Vol 5 – 90s/ Hip Hop and R&B

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Puff Daddy & Mase, Brandy and Monica, Missy Elliott and Nicole Wray.

Those are names that come to mind when you think about the late 90s and early 00s Hip Hop.  Who doesn’t remember jamming out to these songs when they played on the radio? Out here trying to avoid the DJ voiceovers because you were trying to record your favorite song on a cassette, and when they did mess up your song, you called back into the radio station to request the song later to try and record it again.

This week, I present to you!

Late 90s/Early 00s HipHop & RnB (Wednesday Weekly: Vol 5)
Spotify
Apple Music

Growing up an “Oreo” in America

time-100-influential-photos-john-dominis-black-power-salute-61Now this is a story all about how my life was flipped turned upside-down….

Wait…..

I’ve always lived this life. Nothing has changed, and the new normal, has always been for me, in a sense, just like every other african american in america. This is nothing new! That’s the first thing that america should understand.

All my life I have been known as the “good boy”. The one who you shouldn’t be “scared of” because of the way I carried myself (i.e. my mf’n personality). I’ve been called “white boy” more times that I could count growing up and at that time, I only took it as a playful gesture. I was called “white boy” though because of my skin. I was really really light skinned. Already being taught the importance of appearance in society before I even knew how important it would be. My family and friends used to call me this all the time, so when strangers decided to as well as I grew up and went to different schools, I didn’t think much of it. I just went with it. They were just playing, right? Unbeknownst to me, I was being called that because of how I acted.

An Oreo: “To be African-American in appearance, but to have interests that align with those of Caucasian people.”

Which brings up the question of “What is acting black/white” anyway? This is probably another story for another day.

Anywho, growing up I had minimal influence from others. Elementary school, I had two good white friends, and one indian (south asian) friend and the rest of the people I hung out with were family. All black. I’ve always loved hip hop and r&b growing up and literally had more rhythm that I could deal with (still do, but I’m just tall and awkward now), but just because I didn’t act a certain way growing up, I wasn’t considered african american by my peers. Funny thing is, I probably still am not considered “black”. Obviously my skin color states otherwise, but nope, stick me in a class with the AP and Honors kids (which weren’t even predominately white either so…wtf) and don’t hang around with a certain group and BAM. You’re caucasian.

One of those white guys was my great friend. All the way up until high school. But once we got to high school, he said one thing to me that I will never ever forget. He says “you know that we aren’t going to be friends when we get to high school, right?”. Me, being the ignorant son of a bitch I was at the time was like what? Why? What’s going to happen?

All of a sudden….Immediate disconnect of conversation. I lost my best friend from years 2 to 8 just like that. It was because he didn’t want to be associated with a black guy. I know most of you are thinking, “how do you know that?”.  Well you just don’t throw away 6 years of constant friendship, you know?

Moving on…

I will ALWAYS be a black man. I can’t change that. No matter how proper I talk, and what crowd I hang around. I could be the most non threatening man in America, but I will still be seen as a BLACK MAN. Unfortunately, this is something a lot of non black people can’t seem to understand. You know me, sure. You understand my personality, and how I carry myself, sure. But when I’m in a situation where someone who doesn’t know me, the first thing they see is a big black aggressive male. Essentially, a threat.

I remember my mom giving me “the talk”. No, not the birds and the bees one, but about how I should “act in public”.  My dad was a cop and sheriff, so I already had a grasp of the bullshit happening even back then.  Luckily, I was more worried about embarrassing my mom (who was a teacher) and my dad that I didn’t really get into too much trouble. But that doesn’t negate the fact that I had to hear about my blackness being a problem; Even though I was called “white boy” on multiple occasions.

“But Malc, how could someone like you be seen as someone like these other guys out in america who are breaking the law and that shouldn’t have been causing trouble in the first place.”  “You’re seriously the nicest black guy I know and you wouldn’t hurt a fly”. (Yes, I have heard these quotes VERBATIM on multiple occasions). All of these quotes from well-intentioned  Caucasians, of course, but because you don’t have to deal with this on a regular basis, there is no way that you could could imagine.

Don’t believe me….Here’s a small example;

Many of you who know me already probably already know this story, but I was down in the “dirty” Myrtle for a random friends trip, and me and my friend were on our way back to our hotel. Mind you we’ve been drinking, as all of america in Myrtle Beach that night. Ocean Blvd was literally backed up with cars full of drunk kids. Even kids riding on the back of pickup truck yelling out obscenities and who knows what else. The point I’m getting across is, me and my boy were not the only ones out and about at this moment.

I bump into one of those trees that these cities always think is good idea to place in the middle of the sidewalk walking back to the hotel, and a police officer decides to stop us. Mind you, my friend probably looks like he’s about 11 at this time, so the officer lady probably thought she was stopping an underage drinker. Whatever, that’s not the problem I have at the moment.

So she stops us. Asks us where we were going, asks us how old we were, and we tell her. She doesn’t believe us and asks for ID. We show her, and boom, legal. This should be the end of the conversation right? No. She decided to roll over to the fact that my boy was too drunk and he was bumping into trees (which she was wrong, that was me) so we need to chill out before we go anywhere. We were about 3 blocks from the hotel at this point. I tell her that, and she’s like no, you need to call a taxi. Me, being the slightly drunk irrational person I am, asked her why we couldn’t walk (since we were literally 3 blocks away). Woman told us that she would arrest us and take us in for public intoxication if we didn’t call a taxi. Again, ALL of ocean blvd was probably two times more drunk than myself and my friend at this point. We look at nearby taxis….TWO HOUR wait. We tell her and then she calls her little cop friend. Idk what she said, but she was like “as long as you go back to your hotel, you can go back”. Like bitch, I didn’t break the law, I can go back regardless.

I know this story isn’t a “bad” as other stories you’ve probably heard from other people, but to be stopped and almost arrested, even after proving your age AND being coherent enough to have AND remember a conversation. There was no reason for us to be stopped when there were clearly other people more drunk than us around.

This is how the average black male lives their life. You might not believe it, but things like this happen more often than you realize, and THIS is what needs to change in america. This is why we say BLACK LIVES MATTER.  It’s unfortunate that we have to “censor” ourselves.  It’s unfortunate that I have to review EVERY. SINGLE. EMAIL. I send because I don’t want to sound like the angry black man even though I’m asking a simple question. It’s unfortunate that we have to actively ensure we aren’t being a threat for fear that we may be arrested, or fired, or even KILLED.

And you have people caring more about how they feel like people kneeling is disrpecting a flag when Mike Brown, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, and every other male or female who were taken from us, by someone who felt they were the Judge in each situation.  That could have been me, arrested because I’d rather walk and save money than call a lame ass myrtle beach taxi.

Random thought: Social Media Prayer

I wonder how different the world would be if everybody who usually only says that we need to “pray on it” would actually offer a solution or support or some type of guidance in order to address situations.

In a world full of #pray4everybody, it seems that people are on autopilot just to clear their conscience. Yes, continue to pray and show them that you support them and are thinking about them, but what are you doing to HELP them?

That’s just my two cents…

Dating is the worst….Kind of…

Here you are, just out and about, having the time of your life.  Not caring about anything in the world other than yourself, because why? You’re single…..AF!

In the times of the dating apps, where people are doing anything but; you often find yourself bored. Ok, let’s pick up the phone, open up an app, say a few one liners, call someone over and wam, bam, you’re done and you’ve spent no money. Perfect scenario, amirite? Especially if you don’t have to put any work into it either!?!? Bruh, come on. (Sidenote: I’m a top tier advocate for getting it in on a regular basis, just saying. We’re all human. As long as you’re safe, maintaining good sexual health practices!)

And then it happens….One of those “convenient hookups” starts feeling like something more.  You actually talk to them other than when you just need some, and go out in public with each other (which is probably the number 1 indicator this is a “thing”).  Then you start thinking, “Are we dating?”, “Is this serious?”, “Do they like me like that?”.  As soon as those thoughts cross your mind, you automatically open up to feelings and your heart starts to become vulnerable.  This freaks you out because you’ve been through this before and other times it never became anything because again, you just met on a hookup app. “Don’t catch feelings, they don’t feel the same way” constantly runs through your mind. Or maybe you do want to catch feelings. I mean, that’s the point in dating right? Unfortunately, it all becomes a mind game. Trying to figure out your partner’s next move.  “Are they really into you?” is still running through your mind even though you’ve been chilling for weeks.  Their actions say yes, their words say yes, but you still have that little bit of doubt running through your brain.

Luckily for you though, dating is pretty much the bomb at this point.  No effort to get some. Yall both like to eat, and go to the movies together. You got your ride or die. The bond is still new so you know yall on each other like rabbits (lol). You have engaging conversations, and text messages don’t take ten years to be responded to.  You feel wanted, and that’s all anyone needs, right?

And then it happens…

All this time you’ve spent, and then BOOM, they disappear. Who knows for what reason. It “just didn’t work out”, or it was “just a temporary thing”, or “well, I wasn’t really looking for anything serious”, and at this point, you’re back to square 1; Over it, completely.

And this is where the cycle begins again.  You promise yourself, you’ll be single for YEARS (Spoiler: You won’t), and you build those walls that were broken down “one. last. time.” So what do you do? Download the hookup app again.  What other place to go get your ego stroked after you’ve wasted your time dating?  It definitely helps.  Probably unhealthy though, but whatever….You’ve put up walls again.

So yeah, Dating IS the worst….

 

Da Family Cookout (Wednesday Weekly: Vol 4)

cookout

Greetings!

If you are not already familiar, my name is Malcolm and I am MORE than ecstatic to be back! Well, I guess here, I’m back but for the first time?

Anywho…

Just like the general population of the world, I like to think that I have a strong passion for music.   I love the way it can make you happy, sad, how it makes you think, and even how it can even cause you to blank out and just “be”.  If you understand what I’m saying.

With all of this said, I introduce you to one of my music series, I call “Wednesday Weekly”.  Each week, I bring you a playlist following a specific theme that I’m sure will get your heads bobbing, and your feet tapping.  This weeks theme includes all the songs your parents used to jam to in the house and at EVERY family gathering.

I hope to introduce you all to new music, REintroduce you to old music, and maybe just cause you a little less effort when you just don’t know what to listen to on certain days; so to all of my Spotify and Apple music users, I present to you, Da Family Cookout (Wednesday Weekly: Vol 4).

Spotify
Apple Music

Peace and Grits!

P.S. – Feel free to check out all of my playlists under my account in both Apple Music and Spotify.  I’m sure you’ll find something you like, and I’m constantly adding new songs to existing playlists.