March 29, 2010

All Souled Out: Erykah Evolving

"They play it safe..." -E. Badu

Listen. The only one who can ever outdo Erykah Badu is Erykah Badu. She has done it again. I recently posted her latest video on my Facebook page with a preceding note that implored the masses "not to miss the jewel" in this one. I needed a window seat myself, not too long ago. Upon my return from the solo excursion, the song seemed so fitting I decided to add it to the entry before I ever saw the official video. Just as I thought, some people are up in arms over the content of the video, enough to make the news. But you know what? If you listen to her monologue at the end, this is precisely what she was speaking of. The scrutiny. This widespread need to place something in a nice, neat box. Because as long as it's categorized properly- the assumption is that they are safe from it. And if it looks too strange, somewhat foreign, or worse yet- makes sense enough to leave their comfort zone, then do away with it at once! But that's no way to grow. I love how X marks the spot, too. (As a youth, This Bug was virtually obsessed with the JFK assassination. Real talk.) I have no doubt this video will get tongues wagging (and possibly hanging out of some mouths) but once the shock factor subsides, Ms. Badu gives us plenty to think about. Her message is more visceral than visual. By the way, it has vanished from Youtube. Watch it here. Weigh in. Sound off. Why not? You owe it to no one but yourself.

March 26, 2010

Stone that the builder refuse...

...will always be the head cornerstone.

I've been thinking a lot about womanizing lately. What it is. The people who do it. Why. What the consequences are. The aftermaths. I took to researching history's most famous womanizers and my findings were interesting. There was a top 5 list that consisted of multli-millionaire businessman Howard Hughes, President JFK, magazine mogul Hugh Hefner, near mythical Venetian legend Giacomo Casanova and former basketball player Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain. All of them hail from very different walks of life. But they had one thing in common. They were moneyed and powerful. Surprise, surprise. What struck me about this particular list was who was missing. Whoever compiled it totally overlooked, to me, one of the most famous lovers of women to date: Robert Nesta Marley.

If you know anything about this man, you know that his capacity to spread love was as great as his ability to create life changing music. But I'm not here to talk about his music today. Bob Marley had a lot of women in his time. Many women. From those women came many children. Suffice to say the stork was not as busy as his stalk. With all of my research on Romeos, Casanovas and Lotharios- I cannot help but put Bob in a class by himself. His affairs, whether they were fleeting or long lasting, were not frivolous and all seem to have a common ingredient. The soul of the man. I won't go as far as saying he wrote the book on the art of seduction, but he knew how to get down to business. And they obviously all found him irresistible and lovable to no end.

No Woman, No Cry

Words cannot express how strong I believe this woman to be. What appeared to be unconditional love and blind faith back then can easily pass for playing the fool for a man today. But clearly, he wasn't just any man. He was Bob. Of his extramarital affairs; Rita Marley had this to say, "Just because he did those things and cheated on me doesn’t mean he was a bad husband. He always provided for me, always gave me anything I wanted. But he was corrupted by show business, by the girls that would throw themselves at him. This is what I’ve come to understand."
Seriously, I can't begin to fathom the pain she must have endured knowing that the man she loved would bed other women at any given time away from her. It is in a woman's makeup to want to be the only one. Really and truly, man or woman, does anyone want to feel second best? Factor in third or forth and things get really unbearable. We all would like to think we're number one in someone's book. But love sustains. I think that's the reason she still works so tirelessly to continue his legacy. It's been speculated that their relationship grew to be more like mother and son later on. She kept a watchful but caring eye over him and objectively cautioned him against getting caught up with the wrong ones. The woman gets ridiculous props for that alone. It can't be easy to love a man whose magnetism goes way beyond the women he attracts.

The Beauty Queen

Late in his too short life, Bob had a relationship with Cindy Breakspeare. She was crowned Miss World in 1976 and met Bob the same year in London. It's been said that of his many indiscretions, Rita held plenty of animosity towards her in particular- even refusing to sing back up with the I-Threes on Turn Your Lights Down Low, because it was common knowledge the song was inspired by and written for Ms. Breakspeare. From that relationship, Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley was born. Now, one may say that Bob had no business cavorting with other women while he was married, but no one can deny that some beautiful lives were brought forth as a result. Sharon. Cedella. David, better known as Ziggy. Stephen. Robert. Julian. Rohan. Karen. Ky-Mani. Damian. Makeda. They all carry his namesake. His estate claims eleven in total, including Rita's daughter from a previous relationship who Bob adopted as his own. That's not even counting others that are not, or may choose not be be recognized as his biological children. But there were many women and many affairs, notwithstanding that some went undocumented or bore no children.

When I first began writing this, I was exploring the concept of a man who can make a woman feel like she's the only one in the world- even if deep down she knows better. I wrote this to get a better understanding of what it means to love a man like this. By this I mean the type of man who is desired by many and gives himself willingly. Freely. And by this I mean this depth of love. The kind that lends itself to staying even when you can see the forest for the trees. But perhaps that's what it's all about. Seeing a person for who they are entirely and not strictly for their deeds. By the end of his life, no one close to him turned their back because of his "womanizing" ways. They were all there until the end. Loving him. All facets of him, because apparently there were many- but they were all wholly him. About the lack of clarity regarding Bob's affairs, author Timothy White offered, "No one who was connected with Bob, no matter how intimately, had a complete picture of the man. The network of restrictive confidences that Marley developed over the years was extensive, encompassing business arrangements, extramarital affairs, daily comings and goings, and songwriting collaborations." I realize now that Bob Marley doesn't belong on that list I stumbled upon at all. What those previously mentioned men contributed to the world pales in comparison to the lives that Bob touched and helped to create. I guess everything and everyone has their place in this universe. It's not up to us to judge or question it. Our obligation is to respect life; those who love purely and live it to the fullest. Bob didn't just love women. He loved people. He loved life. Gilly Gilbert, Bob's Ital cook said, "Whatever Bob do, Bob do more right than wrong." And I believe him.

"But who Jah bless, no man curse."

Author's Note: Post originally titled Love, Life & Guava Jelly. Written over two days of research and real life ponderance.

Photo Courtesy: Urban Image

March 25, 2010

Throwback Thursdays

Hello Boys and Girls. I'm back with another treat. Ya'll should know by now that when This Bug is on a roll, you can expect me to keep it in the same camp when it comes to Throwback Thursdays. keeping with the essence of my last post: Wu Tang is for the kids! And so am I. Plus, Shyheim the Rugged Child was such a cute kid back then- I have to show the love. I know I say this about almost every Throwback I feature but this. was. my. shit. Period. You can't ask me to pick just one. That would be like asking which one of your children you love the most. It just can't be done. Anyway, I'm strolling down Memory Lane today and the pit stop is late '93 into early '94. Ahhh...the tunes were just so official back then, including this one. What I loved the most was that this kid had skills for real. If his rhymes were ghostwritten by some elder Wu member, I sure as hell couldn't tell. Which is more than I can say for Killarmy. Yeah I said it. And Whut?! They all sounded like some amateur versions of RZA and Inspecktah Deck to my ears. Shyheim served up eloquent lyrics like a grown ass man when he had to be... I dunno, a teenager at the time? (This Bug is too exhausted to fact check right now. Wikipedia that shit yourself if you care so much.) My point is that his style didn't seem to mimic anyone else from the Wu. He had his own flow and gave an honest report on what he saw firsthand coming up in Stapleton Projects. I'll say this much: Cute grows up. But when you have obvious skills like this kid possessed, there's no need to rely on folks pinching your cheeks like Kris Kross or other youngsters who just barely got by on that. I could go On and On but let's just get to it. This Bug's favorite line? "Wasn't hard to tell that these kids was no joke. They let the pistols smoke and they nines was doper than Coke." Um, yeah. That boy was the truth.

March 23, 2010

The 37th Chamber of Starks

Let's get this out in the open right now. This Bug has crazy, shameless love for Ghostface. You feel me? It wasn't always that way, but it's like that- and that's the way it is. I remember when I first saw the Method Man video, I wondered (undoubtedly like everyone else) who was that masked man with the dual Shinobi swords at the end? Was he on the run? Was he hiding a nasty Buck 50? What the hell was he all about? Well, by the time I heard him rhyme on Da Mystery of Chessboxin' I was more than intrigued. And by the time he and Raekwon paired up for the legendary Purple Tape- it was a wrap. I was sold. The dude is a beast. I don't think there's a gray area with Tony Starks. You either feel him or you don't. It's up to you. I'll just run down my reasons why I think the god is worth his weight in gold like that eagle he occasionally brandishes on his wrist.

An Air of Mystery
Ghost might have hidden his face from the public when the Wu first came out, but he also kept the skills under wraps for a hot second, too. Honestly, I wasn't feeling him completely when I first heard him spit. It took time for him to grow on me. His lyrics didn't always make sense (more on that later) but they started to sound iller every time I heard him. In a twist of genius, he gradually peeled back the layers of his persona to a point where I wondered ' What the hell does this dude look like anyways?'

The Passionate Thug

I don't know if anyone else has noticed- but Ghostface has feelings too. Since the first album, Ironman we've been consistently hearing about how he's gotten his heart broken by some snake-in-the-grass chick that he thought the world of until she did him dirty. Check the resume: Wildflower, Child's Play, Never Be the Same Again, Back Like That. You do the math. Don't get it twisted, tho. He does not seem to consistently get his heart torn. As a matter of fact- he sounds like he does more than okay with the ladies. "Pretty Tone in the house. You betta hide ya bitch." One thing is undeniable. When his heart is in it, he let's everybody know. And he loves the kids. Wu Tang is for the chirren!

He's a Tastemaker
The self-proclaimed "Wally Champ" has a style all his own. You can see it in his gear as much as you can hear it in his lyrics. Your boy stays "veloured down like the Sheik of Iran". He doesn't care what's trendy; he sets the trend. Big dookie rope chains. Rhinestones. Shiny bathrobes. Furry ski hats. Multicolored Clarks. He does his own thing. "Catch me by the pool in my Tony Stark slippers!" Such a colorful character. You gotta respect that. Plus it's drippin' like it's Marble Cake...Haha!

His Cover is Blow(n)
It's out in the open. Ghostdeini fronts for no one. He has made countless references to let you know that he doesn't just get high from the 'regs'. "Chop the dough. Sprinkle li'l snow inside the Optimo." Not convinced? How 'bout, "All up in the Parrot. Nose numb, real as they come." Yeah, it used to be tough to admit that one of my favorite emcees was a self admitted coke user- but he gets some kind of points for putting it out there, no? No. I guess not. But I still got love for the cat the way you love that drunk uncle of yours who shows up every Christmas. He may never quite get right, but your Momma and everyone else still accepts him, right? The love is authentic even though he's not perfect. I'm sure Ghost is no different from a lot of people in the industry- he's just more forthcoming about those habits. How many niggas you know brave enough to do that?

Who Said Art Has to Make Sense?
Sometimes, I truly believe not even Ghost knows what he means when he drops a jewel. I've said this before. He has lyrics that still has me wondering what the fuck he meant to this day. And some of them are over 10 years old. At the same time, when he's ready he paints a picture like Picasso. Disjointed. Strange but oddly beautiful. It all comes together when you take all it in from a different angle. Listen to 260 or Josephine if you don't follow my meaning. Once again, he tells a story with craftiness and clarity in way that only he can deliver. You actually have to dissect his lyrics line for line. And even then you may still be confused. Case and point: Mighty Healthy. Collectively, I have no idea what this song is about. Yeah, I can connect dots and deduce that he's talking about how ill he is- but does it make sense on the whole? Hell no. Still, you can't front. The shit is bangin'.

The Boy Does His Numbers

Aight, I can't write this entry without 'knowledging the god' on his sexual prowess. So all you insecure dudes and uptight chicks can scroll down until I'm done. Agreed? Cool. Sit this one out.
He said...and I quote: "Sexcapades take place. We fuck in 48 shades." Now, as far as positions go... that's about 43 more than what's common for the average. I'm just sayin'. And his confidence is what makes his appeal surface. It's arrogant but somehow he gets away with it. "Bitches think that I'm Dominican slash Half Indian." And if that's not enough proof, there's always "Dick made the cover now many veins on it." Damn He's nasty! But don't take my word for it. Just give a listen to Stapleton Sex or the Freekin' You remix by Jodeci. Yes, it's crass. It's downright lewd. But being bold carries with it its own sexiness when done correctly. All day like Harry Belafonte...

The Crowning Jewel
"Talkin' bout Dear Ghost, You da only nigga I know- like when the cops come, you never hide ya toast..." Mannn, Listen! When I first heard Supreme Clientele- I felt blessed. Hip-Hop at its very finest. Every track is a classic in its own right. The Ironman cartoon theme song. The valiant horns of Apollo Kids. The hilarious crackhead skit with Woodrow. "Suzy, throw it out the window! SUE!" Just the fact that he did a party joint like Cherchez LaGhost and still came off hard is a testament to his talent and versatility. The entire album laid to rest any assumptions that he'd suffer from the dreaded "sophomore jinx". He more than lived up to the standard he set with his first release, he superseded it and raised his own bar. That's why efforts like Fishscale, Big Doe Rehab , The Pretty Tony Album and that wack Theodore Urban team he put together are forgivable in my book. I have to give it to him though. Every time I see someone haulin' ass in a movie like Carl Lewis, I hear the sounds of Run in the background for some reason. "Hop fences, jump over benches! When you see me comin' get the fuck out the entrance!" Oooowee! That shit is so tough. His energy is wild.

Your boy is hittin' like a spike bat. He's on some ignorant shit at times but you can't deny how deep he is. He's sort of an anomaly. He's passionate about a life that's not always so nice and decorated. You can tell he's seen and lived through some ugly episodes but he's still able to articulate the tragic beauty of it all. Listen to Motherless Child or All That I Got I You. Check the last verse on Impossible. It's one of the sincerest and most heartbreaking verses I've ever heard in Hip-Hop without question.

Yo, I can't say much more. As I said before, there is no gray area with him. You either feel him or you don't and I do. This Bug will rep for Ghostface Killah all day. 'Nuff said.

"Since the face been revealed, game got real."

March 19, 2010

It's A Family Affair

"If it's blood, don't break it." - Brad Whitewood Sr.

I first saw At Close Range back in 1987 and it has haunted me ever since. When I think of criminally slept on, highly underrated films- this one immediately comes to mind. The current that runs through this movie are the electrifying performances by Christopher Walken, both Penn brothers, (Sean and Chris) and a shining supporting cast. It's tough to fairly assess At Close Range if you don't catch the subtle details that are sheer genius. Brad's grandmother, played by Penn's real mother Eileen Ryan, is phenomenal in her quiet distrust. Crispin Glover (ever the weirdo, even as George McFly) reminds you of that friend who was always a little off but was tolerated by the rest of the crew for some unknown reason. But make no mistake. Walken is the powerhouse of this outfit.

Walken's role as Brad Whitewood Sr. is one of his most disturbing and unnerving to date. He always plays a great villain, but what makes this turn so scary is how real he is. Aside from the fact the it's based on a true story- I know that people like this really exist. Charming. A cool exterior. Friendly but something dangerous lurking just beneath the surface. And they don't need a whole helluva lot to unlock that dark side.

The story is centered around Brad Jr. played flawlessly by Sean Penn. He's a simple kid- bored silly living in a simple town and that's where the simplicity ends. One day his estranged father suddenly breezes back into his life after several years. His apprehension is matched only by his elation that the man actually wants anything to do with him. It's obvious from the start that the connection is imbalanced. Brad Sr. has his reasons for dropping in the way he does. Situations soon reveal themselves to be lawless and deadly before Junior has a chance to catch his breath.

What I cherish most about this movie are the emotions it sparks. Do you remember when you first met someone and liked them? I mean really liked them. You tried your best to play it cool but it was a fruitless effort. You couldn't wait to see them. A voice on the phone made your heart skip a beat. Then it hit you that you wanted to be with this person on all counts. It's the kind of film that makes you look back on your own experiences and wonder whether you should be somewhat disdained or just plain grateful that these kind of raw feelings never gripped you.

I can't speak for the bond between a father and a son. But I do feel that there is part of every man, no matter how old he gets, that will always miss a warmth which only that particular relationship can bring. And this movie shows how that journey can be truncated by abandonment, selfishness and greed. It's a very real look at a twisted amalgamation of the human condition. A gem that should be polished off every now and then. Rent it now. Thank me later.

March 18, 2010

Throwback Thursdays

What up, Peoples. I'm back with one from my own personal archives for today's Throwback. I had this video on VHS tape back in the day and recently blew the dust off of it and pressed play. Truthfully, I almost forgot how profound this song was. It was always a cautionary tale about how quickly things could get out of hand. Now that I'm older I have a heartfelt appreciation for it due to the things life has shown me. How real it can get. D-Nice dropped To Tha Rescue in 1991. I never copped it but I made it my business to record this video. 25 Ta Life takes you through a day that starts out like any other. He sets the tone by detailing the weather and how he opts to smoke over drinking on such a sweltering day. The black and white video is nice touch. You feel the grit of his lament in a way that would have been lost had it been shot in color. He's on the block, meets some shorties and soon thereafter- things spiral out of control with blinding speed. The day becomes anything but typical. The first day of the rest of his life, so to speak. I won't get into it. I'll just let the TR-808 relay what can happen if you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time. This one's dedicated to my nephew in essence. Choc, hold ya head. One Love.

March 16, 2010


Once upon a midnight dreary,
I woke with something in my head.
I couldn't escape the memory
Of the phone call and what you said.
Like a game show contestant with a parting gift
I could not believe my eyes
When I saw through the voice of a trusted friend
Who needs to humor me and tell me lies.
Yeah, humor me and tell me lies
And I'll lie too and say I don't mind
And as we seek so shall we find.
And when you're feeling open I'll still be here
But not without a certain degree of fear
Of what will be
With you and me,
I still can see things hopefully

But you, why you wanna give me the run around
Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up
When all it does is slow me down

And shake me and my confidence
About a great many things.
But I've been there, I can see it cower
Like a nervous magician waiting in the wings
Of a bad play where the heroes are right,
And nobody thinks or expects too much,
And Hollywood's calling for the movie rights
Singing, "Hey babe let's keep in touch.
Hey baby, let's keep in touch."
But I want more than a touch, I want you to reach me
And show me all the things no one else can see.
So what you feel becomes mine as well
And soon if we're lucky we'll be unable to tell
What's yours and mine.
The fishing's fine,
And it doesn't have to rhyme
So don't you feed me a line

But you, why you wanna give me the run around
Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up
When all it does is slow me down

Tra la la bamba dear, this is the pilot speaking
And I've got some news for you.
You see my ship still stands
No matter what you trouble,
There ain't a whole lot that you can do.
Oh sure, the banner may be torn
And the wind's gotten colder.
Perhaps I've grown a little cynical.
But I know no matter what the waitress brings,
I shall drink in and always be full.
Yeah, I will drink in and always be full.
Oh, I like coffee and I like tea.
But to be able to enter a final plea,
I've still got this dream that you just can't shake,
I love you to the point you can no longer take.
Well alright, okay, so be that way.
I hope and pray that there's something left to say

But you, why you wanna give me the run around
Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up
When all it does is slow me down

Oh you, why you wanna give me the run around
Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up
When all it does is slow me down

"Run-Around" Blues Traveler

March 14, 2010

Back for the first time

“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark

Routines are made to deviate from. It's been a while since I did that. It doesn't happen often but when spontaneity gets the better of This Bug, I must comply. Bottom line: I had to break out, yo. Sometimes you just need a moment to keep it to self. Last time it was Miami. This time it was Chi-town. There's plenty about my excursion that I'd like to hold close, just for selfish purposes. But I'll divulge a few quick hits simply for the sake of sharing.

For the first time in a long time- I slept. I mean really slept. Sound. I needed it. Weird dreams, too. Stay tuned.

I did my best not to fall into the run-of-the-mill practice of tourism but alas- it's not a trip to Chicago if you leave without consuming their famous Deep Dish. My take: NY Pizza wins hands down. But that might just be me.

No matter where I go, I'm always struck by how trusting people are in other parts. At the car rental, the attendant innocently suggested I leave my luggage there to go outside and peruse their fleet of cars to choose from. I promptly put her on. "I'm from New York, Sweetie. I'm not leaving anything anywhere." Homie don't play dat.

A gajillion tiny bubbles have the most exhilarating and calming effect all at once. Until you have to get out and reset the timer. It's still kinda fly, though.

As it turns out- I drove smack dab into the middle of the annual St. Patrick's Day parade out there. Wild! Those people know how to get it crunk. I actually watched a guy repeatedly kick a huge, inverted umbrella down the street in hopes of hitting his girlfriend who was walking up ahead, arms folded- utterly pissed at him. Yeah. I guess green beer can do that. He almost caught her a couple of times too- just in case you were wondering. *shaking my head*

Before I forget, allow me to impart some wisdom on not packing any compromising or embarrassing objects for your trip. Airport security employees live for this. I was stopped for having a bottle of juice I had forgotten about in my carry-on. This guy made it a point to specify that it was a Snapple. Then he looked me squarely in the eye and said, "Ask me how I knew it was a Snapple bottle." Panic. I instantly picture the tell-tale shape of a grown up toy and say, "I don't want to know." He smirks. I wipe the proverbial brow and keep it moving through the metal detectors. Now mind ya biz. This Bug is a grown ass woman.

Wine tastes different at hotel bars. Perhaps it's the anonymity of traveling strangers. We're all just passing through. But savoring.

I made myself a promise that I would stare at this painting the same way Cameron did in Ferris Bueller's Day Off to get some semblance of what he was feeling. It's a lot bigger than I ever imagined it. As a matter of fact, I felt very small standing before it. In short: I get it. John Hughes was a genius. R.I.P.

So... all up in his hometown and I ain't run into Common not once. But that's not why I went. Contrary to what some may believe. (Next time, Gadget. Ha.) I just wanted to Be. I'm happy to say I didn't have to ask anyone Can I Borrow A Dollar in order to steal away. This was a Resurrection of sorts. My writing. My mind. My spirit. It was almost Like Water for Chocolate in a way. I wouldn't have made this trip and have it be so meaningful without everything single thing that lead up to it days before. Deep down, I felt like I was on my way to Finding Forever but I can't say for sure. I do know however... that One Day It'll All Make Sense.


March 7, 2010

The Greatest Thing

He didn't walk me down the aisle. Because there are no aisles at the Town Hall. But he was there. Five years later, when it all went from sugar to shit- he never once said 'I told you so.' Instead, he bore it all in silence. The way a man does when there is nothing he can do about his little girl's pain- other than share it while wishing he could eradicate the source. He wanted more for me than he could give but he gave what he could. His all.

They say I'm the most like him. There are times when I wonder how different it would be with us, had we not pelted one another with stone-heavy words. Fought each other tooth and nail. Those were some of the darkest days I have ever known. I was the only one of his three children to look him in the eye and say "I'm not afraid of you anymore." I was fifteen. That alone tipped the axis. There were no more beatings. Only equally matched brawls. Now I know. He wasn't angry so much as desperate for better times. Brighter days.

I look back on those days and see now that we needed those times. I had to remember that I was still his child. And he had to learn how to let go. Widowed and worn but by no means broken, he showed me the definition of strength. His eyes are softer now. With the slightest halo of blue-gray around the iris, but a fire still glows in the pupils. I could live to be twice his age and never fathom what has put that look in them. That world-weariness and dignity all at once. A look that says he has seen more than he cares to talk about- and lived through more than I could ever fictionalize. Trinidad in the sixties. New York in the eighties. And God knows what else.

He has never been a wealthy man. But if you were to ask him what his riches are- he would tell you in a heartbeat that we are his treasures. My sisters, my nieces, my nephews, the great-grandchildren. Myself. More precious to him than the jewel encrusted Taj Mahal. His pillars of pride. I look in those eyes and see a thousand devoted sojourns. Just so we could all be here.

March 6, 2010


There is foolish pride. And then there's the other kind. The wise kind that is seamlessly attached to logic and self worth. The kind that in the past, caused me to turn sharply at so-called authority figures and say, "There is no desk you can seat me behind. No telephone you can ask me to answer, that will allow you to speak to me that way. There is no paycheck you'll ever cut that can make me forget who I am. Know that." It was received with raised eyebrows, yes. But at the end of the day- everyone knew where they stood.

And that's really what it's all about, isn't it? Knowing where you stand. Sometimes you show others. Sometimes others show you. Once it is known, the proper moves must be made. I may not step as surefooted as a mountain goat or swim adroitly through choppy waters, but I know when to move accordingly. To my own rhythm.

I once read that the hero and the coward do not feel any differently at the moment of truth. It's what the hero does and the coward doesn't that defines who they are. I know this much to be true; I am not always equipped with the right weaponry. It truly is the strongest soldier that dares to die unarmed. Courage is only the second the second virtue of a soldier. Endurance is the first. I have fought the good fight and lived to write about it. And it would be impossible to soldier on- if I knew not where I stood.

"In the front line of this battle of mine. But I'm still alive."
~Sade Adu

March 4, 2010

Throwback Thursdays

Today's Throwback is a nod to the one and only GURU. Recently his health suffered a blow when he went into cardiac arrest and slipped into a coma last week. I'm glad to report that he has since had surgery and is on the road to recovery. You can read about it here. Prayers and blessings go a long way. We can't afford to lose another icon. Anyway, between that and the fact that This Bug has always had an appreciation for this song and video- it seems fitting. 1992 for Gang Starr, as Sinatra crooned, was a very good year. Daily Operation was a solid album with tracks like Conspiracy, Flip the Script and Ex to the Next. Guru and DJ Premier are the epitome of a perfect pairing. But Take it Personal was always the standout to me. As usual Premier puts his brand on it with his signature cutting and scratching over the break beat. The perpetual phone ringing is a reminder that dimes are being dropped. And as usual, Guru blessed it with his articulate speech and relaxed manner. The video in itself is classic. It had a plot (which thickens like quick grits by the time Guru is allowed to make his one phone call while in custody) and movie quality cinematography. It's the little things, you know? I can't be the only one who loves how a jury of his peers are sitting there- steady boppin' their heads to a dope rhyme. While on trial for what we can only assume is a crime against Hip-Hop, Guru states his case and let's you decide who is telling the truth. You know his Steez. As you can see by the end of the vid, the verdict is not guilty and he and his peoples leave court looking cooler than you ever could on your best day. This Bug's favorite line? "But I can see clearly now, the rain is gone. The pain is gone but what you did is still wrong. There was few times I needed your support, but you tried to play me like an indoor sport." Ooh wee...Been there.