Tags: dead prez

me with graffiti

Writer's Block: Least favorite subject

What was your least favorite subject in grade school? What was your favorite? Did your love or hatred of those subjects change with time/age?


i never liked much of anything in school. i was decent at English, but only because i could write. i've never been a great reader. i'm slightly dyslexic, but it doesn't effect my reading as badly as my math. when i write things down with a pen, i often put them in the wrong order, and i'm very bad at transferring numbers in the correct order. if you write the numbers in the wrong order when you are doing math, you are fucked, if you write a word in slightly wrong order, you can still tell what the word is.

i actually have a very mathematical mind in some ways. like, when i close my eyes, i can see infinite fractals and shapes. i calculate everything i do, but i don't see it in numbers, i see it in space and in my mind and other ways i don't have words for.

science has always been frustrating to me, because it seems to be about "how" things work. and i was always more curious in the "why" and not the "how". i appreciate science, and i believe in it, but it is personally unsatisfying to me.

i know psychology is sort of a form of science, and i am a huge fan of psychology. same with sociology. i did not take my first psych class until i was 16 years old though, and i was at that point a more avid learner because i was going to a school that taught me in ways i could actually learn, and it wasn't until i went to that school that i had any idea that i might actually be smart.

history though. that is what i want to get to. i hated history so much all through school, even at the alternative school where it was taught in a slightly more interesting way. i just couldn't dig it. the dates and names and political parties and the "reasons" that led to war. it never caught my attention. it was booooooooring!!!!!
but i took a class on ART history at my high school where we studied many artists and attempted to work in their style. my art teacher was also my English teacher and she brought much of the work from our art history class into English as well. when we were studying abstract expressionism, we learned about the painters as well as the jazz musicians who inspired their work and read poetry from the Harlem Renaissance.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlem_Renaissance
we did a collaborative cray pas drawing on a huge sheet of roll paper in English class while listening to Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. i had never heard of any of them and it was great. We let the music inspire the art. We worked to the music. In our Art History class soon after that we did a collaborative abstract painting in the style of Jackson Pollock, and we took turns playing music we had picked out specifically for the project. there was grunge, rap, classic rock, metal, pop, classical and hardcore punk on the mix. That was one of my favorite things i ever did in school, so when i got to community college, i took art history there too. we had to go to museums a few times as assignments and i wound up getting a job at one of them. i did very well in the class and my professor loved reading my thoughts. i learned a lot in her class too, although it wasn't as "hands on" an experience, my interest had peaked and i learned a lot from her too.
i started to realize that history is a lot more interesting when you see what the wars and people and dates etc, inspired in the people. the movements that were made are a lot more interesting to me. when you see what people did and the art they made to express how they were feeling about what was going on, it made me more curious to find out what was going on.
i love learning about history now, but it has to be brought to me in a way that will not bore me. because it can still be boooooooring in many forms.

yesterday, a friend on facebook posted a link to a version of the song Wade In The Water. it was hearing that song that inspired me to make a post, and this livejournal topic seemed to fit it perfectly, so i went with it...
one of the ONLY things i remember learning about history in elementary school was the story behind that song. when you hear a song so beautiful, you know there is pain and life changing experiences behind it. you can just feel it. and when you hear the story of how that song came to be, you cannot erase it from your mind.

The Brotherhood performs Wade In The Water



Anyway, as an artist, i hope to be able to have work that will last so long that it becomes historical evidence of what is going on now.

there are a few more history related videos under the cut. Eva Cassidy's version of Wade In The Water (cause it's a cool version), a little music and storytelling and comedy too...

oh yeah, and here is that NEW VIDEO of the Ukrainian artist who was on the Ukraine's Got Talent. She tells the story of Germany's invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII. It's the best thing i've seen in awhile.



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j's krew

The Hood

yesterday i drove through one of my favorite ghettos. i don't go there much anymore, but i figured out it was a good way to avoid traffic. the first time i ever went there, it was by accident. i was out for a very long walk. i took the bike path down to the city and took a couple paths off the path and suddenly i was standing in a park, looking at a sign with the name of the park on it and i said to myself "oh my god. this is the park where 3 kids were shot yesterday!" i had heard it on the news the previous night. i had no idea where the park was located and it was seemingly totally random that i would end up there the next day. and i looked around the park. you would think that at a park where there had just been a shooting, that there would be no one at the park, but it was filled. kids playing on the swings, playing wiffleball, tag, etc. older kids drinking sodas and flirting with eachother, mother's nursing their babies and grown men playing basketball. forget the fact that there was a shooting there the day before, no parks where i live ever have more than a few kids playing. usually just toddlers with their nanny's. you never see anyone outside anymore in the suburbs. no one ever leaves the house. when i was a kid we ruled the streets. it was fun.
i remember when i arrived at the park that day, the sky was getting cloudy like it was going to rain. i asked a woman what was the best way to Mass Ave. she told me it was 2 miles down the road. i looked confused, as i thought i was walking parallel to mass ave for the whole walk. the woman called a man over who gave me details on how to get back to mass ave. the people there were totally nice to me when they could have easily taken advantage, and that surprisingly has often been my experience with people in the ghetto. there is always evil stuff going on, but there are always people there who will try to protect you from the evil, because they have been part of it and understand a bit about how it works.

anyway, the hood is a magical place in many ways. it is a real community. i sometimes think i'd be better off living there than among these stuck up assholes. i don't fit in here.

did you guys hear about the private club where all the white parents pulled their kids out of the pool when a group of black kids got in and made statements that they felt unsafe having their kids swim with black kids? here is a link to an article on it....
http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Pool-Boots-Kids-Who-Might-Change-the-Complexion.html

i live right down a street from a town that is known for not allowing black people in their private club... but luckily i also live near cambridge, somerville and medford, where things are a lot more diverse.

here's a song about the hood by the dead prez, my favorite rap group.

The Hood- by Dead Prez



and here's Tupac with Nas and Akon- My Block



this is the song that got me into tupac, although not this exact version.
me with graffiti

Hip Hop For a Desert Island

Some of my all time favorite hip hop songs. What about all of you? What are your favorite hip hop songs?
i know i forgot a lot of songs i would want on this list.

tennessee- arrested developement
gangsters paradise- coolio
summertime- jazzy jeff and fresh prince
school system- dead prez
professor booty/pass the mic- beastie boys
insane in the brain- cypress hill
ms jackson- outkast
i am - deep dickcollective (DDC)
humpty dance - digital underground
i am myself- raw produce w mr. lif
my way home- kanye west with common
gone- kanye west
no problem- dj screw
drug ballad/rock bottom- eminem
i who have nothing- jedi mind tricks
just a moment- nas
millionare- kelis w andre 3000
bad bad feelings- katastrophe
expression- salt n peppa
slow it down- skitzofreniks
gin and juice- snoop dogg
gone till november- wyclef jean
matter 101- pigeon john
dat skat- the roots
how bad do u want it?- krs-one
bust a move- young mc
my block/ dear mama- tupac
memorial day- perceptionists
twice the first time- saul williams
wild side- marky mark
nuthin' but a g thang- dr dre
hotel, motel, holiday inn- NWA
the messege- grandmaster flash
me with graffiti

Why Don't I Feel Safe?

What Happens if You Are A Victim of Police Misconduct? Watch this video and see why i don't trust anyone in powerful positions, police especially.



Dead Prez - Police State Lyrics under cut also. Explicit lyrics.

more videos under cut. All of which are of police Violence and brutality.
so please be warned of that ahead of time.

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