Cardi B is scheduled to make her debut on Saturday Night Live in April. SNL has announced she will be the musical performer for the long-running sketch show’s April 7 episode. Cardi will share the spotlight with Black Panther star ChadwiThe “Bodak Yellow” hitmaker was excited about her upcoming SNL debut, sharing the news on her Instagram account. Cardi asked her followers if they’d be altering their weekend plans to watch her.
“APRIL 7th SATURDAY NIGHT LIFE!!!” she wrote. “Who finna not go to the club to watch Bardi on tv?!ck Boseman, who is scheduled to host the episode.Cardi has been the headlines of late due to pregnancy rumors. She and her fiancé Offset have denied the rumors, but a recent report claimed she’ll be close to seven months pregnant when she performs at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
There is no manual given to parents on how to raise children. Raising children is a difficult task, but we prepare ourselves the best we can. As parents mentally prepare ourselves for the behaviors that pre-teens, adolescents, and even young adults bring. We think about the mood swings, back talk, emotional outbursts, and attitudes. Parents would never imagine an early learner to behave that way. We would never imagine a small child behaving in such an outrageous manner. What would you say if I said, “It all starts when they are young.” When it comes to differentiating between normal and abnormal behavior problems, it’s important to know a bit about child development. What’s normal for a preschooler, isn’t normal for a teenager. Early learners exhibit these behaviors earlier during their preschool years. The key to correcting these behaviors is to start early. Those same behaviors cause influxes in academic progress. Children with behavioral issues tend to have harder time with their academic/studies.
If you have noticed your child becoming a slight bit more emotional or aggressive at home or in school, this is a sign there is a problem. Children whom have behavioral issues tend not to follow rules, directions or expectations. Redirecting them will take more time than most. You will see that they seem to turn to aggression when not satisfied by an outcome. Depending on the age, they maybe more negative in their vocabulary. They many ignore and dismiss requests by others. Children exhibit behaviors that they don’t understand with anger. This is why it is vital to tackle these behaviors early. If redirection and correction are not enforced effectively the behaviors may evolve into more complex ones. These are more difficult to correct and may even require additional help and services.
For parents at their wits end, behavioral therapy techniques can provide a roadmap to calmer, more consistent ways to manage problem behaviors problems and offers a chance to help children develop gain the developmental skills they need to regulate their own behaviors.
According to Kids Health, behavior problems in children often stem from frustration or anger that children cannot resolve on their own. Behavior problems can be solved with patience and understanding as it takes time for children to learn how to deal with situations that lead to bad behavior. There are many activities that parents can use to motivate children to think about their bad behavior and choose alternate ways of dealing with situations that cause such behavior. Misbehavior that interferes with your child’s education may indicate an underlying behavior disorder. Getting sent out of class, getting into fights at recess, and difficulty staying on task are all potential warning signs. An example of poorly defined behavior is “acting up,” or “being good.” A well-defined behavior would be running around the room (bad) or starting homework on time (good).
At the first sign of abnormal behavior there are a few things you can do. Begin with understanding what your child’s needs. Examine their physical needs and their emotional needs. Venting anger is an important way to help children learn more effective ways to work through their anger, instead of turning to aggression. Parents and family members can help children with creating physically safe ways to get their anger out. Physical activities like gymnastics, exercise, dancing, or sports are all physical activities that can help deter bad behavior. Health professionals recommend to schedule time to be active for both children and family as a way of helping with ongoing bad behavior. Sports like karate, wrestling and even track are excellent activities to burn off energy and keep stress down.
When you meet these needs in positive ways you are redirecting the negative behavior. This prevents future occurrences from happening. Begin to focus on the four basic triggers of negativity. These triggers: Freedom, Fun/Excitement, Acceptance, & Empowerment. A trigger is a thought about a situation that leads to an inappropriate response to that situation. A child having behavioral problems within these triggers has strong feelings about one or more of them.
Giving your child positive reinforcement for being good helps maintain the ongoing good behavior. Positive attention enhances the quality of the relationship, improves self-esteem, and feels good for everyone involved. Positive attention to brave behavior can also help attenuate anxiety, and help kids become more receptive to instructions and limit-setting.
A great way to prevent behavior problems is to strategize ways with your child’s teachers. Just having to sit still during class is a big challenge for some children. The teacher may be open to letting your child move around or do other activities. Teachers can set up conferences that include you, your child, and an advocate. Collectively you can create a plan about how to make school go well for your child. Such plans are called behavioral plans enforced by the teacher and the school.
In conclusion, parents must maintain a clear and healthy communication with their children. Behavioral problems/issues can be managed and controlled. Establish a level of consequences and awards. Please do not confuse consequences with punishment. Not all consequences are created equal. Some are an excellent way to create structure and help kids understand the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, while others have the potential to do more harm than good. As a parent, one can consistently use consequences, that will make all the difference.
Have you noticed unusual behavior in your child?
Have you notice an increase in aggression?
Are the following things occurring in your child:
Mood changes & Irritability-Emotional Skills
Inability to focus- Social Skills
Speech delays- Language & Speech Skills
Physical delays-Gross Motor Skills
These are all signs of a possible developmental or learning disorder. As parents we tend to look at our children and stipulate that nothing is wrong. We ignore the small signs and dismiss them as typical child like behaviors. The idea that our children may be delayed in a developmental aspect frightens us. I am here to clarify and debunk those beliefs.
There are warnings signs that can help parents be more aware of what is developmental appropriate and what is a sign that specialized attention is needed. In today’s society there has been many who believe that getting a child tested is inappropriate and premature. I am here to tell you it isn’t.
The most important and powerful thing you can do as a parent is observe. Observe the way your child plays, moves, speaks, and interacts with others. Take note of different behaviors/actions you have never seen before. Research studies have confirmed that parents are reliable sources of information about their child’s development. When observing have fun with your child. Play is the best way to pinpoint if there is a need for help of any kind. When observing you child remember that children develop differently. All children hit the same developmental milestones, but they hit them at different times in their progression. NO two children will hit their milestones identically. It is important to remember not to compare your child to another. Every child is unique.
Another important step is to keep an open communication with your child’s caregiver. There are other people in your child’s life that are important factors. If your child is cared for by a relative or nanny, it is important to get their opinion. Nowadays, most families pay for a daycare or an early childhood facility. It is important to stay in communication with all the staff that comes in comes contact with your child. These individuals will be your secondary eyes on your child’s progression. Things like crawling, speaking, walking, feeding, and play interactions are items that can help support your need for specialized help. Be a good listener and acknowledge the feedback. Always keep in mind children hit their milestones at different times, so don’t stress.
When a child goes into a preschool setting, people are more steadily aware of changes and needs. In most states, the preschool divisions are called Abbott programs. These are mostly state funded preschool programs geared to helping children develop a firm foundation for their academic lives. The days normally run from 8:30am to 2:30pm. This is about a six-hour school day. It is very similar to a regular school day. These programs help children progress but equally help parents with ensuring that children are learning the basic fundamentals. Noticing children with some social/emotional delays is more readily available. Often your child’s teacher will notice the first symptoms of a specific learning disability. Parents may also notice symptoms that are different from those the teacher sees. That’s why it is so important for teachers and parents to share notes on the development of a child. When you enter a preschool setting, there are more resources available to you. There are the teachers input, assessment (ECRs, Literacy/Math, & referral), PIRT (Preschool Intervention Referral Team), family advocates, and Community & Parent Involvement Specialists.
Another important aspect is confiding in your pediatrician. Maintaining a good healthy relationship with your pediatrician is an excellent resource. Parents who are aware of developmental milestones can observe their child and inform their healthcare provider about any concerns they may have about their child’s development. Pediatric healthcare providers can provide parents with milestone checklists to track their child’s milestones at home. Healthcare professionals play a critical role in monitoring children’s development and identifying problems as early as possible. They monitor the child’s development at each visit. At the office they may periodically screen your child with validated tools. These tools identify any areas of concern that may require a further examination or evaluation. Your healthcare professional can ensure that more comprehensive developmental evaluations are completed if risks are identified. Children aged 0-3 years can be referred to early intervention programs.
Early intervention programs are services who give specialized support to children and families in the early years (from birth to school entry). Children 3 years and older can be referred to special education services for assessment and services.
Making a decision on having your child tested is a big deal. It is a decision that will in fact change their lives. The more involved you are with your child’s progress the better you are at advocating for them. Make sure you have collected enough valid evidence. Put together all the referrals, observations, and assessments.
Re-read all the information. You are now ready to make a cautious decision whether to test your child. The more you know about the evaluations, the more prepared you’ll be to advocate for your child. You’ll also be better able to explain to your child what to expect and help them understand their own challenges. Kids develop at different paces. Your child may gain some skills later than other kids or have some skills that are advanced for their age.
If your child isn’t meeting many of these milestones, consider speaking with your healthcare professional to seek an evaluation.This evaluation will look at his/hers skills and document the results. There are a number of ways you, your pediatrician and even his preschool can work together to help boost their skills.
Photographer: J Da Photog
Makeup Artist: Zeta Banx
Hair Stylist: Zeta Banx
Wardrobe Stylist: Zeta Banx
Name: Zeta Banx
Born/Raised: Philly, PA
Social Media Links: Ig: @IAmZetaBanx SC: @ZetaBanx
Favorite Quote: Don’t just be grate, be grateful!
For those just seeing you for the first time. What can you tell us about yourself? I’m very friendly, like to have fun, and enjoy being wet.
What sets you apart from other models? I been modeling for over 17 years, from pageants to runway to commercial to urban n videos.
Sometimes modeling comes with a lot of baggage. Do you feel that you’ve been misperceived? No, I think I represent myself very well and I’m not interested in who thinks differently.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years? To have an accomplished business and working toward a family
Have you/or would you ever consider mixing business with pleasure? No
If you were looking for a relationship what type of person would spark your interest? I like a person with a great personality, beautiful teeth, good head on they shoulders and knows what they want.
What are the three most important things in your life? Family, Health and Work
If you could only choose one person, who is your inspiration and why? Marilyn Monroe, she G.O.A.T.
If you could change 3 things about yourself, what would it be? Nothing I love who I am and my growth.
What would you say is your best feature and why? My smile it shines even in the dark lol
What is playing in your (iPod, iPhone, Android, music device)/Favorite song (currently)? Post Malone Patient
How do you get into character for a photoshoot? I like to listen to music and think of if the camera was my man
What’s something that most people would be surprised to find out when they actually meet you? I’m short lol, it never fails.
Before we go do you have any last words? Thank you for letting me be apart of something great and thank you for everyone that supports me
How do you really interpret being a fan of an artist you know personally? And how does one explain that fanship when you are involved in the inner circle of the artist movement within that city? Can one speak objectively without bias? I’ll try my best. I came to know of this female sultry soul singer by way of a poet I used to date. From her introduction, I grew to know of all of the players within that artsy scene from Wali Crowder (poet), to B Jazz and The Liquid Crystal Project to DJ Krate Digga (eclectic DJ) to Lawrence Lemon (dancer extraordinaire). But around 2011, Columbus Ohio was buzzing by the release of Eric Roberson’s Mr. Nice Guy. Of course the city of Columbus has an adoration for the grammy-nominated singer, but the talk was more that of his generosity, almost an ode if you will, to the place that continues to give him so much love. Roberson included most of the artist aforementioned on his project, and from there I started to hear more and more about the songstress they call Renee Dion who was also a feature on Mr. Nice Guy.
With each project released, with each live performance, I became more of a supporter of Dion’s movement. Even witnessing her sing the national anthem for our 44th president Barack Obama was nothing short of amazing. In 2014, she dropped her project Moonlight off at my radio show, and my crew at the time and I were blown away at the maturity of her sound. We played every track for the entire show. By that time Dion was gaining momentum on the music scene….then all of the sudden “POOF” she disappeared. For a year and a half I would see her appear at a few music events around town or see her with her students from my window at that bank I was working at. (she was a school teacher at a school next door). But still no spark of music until around the end of October 2017. I started hearing from her chief supporter (her husband) she had a project coming out. He showed up at the club passing out her project to all the DJ’s but I was on the set and by the time I got done, the project was sold out. I ended up having to wait for the release date to hear it, and believe you me it was worth the wait. Haven put me in a trance from the first track I played.
I’m the type of person that believes everyone has a path and I follow good energy, so when I heard that my long time friend Jonathan Baker helped out on a lot of the arrangements for Haven, it made perfect sense why I was drawn to this project. Baker is an extremely talented genuine guy. I also felt that Dion was coming from a personal place. She’s a private person, but if you follow her life on social media and in real life…you know she’s in love and she’s been in love for quite some time. A story that is very rare in this day and age. Dion and her husband Artist Eric Jefferson don’t do it for the vine either, their love story is real. Those that listen to Haven can feel that story in the songs. So if you are in love, looking to be in love , or you just simply have questions about it…you can use Haven as to what that looks like.
I caught up with the songstress and I wanted her to break down some key elements of this masterpiece. Without further adieu …..Renee Dion…..
SO: Hey Renee, considering I just interviewed a musician you know well Ill Poetic and him taking 10 years to finish his project, and knowing it took you a few years to complete Haven, explain how difficult the process is to bring about a project with the musicality both of your projects possess.
RD: Oooh wee! (laughs to self) well after Moonlight I sort of hit a brick wall and I had to ask myself the question all artist get to a point of asking. Do I want to keep doing this, or do I want to let this go and just stop? I then made a decision, and with my mouth I told my husband…”I’m done with music” and from there was an almost immediate shift in my life from health problems to personal relationships.. things were just off. Speaking to that, I learned that when we abandon our purpose and what God has given us to do, things will shift and things can change until we find that path again. So as I stated, I was going to walk away but something kept bringing me back to it, and more and more I began to find inspiration. I was finding inspiration everywhere, from listening to my best friend T. Wong evolve to lyrics just coming to me out of no where…and I started thinking to myself like “Are we done?” So my husband and I turned one of our bedrooms into a recording studio and I began to tinker around, and from that, the creativity started flowing …like if you ever saw the movie with Bruce Leroy …I had the glow (we both crack up) but when I started to show these songs to Jonathan (Baker) …first of all this man is truly talented, but I truly love his musicianship, so when he began to add his musical flavor, that’s when Haven started coming to life.
SO: If I could give this album a positive critique, you sound the most confident on this album than your previous projects. Songs like Uno (I really like that song btw) have your signature sound, but you can also hear growth and confidence in these songs. What made the difference on you taking risk vocally on this project?
RD: I would say, when you take ownership and responsibility from other people’s hands, no slight to any other producer I’ve worked with…but once I had to sit in this studio and hammer out these songs myself, and I had to figure out production nuances and truly trust myself to express what was coming from my heart, I would say the confidence to elevate happened organically from those experiences. If you really want to know who Renee Dion is…Listen to Haven.
SO: Considering we’re saying goodbye to 2017…We had a number of bare-your-soul albums from music’s royal family The Carters. 4:44 setting the tone for truth in music. Listening to Haven you can hear these songs coming from a real place. Did your husband inspire those songs?
RD: Well, honestly speaking the entire album is about him. But it’s also about me, my relationship with God and my relationship with people. When it comes to my music, I’m attracted to really beautiful sounds, so sometimes the music can stand on it’s own and overshadow the lyrics based on the sounds I prefer. However on this project, if you stripped the production and listened to just the words, you’ll hear my vulnerability, my fears, my questions and me dealing with myself. I’m still continuing to learn how to be a wife, and my husband is still learning to be patient with me as I find my way, as I am with him and these thoughts are what come out in the music. Life is about continual self discovery.
SO: It seems like your songs speak to women in love or looking for love. In a time where trust in relationships is a rarity and often times scary, what would you say to those women looking for love in 2018?
RD: Wow that’s a deep question and loaded hahaha but I’ll try to answer. I’ll say this to my single women waiting for love. Don’t lose your affection, don’t lose your vulnerability by being guarded. What do they say, “you can’t receive a blessing with a closed fist”, so you have to remain open to love no matter how great the potential of you being hurt again. With each experience there is a lesson until you reach the destiny God has called you to reach. The problem lies for most people is that they look to all sorts of media like Facebook and Instagram and the wrong outlets for guides to relationships. However that is so far from the truth of what love really is.
Listen, people look at my husband and I funny because wherever they see me they see him and vice versa. If he has a showing I’m right there, if I have a singing engagement he’s right there as my No. 1 supporter. And it’s not based on a level of insecurity. Our presence is a sense of protection in this crazy world. Furthermore, we enjoy each others company. I sometimes go to events and there are married women and men showing up to events by themselves and wonder why they get involved in single activities. Don’t get me wrong our marriage is still work but it’s less work when you work at it and stay in tune with your significant other. Recognizing and dealing with things when things are off are another way to build strong relationships. But people have to be willing to let go of pride and ego to accomplish that. Communication is Everything. Eric is my husband and I protect him and his art just like he does for me…that’s the best advice I can give Layne.
SO: Where can people purchase your music and what events do you have going on right now?
RD: So they can purchase the music on iTunes and we just did Healing Haven and The Black Infinity a few days ago but those events and more are the many things to come in 2018. Just follow me on Instagram and Twitter under @ReneeDionMusic and please visit my web page reneedion.com
SO: Thank you so much for spending the day with us. Haven is definitely a instant soul classic.
Napoleon Hill goes on record with his book Think And Grow Rich telling the reader the very day he was sent on a mission to seek out the most successful people in the nation at that time, and develop a formula for how they became that way. The proposition was set by steel giant Andrew Carnegie. The two things I took from that fateful encounter is that successful men act quickly and change their minds slowly. 2nd, is belief, will take you further than you can ever imagine. My point is, had Napoleon Hill let the knock of opportunity pass him by, by not recognizing a jewel (opportunity) handed to him from greatness, he might have robbed the world of some of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time inspired by his book. In July of 2017, in a conference room in Raleigh North Carolina, filled with DJ’s and radio personalities, I also felt the knock of opportunity when I heard the story of Duane DaRock…as told by Duane DaRock, and my journey has not been the same since. When he told the story of being homeless, I was at the time on the verge of being homeless and I didn’t know how I was going to get to North Carolina, let alone eat while I was down there. But one week before his breaking point…his life changed. One chance meeting with a legendary rapper solidified his place in music history. Ladies and Gentleman… Legendary Producer Duane DaRock.
SO: Mr. DaRock, so glad you could join Straight Official today. When you spoke at the Fleet Music Conference this past summer, you had something different to say vs, just talking about the music business itself, you wanted to drive home positive energy and vibrations. What made those things the forefront of your message?
DD: Well I’ve known about the power of vibration since I was 4 years old and the gift that came with that was being in tune with the vibrations of the universe and whatever you think about you bring about. The game changer for me was when my grandfather died when I was 12, that’s when I jumped in the music business which makes 32 years being in the music game. I will solely accredit the things I’ve accomplished in this business based on it being all about positive energy, good vibrations.
SO: So where did determination play a factor in your will to make it in the music business?
DD: Like I said I knew at the age of 12 what I wanted to do, so I let nothing or no one take me off of that path. So in 93′ I started producing records with the help of a man by the name of Steven Brown. He was a jazz musician. What happened was, I couldn’t find anyone to make beats for me being that I was from the Boston area. So I learned what I could until eventually I became self contained until the fateful day I met Big Daddy Kane. From there I started producing beats for Digable Planets, Kool Moe Dee, Rakim, LL Cool J and the list goes on.
SO: I know the story , but for those that need to hear this, tell the inspiring story of how you met Big Daddy Kane.
DD: Ok so I was homeless. My girl kicked me out and I was bouncing from place to place and I was starving. I was starving to the point my homie said I needed to go get some food assistance. I got all the way there and something came over me and I said NO! I’m dope…I’m dope. I went home to make some rice because it’s all I had to eat….as I’m pouring the rice in the pot, a jar from the cabinet falls and breaks into the pot of rice. I pick out the big pieces but mind you the little pieces are still in there, I literally ate glass that night. This sparked not only a fire but a fearlessness in me. About a week later, I went to the Big Daddy Kane concert on a mission to let Kane hear my beats. I tell the security that I’m one of Kane’s dancers. Security wasn’t having it. So as fate would have it, a fight broke out distracting security and so I ran. I didn’t know where I was running to, but I ran right into the back of Big Daddy Kane. I told him what I did and he listened to the beats. While he’s doing this, I can see security coming to get me. And in true Kane cool fashion. He gives this look to say, “Can’t you see he’s with me?” The very next day I’m in the studio with Kane and I’m officially in the music business. But let’s be clear…I’ve been homeless even two other times after that. I’ve made money, lost it, made it again. It was a clear lesson from God to stay humble. The Lord giveth and he taketh away.
SO: You and Jadakiss seem to have a trusting working relationship. How did that come about?
DD: I met Jadakiss through the actor Duane Martin. I did a song for a movie called Hustle and Heat. Duane Martin and Jadakiss both played in that movie, so through working together, we just kept building until eventually we ended up doing the song Letter To Big with Faith Evans which ended being the main song on the Biggie movie. But let me backtrack. I met Faith one night because I was hungry and I listened to my craving and went to Fat Burger. What I thought was a craving, was in fact that I was being guided by the vibrations. When I saw her, I told her about my studio, she came back and heard a couple tracks and that night I penned the hook to Letter To Big.
SO: What do you say to the theory that people sell their souls to get into the music industry?
DD: First of all, your soul is not for sale, so you can’t literally sell your soul. But I will say that when you go against who you are to gain some sort of stardom or unearned favor, you are then going against who you are morally and that’s why you see the heavy drugs and heavy drinking because some people in the industry have made deals that compromise who they were, so they drink to escape their now reality. You can be in this business without succumbing to the tricks of people trying to tap into your inner core of who you are. But thats why you have to operate on a high vibration so you can recognize and avoid that trap.
“When you link with demonic forces for superficial gain, you go against the will of God and that’s what selling your soul means to me.” -Duane DaRock
SO: Who’s responsible for how you ethically move throughout the music business and keep your integrity?
DD: HAHAHAHA make sure you put this in there. And put my laugh in big bold letter too. There so many artists today that wouldn’t have gotten where they are without the people they shitted on, pimped and played. A lot of ghost writers and ghost producers will never see the light of day. They receive no credit and are getting robbed regularly. But these are they same people responsible for the success you see in today’s artists. A lot of people at the top…stole their way to the top. There are a lot of wolves in this industry, but I consider myself a lion. A Lion moves gracefully and knows it rules that land. A Lion commands and takes what he wants when he is hungry. A wolf plots, plans and preys on anything weaker. A wolf is constantly looking to devour, a Lion attacks only when necessary .
SO: What’s your final word for today’s up and coming musicians?
DD: When you’re tapped in to your inner guidance, it will tell you what you need to do. Stop saying “I’m chasing my dreams.” If someone tells you to “Chase your dreams” smack the shit out of em. Anything you are chasing is obviously running away from you. The words you want to use is that I’m attracting my reality…I am manifesting my dreams. You’re talking about the guy that was homeless three times yet Kevin Hart used my song about struggle to be the main song for his movie. It can happen for you if you believe in yourself. I’m Duane DaRock and I stand by what I’ve said.
Sept 27th 2017, Jackson Mississippi rapper David Banner calls up 106.7fm The Beat in Columbus Ohio and receives some disturbing news. He was told that a rumor circulating the city was that he would more than likely not show up to the lecture event Speak Your Truth Summit. Shortly after the interview Mr. Banner went right to Instagram to confirm that he indeed was coming to our city and that he was proud to come to our town. Within that one minute video, you saw integrity, compassion and a deep rooted southern pride to always keep your word no matter what it costs. All qualities of being a real man.
If you have grown with David Banner like I have since the hit song Like A Pimp ft Lil Flip or major production credit on T.I.’s monumental album Trap Muzik (2003), then you know that the 2017 David Banner is not the same one we know from 2003. Of course David Banner always told well rounded stories, such as Cadillacs on 22’s referencing the death of Emmett Till and other misfortunes in his home state, but after 2006, we started to see a change and conviction in his approach to music. Maybe it was those Katrina waters of 2005 that destroyed his beloved state that brought about the enlightenment. Go back in time and remember how pissed he was when the world witnessed with it’s own eyes that the President of the United States George W. Bush didn’t give a damn about the poor and disfranchised in Florida, Mississippi, Texas and of course the city hit the worst New Orleans. This was his family that was suffering and he was the only voice fit to sound the alarm in the time period to speak about his state of emergency. (pun intended)
The Great Malcolm X said in his autobiography…once the light is turned on inside you cannot turn it off. Well Mr. Banner’s light continues to shine brighter and brighter as he brings awareness to the plight of being Black In America especially in the southern states. When Straight Official caught up with Banner…I had a lot on my mind. I was extremely perplexed. I witnessed and reposted the murder of Patrick Harmon of Salt Lake City Utah on my Uptown Weekly Instagram page. Not to mention being close to the case of Timothy Davis in Columbus Ohio. In that particular situation, by all means, we are grateful that young man is still alive. However, with strain and intensity in my eyes, I told Mr. Banner…”Sir, there’s a lot of people that don’t know….but I know you know….Please shed some light on how long we have to endure these horrendous acts in front of our face as we standby appearing to be helpless.”
“Understand I come to piss people off and make them uncomfortable. Because pain brings about attention quickly. Listen, a warrant, smoking weed, running, none of that is justifiable in killing someone. I’m not just talking about black people. Whatever color they are, if they are not directly posing a threat to a police officer and they’re just running away, my friend there is no reason for anyone to get shot. See, white people have gotten black people to think like them, so when we see someone jammed up by the police, the first thing we think in the back of our mind is ..damn what that n***a do? Now unless that man (Harmon) was wanted for murder, then shooting him doesn’t make any sense. You see, we also have to stop echoing their bullshit media commentary, just like in the Kaepernick situation. They wanna say kneeling is a disrespect to our troops. Well, the last time I checked, America treats it’s troops like shit. So as I’ve said on many stages, the only way to get “the power’s” attention is either by the loss of money or the loss of life.”
I spoke with David Banner for about 15 more minutes, and then it was time for him to get whisked away to the stage for his lecture. As he stood before the crowd he commanded everyone to turn off their cell phones from going live at his show. His reasoning is that he feels African Americans already give away too much for free. “We have to start getting paid for our talents and gifts” he states. He also said in front a semi-light audience “If folks wanted the experience, they should have brought their ass to the show.”
He then passed out his CD #Godbox to the entire audience, and then had enough time to play snippets from two songs for the appreciative crowd. He proceeded to break down why conscious music may not sell the way mainstream music does. “One reason muh fuchas may not buy ya shit is cuz it ain’t jammin. Just because your music has a message in it doesn’t mean it should suck.” As he states that Godbox is one of the most important albums to hip hop in the history of it, only the keepers of this culture and art form can co-sign that prediction. And just as we saw of 4:44, #Godbox did not have the nightclubs in mind this go round, but instead another project to wake up the minds.
After the show, David Banner showed true southern hospitality and shook as many hands and took as many pictures as he could with those that had to wait patiently almost two hours for the rapper/producer to take the stage. And he also gave many kudos to the organizer of the event Ms. Tomiqua Perry for her hard work and determination.
Lastly at David Banner’s request he wanted me to quote him saying “This is the first time I’m saying this to Black America on your article brother. Don’t be afraid, they are killing us anyway so continue to stand and speak out against injustice. They’ll kill you for obeying the law, (Philando Castile) so don’t be afraid. We have been so conditioned to be afraid of white people. I’ll say this for the first time too, most black people praise white people more than they’re own religion. They’ll cheat on their wife, kill another brother, lie, steal, do everything that bible told them not to do, but will not take a stand against wrong-doing white folks. Use that, don’t take that out, quote quote mutha fucha hahahaha. Because we have to address our conditioned mentality for change to happen as well.”
Thank you Mr. Banner for coming to our city and opening up the minds to Speak Their Truth. And be sure to pick up #GodBox on all streaming outlets (iTunes Tidal, Spotify etc)
Los Angeles, CA – Amber Rose held her third annual SlutWalk Festival in Los Angeles over the weekend at Pershing Square and was accompanied by boyfriend/rapper 21 Savage.
Clad in a blonde wig and a Captain Save-A-Hoe costume, Rose posted a series of photos to social media during the event.
“Thank you for all of ur support today baby it means the world to me,” Rose wrote in the caption.
Dear Urban Immigrant Merchants:
First of all let me start off by saying Congratulations! According to favorable statistics, you have overcome many obstacles to make it to the free world that they call the United States of America. Indeed there is great suffering all over this globe, so there is no telling what you and your family may have had to go through to establish residency in the US of A whether permanent or temporary. And of all things, you have not only made it to the land of opportunity, you have chosen what some may call the most riskiest of occupations. You have chosen to open a business in the urban community to sell your product and services to African Americans.
I commend you on your enterprising spirit, that you have carved a profitable way to provide for you and your family. However, your stereotypical behavior toward African Americans is where the relationship gets a little tricky. I need you to understand that the money you receive from urban neighborhoods is what causes your business to thrive. And before any particular ethnic group takes offense to this letter, let it be clear that I am addressing ALL urban immigrant merchants. Asian, African, Middle Eastern, Indian, Caribbean, and even including our Latin brothers and sisters and any other possible ethnic groups I left out. If you have opened your business doors to the public and you are accepting African American dollars, there are some things that need to be put On The Table. (pun intended)
While my views may not speak for the entire African American community, I know a lot of them share my sentiment. The grievance I have with you is the way we are sometimes treated by your culture. As if your relationship with us is only transactional. Yes we are aware, African American culture is THE highest consuming culture in the world. However, it has even been rumored by a few of YOUR brothers and sisters and told directly to me that, most times your culture is debriefed before you set up shop in the neighborhood (“hood”) that African Americans are rude, obnoxious, lazy people that don’t care about anything but making babies, looking good and getting high. You are told that by no means should you trust us. That if you turn your back AA’s will rob you blind. Not to mention, media portrayal, rap videos and hood movies don’t aid to dispel this belief. Sometimes you are even correct in your assumptions & belief in the ignorance that comes from people of the ghetto. However you take that “ghetto” money to put your children through private school and college. You use that “ghetto” money to establish living quarters and purchase property for as much family that you can bring to this country. You also use that “ghetto” money to send back to support your family in your home country.
I know I know! Shame on us for not opening up our own convenience store 30 plus years ago. Shame on us for not owning and controlling our own hair supply stores. Luckily we’ve started to in-house nail-techs in beauty salons and we still for the most part control that and barbershops, but shame on us yet and still because we don’t own the building which means money is still flowing out to other cultures hands.
Yet after you’ve made a living from the community you snub your nose at….this is a true story I witnessed. 3 African American children come into the convenience store. I was in the store with my two friends. We were getting keys made because we just inked a deal to merge three businesses…I digress. Anyway, the owner (Indian decent) yells at the children. “One at a time! Only one child in my store at a time! Only one can go and get what you need, you other two have to stand by the door so that I can keep my eyes on all of you” (I swear I can’t make this shit up) The owner then turns to us three gentleman and says to us “I know they are going to steal” and proceeded to give the nod of approval like we were going to agree with this racial discrimination. I got so pissed I left my friends at the counter saying “I don’t have time for his bullshit today.”
In the past three years I’ve seen immigrant merchants call the police on people that regularly patronize your store. One case in particular is the case of Eric Garner from Staten Island NY that lost his life for allegedly selling “loosies” in front of the convenience store. But this last case right here in my hometown of Columbus Ohio took the cake for me. The brutal beating of Timothy Davis in a Columbus Ohio convenience store was appalling. Even after all the video and articles I’ve read, I’m still not educated to speak thoroughly about this case. But what I did witness was either the owner or storekeeper looking on as if Mr. Davis deserved the punishment he was receiving by Columbus Police. The storekeeper even went as far as trying to aid the police cover up their horrendous behavior by telling the bystander to turn off the phone camera. The owner continues to look on as Mr. Davis’s clothes is being stripped from his body and being beaten mercilessly. It is obvious that the owner does not care that this is someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s nephew, someone’s cousin. All you see is a man that is not profitable to you so you don’t care what happens to him.
I remember in 1993 how accurate it was to see these stereotypes being played out on the big screen in Menace II Society. At the very beginning of that movie, the store owner and his wife suspiciously and overtly monitor Kane & O-Dog’s every move. The store owner and his wife are robbed and killed by O-Dog (Lorenz Tate) for his offensive remark “I feel sorry for your mother.” The movie resonated with me because I too have been followed around a corner store. I have been spoken rudely to by an immigrant merchant simply because I wanted to return an item. Needless to say, I never stepped foot in those places again.
I’m writing this letter hoping it will spark a change on both sides. You have to understand Mr. or Mrs. immigrant merchant, the government plays a large part in ”ghetto” behavior. Yes! I too have seen plenty of ignorant shit happen in your stores. Half of the shit I wouldn’t put up with as an owner. But there is a story behind the story in regards to ghetto behavior. A number of urban African Americans live in places called the “projects” which is sometimes what it is..an animalistic “project” filled with rapists, drug dealers and killers. But you have to understand GOOD people are being raised in those same projects and they are annoyed by the same element you are annoyed by. As Tupac Shakur says…”The same thing you fear…We fear..except we live next door to the killer” I also feel that some urban people are the product of poor public education and ill indoctrination. One would even have to consider surviving continual trauma can bring about the high rate of mental illness in the hood. However humanism still has to come into play at some point. You must realize you are making a living off of PEOPLE and that deserves and ounce of respect. Don’t judge people from the ghetto. They’ve been through a lot, and survival is sometimes the only thing they know how to do. I’m not saying to be a sucker. What I’m encouraging is for you to show some compassion. Show some empathy.
Because the scary part is that African Americans are waking up. We now know that if we can be President of The United States scandal free…We can do anything we want…including put you out of business and do for ourselves. No obstacle is too great that we can’t network with import and export companies and demand that companies respect the needs of our community and treat us with the respect we deserve. We know that we are America’s biggest consumers, and it’s time we got a piece of that pie (Thank you Jay-Z 4:44) . …and by the way..we’re not asking anymore, we’re just doing it (Word 2 Nike). We may not be able to control the economy as a whole, but bit by bit, we can put people in office and hold them accountable for the promises they made to the African American community. Look around you, a new black business is opening up everyday. And a lot of it is not only because of conventional lending but through creative financing as well. And if we start opening up beauty supply stores or successful carryouts right next to yours, where do you think we’re going to spend our money? A merchant that allows us to get beat by wicked police, and speaks to us rudely? Or someone that knows the plight of being black in America and treats us with love & respect? Think About It…..
A person that has had enough of the bullshit.